Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Insight into Me, Myself, and I

My most recent counseling session was very informative and insightful, so I'd like to try to document some of it. And as this has basically replaced my journaling, here is the most likely place.

I came into the session with some pretty good insight from the previous week. In talking with Mr. Random about all the things I'd done this week to relieve my stress and how it felt like it hadn't made a dent (things like scrapbooking, hanging with friends) in my stress level. I realized that one of the biggest irritants/stress factors is my sweet little son's crying. And he's a toddler. So he fusses and cries...well, kind of a lot. He gets frustrated. Tired. Hungry. Doesn't want that. Doesn't want this. It's normal stuff. He doesn't even cry that much or that long, but when he does, it grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. And I wind up very irritable and stressed and my patience for him wears very thing, very quickly. Which is one of the main reasons I sought out counseling again. I want to have more patience for him; he more than deserves it!

So. I realized before my session that a lot of the response to his crying has to do with his first 4 months of life which involved incessant, inconsolable crying as he had both reflux and colic. It's almost like a conditioned response or something.

What I came to learn in the session was that it's more than that. A big factor is that it takes me back to that time when I was kicking myself up and down the stairs for choosing a crappy pediatrician. And for not being able to help my son. And that I have a big nasty habit of this.

I'm super indecisive to begin with. And then when I make a decision, I value it good or bad based on the outcome. And if the outcome is good, I chalk it up to luck. If the outcome is bad, I fully blame myself.

No wonder I'm unhappy a lot of the time! No wonder I'm stressed out! I'm piling a mountain of guilt and blame onto myself. Often for things out of my control. 

So. That's what I'm working on. Identifying what I'm telling myself when I make decisions and learning that the outcome, especially if out of my control, has nothing to do with me or my decision. The part that matters is how I make the decision.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Counseling and Communication

I'm finally back in counseling. I had a hiatus because the counselor I saw over the summer graduated from her internship and was hired in a practice that didn't take my insurance. Well, it did, but as an out of network thing and so I'd have to pay a $1000 deductible...which wouldn't take long at $115/hr, but...still was out of my budget at this point in time.

I was dragging my feet setting up with a new counselor because I really liked this last one. I felt we had the most productive sessions by far of my semi-brief counseling history and really appreciated all the insight I'd gained. And there was a deep level of trust that had been developed...and I just haven't felt ready to try to build that with someone else.

I finally went in and wound up getting matched up with a woman I liked immediately...but it turns out she'd seen Mr. Random! (he'd gotten individual counseling...basically during my hiatus). So there was a conflict of interest and she couldn't actually see me.

So today I finally met with someone who can see me. I didn't like her as much initially and I'm still a bit unsure how I feel about her. I do know that I actually felt worse after my session today...and I'm not sure what to make of that.

I'm addressing different issues now than I did over the summer. The summer was about addressing some crappy stuff in my past and working that out. We didn't get to all of it, but made really good headway.

Some of it is really personal and crappy, and I don't even want to go there with someone new, least of all this person. She asked a bit about it today and I told her as little as I could. I not ready I guess. Instead, I'm hoping to focus on stress management and communication. Because I feel that I've lost my ability to communicate effectively with Mr. Random and because I'm about at my breaking point with stress. The two are most likely inter-related.

I wound up crying in the session today, which really surprised and frustrated me. I mean...really? Tears? They came when I was talking about the recent "discussion" I had in Mr. Random that prompted my post about him being an Ass. I was feeling better about him and Us until I brought that up again. Now I'm feeling sad with a touch of despair.

The bonus for anyone still reading this is that I'm supposed to try to post more as part of my "homework."


I feel like being a parent has taught me to have more compassion for others. First of all, I've now had some really rough days and realize that when we see someone having a tough time in public...we have no idea what has happened before to lead to that exact moment. But more than that, I operate under the assumption that everyone loves their baby(ies) as much as I love mine. Which means each and every single person I someone's baby. Their precious little baby. And I want to treat them with the same compassion I hope others treat my precious baby.

Now...if only I could remember to extend that sense of compassion to myself...

Monday, February 6, 2012


He's not always an ass. In fact, he's mostly not an ass. It's really more like he has ass-like-moments. Which, quite frankly, I think we all do.

And he can certainly redeem himself. This past weekend? SuperDad. Me? Passed out trying to get over some nasty icky cough-mucus-bad cold thing.

But we did watch the superbowl. It was pretty fun - we're not Patriots fans here, so we were happy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

That awkward moment when you realize your husband's an ass

Mr. Random is many things. Some wonderful. Some not so wonderful. Some a mixture of both.

For instance, he can be very black and white ultimatumish. It is not a very wonderful quality. This combined with his stubbornness and absolute refusal to engage in hypothetical what-if planning (it's "too hypothetical" anything hypothetical is "too hypothetical", which makes attempting to make plans for future possible events...well, a trial to say the least) is incredibly frustrating for me. Because I'm a planner. And I'd like to have an idea at least in place, for how to approach future possible scenarios.

And the black and white thing just gets my goat. The world is shades of gray for me. And in the gray there's all kinds of room for compromise. With Mr. Random. It's Black. Or it's White. Take your pick. No gray. No compromise.

For example. We're both very busy stressed graduate students at the moment. He's currently a graduate student who is student teaching in a high school. He's actually got a pretty sweet gig where he only has to teach 2 periods a day, but nonetheless, has loads and loads of work to do. Apparently. Because starting this week he's been coming home late every day, but the one day when I was still feverish (damn daycare germs) and asked him to pick up Wiggles from daycare. Which he had volunteered to do, in all fairness.


Let's take a moment, to realize that I'm a PhD graduate student currently (supposedly) working on her dissertation, TAing 20 hours per week, OH, and teaching 2 classes at the local community college on the side. I think it's fair to say I've got a lot on my plate. Despite that, when Wiggles got sick from daycare and had to stay home for a week...I'm the one that took the week off (and now I am so, so, so hideously behind). And, day in, day out, I'm the one that gets Wiggles up, ready, and dropped off at daycare. And then the one who gets him from daycare. Which, one, means I never have the option of staying late to work on my work, and two, means I'm doing the primary childcare too. On top of working 2 jobs, the only 2 jobs currently providing us an income. Oh. AND. I'm the one cooking dinner. Doing the dishes. The laundry. Hmmm.

This was honestly okay with me when Mr. Random would be home by 5pm (I get Wiggles at 4pm) so that he could spend time with him and whatever. But now that Mr. Random has started a habit this week (and I'm fairly convinced this will only continue and become an every day thing) of coming home at 6....6:30...I'm frustrated. Because Wiggles goes to bed by 6:30. Some nights it needs to be 6pm.

Which means. Mr. Random will go the whole damn day without laying eyes on our son. But more importantly, our son will only lay eyes on his father in pictures we have on the wall. Which he does point to. And smiles when he sees his Daddy. Heart. Wrenched.

Because Mr. Random's own father was a work-aholic. To the point Mr. Random doesn't really feel like he knows his dad or had a good relationship with him growing up. And I've been upfront since the beginning, and Mr. Random was in full agreement, that that is not acceptable when we have kids. No ignoring kids day in day out for work. Money is not worth that kind of lost time. And I know Mr. Random's dad regrets that lost time now. It's totally the Cats in the Cradle song. Ugh.

So. I brought this up to Mr. Random this morning. I tried to approach it as positively as I could, and not as a criticism. More as a - this is stressful. This is not what we talked about. Can you think of how we can fix this?

The response I got, goes back to Mr. Random being Mr. Black and White. His response to my request that he be home by 5pm each night for dinner and an hour of quality time with his son, was that, he could do that. Sure. But he'll probably be stressed out. He'll have to bring home his extra work. He'll probably have to spend ALL HIS OTHER time working on it. Which means he'll be stressed out. And he'll have to ignore me.

So. Those are the options he presents me. Either...he stays late working and ignores his son. Or. He brings his work home, and ignores me.

Well Sir. If you are asking me to choose between myself, or my son, which, by the way, thank you so much for putting me in that position, ASS, then I choose my son.

So that's the plan for now. And he keeps reiterating that he hopes I know what I'm getting into and that I better remember that I asked for this. Damn.

That awkward moment when you realize you married an Ass.

We need couples counseling, of this I'm convinced. But, it didn't seem like quite the right time to bring it up at the end of our "discussion." I've got an individual appointment tomorrow. I'll see if I can bring up couples counseling then and see what our options are...and then talk to Mr. Black and White about it.

Because as much as I want him to spend time with his son - really? I have to ask you to do this? - I know it's also just as important for Wiggles to see us as a happy, functioning couple. And what Mr. Random is currently proposing...won't really be that.

I am also, foolishly optimistic, that this goes one...he'll realize he can actually make more time for me too. And he doesn't have to be such an Ass.

We'll see.

About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.