So while I was laying in bed last night unable to sleep even though I had taken a klonopin (which I promise myself is a one time thing, I am not going back to the days of klonopin = sleeping pills since it took me 4 months to break that habit) I thought about what I was feeling yesterday. I think it goes like this:
Build up a little trust – take a risk – see what happens
If what happens is positive I get to take one baby step forward, like in mother may I.
If what happens is negative I get to take 10 giant steps backwards, plus even losing a turn.
Yes, the positive reinforcement has much less of an impact than the negative reinforcement. Maybe that’s why in a marriage 5 positives = 1 negative. (Look up Dr. John Gottman if you want to know more about that.)
Maybe in therapy 5 positives = 1 negative also.
I have difficulty with trust, and with making myself vulnerable. But I force myself to make disclosures every once in a while, and sometimes it ends up well and sometimes I’m left wondering what the hell I just did.
When I sent J the email about the recap of 2009, I took a big risk. I tried to make that letter as honest as possible. I know it was intense and it was long, and maybe I should have broken it down into smaller pieces over a longer period of time, but it was what I was thinking and feeling and I just wrote it all down. And J said it was great and perfect, but you know sometimes what people say and how they behave are different things.
We talked about the email last week, covering the section about having negative feelings about myself, and about the section in which I wrote that he doesn’t validate feelings. He said that didn’t bother him, but he mentioned that paragraph a couple of times, and of all the things to talk about from the email that’s the one he chose. Which is fine.
I also wrote in the email about:
My problems with communication and feeling misunderstood
Not seeing friends because of food issues
Being on the bell curve and being in the middle vs either end
Feeling different, not really knowing why I feel different, why am I different
Forgetting things I’ve done or said
The problem of intrusive thoughts
Yesterday I just thought perhaps there was more to talk about from that list of concerns. We did talk about food and eating which ties into #2 on that list, but isn’t exactly the same thing. I think what I’m feeling is that everything else besides negative thinking and feelings validation isn’t worth talking about. I don’t want to say I feel minimized because that implies I have some degree of importance, and I don’t think I have any more or less importance than anyone else (I probably feel I have less importance, but I’m working on getting over that.) So now I’ve taken 10 giant steps backwards, and I guess I’ll be losing a turn. Or maybe more than one.
Why would I make myself vulnerable at this point after experiencing a negative response last time?
I think this must be another example of me being too sensitive and taking things too personally and holding on to negatives. I never know whether it’s me being those things, or if a situation really warrants those feelings. I need some kind of ruler to carry around with me so that I can make objective judgments about my reactions.
But that is how I feel, and feelings aren’t right or wrong, right? But feelings aren’t facts either.
And I emailed my friends to tell them I couldn’t make it for lunch on Friday. One of them emailed back and said she totally forgot about it and she can’t make it either, so then they decided to reschedule and make it dinner instead! I really couldn’t say no, so we agreed to have dinner next week. But it’s ok, I’ve been thinking about it and I haven’t seen them in two or three months. One of these friends I have know for 26 years, and the other for almost 20 years. I think I can handle one dinner, it will be good. I just have to put on my thick skin before I go.