Saturday, July 23, 2005

A little more introspection.

We had a little day trip today. We took our daughter to the Mid-America Science Museum which is a very hands on museum of discovery with lots of cool inventions and fun stuff to see and do. It took about an hour and a half to get there but it was well worth it, which is saying a lot considering my complete hatred of driving. She had a great time and so did I; almost no drama at all. I usually try to psych myself up for extended periods of interaction with the hubby and go into it with a generally upbeat and agreeable attitude. My mood tends to go a long way in curbing the overall mood of an outing, and it seemed to work today.

He and I had a fierce conversation the other day. He started in on one of his usual sources of annoyance with me, something about not listening or a tone I used when speaking to him, I don't remember which exactly, they all tend to blend together anymore. But anyway, I really tried to say some things this time, to make myself heard about how he makes me feel. This is unusual for me since I normally shut down and say nothing at all. He has the unique ability to shut me down more quickly than anyone else on earth, except perhaps, for my stepmother when I still lived with her. But you know what, it's not really him shutting me down, I'm shutting myself down in response to him. It's a viscous cycle that only gets worse every time I do it. He is a very goal-oriented person and when I shut down and stop communicating, he gets even more critical and frustrated because he can't just fix the problem. Why do I do this with some people? I like to think that I articulate myself quite well most of the time, so why is it, when it comes to people with this particular type of brash personality, that I shut down and allow myself to be run over? It's so infuriating when I'm being spoken to in a way that I would normally deem totally unacceptable, yet I just sit there, face burning with humiliation, not saying a damn word! Ugh! Enough of that, now I'm pissed off and annoyed!

Anyway, Jilly's comment yesterday got me thinking about my acute need for structure in my life. I've thought it over and determined that, no, I haven't always been this way. I've never liked surprises and have always wanted to know exactly what to expect, but this intense need for schedule and structure is relatively new I think. Perhaps really taking form beginning with my lifestyle change, since I knew I couldn't just do this thing half-assed. Maybe my way of taking charge of my food issues with a strict, regimented lifestyle, has bled over into all areas of my life and made me even more intolerable to change. I do try to take it easy, like I don't want to be a complete food Nazi with my daughter, but damn, it's hard! I couldn't bear for her to have to endure the same kind of childhood I did, growing up a fat kid. I want so much better for her than that. But I've realized that my fear of the unknown has really turned me into a rather uptight and high-strung individual, and I don't like that one bit! I've got to learn to loosen up! But I'm just so damn scared of going back to the old me, that I allow it to continue because it feels safe to me. Man, am I messed up, or what? ;)


Blogger Sarah said...

Aw, sweetie, I don't think you're messed up at all. I completely understand your reluctance to slip down some slippery slope of uncontrollable events. You lost the weight through structure, and I'm sure it's become a survival mechanism. And it works! It could be that it's limiting you from developing different muscles, means of coping, and/or exposure to new experiences. Change is scary, but of course you know it can bring growth and all sorts of other good stuff -- including pleasant surprises!

If you feel that it's at all an issue, then maybe you could start with some consciously made, small change, one selected and controlled by only you.

You've done such an amazing job freeing yourself from your "fat prison;" maybe your next challenge will be to gradually get rid of any self-imposed constraints, so you can more freely enjoy your life -- even when it contains a bit of change or unpredictability!

Or not! ;)

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Jilly said...

I agree with Sarah, its not that you're "messed up", its just that you find comfort in a way of life that doesn't entirely satisfy you. I think most of the population feels that sort of contradiction to a certain extent at one time or another. Of course, if you start telling us about tearing the limbs off of small animals or eating crushed glass, then I might think you're somewhat messed up! ;)

The more I read your blog the more I realize what a gigantic step it was for you to come to Chicago for that wonderful weekend get-together. Not only did you get on an airplane all by yourself and travel to a place you've never been, but you left your routine (and your daughter) behind to spend time with people you'd never met! Sure, we all knew each other through words on a screen, but its another thing to actually BE together! We had some pretty in depth conversations and shared a few secrets ~ but I guess we all held back quite a bit (after all, we had to keep something for the reunion!) I hope you feel that trip was one of those surprisingly enjoyable breaks from regimen ~ one that spurs you take more of those breaks so you can discover even more about yourself.

I find something hopeful in these words "...I really tried to say some things this time, to make myself heard about how he makes me feel. This is unusual for me since I normally shut down and say nothing at all." That's a start, but what you didn't share was his response. Did he listen or at least seem to understand what you were saying? Who knows, more attempts of this kind might break down some barriers (or at the very least feel that you didn't allow yourself to be "run over".) Even if standing up to him doesn't change HIM, it can help change what you find frustrating about YOU.

Oh yeah, this was supposed to be my "u go girl" post. :D

12:40 AM  

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