On Tuesday, I went to see my old therapist who I had not seen since early December. Our last session was very painful, and because of that, I never wanted to return to her. You can read part one of that story and part two in my previous posts. Anyway, our talk was anxiety-producing and emotional but good for the most part. I do not know if I am ready to see her regularly and rather doubt it. Mending the relationship and hearing her response was extremely healing.
Looking back over the past year, I can see my growth in facing scary social situations where I had to learn to be honest and stand up for myself. Although these experiences were difficult, they forced me to grow stronger. Plus, many taught me that my “rude honesty” or “selfish behavior” was simply normal assertiveness. People responded extremely well overall. Funny how you make yourself so scared of something that turns out to be fine.
So for Thankfulness Thursday, I am going to look at these situations as well as the benefits that arose from them. Please leave a comment to tell me what you have learned from confrontations or honest interactions that you were nervous about but still did. I would love to hear about your inspiring (or disastrous) moments.
691. Finding my voice – The process of finding my voice and using it has been long and hard. In fact, it is still not over; it might continue for the rest of my life. However, this blog and my ability to be at least a bit more honest with others about my needs, desires, and emotions are signs that I have made progress.
693. Forgiving and returning to my therapist – Letting her back into my life was frightening. However, having the resentment and hurt instead did not help me or anyone else. Hearing her apologize and realizing what she had meant was very healing.
694. Staying firm with my internship emails – Both my school and my upcoming internship sent me emails claiming that I had not done certain work. Thus, I would not get credit or be able to take the internship if I did not respond immediately. Instead of apologizing and doing all the work over again, I sent them polite emails that stated I had already done the work and it must have been lost. Doing this was terrifying and so different than normal. Both responded that they had found my material which had simply been overlooked. Thank goodness!
695. Demanding care in the hospital – My stay in the psych ward was stressful to say the least. At one point, I became so aggravated with my treatment that I marched up to the nurses’ desk to speak with them. Personal items had been lost by staff, food was not being delivered to me, nurses revealed my weight despite orders not to, and I was put into a therapy group for people with serious psychosis disorders. My statement – “I feel like you do not care if I am alive or dead.” – might have seemed a bit melodramatic, but that was how I precieved their attitudes. Plus, those words caught their attention. Although I felt guilty about complaining, that assertiveness was needed to make a change for the better.
696. Increased confidence – Speaking up for myself both requires confidence and adds to it. Each time, I feel myself grow a bit stronger.
697. Forgiveness – You can forgive someone without first talking with them. However, that is extremely hard to do. By being honest about your hurt and then listening to their response, you can both take care of yourself and be merciful to others.
698. Healing – Many times, I have stuffed down my pain and refused to deal with it. Only be bringing out those hurts can you begin to heal from them. Talking with someone who injured you is a great way to start this mending process. You can do this in a gentle but firm way in which you both come away wiser.
699. Learning more about my friends – Several times in the past, I have attempted to address difficult issues with friends concerning our relationships. Usually these ended miserably. However, each experience helped me to see what type of person my friends were and how to better interact with them.
700. My mother and father’s examples of this – Both of my parents have displayed how to be honest and critical but remain calm. Even when they are angry, they rarely rage at anyone. No one manages conflict perfectly, but I am thankful for wisdom and example of my parents.
701. Standing up for others – This is the way I have confronted people the most. For example, I once told my cousin that he could tease me all he wanted as long as he stayed away from Christine. Also, I defended my favorite cook at the retreat center to a group of friends. When people are cruel to others, I find the strength to speak out in defense of the criticized one. This is a great way to learn toughness without being mean in return.
702. Channeling kindness instead of anger – When someone hurts me, I try to show them love especially if I need to confront them. I remember their good qualities and point them out in person. Also, I look at my own actions and make sure that they are in order. Then, I start by apologizing for my wrongdoing before talking about what hurt me.
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