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Old 11-18-2012, 07:14 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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College friend is feeling better. She weathered the internal storm, made some concrete plans, and checked in to tell me the plans. I told her I was proud of of her and wished her luck as she takes a stab at the new changes. Hopefully she will come to find that regardless of outcome, she CAN handle things and make choices. Thus become more resilient.

And more confident in herself handling things in Life. Start with the small stuff that seems more doable first then be willing to stretch and grow and raise the bar a bit. Good challenges. Strive for practice, development of a skill, betterment in execution, progress made. That good stuff.

And side benefit? More self esteem. To increase your own self esteem? You do esteem-able things. Making choices, and choosing well and coming to find you can HANDLE whatever it is? That's certainly something to take a pride in and certainly something esteem-able.

(Meta: God. Sometimes I feel like I'm just channeling CRONE. )

I tried to explain to her how I deal with it, but what works for me to pull a “phoenix-rising-from-ashes” moment off may not be her style. She's actually got to work it out for herself. I told her to decide something, anything, and see it to the end. It's fine if it isn't the end all be all thing, but it is SOMETHING. One baby step FORWARD is better than staying still in quagmire. Move it!

Worry about fine tuning direction later, just “out of stuck-ness” is good enough for now!

Abused Friend (I need to rename her at some point since she's left abuse and transforming... hrm) took me out for coffee. She told me she's feeling better in general and things since the last drama-fest from estranged husband have been dead silent. She's actually enjoying being on her own and has realized she's happier without him.

DH pointed out to me later in the shower that while they separated in late summer, this is the first week she's been without him -- like ZERO contact. For days on end. QUIET. Before it was email or phone witter every moment several times a day so she really couldn't actually experience quiet “being free of him-ness” til now. His was making himself felt EVERYWHERE before via phone, email, in person, etc.

That made sense to me. Because she confessed that initially she thought they could repair and get back together but now she's finding she is happier on her own. Sad, moving through grief stages, but not a wreck. She's got worries about future, but she's coping.

I nodded and just accepted whatever she wanted to share and praised wherever I could praise -- she's holding her new job, schoolwork, socializing, attending support group, etc. May not be the end all be all, but def baby steps forward and moving toward less stinky!

I will have to admit there's a large part of me that is breathing "Oh, thank heaven!" because then I don't have to endure too much more drama at her side and fretting about her safety. It's not over til it is over, but I can allow myself a small breather and hope there is no more drama ahead.

There's the “minutia and tedium of splitting up stuff-ness” to come still, but that's hopefully not going to drag on forever. (Another part of me wonders if this is another estranged husband tactic -- like she cannot move a divorce forward if he's just "unreachable" or something. And he IS going to drag it on forever. But she's pretty realistic about that possibility.)

That was all on the 15th. Today? I hung out with three friends for brunch. We stayed there yammering for 4.5 hours! Clearly there was a lot of catching up to do! It was another kind of panty show. I'm not willing to show my panties to everyone but with certain friends sure – worries about eldercare, my own health, the kid and her development. Things with me and spouse are good, but worries about my plumbing and repairs costs. The others had panty shows like worries about dating or health or employment or dating and retirement planning and a lawyer need for estate stuff.

All of these friends have hopefully come through their personal hoo-has this week, clocked some baby steps forward, and thus have also clocked some notches on their "I can handle my shit, I am resilient" yardstick.

My circle of friends is changing this year. I know part of it is me – I've been changing my talk to more formal communication with DH. Bucket check ins just rub off on others people. I've also just been more willing to get all up in people's stuff. Not rude but just inquire. So. How ARE you? Really. You. Not a platitude. Not a hi/bye type greeting. But seriously. I care to know. How are YOU?

And just listening. I know I'm good at talking. I like to yammer. Not as much as my mother or my kid but I do love to talk. I'm trying to see how good I am at listening and processing and learning from others and their experiences.

When I look within, I'm pretty resilient. I don't love crisis. I don't love having to endure and put up with wacko needlessly. But if I find myself in crisis and I have to endure whatever it is -- well, bring it. Hang Time at the Forge!

In Tarot, call it the Hanged Man card.

Been there. Done that. Many times before. Though with familiarity, it doesn't bother me. I welcome Hang Time. The tiny moment of stillness in a pendulum swing before things go back the other direction. Acceptance. I took it as far as possible for now. So it's not my problem any more until it is my problem again. Suspension.

Having DH around helps in those times. So do friends -- steam valve conversations to let go of some pressure.

How I talk to myself inside my head helps -- I don't really spend a lot of time feeding the black dog. It's more like

"ALRIGHT! FINE! It is what it is right now! So how to best get me OUT of this and into a better space? Breathe. Still yourself. LISTEN. Then decide and do. You know the drill. Let's go! On with the process. It is hang time now so bloody well HANG and just choose to HANG ON bloody well."

Let soul squirm and do what it has to freakin' DO. It doesn't speak loud of often but when the soul bucket is choosing to speak up, LISTEN.

Crisis is a MOMENT of coming change. The critical crux, the turning point.

Life is constant changes big and small. So WHAT if I am in crisis? Face it and choose to learn to cope.

Meta: Amused. When DH first met me I was such an angry young woman that when face with other people's suffering I could only listen but so much before I'd get annoyed and go “Wah! My pussy hurts!” So “face it and choose to learn to cope.” sounds so much nicer to me than the old me but the me is still me.

I've lived long enough to know when soul bucket runs dry, best to fill it up then. One tends to one's spiritual health just like any other bucket and the means by which you do it? That's also up to you. But don't get caught in crisis with a bone dry soul bucket. If you do? Fill it up first so you can be sustained in a Hang Time.

My kid has that CD in the car with Eric Bibb on it. It happened to come on. It fit really well today with the idea of being resilient and bouncing back.

Just Keep Goin' On.



Just keep goin' on
Just keep goin' on
Just keep goin' on
Just keep goin' on

Take every knock as a boost
And every stumbling block as a stepping stone
Lift up your head and hold your own
Just keep goin' on

I say to every young woman
Also to every young man
Sometimes you get discouraged
Don't stop and wring your hands
Your privilege cannot be taken
Your rights cannot be banned
If someone like me can make it
I know you can
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:53 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Interesting head space. Lovely Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. DH and I continue in a kooshy space that is warm and loving.

Stark contrast to Abused Friend -- who asked me to drive her to the courthouse today to file her divorce papers now that's she's ready with finances and whatnot.

So I drive.

And I try to be supportive today in whatever capacity I am called on to be even though a place in my stomach is all UGH with anxiety.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:10 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Ugh. That was one of the longest days of my life. I told my friend I hope she understands that I don't go around doing this type stuff for just anybody. Lord.

Long story short? The Judicial machine is rolling -- restraining papers served, court date set, divorce papers obtained and hopefully Formerly Abused Now Divorcing Friend will fill out and return on her own tomorrow now that she see the courthouse is largely a boring place. Marble. Brass. Paintings. Lines. Lobbies. Offices. Paper pushing from one end to the other.

EMOTIONALLY it is hard, but the realities? Office tedium.

I was as stoic, agreeable, cheerful, and encouraging as I could be for her at each office and over each form filled out. Inside? I was grumpy, bored, worried, anxious, and I don't know what all now that I am home. It was a full spectrum emotion kind of day.

I have to digest it. My idea of fun is not spending 9 to 5 at a courthouse shuffling paper about waiting on judges to answer. But it must be done. So it was.

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Old 11-28-2012, 03:27 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Not really much to say. Most of my brain power is going to Divorcing Friend and aiding her in appropriate support.

There's stuff only SHE can do like banking and calling specific people with personal ID info/ personal knowledge. Other stuff she fobs on me to do for her.
  • Make phone calls anyone can make for her. Like gathering general info calls anyone could inquire about. (I can't call the bank asking about her accounts. She has to that. I can call around to shop for a nicer cel phone plan.)
  • Type things she needs typed for court.
  • Help her inventory assets and prepare for mediator.
  • Listen to her vent frustration, upset, guilt, grief.

I try to keep my own frustration, upset, annoyances to myself and air them out to DH or other people who live in other states -- a friend, my sister. So here? When I have to be present here?

I can maintain a calm "this too shall pass" mode as best as I am able for her.

I told a friend last night in a venting chat that if/when DH and I open part of our agreement is to just divide it up NOW. She laughed and said "I believe you. But you guys are sane about these things."

Just get it all together for the simple divorce form so if it comes to pass? It HAS to be a split on the romance end of it? There we chose to go together then. Fast, sorted, agreed to, and moving us to the healing place ASAP. Where we can hopefully be friends, co-parents, co-grandparents in future and not spend ages in the ugh place prolonging suffering.

This whole business is tiresome and distasteful.

This is NOT the way to Open.

NOT the best way to divorce.

It is not just getting ugly -- it IS ugly.

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-28-2012 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:09 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Divorce forms galore continue.

Friend is grateful and thanks me often. I accept it and tell her not to worry. Inside I think the only thanks I need is to know she's finally free and safe from this wacky mess.

I worry.

My sister told me a kind thing -- that of all people she knows, I go the extra mile in helping others. Even if things around them are totally messed up or they make poor decisions... Somehow I manage to still value the person. That's not a common trait and that I'm very generous/compassionate. So of course I'm going to be feeling all "argh" at some points in the journey. It's hard to endure with people. So much easier to walk away.

Unexpected compliment from that quarter. I have to digest that later.

Last night DH and I snuggled under covers and he listened to me vent a bit and held me in his arms.

He was cleaning his desk earlier and handed me a love letter I wrote him back when I was 25 years old. He keeps the oddest things. I'd forgot I wrote that for him then. I smiled and grew misty reading it -- visiting old me loving old him. Then I told him I felt like ought to be adding the "PS" to it now that it's been so many years hence. Maybe I ought to add a "PS" now and every decade later?

So grateful for that man. He found an old picture of us around then and left it in a frame on my desk. I am amused looking at us in our young 20's peeping at me under the glass.

Oy. Life.

I wouldn't have it any other way -- fabulous SWEET spots, and then the really intense patches making the sweet spots that much sweeter when they happen for the comparison.

Con amor, con gusto, y con brio!

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:50 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Another day spent hanging around the courthouse. I'll refrain from sharing too many things about my Divorcing Friend. It's enough to say it's small progress -- but we're not done here yet. She was upset and crying and I don't know what. Sigh.

I find great comfort in my spouse. He's solid, he's sane, he's giving me the support I need. I find great comfort in my other friends. They also are supporting me as I support another.

My ethics and values get tested and it's a great comfort to know I've got my own head screwed on right.

Totally a Kipling kind of day. And I don't even like poetry. Sigh.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-11-2012 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:59 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Been busy.

Still have Divorce Friend touching base but she's moved on to live with another friend in hiding til her new apartment is ready. (Don't want crazy estranged husband to know where she lives.)

Still have SAHM friend who struggles with boundaries/anxiety touching base.

The rest of my friends are doing ok -- their problems are like mine. Annoying, but easily fixable.

I'm lucky enough to be dealing in tangible problems rather than "relationship" or "work" issues. Yes, the plumbing! Plumber came, AC came, remodel measurements guy came. The whole "Stop this water damp and make two new bathrooms" project inches forward. I'm hoping for a Xmas bathroom. Maybe a New Year's one. Let's GO!

But being in a front row seat trying to support Divorce Friend and SAHM friend in their separate but related struggles has been interesting.

I used to say "If you want self-esteem, do esteemable things!"

My feeling on that hasn't changed but I read an article that gave me pause to reflect on how I express that sentiment. I'd been surfing online trying to find something uplifting to send to both of those two to encourage them.

Self-esteem is based in what you think.
Self-respect is based on what you do.

stuck out for me from the article.

When I measured it against my own
"If you want good self esteem, do esteemable things"
what I thought was a clear statement became even clearer to myself.

I deeply believe that feelings ensue after behavior. All day long we choose things, choose how to behave in the circumstances. That leads to feelings. Which leads to the next set of circumstances to choose the next behavior.

Self esteem and self respect are interlinked for me.

So what I MEAN when I say the above is
"If you want good self-esteem, behave in self-respecting ways."
Cool. I got an update in clarity of expression. I still think the same thing. I can just now say it better.

Shiny Thoughts. So much fun to think!

Sometimes I use the old fashioned phrase of "That is not flattering to you" when assessing someone's behavior or conduct. What I mean is "choose to behave in self-respecting ways."

It's fine to let one's hair down and run around being silly once in a while. But know time and place, please. Definitely don't run around like that Estranged Husband doing all kinds of wackadoodle! (Understatement: Ugh. Soooo not self respecting behavior! )

The article also had this stand out quote to me.

Self-respect is based on what you do. And it is an ongoing effort. It doesn't matter what you did in the past, it is about what you are doing now. It is important to realize that these actions are concrete and measure up to external standards of good behavior, accomplishment and cause for admiration. You don't just think of yourself as a good person, you walk the talk. You take extra time and effort to be a good person to others.
That also means being a good person to YOURSELF. Not selfish, but honoring your own well being and choosing behaviors to support that.

That's my SAHM friend. I tell her over and over to buck up and change her behavior and see if she feels better.

See if her self esteem improves if she breaks up with so called "friends" than drain her because she is choosing self-respecting behavior then. To not associate herself with toxic people! To decide she deserves to be around nourishing, supportive people.

To get involved in her community and participate and not be all cabin fever with walls closing in on her. Because she is choosing self-respecting behavior by engaging with other people, donating her time to give something back, to preserve her mental health and to improve the world she lives in. Rather than choosing less than self-respecting behavior and staying like a shut in where she slowly goes potty with cabin fever! Shoot -- go pet and clean the cats at the animal shelter! You like cats!

To go get a check up at the doctor for depression, vitamin deficiency, hormones, etc . Because she is choosing self respecting behavior and caring for her body and mind with that action. See the dentist while at it!

DH and I were at Denny's on Sunday and we were going over Divorcing Friend since she was coming over later that night to practice her court statement on us.
He shook his head and told me (again) that for us to Open, there would have to be respect all around. It's a line in the sand with him. I re-agreed! That's always been there.

Divorcing Friend and her Estranged Husband? Their Opening and expectations and attitudes? Just seemed lacking in respect/sef-respect to me in some places.

On the other hand, her taking serious steps to be rid of him and his abuses? It's a hard row to hoe. And she's doing it anyway! That's self-respecting behavior in spades.

Later Monday night after the whole court day DH and I were working on a puzzle talking about this whole "self-esteem vs self-respect" thing.

It's a subtle, subtle trip at first. To make excuse for someone else's bad behavior. Anyone can have a bad day. But if the person constantly crosses boundaries the answer is not to move the boundary back or excuse them. It's to call into account. Either THEM for the bad behavior or YOURSELF for choosing to engage with this person to begin with. Or BOTH.

Because if you do that enough times... making excuse for their bad behavior toward you? And you STAY in the line of fire for more?

Your OWN self esteem and self respect takes the dings. Then it's even harder to get out of the pit.



Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-13-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:13 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Just an observation.

A college age friend and I were chatting about her babysitting my kid, her school, her new job, etc. She was telling me how when she's feeling ok and all her needs met she's a lot like my kid -- totally into people and interested in what's going on with them. "People person, taking an interest" kind of vibe.

My kid is very into people. So into them it borders on nosy -- kid hates to miss anything!

Today I noted that I'm in that zone.

There's all kinds of wacky going on. Plumber came round to make holes in the wall to dx my pipe problems. Mom called to yammer at me about the family and its problems. Holiday stresses and things not yet done. Freecycling things out of here. People coming tomorrow to help with crazy house things. Errands, laundry, reports all not completed. I have to do groceries again for several celebration potluck things. My garden is neglected, my kid is energetic and running amok even while sick and coughing all over me. Spouse is trying to wrap things up at work before holidays and looking kind of run down so I'm concerned.

If my needs weren't met? All this stuff going on would make ma CRAZY. I'd feel sucked dry. I could not hover at that "self-transcendance" zone on Maslow's needs. Where I think beyond my own self.

College friend says she doesn't agree with all of Maslow theories. I agreed with her but pointed out easy tools like that where you and the person can LOOK at the same picture and just point and go "I'm here" makes finding common ground/language so much quicker sometimes. As just a tool, it's incredibly helpful.

So's the emotional guidance scale.

So's the "feeling faces" and all its versions you often see at the doc office, especially in children's doc office rooms. This one's one of the largest I've seen online. That kind of picture guide dovetails nicely with a feelings inventory list of words. Which in turn goes with the needs inventory.

There's a compare and contrast of emotion. Or Plotchik's wheel that presents emotions as this plus that one makes this one.

Most of the time, I know what I feel when I feel it. I can usually describe it to someone else and articulate it. (Usually spouse.) But I'm not really great at explaining how emotion A can lead to emotion B or C for me.

I can feel great passion of emotion (ex: anger) and it is easy for me to change gears to great passion of emotion (ex: lust, sex). But that's an easy one. The more subtle inner chess moves is what I would like to understand better about myself.

I've lived with the man for nearly two decades and I pretty much know most of DH's "tells" -- he's a lot more subtle creature than me.

One of the fascinating things to me in contemplating Opening is the reality of dealing with learning someone new. Their way of going. And appreciating for who they are in their context. Having to find common language and build relationship up, build trust up. From ground ZERO. Not just toward a friendship but beyond that point into more.

Is it fun? Or is it a pain in the ass? Or both? Heh.

DH and I did make it to non-violent communication class this month. The exercises there revolved around expressing needs as requests rather than demands. And when expressing the need, giving the full picture -- who, what, when, where, how and why.

Rosenberg doesn't describe it that way, but I would just to help me remember to "fill in the gaps."

It's fascinating to me to listen to the man.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-19-2012 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Just wanted to note random things that bring on "happy" for me for times when I need to remember that.

Everyone having a cold is a slight bummer, but nothing horrible. Dealing with the annoying bathrooms is a slight bummer, but nothing horrible. I like my problems being low key like that. It's a welcome relief from all the drama in the last few months while supporting Divorcing Friend.

To my knowledge, estranged husband is leaving her ALONE finally. So maybe it was worth all the courthouse hassle then. I hope she gets her things in order for the divorce hearing coming up and it passes fast. We have to help move her later in the week to the new flat.

Winter solstice and Christmas activities with family and friends were pleasant. More tiring than usual because of the illness factor, but fun.

DH being off work is nice -- especially since we got to spend time alone before school let out. I arranged a few babysits here and there to be alone during the school break also. Even just running errands alone is nice. I get to talk to him without kid being in ear shot and that matters to me. Having time to talk without kiddie interruptions.

Last night I was laying on the couch reading while he was tinkering around with his robot making (for the kid) and this is one of the things I've always enjoyed. Being in the same room together. Even though we're both pursuing the things we enjoy on our own.

I told him to come over and love me at one point when he was getting up to get a drink or something.

He came over to me and obliged my sitting next to me and stuffing his fingers in between my toes tickling feverishly. I laughed and squidged my foot under the cushion. He grabbed it and kept on. I waved my leg about shrieking. He went after the other foot.

I was expecting him to "love me" by kissing my cheek or biting my neck. He hasn't gone for a toe tickle frenzy in a long time so that was amusing. Tickling is a kind of intimate touching -- as adults we really don't spend a lot of time tickling other people unless it is a partner or one's children or grandchildren. It's touching reserved for special people in our lives. I don't tickle the bank teller. YKWIM?

I was finishing the book I gave him for Christmas when I was reading on the couch. I can't remember when it began first. It seems to me it was near or after child appeared. But we have this now traditional exchange of Christmas gifts not fit for kiddie eyes. This year we gave each other naughty reading.

This morning I woke naturally to sun filtering in from the window. I felt rested. I felt content. Everyone else was still sleeping, so I got to wake up at my prefered pace rather than BANG! Hit the floor running and pack lunches and launch people off to hither and yon.

I got to flirt with DH and snuggle him awake.

I got the kid up by getting into bed with her and wrapping her up with her fleece blanket like a sausage. She enjoyed the tickling and goofing about -- especially when she managed to pin me down and "chin" my back. She knows that tickles. I was yelling for Daddy but no help came. I had to just get up and let the kid hang on me as best she could and shake her off me.

One day she will be too old for hijinks like that -- both in size and she won't even want it any more. I can still manage piggy backs like that, and DH can still do shoulder rides. I definitely cannot do shoulders any more and the day will come when he won't be able to either.

In conversation with the child we both noted her vocabulary expanding and this is amusing.

We went out to do errands and while people were out, you could tell it was holiday time. The streets are quieter. We ate lunch and the restaurant wasn't nearly as jammed as it otherwise would be. I wasn't going to order coffee but when DH did I couldn't resist. That too is a small pleasure -- the smell of a good roast.


I like not being rushed.

I like quality time with my people. Be with the people I want to be with rather than the people I have to go see.

I like not having a long laundry list of things to do.

I like the opportunity to have things be unplanned.

I like the opportunity to be BORED. It's only when boredom could happen that I get to engage in creative things so as not to BE bored. Get to do the things I want to do rather than the things I have to do -- read, write, plan my garden, think about sewing things, make things with/for the kid.

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Old 12-30-2012, 06:00 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Had one. I'm still trying to pull it apart to see where I went wrong in my anxiety management.

It was Thursday night.

I was upset and wanting validating. Basically "There, there. Poor baby. Yes, I see you are upset and frustrated. You will be ok."

But I could not express this need clearly. DH is very good at "There, there" if I walk up to him and go "Could you please 'there, there me?' right now? I feel ____."

The problem at the time is that I did not KNOW that was the need. I was still processing data dump in my brain to figure out WHAT the need was and I got interrupted midstream and it all backlogged in my head and I got all in a flooding mess.

And in my trying to get a handle on it, (new process) I have to peel off the onion layers of what bugs me and see if all the feels have an express.

The remodel bugs me, I'm sick of scheduling estimate people coming over here. I was tired, and instead of doing resting things before bed I was online looking up contractor info which is me feeding my frustrated and not me feeding my rest-y.

The kid was having nightmares and dealing in kid needs when my own oxygen mask is not on drives me nuts. In hindsight, I wish DH would to do me what I did for her. She was crying about a nightmare and how hard it is to be 8, and he was pat patting her back while I was talking to her and telling her that "YES! It is hard to be 8! You will be ok. Lots of ages are hard, even my age is hard. But you will be ok. It will pass. You can handle it."

So he's asking me what's on my mind and I'm trying to deliver that request by
listing and he gets annoyed at me like I'm doing a bitchfest.

When on my end I'm not trying to do a bitchfest. I'm trying to use directional tether to get myself OUT of the flooding. He gave me a direction. So I'm trying to meet it.

Then he shoved me back in to the recursive loop frustrated place by getting snippy at me. Which sent me into a more hurt space because why am I coming to him for "there there" to alleviate hurt only to receive another load?

Get me OUT of the drowning pool dude, don't throw rocks at me.

He gives me a direction I try to meet and I'm trying to meet it! If that direction is not the one you want to use -- give me a different direction.

I was so muddled and confused at the time. Then I was the place of...

Did we not just make a plan last time? What happened to the plan? If I'm on fire, I have to BRING you the fire extinguisher plan? The on fire person is supposed to do that? Aren't I doing all I can NOT to spread the fire? Dude! If I could put it out myself, I wouldn't be seeking you out.

It wasn't major. But it felt like pissing contest.

"I feel overwhelmed!" I go.

I WANT him to tell me "Yes! I see that you are overwhelmed! There, there!" Why is it hard for him to just SEE me and validate me?

Instead he goes "I'm overwhelmed too!"

In normal conversation, that's making conversation.

In floody, I perceive that as my need for comfort being denied, and I'm supposed to be comforting him. I get resentful and confused because while I'm willing to do that, I don't see how I can give him oxygen when my own oxygen mask is off.

Honestly? I wanted to punch him. I bit shield and looked at his stomach to talk to him. (Hindsight voice: Is that not one of my tells? Avoiding eye contact?)

I gave him validate:

Yes, I know you are tired. Yes I know you are overwhelmed. I'm not trying to be all crazy AT you. But hello, I am CRAZY in here. HELP! I need help!

He sat with me and we worked through a lot of frustration to arrive at the "Oh, you are flooding" place and then I finally got some "there, there, poor baby" and I felt better and it was done. Once it sunk in and we were both in the pretty bowl/pretty fish place it was easier to deal with to MOVE IT FORWARD.

In the meta world -- not a big deal. I think we handled it ok.

In the micro world? Drives me nuts. Because I am not fit. If I were FIT when I am in that place, I wouldn't need the "there, there." On my end of things it feels like I'm being trapped in an an emotional recursive loop function with no escape. I want him to be my counter, and then bail me out.

He says on his end it is sometimes very hard for him to tell early signs of my being in flood. By the time I get to the crying place or shaking place it is easy to tell.

I asked him what it felt like for him and he said it was like I came at him picking a fight.

I asked him if that is normal character for me and he said no.

I asked him if he sees me behave out of character, can't that be enough of a sign to go

"You seem to be behaving out of character. Are you aware of that? Are you ok in there? Are you flooding? Or about to flood? What can I do to help you? There, there. "
Just SEE me. Don't take it personally. Just validate me that YES, I am feeling crazy. I certainly am behaving crazy. It will PASS. BREATHE.

Because inside that recursive loop place it's scary as hell to feel like it WON'T PASS. And I don't have enough air in there!

I talked to another anxiety friend later and she pointed out good bits like "Well, it wasn't a full on panic attack, just flooding. And you seem to know at least some of your triggers. And DH was supportive, even though it took him a while to catch on."

All true. And I love him being there for me when I really need him.

But this business of heading it off at the pass is hard. We won't catch every single one. All anyone can do is minimize.

It's that grey area between my not being able to articulate and needing help, and him being able to realize ON HIS OWN this is what is needed because I'm not fit and not able to wave a sign around.

I asked him if perhaps he's a bit spoiled around me. Most of the time I'm very clear and straight up about what I want or need and it just makes his end simple -- he knows how to meet the need. Cuz I TOLD HIM verbally.

He's not as good with my trying to tell him non-verbally. The para-verbal.

I did go to him and seek him out. He even asked me why I had a strange look on my face.
  • So if he can see when I have a strange look on my face. (1)
  • And if he can see that I'm behaving out of character. (1)
  • And we've been here at this frustrated place before. (2)

Why can't he go
  • 1 + 1... hrm... good chance of a 2 forecast here.

and just whip out the automatic general purpose TLC comfort bandaid of
"I see you are upset. There, there. Poor baby. It will pass. We'll sort it out. You'll tell me all about it. For now though... there, there.Just shush..."
Pat, pat, hug and rock me or something. How come my KID can get that on auto pilot? Why are adults not able to see/do this for other adults easily?

Mind boggling. I'll have to ask him later.

But like I said -- macro-world, all is fine. Micro-world -- we could always improve how we weather out the storm.

We reviewed it against the LAST time, and both of us owned bits of the elephant -- who could do what better the next time this rolls around.

The next day I felt better in the morning after sleeping, but my brain was all wiped out and my heart was sore. We hung out with friends who are moving and helping out with brainless work like that helped a lot.

Then we had a date that night -- just us. We'd lined up a babysitter. I almost canceled it, but I am glad I didn't. I streamlined other things instead so the next day was a lighter load.

Overreacting to a flood and dumping ALL ballast isn't necessary. Just lighten the day's schedule.

That was good to learn. Also nice that it was a mellow family day at the park this afternoon -- skates, bikes, ball, yay. Very relaxing.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-30-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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anxiety management, coping ideas

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