Thursday, September 29, 2011

High Maintenance

I'm not uniformly high maintenance across the board.  And things shift a lot over time.  Once a boy I was interested in told me that I was "high maintenance but low drama".  He could handle one date a month with me.  We never got very close.

Being high maintenance is very different based on how you do it.  I need a lot of intense emotional support.  I need to be told things many times.  I need to be touched or not touched immediately and without question based on my whims.  I have a lot of control over what conversational topics happen around me because if I start getting angry for some reason I tend to escalate.  I manage that by walking away from things that anger me or people who are engaging in conversation I don't want to hear.  I don't mean that I tell everyone to shut up.  I just mean that if I can't handle what is being discussed I go sit in a different room.  It's not the easiest thing to live with.  I have a lot of "systems" in place that make perfect sense in my head and I can't explain them to other people because I know them in a kinesthetic fashion.

I am extremely particular but Sarah says not outside the normal range.  That kind of weirds me out.  Really?  Other people have as many stupid little mandatory preferences as me?  You know When Harry Met Sally?  You remember how she ordered food?  I'm not quite as fussy as her... but almost.  Although I'm less fussy about food.

I'm sensitive.  I wish I wasn't.  I wish I didn't have a sensitive nerve ending in my body.  Sometimes my skin is hyper sensitive and small touches hurt.  Sometimes if I am not in the mood for a conversation I feel intense sadness or anger because I have some tangential thought process running tandem that is really unhappy.  The stupidest things can trigger me into devastation and feeling like I am alone in the world and everyone around me would dance on my grave.  It's often hard to believe that someone like me could have any worth at all.

That's high maintenance to live with.  It's fucking irritating.  Especially because I go back and forth between these terrible lows and feeling like I'm a lot better than those other schmucks, so what's the problem?  ("Better" being defined as not having whatever problem I'm reading about on the internet.  If you set a low bar, you can always achieve it.)

I'm not sure, but I would guess that one of the hardest things to live with is how quickly I expect people to make decisions or act upon things I have said.  Because if people don't respond/acknowledge/move fast enough I whirl in place and stomp off to do whatever it was I was talking about by myself while muttering.  It's not a very nice thing to do and I try to stop myself.  I whirl away because it's hard for me to ask for things sometimes.  I should probably ask for some kind of visual acknowledgement that they heard and understood my speech so that I know to stand and wait while they think.  Right now the problem is that I state what I want, don't see immediate interest, and I feel like okfineI'lldoitmyselfit'snotabigdealanyway.  It is a little huffy, but it's huffy in a "I don't want to be a burden and I feel like I should have done this for myself without mentioning it anyway.  I mentioned it because sometimes you leap up to "do things" for me and it feels nice but if you aren't in that space I'll just go do it."  But it never comes out value neutral.  I always look pissed.

The anger.  The anger is probably the hardest thing to live with.  I get angry so easily over such stupid things.  I let it go quickly and I apologize profusely, constantly because I know it is inappropriate to get as angry as I do.  But a lot of my anger is justified.  And I apologize for that too.  Because I've been told over and over, "Wow.  You get angry a lot."  Because I feel like anger is wrong and bad and I should stop feeling anger.  People comment on me being angry.  That must mean I am inappropriately angry, right?

I feel shamed by comments on my anger.  If people can see it I am failing at life.  I feel this enormous pressure to develop a cheerful mask.  Repression be thy name.  I don't really want to have to repress my anger.  I want to not feel it.  I want to not get so angry over tiny little things.  I'm aware that a lot of the problem is sleep deprivation and stress.  I can't even tell if I get angry at a normal level.  I don't know.  I can't tell how often any one else gets angry.

Except for Noah.  I freak right the fuck out if he gets angry.  It's been very difficult for us to work towards a space where I can let him be angry and not make it about me.  I still have to check in about the fact that he's not angry with me at a particular time.  And then I want to fix whatever is upsetting him.  It's very codependent of me.

And you know how much I write about myself?  Noah talks about this shit for hours and hours and hours and years.  It's frankly creepy that anyone other than me has this much interest in me.  I'm so keeping him.  Noah repeatedly, adamantly gives me approval for everything I am and most everything I do.  He is a fount of affirmation and support.  It is very important that my support network be well supported.  I'm trying to do a better job at supporting them.

I feel like we are getting a lot closer to a balance.  Things are a lot better with Sarah here.  I haven't had an exchange with Shanna I would call 'nasty' since the train coming down from Scotland.  I think that a tirade going on about two minutes longer than necessary about train manners in a bad tone of voice after a month of travel is forgivable.  I have been rude, and I've apologized and she seemed perfectly ok with the apologies.  That goes both ways.  Her behavior has been up and down, but I feel like it's all been handled well.  I'm taking time by myself a lot more and I'm a lot more calm because of it.  The smoking helps, but I spend a lot of time out here not smoking just because I dislike the physical sensation.  I'm just hiding.  I'm just intimidated by the intensity of being mom.

I'm sensitive and my kids frankly freak me the fuck out sometimes.  It's hard to enjoy ice cream if you are allowed to eat nothing but ice cream.  I mean, my kids are more meat and potatoes.  I can handle eating them every single day.  Now there's a metaphor.  But even though I want meat and potatoes every single day I want meals in the day where I'm eating something else.  Variety is good.

I used to think I was an extrovert who was forced into solitude.  I'm beginning to see that I am an introvert with occasional social needs.  It's kind of a weird identity shift.  At this point in my life I think of every single person I talk to in terms of how much of my energy they will drain.  Sorry, friends.  I love you!  That's why I spend the energy I do.  A friend is coming over this morning.  Hopefully she won't read this until after she has been at my house.  I'm honestly kind of freaked out by having her come over today.  Her son is very energetic and I've been trying to get Shanna to be slightly less messy in the house.  Throwing things outside is great.  Inside.... not my favorite.  I know that the right thing to do is to ask them to help clean up during the visit.  We'll see how that goes.  Ugh.  I'm just so tired.  I don't want the extra mess.  Fuss.  Whine.  But I want to talk to her.  Ack.  Personal time is over.

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