I had to take out a restraining order yesterday.
Nope, not on my ex.
Or some crazy blog stalker.
But on myself.
You see, I have a certain behavioral tendency that I don’t like and that I want to change. And I had a chance to practice yesterday.
I came in the door at my usual 5:00. Brock and I exchanged a quick hug and a few words before he ran off to the gym and I ran off to..well, to a run. Our time was brief, but totally normal.
I came back from the run around 6:15 to find Brock tackling the garage, the one area in the house that was still unusable. He was working quickly, I guess to try to beat the clock before he had to leave for ju jitsu. But more than that, he felt distant. Unreachable. Of course, that’s my mind putting its own spin on it:)
I hung around for a few minutes to try to help before giving up. I retreated upstairs to take care of Tiger and some other evening chores.
My instinct is to press to find out what’s wrong. To question. To poke at it. I’m looking for reassurance that it’s not something to do with me and I am also looking for something I can fix.
I panic. I don’t know why. We all get frazzled. We all get overwhelmed. Lord knows, I come into the house plenty of times still carrying the frantic energy of my day and some of that bleeds out even though it has nothing at all to do with Brock. I also am very familiar with the fixation that can occur when trying to accomplish a task quickly. Hell, I did it today. I was short with a coworker when she interrupted me while I was trying to complete a study guide in the 5 minutes before the bell.
I get it mentally. But my emotions are a slow learner.
I find myself taking very frequent temperature checks of the relationship. Which is good. But it also means that I can get false readings or see a trend when there is nothing there.
I know this is a remnant of the divorce. My first marriage ended and I saw no signs. I’m petrified of missing signs again. I can be not unlike a lost driver with poor eyesight (okay, that would frequently be me:) ), slowing down and squinting at every street sign, afraid of missing the one spelled out in the directions.
But this isn’t my first marriage. I missed signs partly because they were covered and partly because I didn’t believe they could exist. That’s not the case now. I can relax. Not into full autopilot but also not the intense drive of one on a new and treacherous course.
So last night, I took out a restraining order on myself. I asked once if he was okay and then I disengaged. I trusted. I relaxed. I let him be and I let it be.
And, you know what?
It was okay.
A friend of ours came over while he was still at ju jitsu. The friend and I spent time on the porch (shocking, right?) talking about his recent trip and his relationship. By the time Brock came home, all was well. The garage was done, another item ticked off the list. Ju jitsu was enjoyed. And he was back.
Not that he ever left.
With practice, I’ll teach my brain not to create mountain ranges (yeah, I go big time) out of molehills. I’ll continue to check the temperature but also work to realize that sometimes a reading has nothing to do with anything (for some reason, this makes me think of the scene in Ferris Bueller where he uses the heating pad to fake a fever. yup, child of the 80s here). I’ll work to take the ego out of it (what, you mean something may not have to do with me???) and think of times when I am frazzled, focused or distant. I’ll apply restraint and keep myself from poking at it like some sticked-arm kid with a flattened squirrel (gross, but just about as pointless).
Just like I can still teach my old cat some new tricks, I can still learn as well. Although my retraining doesn’t necessitate the use of kibble:)