Notes to Self

September 27, 2012

If you haven’t anything nice to say…your assumption is flawed!

Filed under: Growing pains, I asked "Why", Them vs. Me, Therapy — Tags: , , , , — me2self @ 8:51 am

While no one likes to hear people complain all the time, we do like to vent about the things that bother us.  There are a few, like my husband, who don’t complain much. He says “I already lived through it once, why do I want to live it again”. I on the other hand review the event(s) several times, each time from a different angle/perspective, and I think I am starting to understand why.

My therapist has been extremely helpful. I would say that I wish I had met him years ago but I know that it is only at this point in my life that I am in the right place at the right time.

I started therapy because I found I was getting more and more angry and frustrated. To help me understand my anger and frustration my therapist has had me write down the trigger (event or thought) and the associated emotion(s) and thoughts. I am then to challenge each thought. The idea is to refute irrational thoughts with facts. Yesterday I found something interesting.

 

When the trigger is my family, I have no irrational thoughts until I realize the secondary emotion (self-doubt) and then I go on autopilot self-destruction. One recent trigger: My eldest sister told my daughter she was silly because she didn’t want to be held by my sister (that’s right, a 40+ year old told an 18 month old that she was silly because she wasn’t acting in accordance with how the 40+ year old thought she should be acting. Who’s the child?). So I got angry. This isn’t the first time this has occurred. I did not react (although in my mind I was thinking “who the fuck do you think you are!”) but rather politely informed my sister that my daughter is attached to me, that it is a good thing and that she will grow out of it. My sister rolled her eyes and replied by saying to my daughter “ok – see you when you’re seven”.  (again, in my mind I am thinking “you stupid, selfish idiot” – see, I haven’t had anything nice to say so I haven’t been blogging).
As I worked through this I realized that even though I do not believe for one split second that I am a bad mother or that I made the wrong decisions in the rearing of my child (to the contrary, I am very pleased with my relationship with my daughter and am aware, and thankful, that she is a very happy and healthy little girl!), I somehow found myself going through self-doubt. This was the autopilot bit. I had no irrational thoughts about my mothering and had all the facts I needed to know that I am a good mother and to feel satisfied with the decisions that I made thus far. But somehow the anger I felt was linked to feeling inadequate.

 

It seems that I am living under the assumption that my family is always right, I am always wrong and they will always know better than I do. This Fundamental Belief is my active default and overrides any contradicting emotion or thought. (I have to make a computer joke – I need to change my normal.template! he he).

This appears to be why I can never let anything roll of my back. I obsess and review it a thousand times. I find my fault and then the other party’s fault. I conclude with a list of the things I should have done differently and a statement of how stupid I am for not thinking of those things to begin with. I feel obligated and pressured to act in accordance with their wishes and feel frustrated and angry and enter self-doubt when they are unsatisfied with me or my behavior (and of course my child is an extension of me).

But then the therapy session was over…

 

So until next week, bite your tongue and find your flawed assumptions.

 

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