Need to be Understood, Part 2

Understanding the concept

Understanding the concept (Photo credit: dkuropatwa)


Yesterday’s post has really started an avalanche of swirling thoughts for me. As I dig in and see what is important for me, what is necessary for me to feel understood, and accepted, and authentic. And an interesting reaction from Hubby that I need to share. He responded to my conversation as a sign of stress and took a few days off to help me with upcoming events. I did not ask him to do this, and would have been fine, but I am so relieved that he will take some of the parenting duties while my daughter’s rehearsals and performances happens. I’m on several committees with this group, that I joined when he had Fridays and Saturdays off, and then they had to go and fire someone and put him on this wonky rotating schedule. So all the things I signed up for with my girl, suddenly I had to either find a sitter or drag along the unruly, unhappy little brothers. So I am grateful.

First some quotes I found, and some thoughts about each one:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” — Albert Einstein

I love this one, because I am trying to understand understanding, and that is one of the metacognitive wonders of humans that we can think about thinking, and have a feeling about feelings that are not the feelings themselves. Like I can feel frustrated that I often feel fear. And even though I understand there is no reason to be afraid, the thought alone does not negate the fear. The more I think about the levels of thoughts and feelings, it gets harder to explain, and clearly illustrates I don’t understand myself enough to explain it simply to others who don’t already understand. I’m feeling sorry for Hubby as I write this, as I’m pretty sure he would just explode to wrap his head around all of this.

“By lack of understanding they remained (in)sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.” — George Orwell, 1984

So yes, I am showing my nerdy geeky side here. I have always loved science, and science fiction. But this one I had to post for a few different reasons. First, I love the internet, and I love that it is so often incorrect, and that most people I talk to don’t seem to know this. I found this quote in multiple places online, some had it with the word “sane” and some had it with the word “insane” and I honestly don’t know what is correct since I have not read 1984 since well, closer to 1984 than I like to admit. I love how the passage is equally powerful though with either word choice.

But the reason I am including this one here, it seems that Hubby has this ability, to swallow whatever life throws at him, including my words and feelings, and let them pass through him with no effect, no harm, no residue left behind. I am completely the opposite. When I enter a room, I am immediately effected by the mix of energy and emotions, body language, sensory data, etc that bombard me. I take it all in, and it is too much to deal with all at once. I think might explain my need to revisit and categorize. I have all this raw data that still needs processing. In contrast, Hubby seems to filter incoming data – a lot. He takes what he needs, or possibly what he can handle, and bullocks with the rest. It never existed and leaves no residue.

Today I am still affected by the conversation we had the other night. I want to explore this feeling of disconnect. He said he can’t change how I feel, and so was done with that bit. As long as I’m here with him, he doesn’t seem too bothered by how I feel about it. Possibly. I am not sure, since he won’t tell me these things, I have to try to guess.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” –Unknown

I love this one. I entertain all kinds of thoughts. All the time. Swirling about, sometimes randomly, sometimes in elaborate synchro routines, sometimes those synchro routines have fractals of unending subroutines too. I have NEVER answered “Nothing” to the “what are you thinking about?” question. At least not honestly. I love that about me. But, it makes it difficult to live with someone who seems to honestly have long moments of no thoughts.

At work, everyone comes to me for ideas. They may not all be good, but I can spout off 50 possibilities and then dig in and choose. If they don’t ask for ideas, those 50 possibilities still uncontrollably form. And as soon as they form, I’m already listing pros/cons, envisioning new systems in place, finding faults, tweaking, designing, creating.

I think some readers may not get that part of me, and Hubby doesn’t either. Like when I post about my dreams to escape the responsibilities of motherhood – it is not a reflection of a lack of love for my family, or that I don’t enjoy raising them, or that I don’t recognize what a blessing they are. I can entertain thoughts of living solo and play that out mentally. I can and I do. It does not mean I have any intention to do so. This blog is for my thoughts, a place to document, and trap some of those swirling thoughts, and give my head room to make more.

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.” –Marshall McLuhan

I’m already getting bored of this post. My thoughts are moving on. So not much to say about this one, but felt I had to comment or everyone would wonder why I didn’t comment on this one.

“To effectively communicate we must realize we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” — Tony Robbins

I’m trying to start here. I’m trying to see how Hubby thinks (or doesn’t – it seems so peaceful in his mind, not that he isn’t smart, just not always processing) and phrase my thoughts to him in his language. He doesn’t self-analyze. Things are simple for him. I confuse the hell out of him. I need to channel my inner teacher and see how to present ME to him in a way he understands. I can do this. I can teach anyone anything. Not bragging, (well yes I’m bragging, but not unfounded bragging) it is a proven fact. I’m up for the challenge. Just hope he doesn’t drop the course.

11 thoughts on “Need to be Understood, Part 2

  1. Just so you know, one of my counselors told me that most people don’t self-analyze. I’m not sure if survivors are born this way or if it’s a side effect of the abuse. I know that for myself self-analysis was a must because I was always being told I’d done “it” wrong (whatever it was that day). I would analyze what I’d done in an effort to figure out how to do it right, so I wouldn’t end up in trouble again. Each time I was reprimanded for being wrong, I’d work through what I’d done and how I could change it, again and again. I did learn there were a lot of ways to do something. Of course, it wasn’t until years later and the habit already deeply ingrained that I finally figured out I hadn’t done it wrong the first time. NM was being contradictory.

    • I think Judy is onto something here. Perhaps analysing is a form of self-defence in disguise. Most people who come from abusive/neglectful families seem to engage in analysing (I do it all the time too). As if at some level, in our childhood, our brain knew that we weren’t seeing the truth and was just looking to find the truth. It can be added to the list of behaviours that were necessary to survive a dysfunctional childhood but become a hindrance in adulthood.

    • I’ve always been strangely proud of my analysis abilities, and never really thought it was harmful. I have thought less of people who don’t do it, like they are inferior. I’m sorry for this now.

      I totally understand. I also would go over and over my actions, trying to make sense of it all, trying to find a sloution, a way out, a way to be normal, and a way to not make them parents angry, and maybe, just maybe, one day make them love me.

  2. I love what Kara and Judy had to say about this topic. That gives me a lot to think about.

    I totally related to how you walk into a room and are overloaded with sensory information. How you describe yourself and your husband in these situations could be overlaid on top of me and my husband. I always wondered how things could just pass by him, but maybe like you said, he just has a filter to block out extraneous information. I always have to process everything after the fact because there was too much to take in at the time (or I was so busy taking in the information that I put off processing until later). It is something that my DH is still struggling to come to terms with about me.

    • it does make so much sense. when your world is not logical, your brain searches endlessly for solutions. I think it is interesting so many of us analyzer types chose husbands that aren’t. I know for me, he seemed safe and peaceful. I had enough intensity for the both of us.

  3. I, too, am highly sensitive to my environment and I analyze the heck out of everything–or I used to. I also used to have an intense need to be understood that drove me, and a lot of other people, almost crazy. Self-analyzing is a doubled edged sword–because we do analyze everything, we are more apt to produce changes within ourselves, but the need to understand everything nearly worn me out. There finally came a time, not that long ago, when I realized that I cannot understand everything and everyone, nor do I really need to try to do that anymore. I agree that that need was, in large part, a defense–a way to feel safe in the world. Now that I am finally aware that I can protect and take care of myself, I analyze a lot less, and my need to be understood has decreased dramatically…that is not to say it is gone fully 😉 I also do not need to understand everything and everyone in order to feel safe. My learning curve was a little slow, but what the heck? Xoxo

  4. I think that sometimes it takes us time to understand things. Even though we might want to understand everything right now, that’s not always possible, no matter how much we analyze and over-analyze. Sometimes we just need to pay attention and to wait a little.

    I know what you mean with getting bombarded by sensations when you walk in a room. This may sound new-agey and woo-woo, but sometimes it can help to “protect” yourself before you go into a crowded place where you’re going to run into all kinds of energy and emotions. It’s something you can do mentally, like protecting yourself with a ball of energy or a cloak of protection. That might not appeal to everyone, but I have found that to be very useful when dealing with dodgy groups of people and even individuals.

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