B is for Bitch

This is a meme that I will call the Dictionary of Me. It started over at Bella Dia’s blog and I found it on Cherry Blossom Adventures. Although I know I won’t be as disciplined to do one letter per day, I think it’s a great opportunity to open up to anyone reading my blog and also to help me fine tune my writing skills. I often post on here with a spare five or ten minutes, not giving much consideration to the style or composition, and it’s something I want to minimise from now on.

I encourage comments, because I find it hard to open up at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult when I don’t even know that anyone is listening. I encourage you to share back, particularly when you can identify with what I am writing. It’s nice to hear that you’re not alone!

_________________

B is for Bitch

Sounds pretty self-deprecating, I know. But it’s true, I am a B.I.T.C.H.

I could blame my star sign (Leos are very black and white, grey doesn’t exist for us!), or I could blame the global ratio of fools to intelligent life forms, but in reality, it’s my own affliction and I am ok with owning that.

My therapist will tell you that I suffer from Low Frustration Tolerance (or LFT).  My first boss will tell you that “Justine doesn’t suffer fools lightly”.  I might be know to say “you should know better!”.  But whichever way you look at it, I have a tendency to place high expectations on those around me and vilify them if they struggle to meet said expectations.

To me, and most of the world, that makes me a bitch. 

However, it’s something I’ve been trying to work on for years.  I believe I’ve made the most progress since last year when my Cognitive Behaviour Therapist explained LFT to me.  Just by making me aware of the irrational thinking patterns that lead to LFT made me realise how much I identified with it.  In fact, it’s safe to say that the whole notion of ‘how things should be’ has been a major limiting factor in most of my relationships and experiences to date.

Here is a recipe from the “Book of Stewing.”  The meat for the recipe is, “I must be accepted and appreciated by everyone for everything I do.”  Mix it with the batter of, “You must always support me and put me above everyone and everything else.  Spoil me without expecting anything from me in return.”  Sprinkle it with a seasoning of, “All circumstances must be exactly the way I want them and if they are not, my life is terrible, you’re terrible, and this place is terrible.”  These three ingredients, when mixed, will automatically turn on the “pressure cooker.”  Stew and seethe it all day long.  Note that stewing and seething will be often accompanied by “internal fire-works” that will heat the produce to a “raging” temperature :  A kitchen where this recipe is cooked drives everyone away except the Chef.  Later, the heat gets unbearable even for the Chef.    

I have, in the past, blamed my tendency to over-analyse situations or people for the anger and annoyance I feel for them (and the ensuing bitchy reaction).  But last year I realised that analysis of a situation or a person is only unproductive when the thinking behind that analysis is based on the premise of how things “should” be, or how things “must” be.

It’s interesting that I’ve only really come to realise how damaging all this can be when I’ve been involved with a partner who is also of LFT persuasion.  It’s the reason we have such raging arguements!

In 2008, I want to rid myself of LFT.  I don’t think it’s possible for me to get to the other end of the scale to HFT – that will take a while longer.  But one of my biggest goals of the year is for my partner and I to find ways to combat our LFT together.

Maybe then, I can change this entry to B is for Benevolence.

***

A is for Adam
C is for Chocolate

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