Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Feelings

In the past couple years I've finally been able to identify and contextualize my feelings. I call it a sort of emotional puberty because emotions that other people have learned to understand and cope with, I'm still a little shaky at. 

I saw someone's tweet thread a few days ago about how people are rage porn-y to avoid dealing with like sadness, grief, loss, pain, fear, uncertainty. I didn't even re-tweet it because "duh." 

This morning I really felt the truth of it. My family is musical and I have over a dozen nephews and nieces who also have various musical talents. My sister suggested we do a family music album for my mother for Christmas. All my nieces and nephews did a song that my brother lovingly collected, spliced, and mixed for the past month. I even for the first time in over a decade downloaded some recording software, set up a mixer, bought an xlr to usb cord and did hours of recording for just 6 minutes of album time. The family had been hyped about this for a couple months and the plan, at least as I heard it from others, was to watch her open and listen via zoom, which would also be our family Christmas zoom time. One sibling had done nothing for the album but burn the cd, but was also the first one there at my parents' house Christmas morning and had my mother open it and listen to it without us in true Leroy Jenkins fashion. I woke up to seeing posts in the family chat, etc. about how much she liked it, but I didn't want to see posts, I wanted to experience it with her. 

My feelings were at first surprise, then confusion, then anger, which I didn't want to be the dominant feeling of my Christmas. On the one hand if I had anger and disappointment then I wanted to feel it and not sweep it away into the land of resentment, but I didn't understand why I was as angry as I was. I texted my brother and told him that I was 3/10 sad about him not waiting for us. He said he was sorry and he hadn't understood that was the plan. I had in my mind a bunch of rejoinders, like he would have known that was the plan if he had bothered to participate and read the family group messages and/or use a little common sense (what person gives a gift to a person that they themselves didn't buy or make?). I did explain to him directly that people who contributed had wanted and expected a listen party. But as I was typing more to him I realized that probably no one said that explicitly to him because he was out of the loop about most of it. And we have a little rule in my family that people cannot be held accountable for others' unexpressed expectations. So I found myself apologizing to him for getting upset about an unmet expectation I had, but had never expressed, and said that it was unfair to him that I left that expectation unclear but was still upset with him about it. And after I sent the text, I found that my anger had been released and I cried just a little bit with a sense of loss for what I had been anticipating most about Christmas this year. And it didn't feel good, but it felt much better than relying on the anger to shield me from those feelings of sadness. 

See also below "trying to avoid big [feelings] by focusing on small ones you're more comfortable with."

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Elsa and Victoria on Gratitude and Willpower

Elsa and Victoria analyze the research, including the suggestions that normal people are constantly at war with themselves emotionally and either need to exercise willpower to be the people they want to be or must actively tap into positive emotions like pride to self-regulate their behavior. The group suggests that instead of gratitude or pride, what may be happening is something tied up more with identity or a personal aesthetic for how the world should look and function.


Monday, December 7, 2020

Arya and Frances on Identity Next Zoom on Willpower

 Great conversation today with Arya and Frances about identity -- what in their experiences identity means now vs. their past, what has helped in terms of getting a stronger sense of identity, and personal boundaries. 

M.E. Thomas is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Arya, Elsa, Arthur on Willpower

Time: Dec 13, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 771 2565 2278

Passcode: Ef8srZ

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Next Zoom Arya and Frances on the Reckoning! UPDATED TIME!

Note the time difference -- it's an hour later. Also \there's a chance that this time might change a bit either a little forward and back, so double check beforehand (I'll try to indicate an update in the subject line of the blog post). 

This one I'm really excited about, it's Arya again and her ex Frances talking about Arya's path through the "reckoning" to get back in touch with her feelings, i.e. a workable treatment!!!! Who knows why psychologists aren't talking about this, but you heard it here first!

M.E. Thomas is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: My Meeting with Arya and Frances part 2

Time: Dec 6, 2020 12:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 759 4455 6298

Passcode: jsM209

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