Friday, November 17, 2006

Anger and insulation

Today we insulated the attic. My utility bill has been abnormally high, and when my s/o inspected the attic, it's clear why. There was almost no insulation. So he rented a machine and we've been blowing insulation for two hours.

I wish there were some way I could insulate myself against others' anger better. It's been two years coming, but this morning one of my relatives blasted me for something that happened two years ago. Yes, it was significant, but he'd never said word one about it until now. It was a situation arising out of my parents' death and as often happens in families when parents die, things can get downright crazy.

I took care of my mom for many years before she died. The stress of caring for her and the guilt that I wasn't doing it right took its toll on me and within weeks of her dying, I was told I would need a liver transplant. In my heart, without that stress, I don't believe I would have gotten sick, but that's all water over the dam.

All that notwithstanding, I handled her care the best I could. In retrospect, yes, I could have done it better, but given all the circumstances, I did it the best I could at that time. Now, two years later, one of my family members just sent me a pretty hateful email. That's the way people often deal with anger. We don't show it, then a few months or years, whatever time it takes to come to the surface, it then all blows up and is directed at everyone else. It's everyone's fault but ours. Frankly, it wears me out.

Family dynamics are hard. I try to deal with things by thinking: "I may not agree or even at this moment like my family members, but they are all that I have that's truly tied to me. They are my blood." My program friends are so much closer to me than family members precisely because I don't find this recurring family theme of "act like I want or I'll blast you or worse, cut you out of my life." My program friends accept me just the way I am, which is a flawed but still striving to be better human.

I don't deal well with anger, either, and hopefully my family member will forgive me for how I handled things, which definitely wasn't perfectly. Perhaps to avoid a confrontation of this nature I made decisions regarding my parents' wishes taking a softer, easier route. As we know, that never, in the long run, works. But I know I did the best I could under very stressful circumstances.

I will review again how I handled things and make whatever amends I need to make. But for today, I'm bone tired. And feeling in need of some insulation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

tricky! i had to 'do' an uncomfortable boundary today with a family member on the phone. its not easy! but it HAS to be done, otherwise they keep winding you up! i dont have argumentative ones though. that must not be much fun. they just get somewhat indignant when i don't let them get their own way. oh well..
good luck with yours!