Monday, August 2, 2010

FTF: Post 7: Emotional Acceptance by Cat Lichtenbelt

This month's First Things First article is by Cat Lichtenbelt. Cat writes at

The article is called "Emotional Acceptance" and it can be found on Hartley Steiner's blog.

Cat's article is written from the heart. She walks us through the various emotional stages she passed through on her particular journey. It's interesting because these aren't textbook stages. They're not the usual "grief cycle" stages. They're much more personal.

It's strange because my own personal stages have never included anger. If anything I'm too calm and too detached. Perhaps that's my aspergers speaking? My wife is the opposite though and the frustration of school meetings and homework issues really gets to her.

It's hard for me to show empathy when the same things which don't provoke much of a reaction from me affect her so badly.

I guess it's a bit like that movie... "Meet Joe Black" where Brad Pitt stupidly walks across the road without looking and gets hit by a car which bounces him into a truck. We both saw the same thing at the same time. We were sitting next to each other in the cinema yet where she expressed shock, I had a fit of uncontrollable laughter**.

Of course, my wife often doesn't tell me how she's feeling or what stages she goes through. That's why Cat's article is so interesting. Her journey is probably not what I would have assumed.

Initially I had a hard time relating the article back to first things first. It's not a problem with the article. It's my interpretation. I think what Cat may be saying is that as parents, we need to consider the feelings we're going through and stop trying to suppress them. By letting those feelings out, we are taking care of ourselves. We can't walk around with emotionally suppressed for long without it having a negative impact on us.

**no, I'm not sociopathic. Nobody died. It was a movie. It was just so sudden and so funny how he bounced. My brain chose to accept it as funny instead of shocking. Of course, I cry more in films than my wife. Heck, I was teary in Toy Story 3. I was teary in Revenge of the Sith. I do have emotions dammit... :-)


calypso said...

Well, that scene IS simply hilarious. I wasn't laughing out loud, but definitely giggle every time I see it.

What really gets to me is Forrest Gump though and war movies generally.

Miguel Palacio said...

I fully understand. I have to control this sort of outburst in places like the office for it would not be interpreted too well. The office can be a place to be en garde for this sort of thing. Therefore the office can be so stressful as every single one of our actions must first be post-processed thru a political correctness filter before allowing the execution of these actions if they pass muster by the self-regulating self-censorship board. The office, for me, is definitely not a place for spontaneity.