Anger Management

It’s been another week of mangled and headache-inducing schedule changes. More snow, more school closings, more trying to figure out how to DO IT ALL. I am realizing that as much of the negativity as I’ve been shedding lately, I’m still carrying a lot of my old anger around. Stress has been eating away at the wall I’ve built that protects me from the slights and stupidity of others and the baggage from old and used up relationships.

I don’t know why I think people who exude negativity will suddenly act differently and that I can have a normal encounter with them, because they won’t ever change. I know this. But I let down my guard in a weak moment and found myself back in the mire. Oh, right, you don’t give a shit. You did the pointless unasked for task and expected gratitude but didn’t do any of the small, helpful things that would have gotten you that “thank you” you were fishing for. This whole “not caring about anyone but yourself” thing. The whole “I don’t need a cell phone, I’m just the other parent and don’t need to be reached and anyway my job’s sacred so I can’t help when I’m teaching.” Yes, my bad. How soon I forget.

Oh, right, mom, this is why I never tell you anything because you’re just going to turn it around and bash my dad. Yeeaaahh. Like that’s what a daughter needs to hear. Don’t you realize how wrong that is? To tell me these things? No. Of course not. You never have and never will. I must have lost my friggin’ mind to think otherwise. I really should know better. I do know better. I just forgot for a second there and paid for it.

The two antagonists in my life are very similar. Some girls marry their fathers. I married my mother, in many ways. Self-absorbed with an innate feeling of entitlement. A learned helplessness and fatalistic attitude that is infuriating. Everyone else is to blame for their problems. Oh, easier to do nothing than attempt to do something, anything, try to fix this or that, or consider a better option. Anything but the inertia that forces the other person to clean up the mess, solve the problem, do the things. The sick co-dependent relationships I was stuck in stirred me up like Little Black Sambo’s tiger. I wanted the nice pants and jacket and ended up a puddle of fury butter around the Tree of Wasted Effort.

I really am working on all this. In my spare time. I really thought I’d made some progress dealing with my mother but it’s been tested these last two weeks by too many visits to her and her cat-stink house where everything is filthy and nothing is where it should be. The toaster oven is in a closet (that’s not really a closet) on a filing cabinet pushed so far back in the darkness I can’t see the knobs? What in the fuck IS THAT? How can you live like that? Why is there not a single dish towel to be found? In this house I grew up in, I can’t find a single useful object that isn’t covered in a layer of dust. Could there possibly BE more baskets filled with….junk, garbage, useless nothings, junk mail, expired coupons, old bottles of ointment and used dryer sheets? Is there a single jar, can or bottle that isn’t EXPIRED? It’s hell created by lunatics. Hell that smells like cat pee. And yes, I’ve made a point of keeping the litter pans (there are three!) scooped. It’s not helping. Nothing but burning the place to the ground will help.

I am looking forward to a calm and relaxed weekend. The snow will melt before the rain begins. The temperatures will rise a bit. We all might go out tomorrow to dress shop (Dusty has a Bat Mitzvah to attend soon and has outgrown the one dress she owns), attend a friend’s birthday party, and eat a restaurant meal I can’t afford. But, money worries are somehow easier to deal with than anger over people obstacles. Money is a tangible, solid thing I have a bit of control over. Mean, selfish, sullen, crazy people, I do not.

I know I can only control my reaction to things, and not necessarily the things themselves, but sometimes, there are just too many THINGS. Too many things at once. Too much bad awful horrible weather. Too many screwed up work/school days. Too much useless menopausal PMS. Too many people needing too much from me.

So, yeah, I’m a little tired right now. But next week is a new week and a new month (though, frankly, between you and me, I always find February harder to get through than January. I know! We’re all in for it, aren’t we?). Perhaps I can conjure up a new attitude. Maybe. We’ll see.

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3 thoughts on “Anger Management

  1. After all this, you’re still standing, which makes me think of the old joke: when you’re going through hell, keep going. If there’s rain next, that’s better than snow. Maybe this is the February that could be a little better than January.

  2. My forecast for the next year: mostly sunny with periods of anger. Try hard not to turn the anger on yourself, though. We all hook our wagons to people and things that are not good for us; consider yourself smart for recognizing this and getting the hell out. Many never do. xo

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