Is there an actual difference between those situations where I get frustrated cause of irrational beliefs – ie. the situations where it frustrates me that I cannot do something, cause I jump to negative conclusions too easily -, and the situations where I feel overwhelmed by a chaoitic environment, like last Tuesday? I feel there is, but it’s not so obvious as it sometimes may seem. More specifically, a person with a higher frustration tolerance than mine would not jump to distressing conclusions based on a simple mistake as easily as I do, and when I’m feeling emotionally bad, I’m more easily overwhelmed by chaotic or confusing events than I am when I feel well.
There are some situations that are obviously about behaviour, like last Tuesday. In these situations, the only connection with emotional issues might be a very indirect and irrelevant one, like when I’m very tired cause I once again slept extremely poorly – as I often do when I feel bad. In these situations, it makes no sense to ask about feelings, cause they don’t matter; the feeling is frustration, but that’s obvious and is solely cause of my low frustration tolerance. I could, in such situations, only say that I don’t like it when people talk loudly or something like it. I am, of course, more irritable at certain moments than I am at others, which should not be interpreted as a sign of better handling my irritation. For example, two weeks ago when having pancakes with all training home clients, I could handle the same chaos that was apparent last Tuesday much better. I didn’t need to handle irritation, cause there wasn’t any. That is positive, of course, but it says nothing about my ability to behave well. It would if I were able to handle my irritation of last Tuesday more effectively than by getting grumpy – which I wasn’t for the most part, though I tried to.
Are there also situations that are obviously emotionally-related? Well, there are which are for the most part emotional, but in this strict context of frustrating situations, there are no that are solely emotional, simply cause my rather poor frustration tolerance, that is one of my bad qualities, impacts how I react. A person with high frustration tolerance might have as negative beliefs I do and might jump to conclusions as easily as I do – though he most likely wouldn’t -, but if he were to, he’d most likely not act out like I do. That is something people often don’t seem to recognize, and, if they do, don’t seem to care about. Not that, when I’m emotionally feeling bad, I like to get reactions about pulling myself together, but it needs to be said that it’s not “normal” (oh well, it may be a variation of individuality, but it’s not something to be expected) to react like I do when I feel emotional.
Most situations, however, have something of both behavioural oddities and emotional issues, to a greater or lesser extent. People, when reacting to these situations, tend to overlook either of these sides completely, and it depends on the situation whether I take care to correct them. Mostly I don’t: when someone feels I’m just acting out in a situation that, for me, had lots of emotional connotations, I often don’t feel I should highlight my feelings about the situation, either because I feel it isn’t going to do anything about it anyway or because I feel like I’m not allowed to have feelings relating to the situation – both of which can be true at times, if you think that there are right and wrong emotions for every situation (which I’m not sure about). And when people seem to see the issue as solely emotional, an emphasis on behaviour from my part often only intensifies the emotional turmoil relating to the situation, so I skip it and let people draw their own conclusions based on what they see. After all, if they don’t think I’m exhibiting behaviour problems, than it makes no sense to try to convince them that I am. I am the one who has to change, after all, and if I realize that I’m acting out, I should try to alter that.
The only case in which an overemphasis on either side of the situation gets really problematic, is when it becomes the person’s overall paradigm. Like with my parents believing I’m generally behaviourally disordered – even though, at the deepest level, they often (incorrectly) assume emotional problems -, I do feel it’s a problem that they don’t seem to see the relevance that feelings hold at times, beyond those feelings they presume at the ultimate level. Sometimes (most times) I feel bad about a current or recent situation, most certainly not about something that supposedly happened years ago and that I supposedly want revenge for!
On the other hand, an overemphasis on emotional issues that I sometimes see with some training home folks, seems to reduce me to just a normal individual with serious emotional problems. The paradigm is often held by people who have no idea of some of my actions, as I wrote on Tuesday. These may be actions that took place during the summer of 2004, so nearly two years ago, but the fact that they most certainly weren’t normal for a person at that age, even if she had serious emotional problems, still makes me worry that the possibility that I’m going to act like this again, is still there. That scares me, and it makes me want to emphasize the behavioural components of the problem, and specifically how disturbed I actually am. That is not to say that I want to in order to have an excuse – the same goes here that goes for the social skills thing -, but I know my situaiton before starting rehab or training home and I know I haven’t changed in this fundamental way.
There’s something related to this that makes me want to emphasize my behaviour issues: that the way people at rehab or training home react, is not the way people at college, for instance, would react. I’ve always hated, and still hate, sayings starting with the phrase “But at university you’ll also have to…”, because, when they talk about something I’m trying to change but apparently can’t – and it’s most things -, it always leads me to conclude (probably at least partly correctly) that then I’ll fail at university – the part that is incorrect may be about my ability to compensate by for example being academically able, not about my inability to (fully) change my behaviour. Of course, remarks aimed at giving me an incentive to try to change (I’ll have to act differently at college), are not in themselves bad – I have to change my behaviour -, but are bad in assuming that, if only I try my best, I will once be able to act normally. And I doubt it, cause I know what I was like and could be like. I still hope that the serious issues were just of the summer of 2004, but after eight years of knowing that I don’t act normally, do you think it’s strange that I’m losing some of my hope and am, consequently, highlighting its being a behavioural problem (characteristic if you want) of mine?