Sometimes I get tired of having to ask for help.
I mean can’t you just read my mind, or something? My sighs? The slamming of the cabinets?
I grew up in a family in which I had to become adept at reading body language and assessing the emotional temperature of a room – so I learned how to read minds –so why can’t you?!
Short-circuiting, crossed wires and blown fuses happen when a family is affected by alcoholism or any of the other –isms. Those interpersonal relationships are not fueled by love, compassion or respect; instead, they are driven by fear, anger, worry and shame.
When someone’s life is based in fear and a hunger for control, he/she acts from an instinctual place. A place that is primal, reactive, and in the extremes. He/She lives from the gut – not by the heart or intellect. There is no gray area or thinking as to how this behavior affects others. Behaviors are self-centered, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally). And it gets handed down to the next generation until someone breaks the cycle.
I didn’t learn tools for living in my home. I learned how to follow directions and stay out of trouble. I l was raised to fear God and pray a bunch of prayers by rote for atonement of my sins. I didn’t learn how to connect with others, or with God, – I learned to live my life for the wants of others. I was taught that drama and extreme emotions were the keys to getting my way, that manipulating others was the only way to get help and to be passive-aggressive when I didn’t get what I wanted. And that someone should be able to see what I am thinking and act accordingly.
Those” tools” landed me in a bunch of unhealthy relationships; including my marriage (in the early stages).
I have long since stopped being passive-aggressive and feeling the need to manipulate others to get my needs met; however, I still have a problem with thinking that other people should be able to read my mind.
I need to break my cycle. I want to break my cycle.
I had a “mommy tantrum yesterday and it scared me.
My daughter turned 11 and she invited several girls to sleepover to celebrate. I had a lot to get accomplished and I didn’t plan on any deviances from my to-do list: Lacrosse game in the morning – check. Dinner set up for tonight – check (thank goodness for my hubby).. Laundry washed and dried-check. Bathrooms cleaned – check. Grocery store for drinks and breakfast – heading there. Leaving her cleats at the lacrosse field – uh, not check – not in the plan!
The cleats set me off.
Why, why, why can’t she keep track of her stuff? (hindsight = hmm, probably because she has ADHD and needs reminders). We were heading to the store to get some missing items ( 20 minutes away from the field) and she tells me, “ Mom, I don’t know where my cleats are!”
What do you mean you don’t know where they are? You had them on!
I can’t find them. Remember we had to switch into our tennis shoes for the turf and I must have forgotten them.
Then the verbal outburst ensues. Defamations of character and chunks taken from her self-esteem. All from me. Her mother – the woman who went through aggressive fertility treatments and two rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) to conceive and carry this precious child who turns 11 today.
I drove her to the field and the cleats were there.
I drove her home in silence, steaming with anger and frustration that my plans were derailed.
Why am I acting this way towards my daughter?
Because I have not spent enough time with God to break my pattern. I am still trying to handle it on my own – and we can see that is not working for me very well as I was not taught healthy interpersonal skills from my family of origin. I need to turn it over.
It’s okay that she’s not perfect – I’m not, so why do I expect it from her? We all make mistakes – and that’s all that was…a simple mistake. Rather than taking a breath and trusting that it would all work out, I had a mommy tantrum.
I had too much on my list and I didn’t ask for help – from God, my husband or my daughter.
I am not happy for how I behaved toward my daughter, yet I am grateful for the realization that I need to change my interactions with her.