I kind of let myself down yesterday; I lost my temper with someone I care about 😦
I was warned by my counsellor that my changing would probably have some kind of effect on my friends and family, the extent however, was not something that I had anticipated.
Nothing and no one seems safe or stable. I have lost one long standing friend, another went and came back and a friend that I never thought I’d never lose seems to have officially axed me from her life just to make a point that to her mind, I need her more than she needs me and that I should feel lucky to get any of her time.
And just when I thought I had one friend who would stay strong and consistent, she lashed out at me over dinner yesterday, shocking me somewhat and ruining both the meal and the evening.
It’s probably safe to say that I have had a reputation of being a pretty formidable woman, and it kind of seems that on seeing me soften, some of my loved ones think it will be a good opportunity to push the boundaries, or ‘test’ me, so to speak, which immediately makes me rear back, think DANGER and revert to ‘fight or flight’.
Usually fight 😦
What happened in this instance was that I defended myself as quietly, coldly and efficiently as I could, seeing as we were in a crowded restaurant, but when she didn’t let it go when we were heading to the local pub, I struck back viciously, and told her exactly what I thought of her, the issues in question and what she had done to the evening and our friendship, shocking her into silence and nearly to tears.
Was I sorry or regretful?
When I blow, it’s somewhat volcanic inasmuch as it takes quite some time for me to simmer down. If I am merely annoyed, I have my say, make my point and then let it go, but if I lose my rag to this extent, it’s a completely different ballpark.
My ex fiancé used to follow me from room to room trying to engage with me after one of our epically inflammatory exchanges, no matter how much I pleaded with me to leave me be for a couple of hours, which resulted in my lashing out and saying things to him that one can never take back, hence we’re no longer together.
I didn’t want that to happen to me and G, but the simmering aftershocks of rage and the self destructive desire to punish joined forces and swept me away, and it took all of my control not to slap her down when she kept trying to clumsily make amends.
She wouldn’t quit though. She kept on and on, breaching where most fear to tread, asking me why I wouldn’t stop ‘sulking’ and get over it, getting more and more frustrated with me, to the point of resorting to insults, and I could feel those things that can never be retracted filled my mouth, howling to be let free.
But somehow I pulled it back.
I very quietly and carefully told her that not everyone was like her, that some people took time to calm down and that if she could be quiet and let it DROP, just for a little while, I might be able to recover and not be angry anymore. Not that I actually believed what I was saying at the time; I just wanted to avoid mortally wounding the silly cow.
‘But that’s stupid!’, she cried, ‘why’d you wanna be like that? It’s childish! Why can’t we just put it behind us and end the night on a good note?’
Ah, my friend G.
All the emotional intelligence of a bog brush.
Suddenly I saw sanctuary in the form of a little art gallery, grabbed her arm, and steered her swiftly in it’s general direction.
‘Because,’ I hissed, ‘it’s my nature. I didn’t choose it, I don’t want it, but there you go, it is what it is. Why don’t we go in here, look at the lovely pictures and maybe just maybe we can go for a nice drink afterwards. If you can manage to shut the fuck up for 20 minutes that is?’
And we did it.
Not without a residual bit of muttering and moaning from G, but she finally realised that I was trying, and entered into the spirit of aiming to achieve a comfortable silence instead of filling it with irritating babble.
And after 15-20 minutes, I managed to make myself make polite innocuous conversation with her, which eventually relaxed into amiable banter after a couple of G&Ts in the pub.
G will never know how hard that was for me, and she is the one friend who has the capacity to drive me crazy, but she has a big heart, and I’m grateful that I didn’t kick her into touch with cruel words and chilling silence.
And this morning, when I was at last capable of doing so, I gave her a call and apologised for my part in the disagreement.
She, bless her heart, said she’d forgotten it already, then rather ungallantly started banging on about why did reacted how she did, and what I’d done wrong, but for once, instead of losing patience, and defending myself yet again, I did a curious thing.
I swallowed it.
And I kept listening for a good 20 minutes until she was done.
OK, I was getting prickly and was half watching/listening to some tripe on TV, but I let her have her say.
It wasn’t easy. But I did it.
Jesus, am I going to have to do this with all my friends?!
Is this how normal people behave?
One day at a time Sista, remember, one day at a time…