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Feb. 20, 2013: The Visit

February 21, 2013

I visited some family members tonight and left in a different state than I used to leave. I used to be all riled up inside, because a conversation with them consists of a lot of complaining on their part, it was difficult to have a conversation with the TV on the whole time (or maybe the TV is a distraction from the complaining), and I walk out of the house smelling like an ashtray. (Someone get me a noose so I can hang myself!) Then, I would end up complaining to Mara about them. I’d have to process the whole visit just to get it off of my mind.

Tonight, that didn’t happen. I listened to the complaints about another family member, and when I was asked why I was so quiet, I simply said that I was letting myself be entertained by their comments. “We’re just worried, concerned about her,” I was told. And I replied, very matter-of-factly, “You’re not going to help her by talking about her.” I’ve never seen a conversation change so fast; they stopped complaining and started talking. Maybe next time I’ll ask that they turn the TV off. But I don’t think I can do anything about the cigarette odor. It’s part of the house now. The nicotine is probably so ingrained into the walls that, if they washed them, they’d probably collapse.

Anyway, about 20 minutes after I got home, Mara said I blew her away, because I wasn’t processing about the visit. She had asked earlier how it went, and I told her without a lot of emotion tied to it. I think I’m finally getting it — really getting it on a deeper level than intellectually — that all of that stuff I’d been processing about them is their stuff. I was taking it on and letting it get to me — until tonight. Not a word of what they say has any meaning, at least for me. It’s just something they feel they need to do. And that goes for what they say about Mara and our relationship, too.


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