Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Cycling Through My Emotions
Cycling Through My Emotions
On the 4th, Bick had a cookout at his house. He invited his daughter, her new beau, some friends of hers, me, Pebbles and Slater, Debbie (a friend from high school) and her son and his girlfriend. I'd never met Debbie in person but I know that she and Bick talk regularly and have shared meals. She is dating someone who lives on the coast, but was he ill this weekend and didn't make the trip up. And when I met her - she's quite pretty, very fixy (as we say here in the South) and looks younger than me and I was immediately flooded by feelings of inadequacy. That just doesn't happen to me, but it did on Sunday with a vengeance. Now I know that this isn't about her, it is about me. I felt jealous and possessive and inadequate and filled with the urge to EAT anything that wasn't nailed down. In my past with other relationships, if I got the sense that someone else was interested in someone that no longer held my interest, I would run right back in. There was absolutely nothing that indicated that this was the case, but I was projecting all over the place. I've seen it happen over and over when I was fully immersed in codie behaviors. So when this trigger hit me on Sunday, I wanted to turn to behaviors of the past that included seeking validation, manipulation in order to get it, and number one on my personal hit parade, something I like to call project management.
Project Management is my attempt to patch together, prop up, provide distraction, reel back in a relationship. The projects are attempts to distract myself from the real problems of the relationship and focus on something else instead. Pebbles' boss, an architect, says this is a pretty common thing. He sees it all the time - a couple in trouble launching into a new house, extensive renovation, something, anything to take the focus off of the fact that they don't have two words to say to each other across the kitchen table. And when the project is finished, so are they. I did this in my marriage to the ex-Bubba and when we ran out of projects of our own, I started us on Other people's projects. And in my most recent case, I think my desire to buy a house was a part of this, as well. I wanted to get away from sitting in and feeling my real feelings. I was looking for a project, a distraction.
And as for validation, how much is too much? How much is healthy? That's the fine line I'm trying to find. While I do believe that people should encourage and support one another, they are not props or crutches. So my emotions left me feeling the need for some validation. So when Sandy emailed Bick a thank you note, I launched into her whole need for validation from her Dad. Which may or may not be true, but it was none of my business. I was projecting my own needs onto Sandy. That smarted when I figured that one out.
My future with Bick is nebulous and it needs to be. We both need time to sort through our junk drawers. But the impatient me wants answer. I want this solved. I want to declare it fixed and move ahead. Except that it is not like that. There hasn't been enough time for each of us to do the work we need to do. I don't know how this will turn out. I don't even know what to wish for - and that's good, I think. What I need to do is let this play out however it is supposed to and not try to engineer it to something that it shouldn't be or decide that if it can't be decided now, that's it. As a reforming control-freak, this is hard.
Obviously, I haven't reached a lot of clarity on this, but I am beginning to see some themes make themselves known. I am grateful that I didn't have to act on this stuff. I have some tools in place to put some space between what I sometimes think and what I do. I am grateful for the speedbumps, even though I took them a little faster than I would have liked, I still recognized them before too much real damage was done. I am also grateful for the opportunity to recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done. On me.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep peddling up the hills.