There were few surprises in my journaling, but I did see things a little differently. I've often talked about being in "work mode"... so focused on getting everything done that I am pretty much oblivious to everything else. Yesterday I realized two problems with that: 1- that I'm almost always angry... no... furious in work mode, and 2- that I will trample down anyone who I think is getting in my single minded way when I'm like that.
Yesterday, I'm ashamed to say, I lit into some post office workers. Now ultimately, the situation didn't really call for it, because I had to change a perception without changing my goal, which was to acquire a post office box where my son could receive his mail. I just didn't want the box to be in my name, I wanted it to be in his, but since (a) he was paying for it anyway and (b) he was the only one getting mail there and that information was also on the application, my single minded idea that it had to be HIS mailbox only got in the way. I did apologize to the post office workers before leaving. I was wrong.
I'd, up until now, thought that this "work mode" thing was efficient. But it's not. When I get that way I'm too single minded to see alternatives, too wrapped up in my plan and what I'm doing to see or accept offers of help. And I need to change that. The world will simply not always adhere to my ideals.
The other thing is that I find that almost 90% of my stress relates to my role as a mother. Even the stress related to poverty, the additional paperwork and meetings and red tape I get tangled up with are related to my sense of responsibility for my grown children.
Last night I was faint and nauseous after spending a couple hours on FB private messages with my daughter, over stuff that's really hers: her phone issues, her college tuition payments, her taxes, her FAFSA. I allow myself to get very upset to the point where I'm sick and having nightmares over her stuff.
In fact, I'd say that a huge percentage of what I get upset over relates to my son with schizophrenia and my daughter with autism. Because they have "special needs", I'm never sure where my responsibility should end with them. I want to support them, and create an environment in which they can thrive. On the other hand, they are both intelligent and very able to do many things themselves. I never know what is just them being dependent and what they are finding too difficult to deal with because of their disabilities... and so I end up being upset and analyzing stupid statements like "this phone needs to go back to the hell it came from"... whether she's just typing uncensored whatever she's thinking, or if she's so totally obsessing over how bad the new phone is that she can't move past it and problem solve.
...and the big question is: How much any of that should really upset me or worry me to the point where I make myself sick?
So... two things I learned is that:
(A) My "work mode" is not efficient, and needs to be modified when it comes to my emotional state as I complete stressful tasks.
(B) I need to set better boundaries, communicate them, and stick to them. And if I choose to take on additional responsibilities (and I know I will) I have to get some acceptance with the fact that I chose those things, and stop feeling resentful that I feel like I "have to" do them.
and if I look at both of those carefully, I see it's really all part of one problem: I need to reframe how I look at the stressors... and see what opportunities for me lie in resolving them. That means that I need to give up the reward of martyrdom, which is all I get out of some of this now.
Hopefully we'll get to that next in the stress management class.