I only have two stress level settings: 'Totally coping with everything' and 'OMG everything is fucked'. Furthermore, when I hit the 'Everything is Fucked' stage, Bob freaks out too, and we both end up in a complete panic. The more Bob freaks out, the more I breakdown because I rely on him too much to keep me calm. He's normally so calm and grounded, THE OPPOSITE of the flurry of emotions that is me, so when he loses his shit, I start to think that maybe this problem is unsolveable. Then suddenly I'm possessed with this quality I didn't think I had, and our roles are reversed, and I'm telling him that it's all going to be okay, and I don't know where this strength is coming from, but for some reason he believes me and everything is somehow okay again.
I was thinking about Stendhal's crystalisation theory in the shower this morning (haha I really just wanted to type that sentence because I think it's possibly the most fucking pretentious statement I've ever made. It occurs to me that normal people probably don't think about Stendhal's crystalisation theory in the shower.) Anyway, Stendhal theorized that we don't see the one we love as they really are, but as it suits us to see them, i.e. one sees the qualities present in their partner that they themselves feel they lack, which is why 'opposites attract'. I see Bob's calm demeanor whereas he sees my passion and intensity, and that's what draws us to each other. In other words, we're looking for a partner who 'completes' us.
When Bob loses his shit, I freak out because I'm expecting him to keep me calm and grounded. Then, of course, it becomes apparent that I am capable of providing calm and reassurance when necessary; it's just that I haven't thus far needed to utilise this capability. The reality is that I'm a complete and capable person on my own. Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about? Because I've no fucking clue. :P
I told Bob that I need him to keep telling me everything is going to be okay, in order to keep myself sane, and he says he needs me to do the same thing. It's weird how we believe each other but not ourselves.
I love the calm after the storm, when both of us have managed to gain some perspective. We always have this intensely passionate sex right afterwards, where we're gripping onto each other and saying 'please don't leave' and then everything is peaceful again.
The last two weeks have been a real test for us. There have been times when I thought it was all going to fall apart, then we've miraculously pulled through. I think we need to put some coping mechanisms in place for the long-term, so that this doesn't happen every time we both get stressed at once. I went over to Matt's for dinner last night, and it was really nice just to get out and have someone else to talk to. I spend most of my time at work or at home with Bob so I sometimes feel a bit isolated and forget to make time to see my friends. It was also good to give Bob the flat to himself for a few hours, as I realise that having me here all the time has been an adjustment.
My family situation thankfully seems to have calmed down, and now that I'm not stressing so much about that, it's been easier to put everything else into perspective. I sent my Mum a long Facebook message expressing my concerns and she replied admitting that seeing Allan was probably a bad idea and that she wasn't going to see him regularly, agreeing with me that Kirstin was the number one priority and promising that he would not be anywhere near Kirstin. She then, reportedly, apologised to Kirstin, who at this point had been considering moving out asap, and since then, I've not heard from my sister, which I can only take as a good sign, thinking they've made their peace with each other, at least temporarily.
I'm on the waiting list for a counselling appointment at uni, which I'm hoping will help me with not constantly feeling the weight of the world. I even made a to-do list because I thought it would help to keep me focused on the things I do have power to change.
In short, I'm coping again.
x L x