Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Title-less ... that's how overwhelming it is

This is the first day in a long time that I have really wished I could see my old therapist. This might be the first day I've felt like this since packing up and heading down here.

It's not about being here. In fact I don't even know what it is... but I am one hell of a ball of pissed offishness today... and yesterday too now that I think about it.

I even yelled at the kids yesterday. Something like "GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!!" while they continually rammed into my legs while I was cooking and simultaneously trying to tell Mr F off on the phone. While they did have it coming (and knew it and quickly scurried off to their bedroom as ordered), honestly, I rarely lose my cool... it's just not like me.

There is the obvious stuff, the financial stress that while gets better also lingers like a festering sore.

There is the long summer with endless possibilities that already seems to be flying out from under my fingers with nothing much to show for it but some put away laundry.

But there is also other stuff that is eating at me. Trying to make decisions that are hard but necessary and trying to own the right to make them without feeling guilty. Knowing that I've done what I can to communicate and I can't control how those things are received or what is done with them. And do I care? Honestly, I care less and less these days and that is a good thing. I used to be crippled by the what ifs of how I was perceived. It is getting easier to trust that I know my own intentions.

By random chance I checked a book out of the library. It wasn't at all what I thought it was. I thought it was a book about family activities. It turned out to be a book about emotionally healthy families written by a therapist. I flipped through it and found an essay that struck me immediately. It perfectly expresses how I choose to relate to those close to me and her examples for doing so were practically ripped out of Mr F's family's dynamics.

I don't know if I'm allowed to do this but I thought I'd copy out some of it. It was titled "Be Willing To Make Waves" and is taken from Judy Ford's Wonderful Ways To Be A Family.

"Resentments are caused by doing things you don't want to do and then behaving like a martyr. Nothing destroys relationships quicker than towers of resentments and mountains of hidden anger. If you live in a family, you'll get angry... Your family will be closer when you recognize your anger, express your anger appropriately, and allow them to do the same. When you accept that making waves is healthy, you won't have to walk on eggshells around each other."

Thirteen-year-old Sydney was angry at her father and adamantly told him what she was thinking... Jake, not interested in seeing his daughter's point of view, warned her, "Keep that up and you'll be grounded." In fact, he enforced the "don't make waves" policy whenever his children expressed any anger or disagreed with him. He thought it was disrespectful for children to disagree or be angry with their parents. It was okay if his children expressed anger at some injustice in the outside world, but expressing disagreement toward him was not allowed. Those disagreements had to be kept under wraps.

A "don't make waves" policy has lasting negative effects on family relationships. Hiding your thoughts and keeping your feelings in check can put strained distance between you. Now, rather than expressing herself directly, Syndey hides her thoughts, disguises her opinions, and takes her frustrations out in other, less healthy, ways. And because she has to put her energy into pretending, a distance has grown between her and her father. Years from now when Jake wonders why his children don't talk to him abut important things in their lives, when he wonders why there is tension is the air when they are together, it just may be because his children stopped sharing long ago."

I am not currently struggling with making peace with Mr F's family. I have come to a quiet peace about how things are and am actually more comfortable now than I was before everything erupted. Sometimes it is the not knowing that is the most tormenting.

But I have other things and relationships that are bubbling away that very much relates to this essay. And it found me at the right time. Because I need to make a decision and not let the underlying stress continue to misdirect itself toward my kids or my spouse. I need to stop worrying about how my actions are perceived by others and start worrying about what action is best for me. Really best. Because always feeling like you have to make someone else's *best* come true while continually sacrificing your own is not ever going to make for a fulfilling relationship... or life. Sometimes doing the "right thing" isn't the right choice for you. That's why I wish I could talk to my therapist. I am in need of a third party stamp of approval that I am entitled to not make a self sacrificial decision for once.

And FOR SURE the finances are not helping matters. Just when you think you've got it under control you hit another stumbling block. And the stress of this past winter is still so raw that even a hint of a problem is enough to get my stomach in knots and for me to want to take to my bed. Not feeling in complete control of this situation is KILLING me.


inkelywinkely said...

My GOD, girl... that is alot to go through...

You know...I just had to face reality when it comes to accepting the relationship I have with my mother. I did everything I could to have it stop affecting my every day life- it just seems to bubble up and stays in the back of my mind and nags at me, and causes me to just be pissed and furious, and ACT JUST LIKE HER.

Basically, to accept it, and to make it stop affecting me as much, I had to basically relive everything. Feel everything I had had bundled up, place blame on the responsible owners, and get it out. Luckily I have a strong man, cause for about 3 weeks straight, I was bitchy, then depressed, then bitchy again... just FEELING everything.

And, I feel like it is gone. It hasn't bothered me since then.. my chest doesn't hurt anymore. I haven't had one of those weird moments where I feel like EVERYTHING annoys me, and I hate everyone, including the punk...you know what? ESPECIALLY him.

I feel safe. I don't know why.

(Then again, I read that people diagnosed with PTSD have recurring issues with this stuff. But, I feel different ... )

Email me if you need to talk, Rachel, I am here. ((hugs))

inkelywinkely said...

BTW, I just noticed that your boobs look HUGE on that video. :)

Just thought that would make you smile.

Andrea said...

I hear you and I feel it, we are dealing with some crazy shit with my family which has me feeling this whole last six months that Ive tried to start building a relationship with them has been a waste Im feeling betrayed and it hurts more now that Ive brought my kids into it which makes me even more pissed at my mom. I almost wish I could go back to January and tell my mom the moment she called to ask us to vist( baring in mind she had never even seen my daughter once since she had been born) but I wish I could go back and tell her that I dont want anything to do with all her drama that she wants to impose on others. I feel sick all the time and stressed. I need to find a therapist myself. I hope you find the inner peace and calm that you need in life its hard to go through each day feeling so down and pissed when our kids are growing in rapid seconds and we want to cherish and remember these days as some of the best years before they are grown and gone out of the house. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

inkelywinkely said...

Man...did everyone (including me) who comments here google "fucked up family" to find this blog or something? We all seem so much alike even though we are different. :)

Mrs Furious said...

"Man...did everyone (including me) who comments here google "fucked up family" to find this blog or something?"
LOL... oh about the boobs too... that did make me laugh. I think it is just because this dress is a wee bit small ;)

"And, I feel like it is gone. It hasn't bothered me since then."
I'm ready for that!

Oh I'm sorry to hear that. I know you were afraid of this when you let her back into your life.

Kiki said...

That is a lot, but understandable that it would be overwhelming. What struck me the most is how you wish time could stand still....I think about that all the time, how time is just flying and I'm still doing the same thing I was last year...not making the changes necessary to move my life forward, toward what I want to do.

That is one of the hardest things for me....I want to freeze some moments and live in them forever.

I'm thinking of you, sending you good thoughts and a BIG HUG!!!

julie said...

Mrs F, you are accomplishing all that is most important right now...even if some days it just feels like the laundry. Yes, the time goes by fast (although some days feel like eternity;) when the kids are little and the husband is late in getting home), but each phase is exciting and new. I am absolutely loving my kids at their ages now--7 1/2 and 9. Just thoroughly enjoying them (except when I hate them when they are behaving horribly;)). I wish I could make time stop right here. Today I watched two high school boys--brothers--get off the school bus and walk up the hill to their house. I stared at them as they walked. It was almost as if I saw my two sons...I know that before I know it they will be that big.

I'm sorry about the bad mood. You know you are entitled. Don't worry about yelling at the kids. They know they are loved. Mr F, that's another story. No take-out lunches for him! That just sucks the budget and adds resentment when you are making sacrifices. I mean it has been ages since you have been able to do the whole Target dance and I remember how much you enjoyed that when you lived in AA.

I think you will feel better when you are in the car driving to Michigan. You just need things to begin.

On a completely different note, my kids don't even get out of school for the year until June 26th. I can't believe you guys will be out for an entire month before their summer starts!

Hang in there, my friend.

Haley said...

Hey lady,

Sorry I've been popping in intermitently these days -- my sister's wedding is approaching like a big stress tornado and causing my family to lose their collective shit. I LOVED that passage you quoted from the book --it's so true (and you can teach kids to suppress their anger without telling them to as well -- just being an example will do it, which is how I learned). I hope your time in Michigan lifts the weight off your shoulders for awhile -- you've earned an escape from the stress you've been under!

lucinda said...

The other evening we were walking into karaoke (hey, I know we're dorks) when I turned to my husband and said "Everything you say pisses me off." This is what happens when you're not allowed to be open about your feelings. The day comes along when you think that it will take mayhem to make you feel better. Putting it out there helps. Giving loved ones the chance to support your feelings (which, duh, they can't do if you don't share them) helps. So does doing my narcissistic bitch dance in my room. I give myself about ten minutes.

P/F said...

I'm already thinking that I'm over summer vacation this year (and the boys are done tomorrow). I see lots of road trips and geography for the kids to keep mom from going ca-ray-zay.

...And many, many day trips to Saugatuck & Holland.

Elizabeth said...

Soon, you'll be Up North on the deck with a drink (Cocktails still at 5 before dinner?) the girls will play on the beach, and summer will settle in.

Meanwhile, it sounds like some reasonable anger! Sometimes I *wish* I had someone to blame other than myself!

It's a huge thing that you deal with this openly and honestly, with yourself as well as Mr. F, many many of us can't do that.

Hang in there? is that too fatuous? I know I'm looking forward to seeing you & the girls.

Marie said...

Soon you'll be at the summer house..relaxing with a drink and at the beach..girls running around carefree..and life will be good. Bringing cash is great cause you know what you got for the week and when its gone its gone. Mr. F--can you get him a gas card? That way he can always get gas, but no lunches? Too restrictive??(yeah, I'm mean that way!)

I love the idea of the 3 things you want to do each day (and not the dishes..). We have been outside every day since summer started and let me say, the inside of my house has suffered..dirty floors (from dirty feet!), piled up dishes, baskets of laundry. But whatever. During the winter my house is spotless. During the summer my outside is great. I can scrub when its 40 below and dark...I can't play outside w/ my girls then!!

P.O.M. said...

Thanks for sharing that passage. I think it struck cords for a lot of us.

My old relationship was definately a "don't rock the boat" type of one. It drove me nuts and to the point where I would explode out of nowhere, then he would get mad and call me crazy. (well, duh!)

But now that I am finally starting to embark on a new relationship (yep!), I want to get things started on the right foot - with communication. I think we're doing good so far, but it's just the beginning. More later.

It seems that you are already ahead of the game with this. You know what is RIGHT for you and you have permission to do what is right for you, even if others don't see your perspective. See, you don't need your therapist to tell you - I just did. And I'm oh-so qualified (sarcasm)!

angie said...

i am here :-) i need a break from grant writing.

fyi, i forwarded that essay to T. I really, really like it.

Supermom said...

Are you feeling better today??

BTW, your boobs do look huge in that dress!!!! ~wink~

Mrs Furious said...

"But now that I am finally starting to embark on a new relationship"
I am HAPPY for you. I think that sounds great.

I am SO looking forward to being Up North and catching up in person!!!


you know I never did get out to Saugatuck or Holland... I always meant to and then we up and moved before I made the effort.

Gas card... genius. Not too restrictive. Seriously there is no such thing when it comes to him.

Mrs Furious said...

I know I commented back to everyone last night... I must of forgot to hit publish!

Love that you wrote about loving your kids current ages. That is very helpful for me to hear. You get stuck in your moment and can't envision how the future could be or that you'll be just as fulfilled/happy.

Thanks for the email :)

I am so glad that some people even took the time to read that essay. Dude... it was like reading my mind!!!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin