Friday, June 15, 2007


Yesterday my therapist and I were discussing techniques for asking for what you want. (Assertiveness.) We were prompted by an upcoming appointment I have to do a med check with my primary care physician (remember when we used to be able to just say "my doctor?" Nowadays people have so many different doctors for different problems that we have to get all descriptive on it. sigh.). I've been timidly mentioning for a few years that I might need to change my antidepressant, because, well, it's not really working very well. I don't like the side effects, and in order to have a dosage that works on making me a little less of a psychotic bitch who overreacts to literally everything, I end up being a flatline zombie who sleeps through life. Not acceptable choices anymore.

When I explained what was going on with that, she exclaimed, "DEAR MAN!" At first I thought she was doing a pseudo-curse (such as my "Many swears!"), but it turns out she was using an acronym for a dialectical behavior technique, which she gave me a handout for. We went over how we could use this technique for the doctor, as well as for some other situations I've got going on.

Well, last night at the baseball game I actually asserted myself! To people I don't know well! And it freakin' worked!!!! I didn't *quite* use the DEAR MAN technique, but close.

We've had what I refer to as a "line o' dads" at every game this season. We have four coaches for the team. (not sure how many of those are "official" coaches, but let's call it four) At the games if they're not on the baselines, they stand at a certain section of the fence. Well, these certain dads (or stepdads, or uncles, and occasionally a woman, but for the most part, dads) have taken it upon themselves to line up along the fence beside the coaches. So we have this solid WALL of about 10 men along the fence. And it's annoying as hell to those of us sitting on or by the bleachers, because we can't see past them. At the last game, a mom (who is very confident) FINALLY went up to them and told them that they were blocking the view for everybody else, and that they weren't coaches and they should stand back. It got a little hot for a minute, but the guys did back off.

Well, at last night's game, they did it AGAIN. And I had arrived 45 minutes before the game was supposed to start and set up my chair to have a good viewing location without blocking anyone, and then at the last minute the men mosey up and completely covered my view of the plate. I literally could not see the ump, catcher, or batter. At all. And I was mad. The woman who was sitting with me agreed that it sucked, but then she just abandoned her chair and went to sit on the bleachers. Well, I went over to the bleachers, too, for a minute, but then I got pissy and went back to my chair. I was raging a bit, probably at an excessive level, but dammit, it sucked and it was inconsiderate and I was tired of it. These guys weren't the only ones who supported their kids, and they weren't so damn important that they just HAD to be at the fence with the coaches.

And I worked myself up and built up my courage and went over all of the worst-case scenarios and imagined all kinds of nasty scenes, and then I went over and said to the four people on the end that I didn't want to be a bitch, but I couldn't see at all past them. At first there was some semi-jokey kind of comment that *I* could move, then, but I stuck to my guns and didn't really say much (and they all knew that I had been there first, and that there had been the other incident at the previous game) and then they asked how much I was asking them to move. And I just kind of said something about them acting like they were friendly and standing closer to each other and to the dugout. And I went back to my seat and they moved down and turned and asked me how that was and it was MUCH better and I gave 'em a thumbs-up and then enjoyed the rest of the game. (as soon as my heartbeat started approaching normal speed)

I know that to most people, doing this would not seem like a big deal at all, but this was absolutely HUGE for me. For a lot of people, they wouldn't have had to even think twice about saying something, and they would have pretty much forgotten about it as soon as it was over. I think it's a little pathetic how big a deal it is for me, and that I'm even talking about this on my blog, but working on this issue is major. Borderlines have a difficult time with assertiveness at an appropriate level. I think this went well, and that's a great step.

Kristen will be so proud. mk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you that helped alot... I am stuggling with that kindaof thing myself... I never know when to say something and how not to come off as a b*tch....