I had therapy yesterday for the first time in about a month. Hillary was on vacation so we had to push off our normal every other week visit.
I was very excited to go yesterday to talk to her. I feel like it always helps me understand myself and others better. That is the goal right?
Plus, I had SO many things that I needed to tell her.
As per usual she started with…”so what’s new?” Then I just rambled on for like 10 minutes. Well….I got my nose pierced. She said “good for you.” I turned 36 last Wednesday and had a weeks worth of celebrations. I quit smoking 3 weeks ago, she said “I didn’t even know that you smoked.” I said most people didn’t. I only had a few every night for the last couple of years.
So I brought her up to speed on a few little changes that had been made. Then we talked about the week of my birthday. The emotional roller coaster that it can be and how did it go? Well you can read about that here The Weekend Before.
I basically described this whole sequence of events to Hillary. How I was just getting ready for work and broke down. Then on my own, I realized that I was emotional because Paul and I wouldn’t be together for the weekend before my birthday. Paul did everything that he should have done, by holding me and telling me that he completely understood why I was feeling emotional. Then he completely reassured me that everything would be just fine.
Since I had the break down on the Friday before my birthday, I didn’t end up having a breakdown the day before my birthday. That is when my typical meltdown would have been and the flood of emotions are let loose. However, I didn’t cry at all the day before my birthday this year. For the first time since 2010. Huge Victory.
Hillary also said that it was a huge victory for me to realize why I was upset the weekend before. To recognize what brought on the emotions and then to go about my weekend having a wonderful time and enjoying myself.
Then we moved on to my emotions and how they get out of control sometimes and can be a bit much for those living in my household. I explained to Hillary the way that I see things, how I am very loud, animated and over the top with most things. Paul tends to be more relaxed. After a long conversation with Paul on Saturday he said that we all have choices about how we react to things. That in that split second before the reaction happens, we have a choice to make. Are we going to be calm or are we going to be out of control…or of course some where in between?
Well, more often than not my response tends to be more out of control. Or as I said in therapy “I have the asshole response.” She told me not to call it that, LOL! It is true though right, the over-reaction, then brings the attention of whatever situation on to me and turns a seemingly harmless engagement into a full blown circus.
Hillary told me that people are definitely born more pre-disposed to one reaction over the other. But, then over time our reactions get fed (or not) and we learn how to continue on based on that. This is the whole idea behind babies in orphanages stop crying after awhile because no one is tending to them. So, at some point or at a lot of points really, when I had this over-reaction to things I was getting the response that I wanted.
My therapist also told me during this conversation, “Oh Stephanie, we are so much more alike than I had originally thought.” Basically the point is, I need to work harder at stopping that over-blown reaction. Not only because it is completely unnecessary most of the time, but also because then it is feeding the way that other’s respond to me. When I get loud and snippy, then people tend to either shut down or get loud and snippy back. I don’t like either one of those options. Something in the middle is ideal for me, which I would imagine it is for others. Hence, why reacting somewhere in the middle of the road is probably the best.
Now…to re-train my brain to stop, think and redirect my gut reaction. That is going to take some time.