Today I was going to write about yesterday. Instead I'm going to write about things that have helped me. Reading the oakling posts on codependency and Patterns of codependcy was... I really don't know how I feel about. I have a feeling. I have this spot in my abdomen that I associate with feeling things, but I can't put a name on the emotion. I've noticed that I tend to have a really limited vocabulary when it comes to emotions. Things are hard, difficult, good, bad, these are words that appear over and over again when I write and I want to become more aware of that and expand my emotional vocabulary. There's a wheel of emotions that Robert Plutchik put together, my favorite is the one that gives me simple equations like: anticipation + anger = aggressiveness. When I was reading about the kid who has to try and figure out what their raging mother wants so she doesn't fly off the handle again, I was thinking about a character of mine. Then I was thinking about me, and then I was thinking about my children who have been taught to clue into what they think their parents or other people may be feeling. It isn't their job as kids to try and appease their parents.
It's a huge relief to be able to read what others are experiencing and recognize that I'm not alone. I read an article the other day where a guy who ran an anonymous Twitter account revealed his real life identity. What he learned from tweeting abPaout his own frustations was that they were not unique, and he actually started feeling better about his own situation when he saw how other individuals and groups were being treated. I'm gradually realizing that most of my family is codependent and some of these people are never going to address this, but I can do my part to work on me by continuing to go to therapy, reading posts and books, and learning how to set better boundaries and recognizing when I'm contributing to unhealthy relationships by being codependent. I isolated myself and allowed loneliness and guilt to be my companions. I was a martyr, a victim, helpless, passively aggressive, sad, despondent, unloved, unworthy, trying the same old things here and there and expecting different results. Growing up my mother would throw us into a frenzy of anxious cleaning before company was coming over. When I had my family over the other day I tried too hard to please certain people. I'm conscious of how people are reacting and I find myself being reactionary instead of stopping to think through things and coming up with solutions that are better than off the cuff knee jerk responses.
I feel empowered today. I feel like I can stand up for what I believe in regardless of what other people may think. This site tends to be critical of people who are Christian and conservative. I have liberal views on specific issues, but largely I view myself as a conservative. I shy away from communicating what I stand for because I feel like people will not like me if they know where I stand. I can't be all things to all people. It's good for me to find out who my real friends are so I can help define what makes me tick. It sounds silly, but I'm forty and I still don't really have my own identity. There are facets of myself that I can describe. We were jokingly talking about man whores in the catbox the other night. I'm really not the type of woman who would keep one or even respect a guy whose main role in my life was appeasement of my sexual appetites. I like sex, I miss it quite a bit, and I'm afraid that in the past I've used that primal satisfaction unwisely.
Of all the people who have given me comfort through this, at this moment I'm profoundly grateful for the therapists in our lives. Talking to friends can be helpful, but they typically aren't as skilled as a professional who can guide a patient through a tumultuous and nuanced situation or set of circumstances. I really appreciate having an opportunity to talk to these women about the girls, myself, my ex, and the melodrama I find myself mixed up in at different times. I stopped at a rummage sale and bought a vintage mirror. I think it would look great in the bathroom, but it doesn't go with the vanity so I'm going to hang it in the front hallway. It's cool to have this kind of decorating power. I can hang a mirror and not have to worry about what somebody else might say about it. Maybe it won't look good where I'm thinking of putting it. On the other hand, it might look fabulous. On the way I home I stopped to make an appointment to get my hair cut. This was a moment of uncertainty for me. I can get a cheaper hair cut that won't look as good or last as long, or I can spend a few dollars more and get a cut that will last for a couple of months. It was so hard to get through this past month. Hair is something I can control so in the past I would get it cut when I needed more power and control in my own life.
Last night TheAnglican made a comment about grooming that resonated. The women at the place where I get my hair cut were empathetic and resassuring. The woman who cuts my hair is a single mom and has been for the past fifteen years. I admire how cute and confident she is and I'm glad that she's getting away for a vacation. I'm really insecure about the way that I look. I'm insecure about a lot of things. I could go on for days, it's like I constantly have to remind myself of the things that I have done, the things I have faced, what I have overcome, and realize I don't need the validation of others if I can provide this for myself. Today I talked to a guy that I love. He's off limits, but as the conversation went on, I found myself thinking, this is what I want in a man. Someone who reaches out on a whim, someone who is funny. Someone who shares the sense of humor that I do. Someone who conveys a lot in few words. Someone who explains things in a way that doesn't make me feel stupid. Someone who is strong and sexy. Someone who makes me laugh that I can laugh with. Someone I can relax with, someone who will talk shop with me, someone who talks about injuries and baseball and my family. Someone who shares things and listens to what I have to say. Periodically he annoys me, but for the most part I have a great deal of respect for this person. Maybe I won't ever find someone else. Today, I can think about spending the rest of my life without someone who makes my toes curl. And I'm very okay with that.