One more thought to explore later

With my understanding of locus of control, I better realize the depth of the problems I faced last year.  I strongly lean towards an internal locus of control.  The pro of this is that I can be very driven in going after a goal I’m interested in and I take responsibility for my actions readily.  The problem is I also tend to “inflict” responsibility on myself for others’ actions/responses (internalize negative responses).

I also have a bit of a fear of conflict, possibly related to this same issue.  Things got really challenging last year because I found myself in a situation where I had lost control, and the only way I could get it back was via confrontation.  I was afraid of conflict, because a probable negative response would have become internalized as a comment on myself…and so I choose to abstain, which only made the whole situation worse.  I then started approaching the external locus of control, which in the extreme can lead to depression from feeling helpless.

It is no wonder I had such a hard time.  This is why I have to face more situations in which there will be a negative response.  I need to balance out my drive on being responsible for my actions against not taking responsibility for things out of my control.  This will help me with facing conflict, and not beating myself up if things go wrong (and yet somehow still be able to learn what I can better from those interactions).

Being human is tough.

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Recognizing and respecting anxiety

So I finished the game Celeste today. Well, not counting the free dlc anyway. It was a beautiful experience and one I’ll write about in more detail later. The main point the game makes is that anxiety and/or depression (insecurity) is an important aspect of yourself that is there for a good reason and shouldn’t be ignored just because it might be getting in the way of the thing you want (or the event you fear coming to pass).

In the game, due to the special properties of the mountain the protagonist is trying to climb, that insecurity gets a body and can communicate the way people do.

Real anxiety can’t talk to you. It has trouble understanding what you are doing. It lives in that primal part of the brain that considers your survival the first priority. Since it can’t talk, it uses your emotion to communicate it senses danger. That emotion translates to physical responses in your body. It varies from person to person just how that manifests.

In my case, one of those responses is feeling my body start to become cold. I remember talking about that before in an emotional intelligence class…

I got cut off while I was working on this post. Part of that whole trying to be social despite my anxiety…and somehow trying to find a way to work with it.

So in addition to that cold sensation, I have started to understand the tension I feel building up in my muscles. Like a coil getting ready to be unleashed. It gets bad when I’m in group situations with a bunch of people I don’t know. I understand better where it comes from. I was picked on and exiled from groups as a kid often. That stuff was traumatizing. That “part of me” is just trying to protect me. It is not an unfounded fear either. People in groups tend to be dicks. I mean just look at the political environment. Tribal political for the lose.

Somehow I need to figure out how to be ok with that anxiety. Maybe I just need to continue to build my self-effiacy in those social scenarios. I need to believe I can survive those situations, and even benefit from them. Small bits of exposure may be the best way. It’ll be slow going, and there will be some bad moments. But I can do this.

2-28-19 therapist

Talked about my wife, health, my fears of her falling into the same end my mother did. Trying to find a balance between my measure of control and how the situation effects me. Locus of control…I tend towards internal locus…heavy on thinking I am responsible for what happens, causes anxiety (the opposite would be no influence, no control which leads to depression… which I definitely experienced last summer with the Natalie situation).

The trick, it seems, is how much do I allow external events or decisions effect how I feel about myself. The answer is not necessarily to be straight in the middle.

Can I just sit back and not care? In light of my health fear? How likely is that situation? Can I more involved elsewhere for that not to matter? Is that even congruent with my values?

Also, I need to take more stock on what positive things my wife has contributed to my life. Moreover, does she feel like she contributes to my overall well being at all? Does anyone? How much of an effect does this have?

2-27-19 pre-therapy thoughts

With the reduction of crisises in my life and a shift to an evening workout schedule, I haven’t been posting as much. In the morning I have the will to write, but all the noteworthy activities tend to happen later…and by then I’m not enough of a place of solace to write (standing at the back of a metro train is effective isolating).

I’m going to try to recall the signficant events since my last session.

Had the one argument (maybe more like frustration venting) with my wife maybe 3 weeks ago now when she tried to get out of a Sunday workout session for a side gig by allowing a reschedule in top of her class time.

Started being active on OKC and poly after talking it over with my wife. Had one date. Or Maybe it was a Meetup? It was a whole afternoon in DC visiting a museum followed by dinner at a restaurant. It seemed to go alright but I’m already getting the feeling it won’t go anywhere as messaging has died down, even with me making another contact attempt.

I am talking with one other person but I don’t see it going anywhere but pen pals. Which is totally fine.

Scheduling has made it difficult to find an improv class my wife and I can both make. While I could do one on my own, the idea was to do it with my wife so she could see me place myself outside of my comfort zone in the interest of self development, and hope that helps her confidence when going to soldierfit. We’re looking at a class on Sunday afternoon starting mid march

I’m looking at getting back into kenpo next Monday afte sifu Joe asked me directly about it. I was going to go this week but I was very sore from the Sunday strength training session and had very bad sleep.

I’ve started 1 on 1 pt sessions. I’ve learned a lot about the nuances of barbell work…with so much more to learn.

12-27-18 solo therapy

Doing this in reverse based on memory

Talked about my ability to dig in deep for extra reserves (fitness, but also life)

Being able to define baselines on health with my wife. Impact on me, her. Being able to incorporate shared physical activity (maybe dancing) to give reason

What does she need from me?

What happens if I go completely hands off?

Will discuss progress on my goals next time

12-27-18 couple therapy

Discussed how companionship improved

Financial backgrounds differences impact life outlooks

Ethnic backgrounds effect on how we handle money

Differences in priorities.

Wife’s priorities

Career…will look for new in Feb

School

Financial stability.. appropriate salary…pto

CC debt free by end of 2019

My priorities

Fitness

Clear CC debt

Save for roof, driveway

Maintain career

12-19-18 couple’s therapy

We talked a bit about my concerns from yesterday. I’m not sure if any solution came out of it. I think at best a Luke warm non-committal to maybe do a 1 day a week sf session from my wife.

I guess I’m being asked to be what feels like eternally patient. I feel like shutting down and not bothering to try to help her anymore with the health stuff.

I think I feel sad.

11-29-18 therapy

Nifty phrase

We can’t avoid pain but we don’t have to suffer.

We talked about my ability to reframe a negative experience into a net positive one. Useful skill.

Example, my “failed” poly relationship led to me writing down what I consider positive and negative traits to look for in potential friends and partners.

11-8-18 therapist

Talked about the Amber thing at length

Take away is I need to take care of myself. Focus on what I like about myself. I define my positive qualities. I have only get one me.

I can state consequences of actions without trying to control anyone. I.e if a person is going to move away, I wouldn’t be able to sustain a relationship. Doing so does not mean I disapprove of their action. If they view it that way, that is them creating their own meaning.