#1, to my father. I walked him through more questions that the eSight people needed answered. It was a little rougher this time around; there were a couple of important pieces of information he didn’t know, and he has to go to the doctor to get them. I could feel he was very resistant to doing that; I couldn’t tell if it was just because it’s a challenge for him to get there (he doesn’t drive, it’s several miles away, and I think he has to cross a highway) or because it was taking his investment in this to a level he was less comfortable with (just to hear whether they’ll consider him as a candidate or not). I think the next step is to think of who I can ask to give him a ride to the doctor. It’s frustrating; we don’t know anyone in El Paso anymore, except for an uncle of mine (his brother) who lives across town (at the outer limits). It’s a very “take care of yourself” kind of family, but maybe it’s time to re-imagine that, and maybe it’s time for me to just ask. In the same call, I talked to him about my IRS issue, and he agreed to speak about it with my uncle. The one acknowledgement I can give myself here is that I managed to shift my focus to him even as I was still slogging through the IRS issue, which kept tempting me to go into victim mode.
#2, to James. I didn’t contribute anything to him. I know. It’s shocking. Here’s why: I got home late, I have a guitar class Tuesday nights. It gets out at 7:30, but it takes me an hour to get home (I still can’t figure out why). When I got home, we had our customary “how was your day” conversation, and he told me he had made a decision that I was taken aback by. It was to take on a second job. I felt instantly upset — because he’d made the decision (and already had taken the job) without discussing it with me, and because it was out of left field. It was not aligned with what he’s told me he wants, it was not aligned with any discussion we’d had in the last few weeks. So I gave him Feedback, no holds barred, very direct — and somewhat aggressive. I wasn’t yelling or anything, I was just being very blunt. The problem with my feedback, though, is I forget to watch my come-from (think: the Heather Issue). My come-from, honestly, was anxiety. Worried I was failing to support him. Worried he was going to get sucked back into the same counterproductive pattern he’s been trying to get out of. And kind of upset at the idea that if he did this, we’d have less time together (I mean, going to work is easier when I know I get to come home to him and we get to spend time together). In all of this, I was failing to listen, or be patient, or consider where he was at and what he needed. He nonetheless heard my feedback (most people would not have, considering how it was delivered) but needed time to process. I didn’t give him that, either. I railed on for about 10 more minutes before I finally stopped myself. I apologized, we hugged, things were back to normal, though unresolved. It was late; he went to bed. I stayed up a little longer. We agreed to talk about it at our counseling session tonight. And my commitment is just to listen; I already got my “say” in last night. But this was a Fail; I got stressed and anxious and ‘contribution’ went straight out the window.
#3, to me. I didn’t want to go to guitar class. I mean, I feel like I’m never going to get better anyway, you know? What’s the point? And it was raining, and I was wearing a coat that was too heavy; I felt drained and dehydrated. And, are these classes even helping? I don’t have much time to practice during the week. Without time to practice, how much good can they really do, you know…? And, it takes FOREVER to get home, it’s such a pain.
Despite all of this resistance, I went anyway. I had to rush, so I was really sweating. I got there a few minutes late. This wasn’t one of those “I ended up really happy I went!” situations. I went, and it was kind of okay, and then it took me forever to get home. But, I know that if I hadn’t gone, I would’ve felt down on myself about it. So, I’m glad I went. In spite of myself, maybe I’ll actually start to get better at guitar. We learned a pretty cool “blues” guitar shuffle.