We have been struggling for a week now, and part of it has been a few untimely events in my real world, with small exercises in perception. In trying to describe each other, if you didn't know each other before hand, you may have gotten the impression that no one knew what you looked like. Unless you were physically pretty close to the national averages.
This has been a series where the vast majority of the action has been in the comments, and you really do have to keep going back to see where people have added to the comments. Crankster noted that he stopped describing people when he realized that he was using the same preference over and over. More interesting, no person was described as heavy. I will tell you all that I am 255 lighter than air pounds this morning, down from 270. Being heavy is the last great area of discrimination in the American culture, and that is well supported by research that you should be able to find yourself.
Just as interesting, no one conceived of me as being Asian, or any other race. I did grow up here, and I was a quarterback, and I do have a game face to scare other players with their game faces with. Lee, who has mentioned that she has Korean parents, and a miserable ex-husband, etc. really is a female, I believe. No, ma'am, I am not Korean, I was born in Queens, NY.
This is not an inquisition. Call it self-awareness. Please laugh at the craziness that has started.
I then asked about relationships, and how they ended. Here's what I was after. I left it vague. Unless it's a bizarre relationship, and they happen in high school all the time, most of the time longer term relationships end when one person stops working on the relationship. That's all it really takes. It's hard to see. It's hidden. It happens inside someone's brain, there's no flashing sign. There's some proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. It may be large, it may be small. But when it happens, no one ends up happy. The communication has stopped and one person has cutoff the other. That act leaves the former with a lot of pent up emotion and anger. If it wasn't anger, it becomes anger.
You can go to the NIH site and read all about the research that has been going on since the 60's. I picked out a particular piece because you can read various summaries. If you need to see how to deal with children, or how you should have been dealt with, it's there briefly. It's in the Patient's Database, not the Heath Professional's so you can understand it. The entire Grief Cycle is there. And it's clinical enough that you won't get emotional. Very important. I am not ever going to be a therapist. I cannot maintain that 'distance' that is so critical to the process. I'm a coach-type, "go get 'em" is not recommended, in fact, contraindicated. A no-no.
The anger can turn into depression, or you can dissipate it. But, you will remember how you were treated. If you were a woman, and it was a man that treated you badly, you might start seeing the worst in all men. You'd look for it. And in looking for it, you'd confirm your suspicions, reinforcing those beliefs. Everytime you see a man, you are going to see a person with those beliefs attached. And you have just colored another person with your self perception. Over time, you won't even realize that you're doing it. Most time, it won't be bad.
I still believe that Claudia is tall. She laughed when she read that, so i dropped her from 5'11" to 5'7". And since she's Italian (self-reported) and from Florida, I originally thought she might be blond being from Florida, then I made her a brunette being Italian. I am using a friend of mine, Terri Valentini, as my model for Claudia, so I had better drop her another 2 inches to 5'5".
But, if you have just been through a nasty divorce, and now you want to remarry, and let's say you're a guy, and your last wife raked you over the coals, consider seeing a therapist first, and make sure you don't carry any baggage into the new relationship about women.
And that was what the second exercise about relationships was about. Describe the end of someone else's relationship. If you make it too obvious, you get nothing worth looking at. Keeping one's mouth shut lets those who play decide for themself if they have internalized a problem. You just look at the similarities and differences.
I'll point this out explicitly, where I was implicit before. Gottman is a therapist in Seattle who has published some self-help tips for couples. Of the nine he published, one goes into some detail about men needing to accept influence from women. In the original comments on CMHL's board where this came from, the anonymous poster focused on this point and embellished on the reasons for its existence. This is a difficult point to make. A lot of things happened to get to the point that you could say that the problem was that the male in a relationship had failed to allow the female sufficient influence in the relationship. Look at Rebecca's comments on her folks, she says that they don't do everything together. They have separate hobbies that they each pursue. I promise you that there are a large number of things that they do together too. I cannot stress this point enough, Gottman put nine items in his self-help guide for a reason, not one. The other eight apply to everyone. They are worth looking at. In other words, if Judy and I broke up after 991 years, and the cause wasn't death, it wouldn't be 100% my fault, even if you asked her.
If your parents divorced, did it affect you? First, let's separate out death and divorce. Two very separate issues. Odat, write me anytime you'd like to discuss this. I'm taking non-anticipatory death of a parent off of the table now. Children do not understand divorce. There is no way that they can understand divorce until they are old enough to have children. Until then, your divorce is a threat to their well being, unless you handle it well. Both of you. Everything is age dependent. The children need to know that they didn't cause the problem. Even if you think they did, they really didn't.
We see people have reported that one parent was not such a good person and that the other was better off. Others have reported that the two were better off not being married, but were better friends afterwards. Playing it straight seems to do little if any damage to the kids. This was not my area, but I do know the other side a little better. I know a kid whose father took off when his mother was four months pregnant. The kid is now 16, and very angry. He wants to know why his father has rejected him, has never bothered to meet him, or see him since he has been born. He wants to know what he did to deserve this kind of treatment. Telling him that he didn't do anything to deserve what has happened has not mollified him at all. He has, in fact, turned out to be a carbon copy of his father as we remember him. This child sees the world through a set of eyes that sees things very ugly.
Does that tie the last couple of weeks together for you?