Apr. 8th, 2015

akienm: (Default)
I have learned that my partner is not responsible for my feelings.

This one is easy to say. I've heard it said many, many times over the years. But it wasn't until I had a partner who actually acted in a way that demonstrated it to me that I finally got it.

Leah doesn't get agitated when I am. She's there with me to the extent that works for her. She recognizes that it's my job to parent me when I'm agitated. She'll ask if there's anything she can do, and she'll listen, but she doesn't even always empathize. The times I feel most agitated still tend to center around jealousy.

She also doesn't expect anything in particular from me when she's agitated. She's clear with her actions that it's not my fault that she's having feelings, even when those feelings are about my actions. If I can comfort her, or empathize, or whatever, that's a bonus

Because of having learned this, when MJ wants more from me than I can give, it's a lot easier to be with her in her discomfort. That has been awesome.

I still don't react as well as I'd like when the agitation of the other is presented as anger AT ME. I think with my childhood, that will take some time if I ever manage it.

This might be one of the most important skills I have ever learned.
akienm: (Default)
I remember learning to drive in Scotland by just leaping into it. Which wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that we were also trying to run an urgent errand during rush hour on a Friday evening.

Dealing with being on the wrong side was hard, but harder was remembering all the differences in turning that came from that. At one point we ended up going the wrong way on a one way street! Fortunately, I pulled over and let all the traffic by, but what an unpleasant surprise!

I drove from Edinburgh airport down to the Royal Mile. It was the longest 30 minutes of my life. I remember getting to our destination, getting out of the car, and just waiting there until the shaking subsided.


This is an "amusing in retrospect" memory.

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Akien MacIain

January 2017

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