June 20, 2008
… and the volcano erupted…
Three weeks ago, I went to my art therapist for my second time. I had agreed with him that I do the drawing at home and visit for the analysis in order to not waste time waiting for my turn since it seems to be really hard for my family to babysit my kids.
I remember one of my drawings was done when I was having a fight with my sister. Also, I remember that during most of my drawings I would remember something upsetting and I would try to put it into whatever it is I was coloring! I had forgotten about that until he mentioned it. He looked through my drawings and made a note about how I still seem to have not found myself, and then he said, “Your reactions tend to be extremely violent and aggressive! However, it seems they get that way when you’re really provoked and pushed beyond your limits; otherwise, you’re very peaceful”.
We were interrupted for a while and then when we resumed, I agreed with him. He told me that my anger was basically harming me, not those who trigger it… that my violence and aggression have a negative impact only on me. I commented that I tend to be on the angry side and that i seem to have been supressing it for a while now, he explained that anger is usually a reaction in the form of feelings that need to be expressed and channeled; otherwise, it would turn into depression. He said the optimum thing for me was to learn to channel my anger and express it in the form of being more assertive.
I was shocked to hear he thought I was not assertive enough; I always thought I was! Everyone around me always made not to subtle comments about my attitude and my strong character and how sometimes I behave more like a male rather than the average submissive female!! He argued that it’s different, that I tend to be too nice to those I care for, that I might pressure myself into taking more than I can handle out of my care and out of my tendency to walk in their shoes.
I tried to argue, but I couldn’t find much to say. He proved his point by referring to my x and how I endured more than I should have and waited until I was pushed too hard and simply couldn’t take anymore. He warned me that I should not allow those who love me to push me beyond my limits. He said I should make my boundaries clear and explain the things I am not willing to take clearly enough in a black/white kinda way; that I should be more assertive that way.
I have been thinking about that since that last session. I’ve been watching myself dealing with my family. As a matter of fact, my friends know my boundaries, they have all experienced angry me and they simply know how to avoid her; nonetheless, my family never knew how to avoid angry me although they have had numberless encounters with her!!
In the past three weeks, I have been on the verge of losing my temper with my mom and my two sisters, and I have really wanted to talk to them and practice my therapist’s advice because I did not want to start having grudges with people I care for. I’ve been putting off that kind of talk for until I am calm enough to do it in an assertive way rather than an angry way.
Seems like I have been putting it off for quite a long time… because today I erupted.
I find my mom pretty abusive with her words and her implications. I feel that she always gives me the biggest dosage because I am the one who fails to ignore her. She’s been making not so subtle comments about how much mess and noise my kids are making, how I should be a better mother when she herself has failed to be a better mother for me for the past 27 years! She doesn’t see her failure, she doesn’t realize that my sisters spending time in their rooms or out with friends to avoid communicating with her.
My parents do not understand my daily battle with myself talking myself out of blaming them. I hate blaming people, especially when it has to do with my own wrong decisions… but here are the facts…
My parents were suffocating me since before I have become a teenager; strict curfews, continuous invasion of my privacy, and constant abuse of my social life!! They made marriage sound more like a getaway plan rather than a choice, so finding someone I loved made it even better; I dressed him on a shiny armor and put him on a white horse and jumped with utter joy when he reached out for my hand!! Now that I am back broken, I will resume the life style they once imposed on me out of their protection of me from what people would think of a divorcee!!
Perhaps I would have been more accepting of it if they applied the same kind of treatment with my younger sisters. But no!! they seem to give them more space to do things I was never allowed to and until now I don’t think I would be allowed to do!! It drives me crazy that I actually had to tell a lie about where I was the other day to have a couple of hours with a friend!! I am 27 for the love of God!!! 7aga teksef!! I know my sisters lie and twist facts a lot to get away with whatever it is they want to do; I taught them that, but to do it myself at this age is just humiliating.
I NEED A BREAK PEOPLE… I am sorry if you find my desperate need for a break too much to ask for or think it’s some sort of an irresponsible behavior. If you call this irresponsible, what do you call what my x has been doing!! Ok, strike that, I refuse to be compared to him. But I do need a break, I think I deserve one and I don’t think it’s a selfish thing to have one, no strings attached. I want a peaceful night were I can simply watch the stars in the sky and listen to my music, I need a massage, I need time with my best friend were I can catch up without having to watch out for either beem or mocha and worry about them harming themselves or each other!!
Now my two sisters… I’ve been passive aggressive with both for a while now, but I am sorry gals, you really have been pushing me! Both of you know that I love you too insanely and that the thought of us getting that distant is extremely painful to me… but lately, it seems like you don’t give the slightest care, and it hurts.
You don’t have to be that condescending, you don’t need to detach that way, you don’t need to judge that much, you don’t have to be that insensitive with all the things you say, do and even imply!! You are four years and six years younger than me and alhamdulilah neither of you have done my mistakes and if you still want me in your lives as a friend, not just a sister, I will always make sure you don’t repeat any of my mistakes, but it seems you don’t even care that much for me as a sister.
I don’t even know how to explain it in details because it’s too raw and I am too sore that way!!
I detach when strangers piss me off. I simply act all snobbish and arrogant and stop sympathizing. Lately you’ve been hurting me in so many ways and treating me in this particular way as if I did something terrible, and I am sorry but I don’t see what I have done; if anything, I think I should start acting that way and start detaching for preservation purposes.
And no, I have not started it and yours is not a reaction to something I have done like you keep saying. That day you wrote that you only react, I tried to think of my action so hard but I couldn't put my hand on it! If I had done anything that earned me that so called reaction, I would have taken it better, because I am very aware of my actions and I do take full responsibility for them. And this makes it hurt even more.
My dear family, you think I have been taking enough time to heal and stand back on my feet. In fact, you’ve supported me for quite a while, and I am thankful, but I have not healed yet, and I am sorry if by saying that I seem like a whining b!^$# but I have not healed! I am feeling better; I started feeling better with your help, but now, you’re denying me that help and suggesting that I don’t even deserve it!!
I wanna lash out and tell you that I don’t need your help or your support and that I would rather move out and rely on myself. But sadly, I can’t; and the fact that I can’t makes it twice as hard for me to suck it up and adapt. How can I adapt when I feel so helpless and dependant?! Every time I see things for what they are that way, I resent my life and I resent my choices. I try not to blame anyone but me, and usually I blame no one but myself.
I blame me for taking a lot more than I can handle from each and every one I cared for. I blame myself for walking in too many shoes when the ones I care for did not bother walking in mine when I needed it the most! I am ashamed at myself for that, because I always always believed that any relationship has to be both ways, and that one should never give more than they take unless at other times they take more than they give. Looks like I gave too much and when I needed to take some more than I gave my check bounced.
I am not badly hurt or heartbroken; I am not even that disappointed. I have already talked to my mother in an erupting manner followed by a calmer manner. As usual, she had to misinterpreted some of what I said into siblings jealousy which infuriated me, but I explained that I never wanted anything my sisters had that I didn’t, simply because I am aware than I had other things they never had, she will never get it though. But I decided to talk to my sisters; if not today, then perhaps when they read this… they’re welcomed to come discuss it provided they don’t do it when I am in one of my pseudo happy moods, I cherish those and I would hate to have them ruined because they are the closest I get to happy.
So there, the volcano erupted, and alhamdulilah it wasn’t that bad. It was much worse in my head.