I did something in therapy I don’t usually do. My therapist was explaining why some inter-personal stuff might go the way it does and I cut her off. I said, “I am not interested in paying to hear you defend that point of view right now.”
She looked shocked.
There are things where I must “face reality” in order to make progress with my mental illness stuff. There are also big piles of things that if you tell me over and over “That’s just how it is” that I will leave therapy and not pick my kids up and instead drive straight to the edge of the ocean. Because I can’t fix things and I can’t make it better and it is shit. Let’s not do that in therapy, ok?!
I “get” that people are allowed to want to be part of a community with me without being my friend. I don’t need to pay you to tell me in great detail how spending a lot of time with me for years does not mean that people will want to be my friend. I already fucking know that.
What I need are more ways of telling in advance which people aren’t my friend so I stop asking them for support. You aren’t telling me that, you are just telling me that I can’t ask people who aren’t my friends for support. But you aren’t telling me how I can tell which people are my friends and which people are standing near me because anything is better than being home alone.
You just say, “That’s what happens when you ask for support from people who aren’t actually part of your support network.”
HOW IN THE FUCK DO YOU LEARN HOW TO TELL WHO YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK IS?!!?!?
As time goes on it becomes very clear that my therapist thinks I have three people in my support network and it is inappropriate to ask children for support so I have one. Stop asking anyone for anything.
BUT THEN ON OTHER WEEKS SHE CHIDES ME FOR NOT ASKING MY FRIENDS FOR MORE HELP.
Oh fuck everything in the universe.
“They are your friends because they want to be. You should trust them and rely on them.”
“Well you shouldn’t ask people who aren’t your friends to do anything for you. That never works out.”
Well, I’ve never had anyone ask me for a laminated “Krissy’s Friend” card so that I know forever more that they are in the club and safe to ask. I just have to fucking ask and deal with a lot of rejection.
I do poorly with asking people who *I* think are my friends for help when they don’t think they are my friends. I do great with asking total strangers for help. It’s… kind of funny how well it goes.
She thinks I need to work harder on having an “inner circle” that is my family and support network without looking out into the world for friends or support.
I’ve spent my life not having a family so every person I meet is potentially a surrogate family member and it is part of why I latch on so hard and so inappropriately and why I have so many problems. People don’t want the intensity of a fucked up limpet in their life.
I go back and forth between bitterly thinking that people only want to know me if I do things for them and having to quietly acknowledge to myself that it is righteously not true for most of the people who have been good friends over the years.
I have this problem. I want to be ALL anger all the time. But I actually have a good life these days. It isn’t justified or warranted or… appropriate. I’m not that angry any more. I’m still angry about some things though. I’m having trouble taking those pieces as separate units.
I want to be all anger all the time but then I think, “Well so and so did… and that person did… and other friend did…. I’m sorry I’m such a petty and ungrateful bastard.”
(This is choppy because all of that was written in one day and then I didn’t hit post and I get kind of weird about that. So the next bit may or may not fit in tone.)
Why do these designations matter so much? I’ve been fighting this fight for more than 15 years. Why do I care so much about the label? I don’t actually care about the label. I care about what behavior I can engage in without punishment or suffering and I don’t know a better way to judge people other than by the labels.
This was ironic yesterday. I was talking to Calli. She was talking about an issue with a kid. I said, “Well, if you want them to be your friend you have to forgive them for making mistakes. Every person who is alive makes mistakes. That has to be ok or you will run out of people to be friends with.”
Am I booting someone from the friendship circle because she said something in a way I didn’t like? Hypocrite much?
I don’t think I am booting her from the friendship circle. I’m understanding that I can’t expect support I won’t get. Is that the same thing? It feels very middle school and hysterical. I’m trying to figure out what is and isn’t appropriate kinds of support to ask for and with whom.
Is that hysterical? Is that hyperbole? Is that punishing people for being less than perfect?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that after 7 months of back and forth my contracting company still can’t get it together and at every step of the way they have told me that the delays are all my fault. (Even though the project manager went to Israel for a month.) I’m going to pay for the plans for the remodel and find a different company after the road trip. At this point they wouldn’t even be able to get properly started on construction before I leave so uhm… no.
More stress. Yay!
There are lots of situations in my life where I don’t know what to do. An asshole project manager… I can fire.
Back to the real topic though: it would be a lot easier if I felt angry over the current situations in my life. I feel less anger than I feel hurt. I feel betrayed. I feel like I was stupid for believing that someone cared about me more than they do. I feel like I deserve to be kicked for being stupid enough to believe that someone would care enough about me to think I don’t deserve to be kicked in the throat.
Complicated circles of “logic” in there.
I really like this person. I have for many years. I feel sad that I am not liked as much in return. And I have no control over that.
I like the Godmama too. Can’t do anything about that situation either.
I like Anna. Can’t fix that.
I feel sad.
Sometimes I think my shrink is very weird. She is … an interesting mix of Eastern practices and Western. (She lived in Thailand for 7 years and goes back for extended periods every year.) (I tell my kids “Things that seem weird are just things you haven’t grown accustomed to yet. Somebody thinks it is normal.”)
I think she is weird because she wants to use a lot of Eastern lifestyle attributes and she thinks that will lead to the same results with people who are otherwise thoroughly Western.
For example: she doesn’t think families need to talk very often. She’s very isolationist and interested in people being alone a lot. She lives alone. She specializes in severe trauma and she tells us to not have contact with our families if they are problems (good thing and all) but then she wants us to go do meditation classes to feel connected.
That just seems fucking weird to me. She doesn’t encourage human connection very much. It is hard to arrange. Hard to make safe. Hard to control. But she really wants you to feel connected to the universe.
It’s like…. it’s like as if we airlifted a huge shipment of individual game playing devices with headsets into a remote tribal village and then got excited because we got them all “connected” only now no one talks to one another anymore.
I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot of years reading about the Amish approach to technology because I find it fascinating. They aren’t anti-ALL technology. Just the stuff that will cause the community to be less united.
I can comprehend why people would make such choices.
I don’t understand how silent group meditation with strangers is going to solve my attachment problems. She claims this is because I haven’t tried it enough. People also claimed that I wouldn’t understand “runners high” until I seriously ran. A marathon and several half marathons and goodness knows how many shorter runs later…. I don’t get it.
I think this is one of those things where someone will tell me that it is the solution to my problems and then they badger me for years and then I do it and I’m disappointed and they say, “Well you didn’t try hard enough!” This sounds like Weight Watchers. This sounds like fuck you very much.
Although I’ve got to say: I was skeptical about the grief ritual. But a grief ritual where it is appropriate for me to cry, scream, and beat on the floor as much as I want to get my feelings out is different from a space where I have to sit silently and not bother anyone. How is that fucking different from most of my life?
I’m not saying I’m good at not bothering people. Just that it is what I’m supposed to be doing.
It occurred to me that my social problems would be a lot easier if I liked people less. Rather than obsessively chasing the meditation program of my dreams, maybe I should find a way to like people less. It isn’t going that well for me to fall this hard into love. It isn’t appropriate.
I’m really sad. I thought I was investing in a circle of people who might help sustain me over the years. I was wrong. I hate it when I’m that wrong.
It’s a group that will hang out together as long as it is non-effortful for the folks involved. When it gets hard they are done. This is weird to me because going has been hard since day one. I have always had to try hard to carve out space and room for these people. It has always been work.
I feel so wildly uncomfortable. I feel like people are going to hate me and betray me and…
Leaving my house is hard. Full stop. Going to events is hard. I feel afraid so much of the time. Getting over the hurdle only to find out I was stupid for doing so is hard.
I think that part of what scares me so much is that having just Noah as my designated support person isn’t fair for him at all. I have to be careful how I load Noah. He’s already doing far too much. When he’s overloaded at work I can go weeks without talking to him about anything personal because I don’t think it is fair to burden him. And he’s the only person I’m supposed to talk to.
I shoved K into the support role until it overwhelmed her. (Totally reasonable.)
Then I was trying to cobble together a semblance of feeling seen…
Now I’ll stay home. It is weird looking at my calendar until the trip. I pretty much wiped it. We are normally very busy. And I just can’t right now. When Pam gets busy I can go weeks without seeing anyone who is a friend.
We are going camping with folks. I hope. I pray. If it falls through man I’m going to be sad. One way or another I’m going camping with my kids. Even if no one wants to go with me.
I am grateful every day for my kids. I am completely sure I would be done without them.
Yesterday I was riding in the car with Shanna and I was… I don’t know what I was saying. She piped up with, “Mom, I feel like you’ve been saying a lot of negative things about me lately. I need you to say positive things too.”
What would it be like to be able to turn to people and say that you need to hear positive things about yourself and actually believe them?
(Shanna felt pretty good about herself when I was done.)
My shrink believes I have a very strong sense of self. I think that is a funny concept. I know that I have strong reactions to things but I don’t think I have a strong self. I don’t have much of a way to define me. I can list off things I “do” but I don’t really understand what I “am”. I’ve struggled with this for a long time.
If you ask me about me I’ll talk about books and dancing and travel and sex. None of those things are me. They are things that I do.
I’m pissy that Hillary Clinton identifies herself first as a wife and mother. Like the fucking rest of her life isn’t uhm equally as significant. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE COMES AFTER?! Men don’t do that shit.
I told my shrink that at least my “self” isn’t wife and mother. She said, “Yes, “at least” that isn’t your self-perception.”
You shouldn’t be defined based on who and what you are to other people either.
But then what are people if they are not their roles and actions? I don’t know. Thus why I do so much navel gazing.