February 14th, 2013

I want to write something intelligent today, but my body wants to sleep. I want to write something deep and meaningful, but I should really be packing. I want to write something that fully expresses the emotions of these last few weeks, but I’m not sure I’m ready. I want to put it all out there, but I don’t want anyone to read it. That’s the trouble with a blog – people read and react to it, whether you want them to or not. Best to keep the private things on paper, or at least locked away in your personal files.

I do too much of that, though. Locking away how I feel. I resist reacting because it feels pointless, useless and occasionally stupid. I hate it when people call themselves stupid, but lately, I’ve found myself calling my reactions that. I’ve gotta stop. They aren’t stupid, they’re my reactions. And they aren’t always logical, because reactions are emotional. I’m allowed to be upset about things, allowed to react to things. As long as I recognize that’s what’s happening, as long as I keep working through the reaction, keep listening and talking. As long as I don’t sit and dwell and wallow in the reaction. And that’s the problem. Because if I feel like the reaction won’t accomplish anything, I try to resist it. Trouble is, that only puts a stopper in the bomb, and the pressure builds and then explodes even stronger.

Last night we were talking about things, and he gave me a heads up, and I shut down. I was reacting, but I didn’t want to react. I didn’t want to be upset because he was just trying to warn me that something might happen. He noticed and poked, and I eventually mumbled that I was reacting and it was stupid. And he looked me in the eyes and told me I was allowed to react. It was still an internal battle and the conversation that resulted wasn’t much fun either, but it kept me from stewing and wallowing. It gave me more information, and a better ability to deal with the information, process it appropriately. Otherwise, my mind would have stuck in the pothole and spun for the last 24 hours instead of being able to accept the warning and figure out how to deal with it. It didn’t make for an entirely pleasant evening, but bottling would have made for a much worse one.

I did the same at the con. Stamped down on feelings and reactions because I didn’t think they would be useful. In a couple classes, I refused to let myself cry, refused to let the emotions out because I didn’t want to call attention or make a scene. Neither of these things would have happened. The presenters had everyone’s attention, I was free to react however I wanted. But I resisted, screwed that lid down tightly. It led to an explosion later, when he said something that I reacted to. In this case, he walked away because he wanted me to feel free to react and get it out. Which I did, in spades. But again, I felt reacting at him would not accomplish anything, so I tried to keep it inside. Fortunately, even when ill, he notices these things. When he came back we were able to talk it through, and then the next day, because often I take a day to process, we finished talking it out.

It is all about these stories we write in our brains. They are written in an instant of reaction. And often, they are wrong. And I usually know they are wrong, so I scold myself and try to stifle them, but I cannot erase them unless I get them out of my head. Unless I ask. Unless I get clarification when I’m confused or unclear. Writing stories without all the facts is fine for novels, but it doesn’t work in relationships. Yes, sometimes asking is really hard, sometimes it escalates the upset, which is a hard thing for a peace-maker like myself. But not asking just strengthens the false thought. Leave a thought long enough, and it becomes your truth. And truths are even harder to erase or rewrite.

I am taking better care of myself this year. I am standing up for myself. Next step is to stand up To myself. Allow myself the freedom to react, to question, and to find the truth.


6 Responses to “Reactions”

  1. “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” One of my favorite quotes about writing and how it helps us to process thought. There is a direct link between the brain and the movement of the hand that allows for this to happen. Writing really does help us learn. So keep at it. Because for others, reading someone’s thoughts and considerations is a way to process their own.

  2. That happens to me a lot, a partner will say something and I’ll have a terrible automatic reaction that I know is completely wrong but that I can’t do anything about.

    If I go spend some time with a different partner, I can usually come back to her refreshed and with a completely clean slate the next day. Fortunately, for me it’s just a matter of time; I have a terrible memory and can’t keep a grudge. 🙂

  3. […] want to write something intelligent today, but my body wants to sleep.“Love is not singular except in syllable.” ~Marvin […]