Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunny Side Down

"Katie Marie," my office-neighbor teased and I looked up to smile at him quizzically. "You said you weren't going to send the link."

I nodded, remembering that I'd noted my possession of a presentation he desired. I told him I'd put it on the standard site my group uses and if he hadn't taken note of my multiple emails directing him to said site, he obviously did not deserve the presentation at all. He'd made a face at my remark and I'd changed my mind by morning, sending a quick email to those interested with the direct link for easy downloading.

"I'm in a better mood this morning," I explained. "I don't feel the need to make others' lives difficult because I am unhappy."

"Say again," he requested, coming around the corner so I could see as well as hear him.

"Unhappy people spread unhappiness," I explained. "When I'm happy, I'm helpful. When I'm sad, I tend to spread misery more than I should."

"You're not an unhappy person," he corrected me firmly and I smiled at him.

"I try not to be," I replied, which is true. Even as I recognize that all people are complex creatures with varying moods and motivations, I hope that I end up - in the summary view - as being kind and thoughtful and happy.

"Why did she cry?" I asked Mom when she told me about Little One's birthday party.

"I don't know," she sighed. "She wanted to open presents but I said we should have dinner first and she got sad and went in her room. Closed the door."

I frowned, remembering similar reactions from a younger Katie who reminds of me of Little One an alarming amount. "You need to practice coping strategies," I decided. "Look online for sensitive children with a tendency to get sad. Find out if there are breathing techniques or visualization methods that can help her move through that without reacting so strongly."

"We should," she replied. "I will," she revised. "I should have done that for you. She's just so much like you, Katie."

"I'm OK," I reminded her. "I struggle sometimes, but I'm fine. It's just that if she can get more control over it while she's young, perhaps it won't affect her so much later. But don't make her feel sick or wrong." I remembered being threatened with the psychiatrist in my teenage years, much as she'd threatened me with daycare when I was a disobedient toddler. "There is nothing bad about her," I stated sternly. "She just needs a little guidance on how to handle criticism and unpleasant news."

"We'll look it up," she promised and I nodded.

"You'll get better," Friend told me when she was here last weekend. And, largely because she was here - I think depression fears her - I did start emerging from the dark apathy. This week was much better.

"Only to wait until the next time I get worse again," I replied in a chat window later this week. Perhaps it's time to develop better coping strategies of my own.


suzy pepper said...

It's so hard to watch a kid go through something you went through. I feel that way, too, when I look at my little brother.

Anthea said...

Yes, you're right...that its hard to watch a kid go through what you went through too.

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