Reflecting

 

A comment got me thinking. WHAT have I done to break old patterns of thinking and behavior?

Quite simply, I have become a psycho analytic irritation, constantly trying to define people by their personality disorders and backgrounds to excuse them of shitty behavior. Just this morning, I stumbled onto the mental track of “Is (my daughter’s father) really intentionally a bad person?” And what I could come up with is, No. I don;t believe he intentionally behaves badly. I think he is a damaged person who had some tough emotional breaks in life and it has tarnished his view of himself as well as the world and it influences his behavior. He lacks the insight to view himself for what he is- a man who constantly abandons his children and any situation that makes him feel bad about himself rather than try to stand tall and take responsibility for better or worse.

Ten years ago, I would have labeled him a useless deadbeat and found some way to dramatize all the wrongs done to me by him.

Now I just keep peeling away layers trying to find ANYthing that explains the behavior and absolves the person from being a total loss as a human being

THAT much about me has changed, although it seems to be to my own detriment because I am surrounded by shallow people who are perfectly happy to simply be jerks and not look any deeper to find that they might actually be good people who simply have issues to work out. And my “fixer upper” mentality to absolve them for being jerks  is irritating to them. Yet, I can’t shut it off and I need to, but it’s that tiny bit of control that keeps me from wanting to take a shovel to their heads. If I can label them as damaged rather than a lost cause, it makes me feel less powerless and more…benevolent, I guess. It makes sense to me when so little else does. Damaged I understand. Being a jerk for no reason and being okay with it, I don’t get at all.

I am actually working with my new therapist on how NOT to take everything personally, even if in fact, some of it is very personal. Like at the shop when the all start ripping on people on disability, people who get food stamps…Um, I get both of those things, how can I not take it personally? So I am working on that.

I have started to view the good things about myself as much as the bad. But some days the brain sends out the wrong messages and it overwhelms the good. I actually don’t think it’s a totally bad thing. You can only fly high for so long, letting all the bad stuff slide down your back, before a crash is imminent and healthy. You wallow a day or two, then realize, bad shit happens to everyone, and you move on. I think it’s a healthy mindset.

I don’t know that I have learned to manage stress any better, but the fact I have been raising my kid by myself for two years without the need for a rubber ramada stay says I am coping. Ten years ago, one of my best friends died and it sent me on a downward spiral for months, drinking, not bathing, not cleaning, wearing dirty clothes, becoming a virtual hermit. I am doing none of those things now even though my current state is a lot more responsibility therefore a lot more stress.

I am making an effort to change old patterns, it’s just a slow process.

Unfortunately, life does not give you an “e” for effort. Life wants instant gratification and results. Life does not want to hear about the pregnancy or the labor pains, they just want the baby.

And ya know what? Unlike days of old, I am actually becoming more comfortable with letting this outside stressor remain on the outside. Society’s vapid nature is not my problem and I am to the point where I don’t particularly care what the consensus has to say. My only caveat there is where it pertains to some dumbass “authority”: figure being able to come and take my kid away because they think my “Halloween year round” decor is unhealthy for a kid or that I feed her mac and cheese with orange dye in it is harmful. (And yes, mac and cheese being orange is the current mommynazi craze.)

So my perception and actions are changing, morphing from unhealthy old to a healthier version of new. It’s progress.

And I have broken the cycle I grew up with by not having this love/hate borderline personality thing with my kid. My mother to this day will call me a fucking bitch and in the next breath get teary and say I love you. Her and dad would scream at us, not talk. The norm was to bottle everything up for so long until everyone felt like they were walking on eggshells and someone blew which in turn caused everyone to explode.

I have broken that cycle. Sometimes, I raise my voice, and sometimes I am grouchy. But for the most part, I try to walk away until I calm down, I try to talk to my kid, not at her. I try to find other ways to work things out than what I was taught.

And that’s a huge deal. Too many people are so ingrained with their own upbringing that they can’t see the flaws and they simply repeat them, which starts a vicious cycle for their kids.

I broke the cycle and burned the damn thing.

So…what have I done to change my old thoughts and behaviors?

Plenty.

Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed.

I am a work in progress.

And as long as I keep making progress…I can live with that.

 

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One Response to “Reflecting”

  1. Seeing people as broken rather than pointlessly evil is what helps me too..

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