Walking or fighting

There’s always an art to choosing battles.

You don’t want to fight over every little thing… but on the other hand, you don’t want to be a doormat.

I hate conflict.

It’s one of my strongest stress triggers.

Which sometimes errs on the side of doormat.

Between being someone who tends to be easy going and not easily upset…. and being someone who hates conflict…. it takes a lot for me to be ready to go to war.

If my annoyance level is only at a 2, and my desire to avoid conflict is at an 8, I’m just not going to feel like fighting that battle… regardless of if I know it needs to be fought.

I think that sometimes baffles other people though as to why I’m not fighting.

There’s an extreme example with K… in which I’ve been advised by multiple people that after the captain behavior, I needed to be taking the situation to small claims court.
And I probably should have… and maybe even still should.
But, my level of annoyance most of the time isn’t high enough to even come close to the high level of desire to avoid conflict with him. Maybe as time passes that desire will drop enough to do so… I have about another 2 years should I choose to do so… but right now, I just don’t want to fight, regardless of his actions being wrong and completely disrespectful.

Work is a current example.

There’s some stuff going on… that has my annoyance at about 7.

I should be protesting it.

But… this is my job at the moment.

These are people I have to deal with extendedly.

These are people who have control of my ability to pay my bills, and who have the power to mess with my hours again, and to make the hours I’m there miserable if they chose to.

I just don’t want to risk the fight.

Especially with the emotional touchiness as a factor.

But the not fighting is making me weary. Which makes me less want to fight.

I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to continue without fighting.

But… not choosing one of those options make my other most likely options either being miserable, or walking away.

It seems odd… but honestly? I’d rather walk away than fight. Even when I know I should try fighting before resorting to walking.

Walking just seems so much less stressful.

But, then, I remember the job hunt.

It doesn’t make me more willing to fight. But it makes me feel better to start looking for the next direction to walk.

Wanting walls

Sometimes… I don’t want normal.

I want my walls back.

I want to go back to not feeling.

I want to go back to not being emotionally effected the vast majority of the time by the fact that for most practical purposes, I’m on my own and probably always will be.

Right now, I’ve got drama on several fronts… and some bad news…. none of which I really feel comfortable posting publicly just yet.

It’s one of those times when I really miss the caring support I didn’t have. That I still don’t have. That I probably won’t have.

Somewhere that’s just completely safe to just curl up and cry.

Sometimes, I just don’t want to want it.

I want to go back to being the young adult who knew that for most practical purposes she’d do best to consider herself an orphan and just become as tough as she could to rely on any other human as little as possible… or to be able to hire the ones that did need to be relied on.

Sometimes… I’d rather go back to being hurt and hardened.

Cuz when there isn’t a soft place to rest, hurt without the hardened shell being at full force to stand guard just really hurts worse and makes the wounding worse.

Sometimes a stuffed bear just isn’t enough.

But if it’s all you’ve got… it hurts a lot less when you’ve given up on having more and made peace with the fact that you are all you’ve got… than it does when the want is there but never fulfillable, and just creating extra hurt from the wanting.

Sometimes I want to have just given up on humanity and get my safe wall back fully fortified. Yes, it’s alone in there… but it’s not any less alone with defenses down.

Thematic

As some of you who don’t get these by email or rss have probably noticed… I decided to change theme again.

It was sort of a random decision last night when I’d come on the page itself looking for a link to something.

Oddly enough… with most of my posting done though off-site writing… I don’t actually see the theme that much… but every time I’ve seen those bubbly dots this year, they’ve sort of made me want to pop them for being too bubbly.

If that makes any sense.

I dunno…. this place is usually where the darkness in my life comes out… the sides that most people don’t want to know about in person… so it ends up being a darker place to me.

This theme just felt more like here to me.

The same gift again

I got my kid a laptop for her birthday.

Again.

The one I got her last year… I’d planned to get her one of the cheap models that she really couldn’t hurt much.

But at the time, I had a sweet guy reminding me that I was dating an IT, and that he could fix anything she could possibly do to it, and that he would take care of it…. and so to go ahead and get her a "real" computer.

I hate dealing with troubleshooting computers. I can do it, and used to often get looped into dealing with ones both for relatives and at work, but I hate it.

I don’t mind tearing one apart to replace a part if I know what’s wrong, but I hate dealing with windows…. especially virus related stuff.

This is why I’m a mac owner.

And so, you can imagine how thrilled I’ve been with the 4 different times I’ve had to deal with this stupid computer having big issues in the last year.

Part because I hate doing it…. but of course, every time that I have to, it’s also a fresh reminder that the sweet caring guy telling me he’d look out for me got kidnapped by a jerk I’d never met before and is dead, leaving me on my own again to deal with it.

And so… it pulled the last round of refusing to start about a week before her birthday…. and I decided it was time to put both it and me out of our shared misery.

I bought her the cheap computer I’d been planning to do last year.

It was bittersweet… but felt more like closure. An acceptance that life will never be what I thought it was when I bought the other one.

It’s been two days.

I spent the afternoon today fighting with the new computer… which was giving me a completely black screen after login and not letting anything run.

And with the help of google…. I managed to figure out how to attempt to repair, and then how to restore to factory settings…. on a computer running an operating system that I’ve only even used once before briefly.

I should feel victorious.

Instead, I’m feeling like I need to get rich somehow to get to a point where I can risk an expensive mac to a young teen…. or afford to take the whole stupid thing to a shop and tell them to call me when it’s over.

Dramatic as normal

I explained the last post… partially just to get into this post.

Something sort of odd occurred to me a few days ago.

The whole last year (and some) has been a lot of emotionally all over the place.

The highest high points of my life, the lowest lows. The most happiness, the most hurt. By far more tears in some months than in my entire rest of my life combined.

And they still come. Not usually K related anymore. Just there.

The emotions this year have been in overdrive.

As I’ve said a bit in the last weeks, I’m tired of it.

As I said in the last post, every time I think I’m being an absolute emotional mess, I dump in on one of the therapists… and they’ve pretty much told me just about every time that what I’m feeling is a normal reaction. That’s been a theme that just keeps running through this round of therapy.

But somehow…. a few days ago…. it just of hit me in a different way.

I realized… every time that I think I’m an emotional basketcase…. I’m generally just having a justified and reasonable emotional reaction.

But flip that.

Every time I have a normal emotional reaction that’s intense, I feel like I’m a complete basketcase.

I do.

I see having intense emotions as being a mess…. rather than being normal.

I see these emotions still being more sharp than usual as being a sign that I’m broken and messed up…. while multiple therapists basically keep point blank telling me that they are normal and just to feel them and work through them.

Maybe a part of that is the struggles with the anxiety attacks…. where intensity really was abnormal and a sign of issues needing resolved.

But I think maybe part of it really is just going back to dysfunction.

Going back to where only adults were allowed to be mad, and being sad or upset was being a pain, and where being hurt by cruelty was being a baby and completely blown off.

Mentally, maybe somewhere the connection still thinks that emotion=wrong.

And maybe…

Maybe that means that this is normal.

Maybe what seems like such touchy emotions is actually only feeling that dramatic to me because I’m so used to my emotions being dampened…. of having to stop and listen intentionally to figure out how I’m feeling sometimes.

What if this is what normal is?

It’s honestly a bit scary to think about.

But, to say that I’ve been emotionally stretched this year is an understatement. For better or worse, I’d let myself trust and attach to K and to deeply love and feel loved by him in ways that I can honestly say that nobody has won my trust before…. to places that I’ve never been before, both in the wonderful good times and the horrible bad times.

My biggest dreams and worst fears have come true… and both have passed.

It then doesn’t seem too far fetched to imagine that being stretched that far would break some ties and mess with some barriers… do some rearranging.

Every time I get hit with an emotion of fair intensity… I see it as a sign of how far from getting back to normal I am…. of how far from healing I am.

But.. I know that when I’m being objective… my sense of normal never was normal. It was a place that was growth from the days of feeling no emotions, but a place that still showed scars.

What if what I think of as mess, is actually just the messiness of human life?

What if this new place… isn’t actually a place of woundedness, but a place where healing is showing through?

What if this new normal… really is normal? (Or, at least… more normalish.. lol)

It’s sort of a scary thought to think that this might be here to stay.. even when I know it’s actually probably more healthy to be feeling even when sometimes overly intense than it is to be not feeling.

I’m still not sure I like the change… even if it is though.

Three phases

The first time I went into counseling the very first time dealing with family stuff, the main overall theme was something to the effect of "You do have feelings, you are allowed to have feelings even if they aren’t happy ones, and they matter."

As someone who basically shoved them away to survive dysfunction, this was a needed lesson.

*

The second round of therapy… dealing with anxiety issues… the theme was essentially "Your feelings are not always accurate to reality".

And focused a lot on strategies to avoid triggering inaccurate feelings and minimizing the impact of the ones that did occur.

*

This third round… the overall theme has essentially been my feeling like I’m turning into a basket case, and being met with "Your feelings are normal and make sense given the situation."

Over and over.

In spite of the fact that if you count the local counselor, and the one that basically just transferred me to one more specialized, this is actually the 4th different professional that I’ve heard this from.

With some recent issues, I’ve been feeling more of an emotional mess again lately. I present the emotional basket case moments, expecting to be told what the problem is… and get surprised with a response of "Well, with what’s going on, feeling hurt and alone is a completely expected reaction…"

And it seems like it just keeps coming back to that.

I give a 16 page history of my being an emotional wreck at K… expecting to be told I’m a mess… and instead get told that my emotional reactions made sense in response to his actions and issues.

I beat myself up over having reacted so clingy and pitiful…. and get told that’s a normal response to an abrupt loss of a primary attachment. I beat myself up over having let the attachment become primary, and get told that given what I’d been seeing at the time, it was a normal response to trust my heart.

I explain about the weird crumbling moment… and the intense waves that broke through that I could barely contain…. expecting to be told I was a mess…. and instead being told that it’s a sign of a traumatic loss particularly one that comes abruptly… a completely normal reaction to emotions being too intense to be handled at the time… the waves a completely normal spell of the emotions beginning to drop enough to be processed a bit even while still maxing out the intensity able to be handled… that it’s actually a good sign that they were surfacing, as if they remained blocked they’d result in a lifetime of issues much like K has had to deal with.

I beat myself up over not being completely over it and for the feelings lingering much longer than I felt that they should have, and get reminded that with a sudden and completely unexpected loss of someone who was very loved, that it’s completely normal to be a more difficult process… sometimes closer to an unexpected death in the grieving patterns than it is to a normal breakup that would have had a preceding spell of growing devaluation and detachment.

I share the two emails that I’ve sent to K through this in which I went off in a mix of hurt and anger…. and get reminded that not only is anger completely expected as a part of grieving and normal, but also that not only is the feeling justified but that I actually probably should have been more angered and given him much worse in defense of my own deserving of a whole lot more respect and kindness than I was given.

I share the weirdness of the feelings seeming to gravitate towards both extremes at the same time, and am reminded that the two sides of K that I saw were very extremely different, and it makes sense that my feelings for him in general reflect the extreme differences of the feelings towards each of the sides.

*

Over and over again… I feel like I’m an emotional mess… and get told that my emotions are justified and reasonable responses. That they are normal reactions in the circumstances.

You have no clue how weird this seems every time it happens.

I’m very much still expecting phase 2.

I’m expecting to be told that they are out of control… that they are my mind overreacting… that they need to be harnessed and hampered and to avoid triggering them.

Instead, we’re sort of back to phase 1. Yes, they exist. They are normal. Do not force them away and ignore them because they will not go away. Just work through it. Feel them, and let them pass.

It’s just so very different from dealing with the over the top anxiety… that I’m so used to dealing with that, that it’s sometimes hard to realize that it’s not the same thing.

Definition of lonely

So… therapist had asked me to define lonely. What does it mean when I say I’m feeling spells of loneliness? What does that feel like?

Have I mentioned that I’m kind of getting weary of digging and unravelling roots of things? Yeah.. of questions like this too. lol

But I guess it’s a good point… so since might as well put my answer here too.

To me… there’s sort of actually two different elements of it on the surface.

I’d initially be tempted to call it feeling alone when I’d rather not be. And that fits some of the time.. like in dealings with a tire that I honestly needed help with… weekends that I’d rather be doing something with someone… that sort of situation.

It’s just a sort of a sad, longing for company. Sort of the opposite of companionship.

But that doesn’t really cover it… because, honestly, some of the times I feel lonely the strongest are the times that I’m with other people.

Sometimes in a crowd like at church… and sometimes just with friends or family.

Those times… are more a sort of feeling like I’m an alien blob more than a human. That I’m just different… on a different wavelength… that I don’t fit.

It’s not so much a lack of presence… but of connection. But beyond that even, or feeling like there’s much hope of connection to aim for it.

This one has especially taken a whole new life after the whole K thing. Yeah, I know.. nobody gets it that there is still any positive regard for the jerk at all anymore, and feels like it should have completely left my mind by about the end of May. But that doesn’t change the place I’m at, nor my decision to work through the emotions rather than just pushing them to the side to force forward…. and so… sometimes I just sort of feel like my world runs on a different language, a different setting entirely…. like theres a language barrier that isn’t something that I’m going to be able to correct by just faking it.

It’s partially feeling disconnected… sort of an involuntary lack of connection? But it’s also just an element of just feeling different in the core.

It isn’t so much the isolation… physical or connection-wise… or even the feeling alone in the moment.

It’s the feeling that the alone in the moment is reflective of being alone in the world.

The thing that fixes it isn’t usually just time with people. More often than not, that actually makes it worse.

It’s the feeling like someone gets it… or at least has the potential to partially get it and chooses to try.

And that feeling lasts even when they aren’t around me. Even under the same circumstances that felt lonely before.

While both K and D were very imbalanced relationships… they both did very well at creating that feeling (whatever their intentions by doing so).

And to some degree, I think that’s what Cr was doing right as well.

It’s not so much that it was male attention… it’s that he was choosing to try to get it. That he cared, had positive feelings, and wished to understand more rather than to just make notes on how much I’m a mess.

That I think would have had the same effect had it been female, or had it been a completely non-dating style of relationship. But maybe, the dating mindset sets the stage for that a whole lot easier than trying to just figure out who is a true friend worth trusting in the general friendship realm.

And, of course, being a Christian, I know that’s something that I should be able to say I can draw just by being a child of God. And maybe I could if… I don’t even know how to end that. If I had any idea how? If I had more spiritual wisdom? If I wasn’t such a mess? If I knew what I was doing? If I didn’t have my fair share of scar tissue? If… if I were just something that apparently I’m not right now?

I know he does understand. I know he does love me. I know he does have a plan.

But somehow, that doesn’t make me feel much less like a disconnected alien on her own this side of heaven… as much as I wish it did.