Notes to Self

August 31, 2012

Internal Processor

The past few weeks have been rather even keel – no “ah-ha!” moments but many small victories.

I have been busy processing new information. Trying to understand cause and effect.

 

I have always has a low frustration threshold. I need things to be perfect. I need to be perfect. I need to be such that no one can ever accuse me of being wrong or bad or failing. When things are not perfect or are not going the way I think they should be going I feel that somehow it is all my fault (because I am a terrible, awful person).

 

I only recently became aware of this connection (as simple and obvious as it seems) and am so grateful for this realization. All I need is for one thing to be out of my control or for something to happen and not in a manner that it *should* be happening (mind you I wouldn’t be able to tell you how it should go, just that what is happening is not right!) and I start to lose it – pile on everything negative from the here and now all the way back to my birth. Nice way to live your life.

Ever since my husband and I had our “fight” and he helped me see a few things about myself, I have been able to recognize the start of these death spirals and step away from the moment long enough to prevent an episode. Now that he is aware of these things he has been able to help by distracting my daughter long enough that I can take a few deep breaths. Things have been much better.

 

However, I am not satisfied. I want to know why I do this and what is it that I really expect should be happening? If, for example, my daughter refuses to eat broccoli and I feel like a terrible mother, what is it that I think I realistically could be doing differently? Is this not the topic of thousands of books and billions of other mothers’ worries? Is this not why there are so many recipes out there that “hide” vegetables behind other ingredients? So why should I, or my daughter, be any different? Ah-ha! There’s the question. Why must I be perfect (or rather, why must I never be wrong)?

 

I recall reading Voltaire’s Candide in college and thinking that my life was a lot like that – while I do not know what I should be, I know what I should not be. And when I feel I am what I should not be then I get frustrated and angry and can’t stand to be in my skin.

 

Small victories make big changes. I feel that I am a much happier person today than I was a few months ago. I finally feel like there is hope for me – that I will finally be able to stop fighting myself. Stop worrying all the time. Stop being so frustrated when things aren’t just so. I would like to look in the mirror and see me and not all the things wrong with the reflection.

 

I will continue to process and ask questions and work on meditating. As I tease out these individual components I feel as though I am un-knotting the ties that have bound me for so long. I always thought I was somehow far from the person I could be, the person I wanted to be and the person my husband saw in me.

 

It’s a very good feeling to reclaim yourself.

August 8, 2012

If you eat shit, then that’s all you’ll spit out

My husband said that to me last week. Not sure what that statement means to anyone else, but it resonated with me (and he said it with understanding and concern for me – it wasn’t a shot).

We were “fighting” for a while. Well, I guess I was fighting him.

With all of the debates on whether or not love at first sight exists, or is valid, I can tell you that when my husband and I met we knew we would be together for the rest of our lives. It was clear to everyone around us as well. We clicked and we have so much in common. Our differences are what makes our relationship stronger and the similarities in our personalities often make us at odds. Seems a little backwards right? But we work. We work really well.

“Having a child changes everything” is an understatement. “Nothing can prepare you for the changes that will occur” is not.

I recently found myself struggling to find footing. I guess that I was finally getting used to not nursing and not waking every 2-3 hours but had not yet found a new rhythm. I felt like I came up for a breath and didn’t recognize the world around me. And for a bit of a control freak, that wasn’t cool (note that I most likely am not admitting to how much of a control freak I am – I like to think I am more reasonable than I must actually be). So I freaked out. And when my husband said something that hit a very large button I freaked out more. I shut down and pushed him away. I was so defensive that I actually didn’t even feel sad. I didn’t feel anything, just numb. And this scared me because I had been clinically depressed for years and this feeling was too familiar. So I forced myself to think and write about it and finally broke down in tears.

We talked. We “argued”. We came to a…calm.

I have written about the negative thoughts that are all too routine. My husband had no idea of just how routine they were. I mentioned our relationship because he is the one person in my life (ever) that I trust (as much as I can trust, which now that I think about it may negate the prior clause). For all of the games we have to play in our lives – at work, with family members, etc – I always felt safe with him. I never worried about what I said or really how I said it. I figured he did the same. I figured he knew nothing I ever said was to be mean or hurtful, spiteful or malicious. I have issues with memory and for years have been forgetting words and losing my train of thought. I will start to say something and completely forget what I was saying. I forget simple words like spoon. And when this happens I just stare blankly trying desperately to recall what I was saying and thinking. He finds this very frustrating. I don’t know what to do about it.

I never realized just how difficult I can be. I never realized that much of what I thought wasn’t an issue for him really is an issue.  Apparently how I say things is much different than how I think I say things. I get it and I need to change.

So when I described some of the things I say to myself, about myself, my husband was shocked. And with all of his wisdom he said to me that in order to fix things between the two of us I had to fix things within me.

If you eat shit, then that’s all you will spit out.

I realize that while I am no longer fighting him, we are not resolved in this communication issue. I am still a bit defensive and that’s something I need to work on – trusting that he loves me.

I never saw so clearly how my thoughts and feelings about myself can affect others and my relationship with them. I am grateful that he painted such a clear picture. I am thankful that I saw it.

August 1, 2012

Silence isn’t always Golden

Filed under: Them vs. Me, Whatever — Tags: , , — me2self @ 1:23 pm

Sometimes staying silent isn’t the best policy.

When you don’t know what to say or how to articulate what you are feeling (or not even really sure what it is you are feeling), then silence is your only option.

But-

It lengthens gaps.

It tears down bridges.

It makes everything grey and tasteless.

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