Friday, November 24, 2006

not quite as peaceful as I'd hoped for

Let me begin by saying that I’m writing about this because that’s what I do—I write about things on my blog. I’m upset, I write. I’m happy, I write. It’s a coping mechanism. I work hard not to censor my blog based on various individuals in my life who may or may not read it. This is my space, and, quite frankly, it’s all about me here. I’m upset, so I will write about it, and that’s that…

My plan to drink lots of wine and not fight with anybody didn’t exactly go as planned.

It seems like everything I know about life just gets turned around at this house; it’s like stepping into an alternative universe. Nothing I know to be true holds up. The things I do to serve my community are a liability, something I have to defend, instead of something to be proud of, and working hard to get an education isn’t hard work at all—I’m not sure what they think it is, but it sure isn’t considered anything special, despite the fact that they never did it. If I were working hard to build a career and support a family at 21, now then they’d be proud. But going to school and working part time, that’s easy stuff, and I’ve no right to comment that I’m busy or broke if I choose to volunteer. That’s a choice that I make and, frankly, one that my parents seem to resent.

What pisses me off is that that’s not even what this fight was about. But it gets brought up, regardless, just like it does every time we argue. And it frustrates me beyond belief.

Sometimes I just don’t know how to get things to work out the way I’d like them to. It seems like I’ve learned so much about communicating: choosing my battles, using “I” language, talking openly and honestly about feelings…none of it works. What do you do when it seems like everything you say is taken as criticism? When people say things to you that hit below the belt? When no matter what, the skills you’ve learned can’t prevent what should be a rather peaceful conversation from turning into a huge blowup?

I tried, I really did. I kept trying to deescalate the situation to no avail. Eventually, I lost my cool, said some things I didn’t mean, and now my dream of being the bigger person is blown all to hell.

Every time this happens, I tell myself, “Ya know, sometimes you just have to give it up. You’re never going to win this fight, so stop trying. Let it go. Realize that, in fact, you are still an intelligent, capable, worthwhile person—and most importantly, a sane person—and that fixing this is beyond your control.” I know that while I’m not always able to control the situation, I am able to control my reaction to it, and I reacted in a way that wasn’t worth the result.

I just want so badly to fix these relationships, and it’s hard for me to realize that I’m not necessarily able to. There’s some dissonance between what they see in me and what I see in myself. It’s so hard to say that the people who raised me don’t know the me that I want them to, or that they want something so much different than what I do out of our relationship.

I’m done for tonight. I’m taking some ibuprofen, smoking a cigarette, and going to bed. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.


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