Showing posts with label emotion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emotion. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 November 2012

That CBF Mood.

Sometimes it gets me in its clutches, that CBF mood, like Gollum with his Precious, it stalks me and does crazy things until I submit.

CBF, by the way, is Can't Be Bothered's vulgar, bullying, older brother. You've probably met him. He's an expensive house guest to have, forcing me to buy takeaways instead of cooking inexpensive, nutritious meals. He won't let me go to the gym, even though I've paid for it already. He turns molehills into mountains in the laundry and every flat surface in the house.

This isn't procrastination. I'm not putting things off for later; it's genuine apathy.

And because I don't want to waste a ton of money on this CBF mood that doesn't deserve to be on the payroll, I decided to have a think as to how I could get the most out of doing as little as possible.

Obviously the takeaways are something I'd rather avoid, but the crock-pot is my friend. I'm going to do something like this.
Proof that it's a CBF day is that I'm linking you to something that's similar to what I'll do, but not the same. I have my own ideas and twists, and while I'll make several meals, it won't be these ones. The mince and lentils part will be the same, but that's about all. I just CBF writing it down. I'm really sorry. Maybe another day.

And then I'll be sorted for a few days, just in case. Also, it cuts back on dishes.

After that, I'm going to snuggle up in bed with some story books and the wriggly three year old and read until he falls asleep and then fall asleep myself.


Then maybe when I wake up, I'll feel like being productive.

Till then, folks!

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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Not So Overhead Projecting

There are times, in my role as mother, when I'm not the wonderfully empathic, serene, understanding, personification of perfection I'd have you all believe. I know, right? Who could have seen that coming?

It's happening right now, actually. I'm trying to write a post (which usually takes about an hour these days, when you take into account remembering the html, picture finding, and actual writing, but has been known to take five or six hours in the past) within the next two hours so I can hit the time-stamp deadline. The kids are playing behind me, and so far I've asked them to "just f**k up", at which they asked if they got to be hypocrites too...

Ahh kids. Always so completely honest. And blunt. You don't get to be an arse in my house and expect to get away with it. They have dispersed from the lounge, however. They don't want to risk standing on my land mines and have me project my frustration into them a little more.

Had a quick yap with Mr. Me on facebook chat. (Yes he's in another room on another computer doing his own important work; no we can't swap, what are you, mad? I can't write a blog post on someone else's machine!) To which he promptly quoted me U2:

Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief

Well that's apt.

You see, I had decided to write about some projecting that was happening last night.

One of my kids has fears that are irrational. Big fears. I find it impossible to validate them, because I feel they're invalid (they are valid because they are unresolved from a time when validity wasn't in question). So it's basically my fault they're still happening now, and weren't resolved half a dozen years ago, when they would have been more understandable, but unfortunately I was less emotionally aware.

I try now to be more understanding, but I have to fight down my feelings of disgust. And that's a really cruel thing for a kid to deal with, even if he only knows in a subconscious "Mum's not being genuine in her concern" sorta way. So he doesn't come to me with his pain, he goes to Mr. Me, and that triggers me too, because then I feel not good enough.

It's all my own trash-bag of emotional garbage that I'm carrying around, and the projection part is me saying "here, I'm tired, you carry this for a while." It's completely unfair, but I want to do it anyway. We all do from time to time.

Here's an example:

Random small boy and his father are playing in the park. All is well and fun until the small boy falls from a swing and begins to cry. Father is immediately disgusted and ashamed because he was made to feel shame about crying when he was small. Father picks up small boy and tells him he's not a baby and to stop crying. Small boy now feels shame, and his father less so. The father has projected his shame into his son.

It's not the son's shame. It's most probably not even the father's, or his father's. It's hand-me-downs, inherited through generations, and now the small boy gets to carry it in his trash-bag of emotional garbage too.

So last night, it was all I could do to just not pass on my emotional baggage by going to bed early and talking to no one. It's pretty much all I could do before to ask politely to be left alone, even though I'm in a communal room and everyone else has important things they're using it for too. And I wonder how common an occurrence this is, when we feel like punishing our children for things completely outside their field for blame.

There are a lot of very public examples of projection that have been normalised.

I think Prime Minister John Key and his gay red top comment was a good example of projection, which needed to be addressed. Why else but because of his own discomfort would he be so publicly offensive? It's certain he's been well taught in the art of interview, speaking publicly and being politically correct, even if he doesn't think that way, as all politicians must have to reach as high an office as he has. It's all the more obvious because he's trying to rationalise it as well! Someone who makes a genuine mistake doesn't try to do that.

So, if we're going to raise healthy children, we need to get rid of this projection business. We don't have a right to pass on hate and bigotry, or in my case disgust at fear and slow-learning.

Children have enough emotional baggage of their own to carry without carrying ours too.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

5 Things I'm Ashamed to Have Done to My Kids (that I still see happening all the time)

There's never been a time when I considered myself a "bad" mother. Since I've been one for fourteen plus years now though, I'd be remiss if I hadn't done some learning along the way, and if there's a parent who has not changed their style at least a little bit in the course of raising an adult, I really don't want to know them.

So there's no judging going on here. OK there's a little bit of judging, but it's the internal sort, whereby you judge, and then think I used to do that until I found a better way so you stop being critical. Still, you feel sad that they haven't learnt, or have and then decided they were fine all along, and you feel guilty for judging and a little bit superior and smug.

Yeah, I over think things quite a lot.

1) Telling your kid not to snatch, then forcefully removing said object (snatching) from the child to return it to the snatchee
I see this all. the. time. Parents and teachers do it obliviously. They must do, because I never see the furtive, embarrassed glance-around afterwards that would occur if they realised the hypocrisy. Actually, one time I stayed at daycare with my youngest to settle him for the first half hour because he was becoming more and more unhappy being there. The carer did this twice while knowing I was there trying to figure out why he was unhappy. And then she...

2) ...said hey, can I have a look at that? and prised a toy from another kid's hands. He then tried to take it back, so she held it away from him, where he couldn't reach, and made him parrot "please can I have that toy?" after her.
She looked at me for approval after that. A look that smugly said: see how I teach them manners? We left then. And after two more times of my little one screaming and crying when he realised we were going (not when I was leaving; it's not a separation thing at all), we withdrew him from that place completely. But I've done it too. I can point at that daycare and say: "look, how horrible" but the truth is, for my eldest, that would have been situation normal.

3) Spanking, smacking, physical punishment, whatever the kids are calling it these days.
This is a hard one to admit, but there was a time when I even advocated for it. I decided myself and tried to convince others that it was the only way to reprimand a child who didn't have the vocabulary to understand your, what I considered must be, lectures. Until one day about 10 years ago, when my daughter was curled on the floor with her hands over her bottom and I realised I was angry at her, really furious at her, for trying to stop me from smacking her. And I recognised that for the atrocity that it was. It genuinely took another six or seven years for me to get to a point where I didn't feel like smacking - to change my brain chemistry to the point where I automatically thought "how can I help?" instead of "stop it you little...."

4) Sat with my kids at the table until they'd finished every last bite of their dinner.
At the time, I thought I was doing right; teaching them not to be wasteful and such. What I ended up with though, was one child, my poor first born who wore the worst of everything, who now finds it difficult to leave anything on the plate, even if she's so full she feels sick. I should have known better, I think. I myself am unable to eat when I have a blocked nose, because I'm unable to breathe. Breathing through my mouth is not an option for me whilst eating. Thankfully I didn't do this for very long. Just long enough to do damage, obviously, but now, at 14 years old, she's just beginning to figure out the food quantities that are right for her.

5) Told them if they didn't hurry up, I'd leave without them.
It seems fair on the face of it, but the bottom line is that I now have an 11 year old who panics when we say we'll wait for him in the car. It's not the relatively good sort of panic where you do things in double time, but the awful, paralysing kind where you can't think, let alone act, and everything just becomes too hard. Poor guy. We're working on it.

This isn't a full list, by any means; I'll probably write another post next week entitled, "5 MORE things..." and I could maybe even write a third post. But there are a lot of things I've done right, as well. And one of those things I've done right, is learning from all the things I've done wrong. Well... all the things I've come across anyway.

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Friday, 26 October 2012

Stop Calling Me Names!

"I'm sorry I got angry when you were bad," he said.

He said that to me! In the middle of the night, with me mostly asleep and my subconscious unprotected. Of course I'm angry - I'm furious! Apology unaccepted, sir, to put it mildly.

How dare he?

It escalated, of course. With me uttering phrases such as, "keep your damned labels off me" and moving to the edge of the bed. When it got to the point where I was named "mean" for being upset, and informed that I must explain why labelling and criticizing weren't the best thing for human growth and mental health since sliced bread, I left the room.

And so, I am here at 4am, calming down, unclenching my teeth bit by bit, considering making a coffee (because it's clear I won't be going back to sleep), and clicking link after link on the ol' information superhighway during the moments when my mind is screaming too loud for me to write effectively.

He was trying to connect with me, but the connection was backwards.

A backwards connection is just the opposite of a real connection, which is based upon two people relating to each other.
A backwards connection begins with an assumption or definition of the other, that ends all possibility of a relationship, at least in that interaction.

-Patricia Evans, Controlling People

For the backwards connection to be made, I'd either have to concede that I was bad, or argue over why I wasn't. Either option would be a silent reinforcement that it was OK to define me in the first place.

It's not OK.

The only person who can truly define you is yourself. The only person who has access to your motives, your understanding (or lack of), your emotional history, your five senses, and your perspective, is you, so you're the only one with the full story. A person can accept your definition of yourself and relate, but they cannot invent their own and expect to be relating. What it boils down to, is, they're making things up.

I understand it when I step back, and disconnect with my emotional part in this, but that can't happen for over an hour later sometimes. I'm hurt and I've a right to feel that way.

I know why he felt like I was being mean and attacking him: it was because I wouldn't allow the backwards connection. So he felt rejected. It's not the first time and I'm reasonably sure it won't be the last.

I get it, but it's still no fun. I want him to relate to me, not his idea of me.

I've seen a few blog posts recently, by men, along the lines of: I'm overly critical to my partner and I don't know why and I'm scared she's going to leave me. I've seen very few from the receiving end. I imagine everyone's story is different, but I think the reason behind this is shame. And possibly fear of public reaction.

I feel neither shame nor fear in this. Mr. Me and I will sort things through today in a gentle, loving way, as we always aim to do, so that tomorrow, we don't have to.

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Image credit: photostock.

Monday, 22 October 2012

I'm Grateful for Things Too!

Just now, I was having a gaze through my list of blog posts that just need a few finishing touches before publishing. It's not that I don't feel like writing, but we have a mildly ill wee guy in the house today and he's always going to be more important at times like this. Also, there's lots of clean ups and washing to do, as happens with a tummy bug. Right now though, little one is having a relaxing shower with Daddy and so I thought I had a couple of minutes just to add some minor bits and pieces and then publish - as you do.

Only, all of the titles seemed pretty negative, or broody, or critical, or introspective and I'm not really in a mood for any of those.

Today I'm just happy. Not fully sure why because the day didn't start ideally, but when it comes, you just take it, right?

It's Tuesday, but it feels like a Monday since yesterday was Labour Day here. Mr. Me and I both do what we do from home and day of the week is not a huge factor: things get done when they need doing, not because of the day of the week - for the most part. I think this is totally cool. I remember hating Mondays and dreading the alarm (and sorta liking the alarm a little bit because it was the radio and I'd listen to it for an hour before even pretending to be awake, but I digress...) and knowing time wasn't my own again for another five days. I vowed not to do that again a couple of years back, and there have been times when I have buckled under the pressure, but know that long-term the way to freedom is to be in control of my income, not let some employer do it. And that makes me happy.

Even though the little fella is unwell, he's still in great spirits and it makes me feel all squishy when I'm thanked for doing what all parents see as their duty anyway. Turns it from a chore into loving care. Or maybe the egg came before the chicken, I don't know, but either way it's awesome. Now after his shower, he's asleep behind me on the couch giving his little body time to fight off whatever bug is inside it. And that makes me happy.

I can smell sausage rolls for lunch. It's a rainy day, and I've hung the washing anyway because of the sheer bulk of what needed doing and my hands smell like synthetic white lilies and cherry blossom. I actually like the smell - I guess it makes me think of clean, fresh sheets. I always have the best sleep on clean sheets. I've been noticing nice smells all morning - I'll let my facebook update describe why:
In the early hours of this morning, I woke to sniffing snuffles and "Smell that! Smell it?" Obviously I was intrigued "Smell what?" I asked the littlest person in our house. My words woke him (I didn't know he was asleep). I asked him if he'd been dreaming and he said yes, and I asked what about... "Baking!" "Ohhh, did it smell nice?" "MMmmmmm ye-es!" Haha - I want that kid's dreams :)
And that makes me happy.

It makes me happy when people just make me coffees because they know that 90% of the time, if they ask, I won't turn one down.
When people have the opportunity to argue and fight, but they don't.
When seeds I have planted, germinate.
When I can give things away.
When people say really smart things that make me think...

Even the fact that I've been writing this post over the space of three hours makes me happy, because I have got so much else done in and around it. I wasn't going write at all, but I'm happy that I have, and that I've been able to. Now there'll be a more positive post in with the rest. That makes me happy too.

There are many things that have happened today that I could grumble about. In size, they maybe even outweigh the good things. But, through no effort on my part, today seems to be the day for me to only see the good in life. As far as wins go, I'll take it, and be grateful.

And I hope you guys are all happy too! (Cos that would make me happy.)

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Sunday, 14 October 2012

On Growing Up in the Dark

I have abandonment issues, to put it bluntly. I'm haunted every day by the ghosts of my past: people I love know they can't leave me without saying good bye. No nipping out to the dairy for milk while I sleep, because if I wake with them gone, it brings back all the feelings that I have no memories for.

Confusion, fear and anger are the strongest; the "jacket feelings" that protect the smaller, but more intense, vulnerable ones. These are the feelings you might see if you come across me like that, and if you're the one that caused it, be ready for a tongue-lashing! But we all know anger is a secondary emotion, caused by the other two. It's protective. Holds people at bay or stops them from attempting to go there again. It projects the confusion and fear you're feeling onto those that "caused" it and makes you feel better in the short term.

But it's not fair. They've done nothing wrong. They're just going about their business, not remembering your emotions run a little differently. Not at first, anyway. They learn pretty quickly after the first couple of times.

Injured, feral animal.

Hiding under the jacket feelings is pure primal misery. I have no way to describe these emotions, because I didn't have the language for them at the time, and if you let it loose, you can't think like an adult at the same time. All you can do is either be comforted, or cry it out - cry until your body tells you that crying is worthless, like a baby being sleep-trained. I can tell you which is better: being comforted. It's over sooner and you bounce back much quicker and next time it's not quite as bad. You've been heard. You're loved. Crying it out leaves you wrecked and exhausted, like you have a really shit hangover, complete with headache and dehydration and you can't function worth a damn if you don't sleep it off over several hours.

Most people who go through this don't explore under the jacket feelings. It's scary stuff. I didn't until I'd been in counselling over a year, some of which were intensive 5 hour sessions. (Yeah, I needed a fair bit of help for my inner fruit-loopery.) Tell ya what though, remembering what it's like to be a toddler with big feelings and not knowing what they are, and having no control over them really is an eye opener. Nothing but gentle parenting after that - whoa baby!

I wasn't actually abandoned as a child. Not really. Mum died of cancer when I was almost three years old. It was really quick from the time they found out and when it happened and I didn't really know what was going on. Perhaps I was being "protected", but the upshot is a little girl eventually knew her mummy was gone and wasn't coming back. She didn't know why, or if it was her fault. She didn't know how her mummy felt about leaving her. She'd always come back before - why not this time? This little girl only knew that the one to whom she was most strongly attached, the woman on which her little world depended, who fulfilled her every need and who she trusted completely, was gone. Would no longer be there with her, for her, think about her, take care of her... love her.

And though she knew there were other people who loved her, it could never be the same.

The only memory I have from that time, is going to visit at the hospital. I was standing beside a hospital bed. I remember the metal on the side of it, which was about level with my face. I didn't look at who was on the bed. A woman (I think, my grandmother, but not sure) urged me, "tell your mother you love her," and I did, because it was true, but I didn't know why I was being urged to say it. I'm not sure if she replied. I don't even know if I was heard. I don't remember.

I think that could have been the last time I saw her.

From then on, I knew that to have complete trust and reliance in another person was dangerous and could be earth shattering. At that age, I blocked out my desires for emotional reassurance and became someone who had to know everything. A very "strong", confident, self reliant person. So much so that I couldn't accept help as I saw in it a sign of weakness. Every. Single. School report I received growing up contained the words, "responsible", "mature", "capable", "conscientious". Mistakes were out of the question. I was (still am, though I work hard to repair it) a perfectionist. Adultified.

No, I wasn't abandoned really. But I have abandonment issues still, 30 years later.

I still yearn to know how mum thought. What she was feeling, knowing she was leaving me behind? What did her voice sound like? How did her face change when she smiled? What did she struggle with? Did she have any advice for me? What were her opinions on... anything?

All I have are some wedding photos, some hand-written recipes and her wedding dress.

I wish I had more.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and knowing what I do, this is my recommendation for anyone in the awful, awful position of leaving your children behind.

Write letters. Thousands, if you can. One for every occasion you can think of. Give advice and tell stories of when you were going through the same thing. Letters for birthdays and Christmases and graduations and weddings, and new children being born.

Video yourself reading stories and singing songs (for different age levels as they grow) until you get hoarse. Share your favourites and say why they are your favourite.

Plant a tree, or something else lasting, together, and document the time well, with video, picture and writing.

And share all your feelings. Because as adults, and even as children we can know intellectually that you never wanted to leave. But unless we hear it from your mouth, in your words, we'll always feel in the dark, just hoping.

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Friday, 12 October 2012

So You Think Your Child Is A Nazi...

Nobody wins a war.

Yes there'll be one side who will be stronger eventually, and they can dominate, take over, enforce their will on the other side, but no one actually wins. There will be casualties on both sides.

The "winners" of a war will be the ones with the most training. Those who have been taught - had it beaten into them - how to look past the humanity of their opposition. How to ignore the suffering of their foes, or to pretend it doesn't exist at all.

In a war, you have to switch off your empathic function or you're no good. It's pointless being there if you can feel the affect you have on each and every participant you have interactions with. You could start caring that your opponent is so terrified from your last encounter that they just buckle and plead, follow your instruction and apologise for being who they were born to be. You could start caring, and then how could you finish them off? How could you win? No. In a war, you must turn off your empathic function.

In a war, you must follow orders. This is drilled into you by people with more power than you, before you even get near a battle. You learn from their example, and if you do not, you'll need more drilling until you do. There is no place on a battlefield for someone who thinks for themselves. You'll have been given your tactics for winning long ago, by those who were better at it than you, and you must know them so well that it's automatic. There will be no time to stop and think. You must turn off your creativity. You must fight your innate impulses until you have replaced them with the impulses of your superiors.

In a war, you must fight through pain. You will be damaged, that is guaranteed, so you must have the will of mind to ignore your own pain. If you take care of your own hurts, that's a weakness. A weakness in yourself and in your battalion. Your comrades require you for their own safety and you do them for yours, so if you fall back, you could be the weakest link in the chain and cause defeat. If you're fighting alone, to consider your own pain, to break, means certain death, assuming your opponent has also been well trained, and turned off their empathy.

So, to win a war, we must turn off our empathic mind, our rational and intuitive minds, our sensate function and our free will.

Once a person is trained in warfare, it's very hard to go back to being untrained. A lot of times it won't happen and the returned soldier will never regain the connection they had with loved ones. They'll spend their time yearning to be in their comfort zone - the place they were trained to be. They'll feel angry and betrayed by those they came home to, who are scared and confused by the soldier's lack of empathy and love and understanding. Their loved ones will do as the returned soldier wills, and call it respect, and convince themselves it's respect, but it will really be fear. Loved ones will understand the battles were fought on their behalf, whether they asked for or wanted it or not and will feel compelled into gratitude.

But in the end, fear, disguised as respect, and gratitude, aren't fertile soils in which to grow love. In the end, we're often left with a lonely soldier at the Veteran's Association, surrounding himself with the only people who can identify with how he thinks. A lonely soldier who goes to visit a different family member each Christmas - passed around like dishes duty.
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
Nobody wins a war.

And when you see your home as a war zone, the same things happen.

When you fight battles with your partner or your children, you are turning off your empathic mind, your rational and intuitive mind, your sensate function and your free will. It must be done to win the battle.

Your children, buckled and pleading, follow your instruction out of fear and apologise for being who they were born to be. You call it respect, and so will they and they'll forever confuse the two. They'll love you through duty, and because they see the sacrifice you have made on their behalf whether they asked for or wanted it or not and will feel compelled into gratitude.
I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
But they're not fertile soils in which to grow real love. They'll grow up and move away, half way across the world, and you'll lose regular contact. And they'll fight their own wars at home as they've been taught to do. They've been trained for years, and now they know how to win with their own innocent offspring and spouse. They'll know to turn off their empathy to win. They'll flip into irrational rages against your grandchildren and they won't know why. They'll blame the kids, for being who they were born to be. Maybe later they'll feel guilty. Maybe not.

If not, the cycle continues with their grandchildren... But maybe they want for their children the freedom for the full expression of their personalities. And that can never be achieved through violence, only love, genuine respect, peaceful resistance and teaching through role modeling.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
We are going to make mistakes. Our spouses are going to make mistakes. Our children are going to make mistakes. Our parents are going to make mistakes.

Imagine living in fear of making a mistake. Trying something new would be terrifying. You'd hide away so no one would know. You wouldn't be able to share your ideas or get excited about them for fear you would fail. Life would get procrastinated away as you dissociate away your anxiety and you'd live in Dr Seuss's "Waiting Place" where most people stay.

I am not at war with my family. Not any more. There have been times I thought I was. And there've been times, because of the way I have trained them, that I'm incited into battles and I feel like I must fight. Be violent. There are times when I've made mistakes, and though I resolve not to, maybe I'll make them again. I hope not. I hope I always have the strength to peacefully resist the battle-cries of others. I resolve to model peace, not violence, at all costs.

I never want to give up my capacity for empathy. I want to keep my intuition and my rationality. I want to remain self aware: to know how I got that bruise and to listen to what my body is trying to tell me when I have that headache or I can't sleep.

I will remain whole.
You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Please take the time to share this post with those you care about. The less people there are at war at home, the more whole, free, loving and happy people there will be in the world. Be the change.

Thank you.

The quotes are Mahatma Gandhi's

Image credit: Wikipedia

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Incubating a Tantrum


That's what I'm doing right now.

I know it's not exactly healthy, physically or mentally, but it's satisfying the twisted, sadistic, brutal, raging Devil-On-My-Left-Shoulder. Bastard that it is.

Feels good and awful all at the same time. I'm sitting on Pandora's Box here and guarding it something fierce for the good of the world. Yet also to the detriment of society too, because let's face it, she's gonna blow. And it ain't gonna be pretty when it happens.

So I've tied Pandora's Box shut with chains and straps and I'm sitting on it with my legs crossed (which, by the way, is rather uncomfortable; particularly the chains bit) trying to save the world. And the more I try to keep the box shut, the more I am haunted by a certain knowledge.

I know something Pandora didn't.

Stands to reason, since she was the first one with The Box.

I know, that in amongst all the sh*t that's dying to get out, there's a whimpery little being, laying on the bottom, waiting for the pressure to ease.

And that's the little blighter I want to get my hands on!


I'm scared to let the nasty stuff go, because basically I know that no one around me has done any wrong and they don't deserve it. But if I don't let go of the nasty stuff, not only will I miss out on hopeful, therefore also curious and optimistic, me, so will everyone else!

And we can't let that happen, now can we?

It's a scary thought... I'll try to let the demons loose responsibly.

Good luck World!

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

5 Languages of Love.

I love Mr. Me. I honestly do. And I'm pretty sure (okay, I'm actually positive) he loves me too. But, dammit, we don't speak the same language. Not even close to the same language. In fact, we're complete opposites!

This was first brought to my attention about a year ago by a counsellor we were trying on for size, who informed us of the five love languages:

Words of affirmation

Quality time

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

and asked us to rank them in order of importance. 1,2,3,4,5 for me was 5,4,3,2,1 for Mr. Me.

Brilliant. What we've got here is failure to communicate...

Armed with this knowledge we set to trying to learn each other's languages. It's a two way street, too; one of us can't just learn the other's language and expect everything to be okay, because the other person will lose a part of themselves in the process.

Sometimes we remember; sometimes we don't.

This morning we didn't. Oh, he didn't do anything objectively wrong... merely facilitated my sleeping until 8.30am, had pancakes made when I got up then organised to take the kids to the park leaving me alone for the morning. Problem is, I don't notice these as things to be grateful for. Problem is, stuff like this rather annoys me. Heck, if he'd brought the pancakes into the bedroom I'd have seethed!

Of course he was upset that I wasn't grateful. I was resentful that he had decided my preferences for me.

I think I'm fairly easily pleased. All I want is a cuddle and kiss whenever we pass each other in the hallway, but that's not easy for him. Physical touch is the lowest on his list and the definite winner for me. For me, acts of service falls well down the bottom, only slightly above receiving gifts and there's a huge gap between those two and the others. But acts of service are his number one, go-to thing. I feel disempowered by them. Indebted.

We speak different languages.

By fine coincidence, last night, in effort to wind down before sleep, I grabbed the closest book to the bed. It happened to be The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which Mr. Me had borrowed from the library a couple of weeks earlier.

By fine coincidence, it was fresh in my mind that the big lug speaks a different language to me. We got through the perceived insults much faster than usual.

I still don't really understand his language and it baffles me how he could misunderstand such a simple, low maintenance language as I have, yet there it is:

Words of affirmation

Quality time

Receiving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

Our reason for feeling unloved and unappreciated while swimming in the stuff.

What's your love language? Is it different to your significant other, or family members or children?

You can take a quick quiz here to find out if you're unsure.

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