Day 245: Low Key Day, Even with Shopping Again
I slept really well last night. I even stayed in bed a little late this morning. In fact, I intended to sleep in until 7:30, but my brain woke at 7:00. I wanted to get that last bit of sleep, but my thoughts were noisy like a lawnmower. There was no going back to sleep. I have a very busy brain that wants to get going once its awake. I knew I had enough sleep, so I gave in. Most of the time, however, I haven't had enough sleep and if I can stay in bed, I will, in hopes it will quiet down again to get even a few more minutes of sleep.
My inability to get back to sleep means I slept decently or better two nights in a row, which also means I was fairly energetic today. Additionally, I felt centered and peaceful. This despite having moments of anger today on behalf of another person at work who is being mistreated. It really doesn't sit well with me and I took steps to deal with the problem. It's something over which I have no authority, but I felt it important and in need of corrective action. Thankfully, because I was rested and centered today I took appropriate steps to address the problem, steps that were not triggered by stored up rage. I was justifiably angry, but cool and careful in my words and activities.
I don't yet know how the situation will turn out, but I feel hopeful. It could take weeks or months for it to work out. I am crossing my fingers for weeks instead of months . . . for the sake of everyone involved. Even the person who is being unfair will be better off if it stops. I know this person doesn't mean to cause harm to others.
Additionally, I got through this day with a separate project to complete in the evening evening, a project I happily completed in about 10 minutes, which meant I was able to spend time with AF. That's always a happy circumstance.
She needed to do some clothes shopping and asked if I wanted to go with her. I said yes. She double checked with me that I wouldn't get triggered. I thought about it for a bit and realized it was unlikely. I knew I could feel anxious and a little uncomfortable, but not the intense fear, anger, and grief I felt the last time. It was a good day to stretch my healing. My T wanted me to go shopping again right away after we went last time. But, I didn't think I could handle it. I'm sure at that time I couldn't. I had so, so much stored rage and abiding sadness still stuck inside myself. I hadn't gotten through my whole story yet at that point. It just would have been too much for me to try shopping again right away.
Tonight, after a little encouragement and guidance from AF I was able to look for items for myself while she looked for items for herself. She also looked for me. I wanted more pants as well as a white cover, like a sweater or light jacket. I realized I also needed a new belt. I managed to try on four or five pairs of pants and several other items. I selected a pair of pants, a belt, and a sweater. While we were trying things on in the dressing room AF said, "Look at you, you're smiling and laughing." I paused and realized she was right.
She said, "I told you we'd get you to enjoy yourself." She said that to me a good while ago when I first told her about my fear of shopping and the cause of it.
She was right again.
Man . . . how often do I use that phrase where she's concerned? Although, at one point tonight she admitted I'm always right. So, I can hold on to that one!
As we were shopping she asked how I was doing and I acknowledged I felt anxious but not severely so. I was doing OK. We finished our excursion and she took me to my car. As we hugged good night she told me she was proud of me. It touched my heart. It helps a great deal, I told her, when she says that to me. It means a lot to me. I wanted to do well tonight, to show her the progress I am making. I wanted her to be proud of me. I don't know if friends usually want that from one another. It could be maternal transference that makes me want that from her.
But, I am OK with it being maternal transference. If that's what it is it will change with time. What I do know is that it made my heart soar. I felt proud of myself today. I don't usually feel that way, no matter what I've faced or accomplished. It was never safe to feel proud of myself. Any such feeling would have been seized upon as an opportunity to tear me apart. I can hear right now the countless, repetitive times my family members teased me about being egotistical, or the times at my old job when I was told I was condescending and contemptuous.
I took those messages to heart. I believed these things about myself. Then AF comes along and paints an entirely different picture. She shows me another perspective of me through her eyes. But, I'm not so willing to assume another person's perspective. And, that's healthy. I need my perspective to be my own, not what others tell me. However, her picture of me does help me to challenge the one I carry of myself, the one painted on my heart in my childhood. Today, I felt proud of myself for being more myself, for facing a potentially painful exposure with trust and hope, for letting my joy shine through the remaining anxiety I felt. I felt proud, so hearing her tell me she was proud was a meaningful affirmation.