Sep. 5th, 2013 11:48 am
melaniesuzanne: (Mucha: The Seasons Spring)
[personal profile] melaniesuzanne
I've been seeing a counselor to help me Figure out who I am and learn how to recognize and work around a lifetime of faulty coping mechanisms, etc. Today we bounced ALL OVER the place as I told her about the reading I'd done about relationships while at the lakehouse as well as a few anecdotes of recent conversations with friends which have shown me how I should react rather than how I have been reacting.

We'll hand wave that whole "should" thing for the time being.

It turns out that my friends have been teaching me valuable lessons along the way which I didn't notice until my counselor pointed them out.

- While talking with a friend, he was angry and hurt about something going on in his life. I panicked, flailed about, and essentially ran away from the conversation because I didn't know how to fix his problem or make him feel better (hello, co-dependent nature!). I also wound up with my own bruised feelings because I felt he didn't appreciate what I was trying to do before the panic and escape (another tick-mark in the co-dependent column). The following day, when cooler heads prevailed, he explained that he just needed me to pat him on the head and tell him that everything would be okay, I didn't need to fix anything, and I especially didn't need to panic because the issue had NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. He simply needed a safe person to whom he could vent.

- As friends have found out about the divorce, a lot have asked what they can do to support me and/or how they can help. They haven't offered to fix anything or load me down with unsolicited advice. Were the roles reversed, I would most likely flail about helplessly until I figuratively ran away. I need to model my behavior upon my friends' examples.

- I tend not to talk all that much and spend most conversations asking questions of the other person. I know that people enjoy talking about themselves and I a) want to make the other person feel comfortable and b) I don't want to bore the other person. Yay, more co-dependent behavior! Which could explain why I tend to find myself attracted to people with narcissistic tendencies. I am going to an event this weekend where I will know only two attendees. I look forward to both meeting new people (well, I'm nervous as hell about that, if I'm perfectly honest) and practicing the "share/check-in/share" method of communicating that my counselor suggested. Plus, she noted that if I am interested in someone and that someone is interested in me, I don't have to be self-conscious about wanting to talk about what's in my head as much as the other person.

- The above example is also why I've always been a social chameleon. If there's a whiff of conflict or a feeling that I'm unwanted or don't belong, I remove myself from the situation and find another group with whom to interact. And I do mean always. I know I've done this since childhood, and we examined where this defense mechanism comes from -- which, because the root cause is highly personal, I will not publish in a public post. I don't know that we're going to try to "fix" this, but it's good recognize the root and figure out how to work with it, I guess?

Where do I go from here? Well, more work with the counselor to be sure. I want to be as healthy -- physically and mentally -- as I possibly can and be a better friend to both those people in my life as well as myself.

Date: 2013-09-05 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It sounds like you're doing a lot of good work, congrats!

Date: 2013-09-05 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, hon. It truly is an eye-opening experience.

Date: 2013-09-05 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay for progress. Recognizing something is always the first step. I wish you continued progress :)

Date: 2013-09-06 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow you and I are more alike then I thought .I do a lot of the same things Esp being overly sensitive about whether or no people really want to be with me .Funny I was thinking on the way home tonight about some childhood incidents that I can point to as the cause.
It is still painful to think about ...Hmm maybe I need the name of your counseller

Date: 2013-09-06 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I know sorting all of this out is WORK - you're wise to keep going as constructively as possible, however.

It might feel like progress some days, and less so others, but overall, I'm sure you're doing yourself a good thing by trying to solve issues (which everyone has to some degree or other.)

Take care...


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Mary F'ing Sunshine

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