Ugly behavior from Mom.
Have you ever had to come face to face with yourself and really evaluate your behavior? And then you see how truly ugly it is??
I kind of had to do that yesterday. I think I woke up a little grouchy. I have obviously been feeling overwhelmed with life details. I help everyone manage their emotions, drama, and details, but I do not take enough time out for my own emotions, drama, and details.
Last week was bad, in the ‘busy’ department. We knew this week was going to be bad. Monday Spike woke up with some kind of stomach bug–puking and diarrhea, so there was all of that extra laundry, extra trip to the grocery store, extra cleaning of floors and people. Sun is trying to finish off all of her extra projects and finals for homeschooling. Company is coming on Friday, so we have been planning extra cleaning but that isn’t happening and then there is all of the extra projects and field trips at work and school that need you to bring in just one thing. (Seriously? For me this week that has meant: marshmallows, two gifts for the gift exchanges, making bread sticks, two movie tickets—just this week! And three basketball practices, 4 surprise visitors, 1 planned visitor and today is only Wednesday!) I am beginning to see why I have been feeling overwhelmed.
|how I felt.|
Tuesday morning, my sweetheart pulled me aside to say, “I am having a really hard time. Thank you for doing this, but I need that.” I heard, “You aren’t doing it right again. Quit doing all these things I said were important yesterday, and do this instead.” Then, same morning, I get a phone call from one of my emotionally high maintenance children abroad telling me his grocery shopping list and menu desires at 7:30 a.m. when I am late getting people out the door. There were also extra requests from my sweetheart and the children, “Please proofread this or that, which needs to be turned in today.” I thought I was taking it all in stride. I was not.
Drew could tell I was irritated. On the drive to school and work, he asked if I was alright and I told him I was just frustrated. He took the opportunity to try and tease me back into a better mood.
That was a mistake.
|His efforts to calm me down|
He kept poking me (literally) while I was driving.
“Is this bothering you?!”
“Yes,” with eye contact.
“Should I stop it?”
“Yes,” again with eye contact, while driving.
He still kept poking me. Then he put his finger on my nose. (Now, this entire interaction took maybe a minute, 90 seconds, tops!)
But internally, I hit the roof. Externally, I calmly said, “How about I pull the car over and walk home and you drive the boys to school?”
So I did. That was it. I pulled the car over, put it in park, turned off the ignition, took the keys, got out and started walking home.
I made it four blocks before I ran into our car at a cross street of my homeward path. They opened the door for me.
“Has your brisk morning walk cooled off your temper?”
My behavior so stunned their sensitivities, they were able to find humor in the situation and their laughter and smiles softened my heart. I too found the situation slightly silly and amusing. I got into the car and we discussed the situation later.
I guess after I pulled the car over and got out, Sport said, “Hey!? What just happened??”
Drew: “I guess your mother is angry about something and is more upset than I thought she was.”
Sport: “Well, FIX IT!” and they came to pick me up.
In discussing the morning’s activity, Drew asked me to explain why I was so upset. I related the stress I have been feeling, and the lack of support and cooperation I feel. My sweetheart said, “Carin, we have had no idea you have been feeling this way. You didn’t bother to say, ‘Hey, this is a bad morning, back off.’ ” Drew has been feeling like things are seriously improving in our relationship. I have not been so sure. I know he is happier. There is serious opposition going on here.
I recognized that because I struggle to trust others with my feelings, I often don’t share them, even with the people I live with. I mask them and hide them, looking on the outside like all is well and under control. Internally however, every carbohydrate in the house and I have become fast friends, sharing secret rendezvous. The scale validates our relationship. I hate that I use food to manage emotions. So irritating.
I guess I should just be really grateful that I am not using more destructive things to manage my emotions.
On the bright side of things, Spike got up this morning and said, “Mom, my tummy feels better.” No one else has thrown up yet…….
so we shall see……..