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So, I promised an update when I had pondered some questions a little further.  The one I have been really working on is

Trying to seriously figure out how do I deal when I know the emotion is appropriate, but the intensity is completely off.  How to pretend that I’m not wicked pissed when I know I should only be a teensy weensy bit pissed (or happy or sad or whatever)

I’m making nearly no progress on this front.  Tara K. Pisano wrote this piece where she used the analogy of the intensity of our reactions under a layer of stain or varnish.  The stain distorts our view of how our reactions should be.

I took hubby to therapy with me on Friday.  He has come with me in the past, usually when we get so stressed over my moods that the only way I can figure out how to explain things (as much as you can explain bipolar) is to have the therapist facilitate the discussion.

The session actually went really well.  I was able to explain that I SEE the intensity of my reactions is off.  I know I’m way too sad or way too angry.  But knowing it, seeing it, doesn’t give me the ability to fix it.

And, I’m still trying to deal with that intensity.  The step-children think I help too much and try to take over situations.  I think; ok, I hear that…but you asked for help.  And I KNOW that the appropriate reaction is to have my feelings hurt a little, but back off from assisting and start just listening and commiserating more.

But, I can’t.  I’m furious.

FURIOUS.

I see that I shouldn’t be.  I don’t understand where I helped too much.  The most recent issue was that J needed to be in a heroin detox and rehab facility immediately.  “A” had been trying to find one but couldn’t.  I did. It took me 15 minutes, I didn’t ask for accolades, and I didn’t want them.

When this particular issue came up, I was inside A’s house watching the grandbaby (Bug) while she, her husband and my husband sat on the front porch and smoked.  I don’t smoke, so I watched the Bug.  No biggie.

So, she was outside telling hubby that the 3 step-kids think I help too much, while I was inside the house helping.  I wanted to help, I love watching Bug, but I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.  And while I was doing it, she was outside telling hubby that the step-kids think I help too much.

Now, A is sick.  She was in the hospital, again.  I’ve said nothing.  Actually, I said that I hoped she felt better on her Facebook post about being in the hospital (don’t get me started).  She talked to hubby yesterday and told him what they think is wrong.  I looked it up for hubby so he, and I, could know more.

Then she texted me.  And the text started ‘For Dad’ and proceeded to explain her condition.  Why text that to me and not her Dad?  My answer was purely basic.  I said I’d tell him.  She said thanks.  I said ‘you’re welcome’.

And that’s it. Because the intensity of the reaction is so out of proportion with how it should be that I can barely be civil, even though I GET THAT THEY GET TO FEEL THE WAY THEY FEEL.

The phrase “act your age not your shoe size” has been going through my head a lot since this happened.  I’m 46.  My shoe size is 6 ½.

And I feel like I’m acting like I’m 6½.  I feel like I’m having an emotional tantrum.

And I have no idea how to stop it.

 

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