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January 3, 2002
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8:15 pm: Kathy and I are talking and it's exhausting me. The only thing that keeps me at it is knowing, now, that we're both wanting to work it all out and get through it all.

Jet was great last night. He only got up at midnight for ten minutes and at 3 for a feeding and went right back to sleep again. I couldn't. So I spent the next hour and a half writing Kathy at 4 in the morning. Sleep is so precious to me at the moment, it seems proliferate waste, but there wasn't any way I was going to be able to sleep with various things swirling around in my head. Amusingly enough, Kathy had written me something so I just replied to it as best I could.

Jet was great today. With all my preoccupation, he was just fine. He had a great time at Joan's, went for a nap at 3, woke up at 4, took a little cuddling and bouncing and went back to sleep at 4:30 and he basically let me work, do stuff, and think. He's been really happy this evening, though, with John's full attention. He's been playing and laughing and smiling at so many things. It's been a balm for the heart.

John made dinner after he got home, and while I was short and abrupt and angry when he poked his head in, I did manage to say that my day hadn't been that good and then I asked him about his. He was glad that I did that. It also made it clear that I wasn't mad at him. I am glad of that.

I realized that I've evolved the mechanism of being short and abrupt when I'm angry, preoccupied, or stressed so that I have some release valve for those emotions. Around John it works out really well because he knows it isn't his fault at all, and he doesn't rush to reconciliate me or say that he's at fault for anything. Instead he just gives me the space and room to be upset, to have my emotions and not make them his as well. There is no escalation of how much upset there is in the room when I'm able to simply express my agitation with him and it gets expressed and it's over with.

When other people get upset or agitated when I get upset or agitated, it just makes me blow up higher. I don't want someone to say it was their fault or to say that they're now angry or upset too. It just makes everything worse, as if I'm not responsible for just my emotions but everyone else's too. John is really, really good about just letting me have my emotions and letting me express them and having it be understood that I just needed an outlet and to express it. It's not his fault and it's not his to 'fix' or to 'calm me down', when 'calming me down' equates to 'making me more comfortable to be around'. John's very good at letting me have my negative emotions, too, and just letting me deal with them. I'm very glad of that.

I often can all my emotions around people that make it worse. It does, however, make me feel, very strongly, that they don't really want me to be me, but someone that they can just be comfortable around. I find, however, that around people like Walt and Cathie on the X-try ski trip or Carl, who calmly acknowledge my emotions out loud and don't blame themselves for my emotions, I don't even need to snap or grump. Somehow, with the acknowledgement I just get calmer. I think that when people blame themselves for my emotions, I fall into it with them, and blame them as well, which makes me angrier because then I feel helpless about my own emotions. So it seesaws badly.

It's good to be aware, and to have help doing it.

When I had done what I could, I went downstairs and had dinner with Jet and John and had a great time just watching Jet laugh and play with a few crackers and whack himself upside the head with sheer happiness. He was just waving his hands around and managed to whack himself in the head and he didn't seem to mind it at all. Jet's been bouncing, dancing, and talking all evening and it's been fun.

One thing that was really nice was just being able to talk with John and getting absolutely no advice, only acknowledgement of my emotions. I didn't need someone to agree with me. Just someone to peer at the problem with and just look at it with me and talk about it, a bit, with me.

An interesting thing is that through all this, I've started appreciating my parents a lot more. I have more reasons to be glad of them and more reasons to be aware of how much they have done. I was very glad that, to me at least, they hadn't been really angry about the change of plan from going to San Diego for Christmas to moving it to a more manageable time for us. That was very nice.

Mom called, yesterday, to acknowledge that the first of my gifts had arrived and that she was very pleased with the birthday gift, since she had enjoyed the Harry and David pears so much last year. Getting the acknowledgement felt really good.

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Copyright 2002 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.