Towards the end of 2019, I tried to commit suicide.
There’s a fun way to start a blog post.
I truly can’t bring myself to go through the reasons again, but if you want to know the reasons you can see that post here. Long and short of it though was that, besides the fact that I have nasty treatment resistant bipolar, my oldest stepson’s girlfriend is a psycho.
But I did what I was supposed to do. I went to the hospital. I went to the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). I worked through the issues and came to this decision. The easiest way to avoid problems if I ever talked to that birchy little girl again was to use the phrase “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m insane? “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m stupid. “It’s interesting you feel that way”. She tells me I’m lying? “It’s interesting you feel that way”.
I went to my phone and in her listing, right after her name I wrote “It’s interesting you feel that way”, so if she calls the display shows her name and “It’s interesting you feel that way”. I was pretty proud of this idea so I went in and I put that phrase next to my Stepson’s mother’s name, and the girlfriend’s mother’s name as well. By putting these phrases in my phone next to their names, I’m giving myself a refresher before I answer the phone. When they call, that initial lurch of irritation and anger can be mitigated a little by having an answer for what they say BEFORE I answer the phone.
Fast forward to now. To my most recent post about passive suicidal ideation popping up way too often in my life. Most recently it showed it’s ugly face during a confrontation with my husband. As an interesting side note, this conversation also revolved around my Stepson. That kid is causing my bipolar major problems. But, I talked to my therapist yesterday and she helped me reach an interesting conclusion. I can use the phrase “It’s interesting you feel that way” with my HUSBAND. This is literally something that never occurred to me. I had relegated this phrase to be used with people who are being mean or rude or unfair. It never occurred to me that when hubby is doing the same thing, he can be dealt with in the same way.
You see, “It’s interesting you feel that way” serves a few different purposes. First, it gives you the opportunity to think. I don’t know about you, but when someone is verbally attacking me, all rational thought pops out of my head for a minute. I have no quick answers, no quick comebacks. I’ve always been like this, but I’m much worse now. “It’s interesting you feel that way” gives me a minute to collect myself, by forcing the conversation back to the other person.
Second, it forces the other person to expand on what they have said. If they say you don’t know what you’re talking about and you say “It’s interesting you feel that way”, it makes them have to say why. It makes them have to explain why they said what they said. It won’t always work, but it’s a hell of a good start.
Using this phrase with my husband will be a game changer. The biggest problem is figuring out a strategy to remember this solution.
Do you have someone in your life that you could use this phrase with? Or do you have an idea about how I can remember to do this with my husband? Let me know in the comments!