I have slept--and I did not wake up once to cough or blow my nose! What a concept!
I must say that I am thankful for friends who can ask me about my feelings without belittling me for those feelings, and especially for friends who can brave my feelings enough to simply say, "This is what I meant." My general feeling expressed yesterday still stands because the situation has occurred at times; however, the incident that provoked it was to a great degree my misinterpretation of someone's post. I should not let my own "triggers" rule my responses. I did go to therapy for years to learn just how not to do this; but sometimes old habits die very slow and painful deaths. I am tempted to delete the preceeding text post; but I'm letting it stand because my goal in this LJ was never to present myself as a perfect person. I'm emotional, and I hurt--sometimes deeply--over things. One of those things happens to be the reaction of people to the impact of my hard work over many years to overcome the deep pain of living with chronic disability and loneliness in a world full of people who don't generally have time or desire for emotional depth or tolerance for pain that doesn't go away. Sometimes my reaction to one person is shaped by my past experiences. One of my goals in life is to eliminate that, to be able to handle each situation as a fresh situation; but I'm not there yet and probably won't be for a long time. In reality, we're all shaped by our pasts. The key is what we do with this knowledge. If there's one non-academic thing I have been learning from seminary, it is this: that my past will never leave me and I cannot leave it; but I must reframe it and take control of how it affects me because it will always be with me and always be triggered by this or that event.
It's hard sometimes to communicate who I am in writing, and I think it gets misinterpreted a lot. I've been told that sometimes in writing I seem "harsh" or distant. Perhaps that's another reason why I let some of my phone posts stand. My writing style has developed over a long time as a way to help me balance out my extreme emotion about my own situation... It is very helpful for me to be observant and distant without passing judgment on myself, and it has taken a lot of years of hard work for me to learn how to do this. I'm also used to the world of professional writing, where truth is communicated but also given a bit of distance. Part of this means that I'm used to communicating in places where people want truth because they've been fed plattitudes; so I'm used to saying, "This is what is, and this is what it means." If a parent writes to me and says, "My child has stage 5 ROP. Isn't ehere any hope?" I write back and tell them that there is treatment available for stage 5 ROP at certain ages, but it provides only a small percent chance of visual improvement, which will be limited. The improvement will be helpful, but whether or not to put a child through invasive surgery at that low risk is a decision that should be made very carefully based on a number of factors. This kind of stuff is not stuff that some people like to hear; but if it is withheld, they also become very angry. So my philosophy has become to present truth as gently as I can in situations when it seems that my opinion is wanted.
What this philosophy means in dealing with myself is that I always try to face truth... Sometimes this leads to overanalysis. Sometimes it means that I have to apologize to other people. I hope it makes me a better friend than I would otherwise be. It's often a painful process; but if there is truth that I have not faced, I tend to know it and ruminate privately until I face it. One reason why some people's comments are hurtful to me is often because there is truth in them. It's just how that truth is presented that is painful. Reading implications into things is a very common human trait, and it's often a way that we create our own pain: by interpreting the intentions of other people.
I think I remember saying to someone yesterday that I was working up a migraine... That's not at all anexcuse. The moral of the story is that I must remember to read posts very carefully when mixing migraine, homework, and recovery from long-lasting illness.