snakes in the grass.

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Am I the only one who has to learn lessons the hard way, over and over, before the facts finally set in?

The class I’m attending has a complete syllabus of life’s lessons. Even if one or two lessons aren’t in their curriculum, I’m managing to sneak in a learning experience or two.

One lesson I’m learning is about self-disclosure.

My tendency is to over-share … with friends, acquaintances, and total strangers.

There have been a few people in my life that jumped from the Total Stranger category to the Best Friend (or so I thought) category way too fast.

I’ve not made that mistake just once.

I’m too trusting. I’m too open with the details of my life.

This type of openness attracts a certain type of person, I’m discovering. Don’t get me wrong, I have made some great friends via my openness. But of course, there will always be “snakes in the grass.”

These snakes have little going on in their own lives.

These snakes have an innate ability to sense drama.

These snakes should just get cable and watch soap operas all day.

 

“You’re an interesting person.”

If I hear any variation of this, ever again, I will step back and take a better look at the person. What are their intentions? Are they bored with their own lives …and have they sensed the dramatic past, having to do with my children?

The drawback of being in the midst of learning to be less self-disclosing is that it’s a work in progress. ..catching yourself saying something, realizing that it’s probably too much information, but they’ve already heard a portion of the story.

Should you continue and give the details? or do you hold it all back and hope that they don’t make up their own version?

We live. We learn.

How do you deal with the slanderous snake? I’m still learning that lesson.

chloephone

Why I Prefer Written Communication Over Verbal

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Why I Prefer Written Communication Over Verbal (especially while discussing serious matters):

I’ve found, since I was a little girl, that I’m unable to verbally speak the things I want to convey to people. I very much dislike being required to read into a person’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. When doing these things isn’t a requirement (like during an in-person job interview), I prefer not to.

Do you want me to know what you’re thinking and wanting to say to me – without misunderstandings? Then write me a letter. Send me an e-mail.

I also find that texting isn’t the greatest form of communication, for serious discussions. Letters and e-mails are the best way to communicate with me.

– I won’t be misunderstood, as I’m a lot more articulate in my written communications.

– I won’t misunderstand your facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language.

I really don’t like gossip

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I’m trying to go back to different social situations in my recent or distant past… wondering if I’ve ever not hated gossip.

I find myself frustrated when people engage in gossip. I find myself bored, sighing, and waiting for the “conversation” to be over. If I agree with something that’s being said about someone, my honesty interjects and I verbally agree with the statement made. But I’m still really not enjoying the “conversation.”

My definition of gossip:

Speaking (almost wholly) negatively about a person who is not present, especially if everyone who is listening knows that person, too.

 

My frustration with gossip ends when I need to vent about someone else’s behavior. I hope that doesn’t make me a hypocrite. Maybe it does. – – I sometimes have to vent about someone’s behavior, so that I don’t end up exploding or imploding over the person’s behavior. – – I guess my two salvation points are that I don’t talk about the person’s behavior with someone who’s not able to explain the person’s behavior to me and/or help me learn how to tolerate the person’s behavior.

Therapy; Shoulding On People

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So, in today’s therapy session, my therapist talked to me about Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Wikipedia’s definition:

“a comprehensive, active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.”

A – activating event / trigger

B – beliefs

C – consequences

Also, my therapist asked me “Have you SHOULD on someone today?

Expecting other people to behave in the way that you think they should – can lead to anxiety, depression, and an eventual breakdown.

Susie SHOULD show more gratitude!

Larry SHOULD stop smoking!

Gertrude SHOULD stop allowing her children to manipulate her!

Something I Kind Of Suck At: Friendship

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I just feel like blogging right now. I’ll make it obvious when / if I realize that I’m beginning a new topic, I guess.

First off, I suck at being a friend. If you know me, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know me, just believe me. K?

What I’ve come to learn about building / keeping friendships:

  • Ask the person about his or herself. If they ask about you, answer their questions, but always try to circle the conversation back to what the two of you may have in common.
  • If they’re the kind of person who needs to feel like they are of equal or higher intelligence than you (whether they are or they aren’t), allow them to express what they believe and pick your battles.
  • Not everything they say (or don’t say) and/or do (or don’t do) is because of you, about you, or in spite of you. They have lives beyond what you know about. Their children, their spouse, their finances, their employer/employees, and a ton of other things could be on their mind. Don’t take things personally, unless the person makes it obvious that you’re the reason that they’re annoyed, upset, or angry.

Eh, basically done blogging now. I guess this post is about friendship.

Sensitivity Sucks. :-P

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I’m very emotionally sensitive. I always transfer attributes of my biological family to all other people I come into contact with… but not everyone is going to behave like them. Not everyone is manipulative. Not everyone is passive aggressive in their interactions and lies. 

But my family members usually do behave in those ways.

Why do I even try to interact with my family members? Probably because I crave to feel that I belong somewhere? 

I’m not required to behave as they do. I’m not required to follow the path they imagined for me – which included marriage, divorce, babies out of wedlock, and not ever attending college. 

Well, I’ve done a good job on those things, so far! I’ve been married, divorced, conceived three children without being married to the fathers, and still have not acquired any college credits, whatsoever. 

I’m 28 years old and I feel like my accomplishments (or lack thereof) still show me to be an immature 19 year old. 

I really want to stop being so emotionally sensitive. Really. 

I want to stop putting the weight of my burdens onto other people’s shoulders just because they’re willing to listen. They can’t, in the long term, help me become who I want to be. Especially just by listening. 

I don’t want to overwhelm the people I love (actually love; not feel obligated to love, like my biological family). 

Please, God, help me to learn to vent these things to you. And/Or my therapist – who I begin seeing on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, I’ll finally have my ears irrigated. I cannot wait. I literally “need my ears cleaned out”. 

On the 12th is my psychiatrist appointment and soon after is my 3rd obstetrics appointment. We probably won’t see Sesame again, but we’ll talk about him and make sure he’s okay based on the information given and found. 

Okay, … I ate ice cream to try to help fix my mood. It semi helped, but Sesame SERIOUSLY wants a burger with a lot of cheese.

Horribly cute

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I am going to vent something I need to vent. 

We can’t always be happy with people’s words, actions, silence, and inaction, but when it has to do with my children, my love for my children, and/or the fact that my children are my children, I am definitely not happy.

I could type “(biological/birth) children”, but guess what — — they’re my children beyond that. Especially Chloe. 

My sister once told me “Chloe’s way too beautiful to be your daughter.”

From my sister, that’s almost expected. Her self esteem is entirely too low and she likes to make others feel the same about themselves. I’ve never let her crap get to me, as an adult.

But even if someone stays silent when I show them the resemblance between Chloe and me, it feels the same. These people (more than one) are doing this for their own reasons: either insecurity, spite, or blindness. Chloe is 3 years old. I will be 28 in less than 2 days. Pretty good age gap and therefore, Chloe and I are on different parts of the aging ruler. I was horribly cute as a kid. (My self esteem is sometimes pretty darn good, especially about me as a child). Chloe is a horribly cute 3 year old. 

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Me, as a kiddo

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Chloe-kiddo

Daphne / friend / freon

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Yesterday was my day off from work. It was a requested morning off, but my boss gave me the whole day. Daphne’s father and I signed a few papers having to do with custody (joint conservatory) and access/visitations. 

We signed the papers because we knew we needed to agree on the support amount, but later we got back in contact with each other and found that we both disagreed with the court’s custody and visitation schedules that they assigned for us. The woman that ran through the paperwork with us told us that the schedule was the average doling out of custody and visitation for joint custody parents. 

When we got together, again, yesterday, we came up with and emailed to each other our agreement. 

Yesterday was, in fact, the first time I’d seen Daphne’s father be genuinely appreciative of my desires for Daphne. I think he’s finally realized that I’m serious. He complimented me, saying “I’ve seen a change in you in just the last year and a half. You’re sticking to your decisions more and more. Thank you. I appreciate you.” …he’s always somewhat formal in his speaking, which honestly annoys me – but he knows that.

Until Daphne’s father and I explained our agreement to Daphne’s stepmother (and primary female caregiver), she was upset by the court papers. Several times, Daphne’s father and I had to explain to her that those papers made no difference in what we had decided for Daphne’s future.

I made sure that Daphne’s father knows that when Daphne’s 7 or 8 years old, I want her to be in therapy for a little while (unless more therapy seems needed). I was 2 years old when my parents divorced and I know that being raised in an unconventional way can, at least, sometimes warrant the child(ren) needing to speak with a therapist, to either confirm that they understand the situation their parents are in AND that both parents want what’s best for their child … or to allow there to be someone the child can talk to confidentially about what bothers or upsets them about the situation.

…. after dealing with Daphne’s father, I made my way to a friend of mine’s favorite coffee shop. We talked about the support / visitation / custody order, we talked about my job, and we talked about the economy and college attendance. Basically, this friend of mine is there for me when I need practical advice. He has a Bachelor’s in Economics and I trust his opinion on most things. Most things…

I convinced my friend that we should go to his house, eat dinner, and watch a movie… and that I’d very much appreciate if he’d put some freon in my car – that had zero freon left in it, due to a slow leak. 

We ate BBQ’d chicken (which needed some major ranch dressing help), we watched The Following on (channel) Fox, and he put freon in my car. 

My friend and I used to be a couple (from May 7th, 2008 to June 21st, 2008). Ha! Irony! I hadn’t thought about it ’til just now! We hung out on the 5 year anniversary of us breaking up! haha!

But he and I have been on and off friends, ever since. The idea of ever not knowing him is pure insanity to me. Maybe someday we’ll part ways, but he seems like a staple in my life.

I slept on his couch until 7am. Then, his cat (Chewy) woke me up. I got up, wrote him a note: “Sorry I left so early, but I can’t ever seem to sleep very late anymore. Besides that Chewy is really annoying, this morning. Thank you for dinner, freon and friendship. I love you. ‘I know.’ – Steph”,

and then I drove home… even needing to turn my a/c’s temperature up – because it was actually too cold. 

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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Earlier tonight, the friend I’m staying with hosted a Pampered Chef party. There were people invited that I’m aware aren’t that comfortable being around me – for somewhat legitimate reasons. Somewhat.

Honestly, I stayed in the dining room and enjoyed the socialization for a little while, but when the baking began, I fled. (I’m not much of a baker / cook.)

I came into my room, organized a few things, and prepared my dirty laundry to be put into the washing machine. When I went into the dining room (to get the laundry room), I realized that they had ice cream. But I also realized that they had added another woman / attendee that isn’t comfortable around me… Man, I seem to be good at collecting these people!

I still wanted ice cream, though, dangit!

I stayed in the dining room (after putting my laundry in the washer), got a bowl of ice cream, and figured I’d just sit and make everyone uncomfortable for a few minutes.

Can’t we all use some time out of our comfort zones?

Instead of visibly making people uncomfortable, I realized that I was realizing (yeah…) that these women were pretty-nice and smart. Yes, we have our differences, but that doesn’t mean being in the same room should mean total discomfort!

I guess we CAN all just get along!