post-defriending

today was unexpectedly difficult. i struggled all day, really, after that email from him increasingly annoyed. not mad, not hurt, not upset. just really annoyed. and finally, i realized that i was annoyed that i was annoyed and that it was a spiral that was just repeating itself downward.

and then i started to vent to a friend about it some. and she said “it triggered something for you today”. i mean, obvious, right? but something about the word trigger triggered me to remember to figure out what it was in the first place.

i’m still not entirely sure i have it figured out exactly. i know that it has to do with frustration with old, repeating patterns. i know that i feel like he was trying to drag me into the murk with him and that upset me. and it upset me that he succeeded, even if my response to him directly was measured and aloof.

i’m still trying to figure out what that pattern is so i can express it and, having expressed it, avoid it in the future (with him and with others) or at least better mitigate it. and really, i think it has to do with the sense that i increasingly had over the course of our relationship and marriage where jean-guy would get emotionally triggered and come to me to solve it for him. and we would figure it out. but he would almost never correct his patterns, once acknowledged, let alone figure out how to identify things for himself. it was my job to pull the feelings and the reasons and the triggers out of him, piece by piece.
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Own my feelings

from some book i read once and don’t remember which:

“A basic precept of intimate communication is that each person owns her own feelings. No one “makes” me feel jealous, or insecure- the person who makes me feel that way is me. This belief is not as easy as it sounds. When I feel rotten, it can be hard to accept the responsibility for how I feel: wouldn’t this be easier if it were your fault? Then maybe you could fix it, and if you can’t, well then maybe I can go ballistic and vent a little steam, burning you up in the process.

The problem is that when I blame you for how I feel, I disempower myself to accept myself and work toward feeling better. If this is your fault, you must be in control, right? So I can’t do anything but sit here and moan.

On the other hand, when I own my feelings, I have lots of choices, I can tell you how I feel, I can choose whether or not I want to act on these feelings (no more “the devil made me do it!”), I can learn how to understand myself better, I can comfort myself, or ask you to comfort me. Owning your feelings is basic to understanding the boundaries of where I end and you begin, and the perfect first step toward self acceptance and self-love.”

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