Posts Tagged ‘Anger’

How To Find Forgiveness

Monday, May 17th, 2010

There is a reason i haven’t posted much on Dogwood Girl lately. I have been heartbroken. I barely managed to brush my teeth and get the kids where they need to be and hold up my end of meaningless conversations.

I went for a run the other day. It was the worst one i have ever had. It was only supposed to be about 30 minutes and an easy run, but my heart wasn’t in it. Usually, when I run, it helps me de-stress. I think about the things that are bringing me down, or frustrating me, and I come away with a plan for fixing them, or put them in perspective and realize that they just aren’t that important. This problem? This problem just beat me down. I just wanted to cry and scream and lay down in the road. I was just so tired of feeling raw and angry and sad, that I just wanted to lay down and have someone come pick me up so i could sit on my couch, watch Joan of Arcadia (a world of order and obvious purpose), drink wine, and eat peanut butter Bowls of Shame all day.

The things that have been getting me down won’t be so easily put aside by a run.

I am hurt. I am angry. I am resentful and feeling betrayed. I don’t think this is what I was meant to feel in response to the actions of someone else, someone that I love very much. I don’t think that they set out to hurt me. They are just doing their thing, being themselves. But their actions have caused me no small amount of pain, anger, depression, and a very twisted feeling of shame – A sense of “How could i have let someone make me feel this way?” The only thing i can compare this feeling to is the first time you have your heart broken. There is a hopelessness and a sense that nothing will ever be the same again. You vow to yourself that you will never. let it. happen. again.

I should point out here, that this post has nothing to do with my marriage, or romantic love. Things are wonderful with me and Todd. He is everything I ever wanted in a husband (minus the snoring, and maybe could be improved if he enjoyed giving nightly back rubs). This post has to do with trusting someone to be honest, fair and sensitive to the feelings of other. It has to do with being able to put your heart in someone’s hands for years on end, and knowing that they will not crush you. It has to do with having faith in another person that they will do the right thing and then having them live up to that.
It has to do with giving someone your all for 30 + years, buying into something – an idea of honor and tradition and loyalty – because you thought you were some kind of team and you had the same values. It has to do with the fallout when that person turns out to not be who you thought they were, and does not have the same respect for you that you have always given them. It’s about what it feels like when the majority of your life feels like one big huge lie, perpetrated against you in some sick, sick cruel joke.

This is a post about what would have happened if Gone With the Wind had ended differently. What if Gerald O’Hara said, “Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts,” to Scarlett her whole sixteen years, and then everyone went to the BBQ and found out the war had started and Gerald had pulled Scarlett aside and said, “Sweetie, I know you aren’t going to like this, but there’s a war comin’ and we better just go ahead and sell Tara now.”

The thing is, though, there is no way out of this situation that will end well. When you are 20 years old and a boy breaks your heart, you can move on. Cutting a person out of your life is not that hard. There is no collateral damage in that situation. You have no responsibilities and can spend every waking moment on a couch in a bar with friends, drinking until the pain is just a blur and then one day you sober up and realize the pain is only a distant memory, and you really didn’t need that person to give you an identity, to help make you who you are.

But what do you do if it’s your family? If you can’t just cut people out of your life like dead weight? This is a post about finding a place for yourself, and your relationships, that you can live with.

Mostly, it is a post about finding forgiveness. How do you find forgiveness when your heart is like a stone in your chest, and the thought of forgiving someone who has so grievously wronged you makes you feel physically ill? How do you heal a sorrow that feels like it will never, ever go away?

Have you ever forgiven someone when you thought you never could? How did you do it? Is there a roadmap for forgiveness? Is there a practical method for finding your way to a place where you don’t feel like a walking, gaping, open fucking wound?

Because I am so not there yet.

To Write, or Not to Write

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Much to say, and just not gutsy enough to say it, so i haven’t been posting. I have been writing, keeping it to myself. Not bottling it up, but not letting it see light, either. Part of me thinks I am a big pussy for not just writing things out in the name of honesty and forthrightness. The other part of me knows that it might cause irreparable damage.

Or maybe the damage is already done. Am I selfish for wanting to purge all of this heartache? Would it be healthy for me? Or would it just be me seeking vindication, revenge. Even if I was doing it for the right reasons, is it possible that those involved would see it that way? No. I don’t think it’s possible.

So, I guess I do have boundaries.

Huh. Didn’t see that coming. . . .

Consider Yourselves Guilt-Tripped

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

So, I wrote here about how I was kind of scared of letting other people read stuff I’ve written. (By “stuff,” I mean fiction. – Obviously, I am perfectly comfortable writing about my vagina, periods, mood swings, sex, drinking, desire to throw my children out of a window, etc.)

Well, I finally finished a draft of a story, and I wanted feedback, so I gave the draft to the two people I trust most in the world and asked for feedback. I received some positive verbal feedback from one of them, and requested that she maybe write some of it down on the pages and give it back to me, so that I could remember them (memory is not what it used to be) and so that I could digest them fully. I have seen nothing. This was weeks ago. The other reviewer, who shall also remain nameless, but who knows who he is, has skimmed it, felt uncomfortable that he might be the basis for a character, and told me verbally that he found parts confusing from a setting standpoint. I asked him to read it fully and write some of the contents down. I haven’t seen a thing. It has been almost a month.

What the fuck, people? I put my blood and guts and heart on a piece of paper for you to mark up with a colored goddamn marker (which I would think you would do gleefully), and you don’t even bother to return it to me?

I know you have shit going on. I know you are busy/tired/scared of hurting my feelings. You know what really hurts my feelings? That you must understand that this was a big step for me, and you just left me hanging. If anything says, “I don’t think you are going to be much of a writer,” it is not bothering to take the time to really read what I have written.

I just had to say it, because . . . well, I feel unsupported, and my feelings are hurt. Guilt trip over, but consider your asses busted out on the internet.

p.s. This doesn’t get you out of reviewing the thing. I will expect the copies returned, picked apart, within the week.

The Things We Don’t Say to Our Children

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I went to pick up Rollie today from Mommies’ Morning Out. When I got there, he was pouting, and when I told him it was time to go, he threw a fit. Both the teacher and the aide looked concerned, and the aide said, “We have Lunch Bunch today and he heard the kids talking about it and then saw them pull out their lunches, and he got really upset.” Lunch Bunch is this thing where you pay extra for your kid to stay there from noon til 1pm, thus giving moms an extra hour of freedom. I told Rollie he needed to put on his jacket, so that we could go see the doggie in the car (Quint always rides with Matilda and I to pick up Rollie). He began crying pitiful, tortured tears of sorrow at not being able to eat with his classmates.

I felt the heat of tears welling up in my own eyes, and struggling to fight them back, I clutched Rollie to me with one arm (the other occuped with Tiller) and held him to me as he struggled. I managed to get his jacket on him, and grabbed his hand to take him to the car, Matilda still in my other arm, and Rollie struggling all the while. He managed to break free, screaming “I want Miss M____” (his teacher) and threw himself into her legs. She picked him up and offered to take him to the car, but i declined and said it was okay, he needed to learn that he couldn’t stay.

I knew that i had about five seconds to make my way out of that classroom before I burst into tears, and I managed to make it out the door and around the corner before the dam burst. Tears began flowing freely down my face as I struggled to get the keys out of my pocket and open the van doors. I fought them back and then realized it was no use and began angrily wiping them away as soon as they fell, finished strapping both kids into their carseats, and got into the driver’s seat. There is a point when tears come, at least for me, when I know there is no turning back, that once i give in to them, they will not stop. Everything in me wanted to lay my arm across the steering wheel and sob my guts out right there in the church parking lot, with all the well-meaning do-gooders coming in and out with kids in tow, but for a proud non-cryer like me, there is nothing more horrific than the thought of being comforted by church ladies with their well-meaning pats on the back, and their concerned looks, and, God forbid, their attempts at giving me a hug.

I had to get the hell out of there.

I drove to the end of the parking lot, and knew I was in the clear, as it is one way during pickup time. As I rounded the corner out of the lot, the tears came on full force, and Rollie said wonderingly from the back:

“Mama, what happened?”

“Mama’s sad.”

“Why you sad?”

“Because I love you.”

Great, i think to myself. Now he thinks it’s his fault.

The tears came harder, and became sobs, with my voice sounding to me like someone else’s, coming forth of its own volition. I just gave in to it, and I cried the whole way to the light, where I sat and sobbed and snuffled and sniffled, and wiped snot on my sleeve and rubbed my eyes roughly, and did all sorts of undignified shit until I got the left turn signal, where I wiped away the tears, turned left and headed straight for McDonald’s drive-thru. Sometimes your son just deserves the chicken nuggets, with the fries rather than the fucking killjoy apple slices, and with chocolate milk instead of white milk (the annoying term for regular milk that drive-thru employees in the ‘hood call it. Those of us with an education call it “regular milk.”) Sometimes his Mama deserves to say, “FUCK WEIGHT WATCHERS. I WANT A NUMBER 2 VALUE MEAL, PLEASE.” That’s just the way of the world.

Rollie says, “Mama, you like chicken?”

“Yes, Rollie, I like chicken, but i am going to have a hamburger.”

“Tiller badiller likes chicken. She not like chocolate milk. She likes regular (yes!) milk.”

“Yes, Rollie, she likes regular milk and chicken and french fries.”

“Mama, french fries make you happy?”

“Yes, Rollie, they make me very happy.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, Rollie.”

“Why you cry in the car?”

“Because I’m happy. Sometimes mamas get sad. Sometimes they are happy.”

Sometimes you don’t tell little boys that you are crying because you are sorry that the house hasn’t sold, so we live 30 minutes from the school and if he stayed for Lunch bunch, he and matilda would fall asleep in the car, and then there would be no nap, and how could i have the silence necessary to figure out the budget in a vain attempt to find some miraculous way of allowing me to stay home with them longer? Sometimes you don’t tell him that even if we lived five minutes from the school, we probably couldn’t afford the Lunch Bunch, and that he is never going to get to do Lunch Bunch with his new friends, because in less than two months, we are going to have to yank him out of that school and put him somewhere that will take him all day, and hopefully it will be somewhere that will also be able to take his sister, but it probably won’t, and so they won’t see each other all day long, and we will have to figure out how to get him to one place, and her to another and me to an office, and I fucking hate offices and their fucking fluorescent lights, and I hate that i will have to get up two hours or more earlier than I do now and that I hate that I won’t be able to see him at lunchtime, or drive him through McDonald’s, or yell at him to stop trying to hold hands with his sister, because she doesn’t want to hold hands right now and that is why she is crying. I hate that I will get back two tired, over-stimulated kids, who will argue and cry over dinner, and I will be tired and not even have time to play with them or just sit and watch a cartoon on the couch with both of them in my lap. That I hate that now I have them from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. every day and that the times that I don’t have them are like magic, not torture, but that will change, and it will all be torture and the maybe two hours i have with them every day will be sweet torture, too. I don’t tell him that I will think a hundred times a day how much i miss him annoying the shit out of me with wanting me to build the choochoo tracks and give him snacks, and how much i will fucking hate those people who give him his snacks every day when he should be trying to get them out of my fridge at home with me trying to stop him. I don’t tell him that I feel like Tiller is completely getting the shaft, that he got me for over three years, and she barely got me for over one year. I don’t tell him that I am scared of the people who will be talking to my baby, who is just learning to speak, and who knows what kind of frightening grammar they might teach her? Or that I read to her in the morning, and before quiet time, and before bedtime, and it is our special time, and we have a routine and she is warm and she laughs when I nuzzle her ear as I whisper into them some of the words.

“Mama,” Rollie says, “why are you crying?”

“Because I love you, and I am happy, and I am sad.”

I don’t tell him that it is because my heart feels like it is about to break.