May 26, 2010
My biological mother called me up a couple weeks ago to go horseback riding and then dinner. I picked her up and she was drunk. Through the whole evening she was extremely touchy. She petted my arm and tried to hold my hand and touched my hair, and touched my shoulder. From the beginning this was frustrating, but it became intolerable as more and more time went on. After telling her to stop nearly a dozen times, I grabbed her hand and put it in her lap as I yelled at her to stop.
While her Hepatics may have been different than mine, due to how and where we had grown up, I thought it had a lot to do with both her gender and her inebriation. Compared to her, even when she’s sober, I touch people a lot less. The confusion must come in where she feels that we are closer than I feel that we are. She touches strangers a lot to socialize, but she has no idea what the limits of our culture are when it comes to touch.
June 2, 2010
This weekend I was involved with my step father’s funeral. He left behind two kids, Carissa, 13, and Jesan, 11. Throughout the weekend, and even during the funeral, I was doing a lot of listening. Carissa was always near me, talking and needing to be listened to. She needed me to understand her, and remember what she was saying. It really helped our relationship for her to have someone to confide in.
The types of listening I was doing was pretty limited. She didn’t want any questioning or evaluating. I was Silent listening, responding with active listening traits so she knew I was listening. She was just able to talk as I was supporting her.
June 2, 2010
My biological mom showed up at the funeral when she was very very much not welcome. I immediately went outside and told her that she was not welcome, that she would not be allowed in, and that none of her kids, nor her husband (who the funeral was for) had wanted her there. She told me that it was none of our decision and that she would be coming in. I stubbornly stood there to be sure she would not attempt to go in.
Neither one of us was listening to the other. We were both very focused on what we wanted and thought needed to happen, that we didn’t try to see where the other was coming from. If I listened at all I was being a defensive listener, and an ambusher. She said a few things that I caught and used against her.
June 3, 2010
I am taking an extremely boring American Civilization class this semester. The other day in class, the teacher moved to a tangent that didn’t really apply to the class. I got distracted and started drawing on my paper; the next thing I know, class is almost over, and he had been back on topic for a very long time.
My zoning out was due to my selective listening. I was only listening to what I wanted to hear. I experienced myself doing a lot of gap filling (out of necessity due to me not paying attention). Had I been more focused and actively listened to my professor the whole time, I would not have missed out on his lecture time.
June 4, 2010
This past weekend I was able to watch myself in a high emotional state. There were conflicts with my biological mom attending my step father’s funeral. I was seeking to honor his wishes (by not having her there) and to protect my siblings. Before the funeral, my emotions were already high towards her in particular, because I was already not speaking with her, and I had found out she had gone against my will and made me guardian of two of my siblings. When she showed up at the funeral, I was past irritation with her, I was mad. As I saw her pull up in her skanky outfit and overdone face, I became very angry. How dare she? As I went to speak to her and inform her that she was not welcome nor wanted; she treated me coldly to say the least, and she said many things that I reacted to in the form of becoming furious. Then, she crossed the line; my little brother came to give her a hug, and she hugged him and whispered to him that she was always there for him. That is the point that my emotions went into complete overdrive. Had I not been more concerned about creating unnecessary drama for my siblings; she would have been on the ground with my fist pounding into her face. I was not homicidal; but I was certainly past fury into violence.
Originally my emotions started out pretty intense, but they only got worse and worse as
I allowed my thinking to sway my emotions toward more and more anger towards her. Even knowing the emotion was “anger” I can see how it was also mixed. I was hurt that she didn’t acknowledge me, hurt by the last time we had spoken. I was scared of what she might do to hurt my siblings, I was scared she would make a scene at the funeral. I was disgusted by how she looked and acted, and embarrassed that she was my mother. My primary emotion was anger, but many things fueled the anger as it progressed.
June 6, 2010
A few months back I went to a club with some of my girlfriends for one of their birthdays. We were pretty hyper that night, dancing around with each other. At one point, my friends went up on the stage to dance in the cages. I was far too shy to follow so was dancing on my own on the floor. A man came up to me and introduced himself in a very rude way. I was hoping he would go away if I didn’t encourage him, but he started dancing around me, and then eventually got closer and closer. I kept trying to move away and he’d go even closer and not let me. This was my first experience ever being in a club, and really, I hadn’t been in a situation for a guy to hit on me in over two years- I was out of practice as to what to do. I gave my friends the “look”- the “Oh God please come save me” look. They just smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. I gestured covertly for them to come save me, and they did nothing. Eventually I weaseled my way out of the man’s grasp and gave them a shit load of crap later.
I assumed that I was at the club with other women I could trust to help me in a bad situation. I was expected they, like most women, to adapt at reading signals. However, I had not taken into account that they were more…loose…than I and would not have found the situation I was in uncomfortable. This taught me that if I was ever to go dancing again, only to go with those who had the powers of reading my emotions and body language.
June 6, 2010
At the funeral, there was a woman who was not as close to the deceased as some, and yet she lost control of her emotions and sobbed in front of all. I was not the only one who looked over to her and felt a bit embarrassed for her. I also judged her pretty harshly. I thought, “here is this woman who wasn’t as close to Rob as my siblings, and she’s being such a wuss. She’s bawling, where as the kids are holding up better than she”. I felt that she should have had a better handle on her emotions and handled her grief in privacy.
Now I feel a bit guilty for the harsh judgment of this woman. After all, she was grieving just as the rest of us were. After class I realized that it is a cultural thing for us. In the United States, people would rather leave the funeral of their loved one, than make a scene. It is not acceptable to show such a negative emotion in public, because we are afraid of making others uncomfortable.