Hung out with Shannon in the morning in an unusually relaxed way, as his gaming had been canceled and so he was feeling considerably less rushed than usual. Less rushed = nice.
Walked to Lisa's house, and was feeling very physically tired while walking. Not my usual *sleepy* (which is more of a "brain shutting off" thing), but *tired* (like I'd been walking miles already and I just wanted to sit down and rest my weary bones).
Lisa and I went to Fatapples, played Dominion (each winning one game), watched an episode of "Babylon 5," and talked a lot. It was cool. She's busy next Saturday and so we'll be giving it a miss. As always, I will be sad not to see her, but will also bask in the unexpected time free.
I came home, still tired, and told Shannon that I didn't feel up to riding our bikes all the way to and from Target tonight as we'd planned. In fact, I'm always pretty tired on Saturday evenings, as Saturdays are my only days that are really busy, and so planning such a long and (on the way back, uphill with groceries) tiring trip on that particular evening probably hadn't been a good idea in the first place.
Shannon was very peeved that I had changed my mind after agreeing to do this (I agreed that I hadn't realized in advance that I would be so tired, and was sorry) and there followed much poor communication, with me trying to stand up for myself *and* compromise but neither of us really understanding what the other was saying, especially as most of the conversation took place while biking through the streets of Berkeley and Oakland. But we kept at it, and in the end we worked it out. Result: we will plan to do our regular grocery shopping Saturday nights (which is when we always used to go to Andronico's) at Safeway (which is much closer to our house than Target and across flatter ground), with an occasional trip to Target when my Saturday isn't busy (like next week, when Lisa and I won't be seeing each other) or when Shannon is willing to give up part of his Sunday.
Just in general these last several weeks, I'm having trouble figuring out how to express my own needs and desires without being selfish. For most of my life, I didn't believe (on a gut level) that this was possible, so I don't have a lot of experience with it. I've been having a tendency to swing between two extremes:
1. I think, "I want x. It's important to me," and I know I'm trying to be better about sticking up for myself, so I just do/take/whatever x without consulting anyone else or taking anyone else's feelings into account. This is generally done with a defensiveness that stems from still feeling (on a gut level) that I shouldn't do/take what I want, and so rebelling stridently.
2. I think, "I went too far last time, and that was rude," and so the next time I swing too far the other direction and don't speak up.
3. I think, "I'm falling into old habits and not saying what I feel!" and so I swing to the opposite extreme and act without regard for others.
I'm really trying to find a place in the middle where I show respect for myself *and* for others, but I'm finding it difficult. This is especially an issue, of course, with Shannon, since I interact with him a lot more than I do with anyone else, and because we have a pretty set pattern in which I just silently let him make all the decisions. I feel optimistic, though, because I think overcoming that ingrained instinct to keep silent, to ignore my own desires and needs, was the hardest part of the process. It took me *years* of prodding from my therapist. (She just keeps smiling when I talk to her now, because I'm finally saying the stuff she's been saying as long as we've been working together.) I feel like the rest is just fine tuning, and Shannon and I will figure it out. I think things are going in the right direction, even if we have some hiccups along the way.