Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sometimes I just get really, really mad

Another week down, another week of life lessons. Sometime those lessons make you learn something about yourself, but sometimes, they make you learn more about someone else.  

It’s a little funny to me when people say, I can’t imagine you ever getting mad—you seem so quiet.

And I am quiet a lot of the times. I don’t like to be that person at work who is always running their mouth about something or the person at a dinner party who is ruling the conversation. I like to sit back and listen and choose my words carefully. So, it takes a while for some people to get to know me.
But I can assure, I do get mad. Most everyone does at some point. Some are quick to anger—some people even find it acceptable to bang on their desks or hit the walls when they are angry. Some people let it simmer until it boils over. I’m more like the latter—the slow burn, the slow to react.

I try not to hold it all in, because when the anger boils over, it typically catches people off guard and then I get the whole—why didn’t you say something sooner? Or, “I had no idea you felt that way. You seemed fine when we talked.” 

Most the time, the my response is, I didn’t want to make a big deal about it or it just didn’t seem like the right time to bring it up. Or, I just didn’t want to hurt your feelings. And quite honestly, sometimes it’s just not worth it. I’ve done so much fighting for so long that I’m much slower to battle these days because I’d rather put my energy somewhere else—unless it’s worthy of a battle.

Like one of the things that happened this past week--Veronica falling at school and hurting herself. I do feel that it was the school’s fault on some level because I feel it’s their job to provide a safe environment for her. They are aware of her disability and the fact that when she falls, she can really hurt herself badly. So, if the floor in a certain area is super slippery and people are falling down, then you need to---as Negan would say—shut that shit down.

But they didn’t, and she fell. Several days after her fall, I decided I had enough time to think about what to say to them, so I requested a meeting with school officials. They explained they did everything they could and it was just an accident….but to me it wasn’t that simple. It was careless. You can’t tell me in one breath that the floor was so bad you had extra staff mopping all day and then say, it was just a random accident.

Also, I slipped on the floor when I showed up to get her—there was something wrong with the floor surface and it felt like butter. Which I pointed out after they said there was really nothing they could have done to make the floor safer for her. But, they spent most of the time showing ME what I could have done to prevent the accident like providing a wheelchair to prevent trips and falls and then the quick mention that they noticed in the video of her fall she looked at her cell phone screen—“she needs to pay attention when the floor is wet…” And so on.

I sat quietly, listening. Waiting. Nodding. But it never came. The words I wanted to hear—We’re sorry. What can we do to fix this? How can we make this right?

Right? Isn’t that what you say when you know you messed up. Isn’t that the human thing to say? To offer an apology and a way to make things better?

But so many people can’t say that. They spend so much time explaining why they did something or said something or acted a certain way. They defend themselves by pointing out what YOU should have done better or what YOU didn’t do even if it has nothing to do with the situation.

I get it. No one wants to be wrong. No one wants to admit they screwed up. Most people don’t like to say “I’m sorry.” And some people refuse to.

My ex used to say to me, “I didn’t hurt your feelings, you allowed your feelings to get hurt,” or my favorite—“I didn’t make you mad, you allowed yourself to get mad.” That’s worse than telling me to calm down.

But, I think on some level that is true. We can ignore people and not let our feelings get hurt--or not allow someone to make us mad.

But that’s not easy when it comes to someone you are supposed to trust, and it’s even harder when it someone who is supposed to love you back.

And what’s wrong with getting mad every once in a while? What’s wrong with blowing your top and saying, “I’ve had enough!” Especially if you know your feelings are true—because they are your feelings and your feelings are just as important as everyone else’s feelings. Right?

I don’t know if I’m mad at the school for not apologizing or I’m just mad at the entire situation. It’s hard to separate the two. I have a lot of anxiety about Veronica falling and hurting herself—I find myself laying in bed and thinking about her going off to college and falling in the showers at the dorm and I’m not there to make sure the floors are safe. I guess it’s silly in some ways to worry so much about something that might not even happen, but it is something that pops in my mind.

And, I can’t always turn that off. I can’t always turn off my worries. I can’t always turn off my thoughts. And I know, I can’t always turn off my feelings, especially when it comes to people I’m supposed to trust.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hurt people, hurt people

Ok, so the blog is back. What happened? Let me try to quickly catch you up on my life--and then we can get to business.

The last time I wrote, I had lost my job. I spent the next almost year and half working from home writing. I did everything from news writing, to business writing, script writing and book editing—and somehow I paid the bills and survived. I got a full-time job at a television station as a digital producer and I still carry a pretty heavy load of freelance work--so basically, I spend everyday writing and getting paid for it which is pretty incredible in my book—especially when I look at how many people I went to grad school with who also have an MFA in Writing and work other jobs.

During my unemployment, I was pretty depressed. I spent a lot of time alone. I wished I would have continued my blog, but it was just too much stress. My blog had been used against me in court and the it seemed when I stopped writing, things would remain quiet. So, I decided to just put it on the back burner for a while, work on other projects and live my life.
It’s funny now that I look back on it. I went through the blog and unpublished the posts that seemed to make someone so mad—the ones that he brought to court in a binder. I read through those posts and realized that weren’t really that explosive. The whole thing seems silly now.
When I started this blog several years ago, the point was to tell my story. It was never to embarrass anyone or get some sort of revenge. It was to try to heal my heart—to try to be at peace in my life. I didn’t use names, I didn’t post photos. I didn’t do screen shots or anything else. I just wrote from my heart.

And I wrote my story. The story that belongs to me. The story I get to tell because of the things that happened to me—whether it was during my childhood or my troubled marriage or being a single mom—it was my story to tell.
So, as I continue to try to heal and make my life better, I am going to continue my blog because it helped me and because I had so many people reach out to me and thank me for writing it—and thank me for being honest.

It’s weird now that we live in this world where if you don’t like what is being reported in the news, you can just say “fake news” --and some people will believe you. You don’t like what people write about? Just accuse them of trying to destroy you… Sound familiar?

It’s a tool that sociopaths use and for the most part, it usually gets them what they want. And in my experience, when you have to deal with sociopaths, it’s best to not engage at all.

I realized during my last go-around with the ex that what I was doing wasn’t working—because when you have to deal with people like that, nothing works. So, I stopped. I stopped everything. I stopped the blog, I stopped fighting, I stopped worrying. I stopped talking about it. I was done. I decided I wouldn’t spend another dime on fighting. I wouldn’t spend any more of my own energy on it. Someone else could figure it out because I was done trying to make things better and I couldn’t pretend I didn’t care. I focused on healing and living the next chapter of our lives.

My dad has a saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.”

It’s a simple phrase but very powerful. The pain the kids and I were being put through was being done by a very hurt person. And there was nothing I could say or do that would make that stop. Hurt people can’t help but to hurt others. All we can do is live our lives and hope that person finds a way to not be so hurt.

Sometimes you think you have learned a lesson or something about yourself--and then once you make that connection, you somehow won’t continue to make that same mistake again, right?   When I started healing myself years ago, I realized that I try to control everything in my life. It’s something that happens when you are wounded as a child—it makes you vulnerable to spend your life with addicts.

But I can’t control everything and I can’t “unhurt” people around me. I can’t make their pain better. They must do that themselves. All I can do, is protect myself, protect my children.

And I have to remember that if someone is hurting us, it’s because they are hurt and so long as they are hurt, they will never stop hurting us. And it’s best to just stop before you start hurting yourself.