I Simply Do Not Understand
I had such hopes for yesterday. I awoke with a vivid spirit and a happy heart. Although I got up a bit late, and felt a bit rushed with helping my mother through her morning tasks (moving and setting up the oxygen, dressing, bathroom issues, medication issues, breakfast, etc)... there was promise to the day.
I also had a Departmental Meeting to go to. Surprisingly, it was relatively tension free, although it was again 2.5 hours in a very, very small room.
I even had plans to go visit my father-in-law, and was looking forward to it more than I have many things lately.
Unfortunately, the day turned sour quite abruptly and without much warning. My wife has a significant difficulty in dealing with poor moods. Two events over the last twenty-four hours apparently laid a minefield of anger that I had been walking unsuspectedly through.... feeling better than I had in quite a while.
First, during the middle of the night (roughly sometime around 3:30am, my wife woke me from a sound sleep to say she had seen a bunch of people carrying bags toward a parked car that was in the street in front of our house. She wanted me to go and check it out and was certain that they had gotten into our vehicles and rummaged through them.
I quietly groused a bit about this... it was 3:30am, but complied with her request. Of course, nothing was amiss. I retrieved my wife's cell phone from her vehicle, looked to make sure nothing in them was disturbed, and locked all the doors of all the vehicles again. I went up and told her nothing was wrong and My wife has what I consider an extreme fear of robbery at night, or of people roaming the streets and attacking our home. She watches out the window from our second story bedroom every night and is awake at the slightest noise from outside. So, I try to do what she requests in these matters, even though we live in an exceptionally safe, quiet neighborhood.
I then crawled into bed and quickly went back to sleep. Little did I know... but the die had been rolled and I had earned an emotional equivalent of two "ones".... otherwise known as snake eyes...... WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
(What I learned in hindsight during the late afternoon was that I should have came in and hugged her, and talked to her and reassurred her for 15-20 minutes)
In the morning, my wife was aggrivated at another member of our family, and hence felt it was appropriate to give me "attitude" because of the aggrivation she was feeling. I did not do anything to deserve this attitude. She then pulled me aside and was askinig me all sorts of questions about what I was going to do today and what her day would be like. She asked me if she should generally stay around the house other than a few errands and a meeting so that mom would feel more comfortable about not being alone (which is what we had planned for Friday already earlier in the week) or if she should go to her meeting and then stay out and about and then do errands and basically not be at home at all. To me this sounded like she wanted to change our already exisiting plans to suit some sort of differnt thing she wanted to do, so as I had already experienced "attitude" from her, I didn't want to talk much about it and said, "Whatever, it doesn't matter much either way." WARNING!!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!! Another bad roll of the dice.
(What I apparently should have known was that my wife was trying to help ME and she was asking this to just reconfirm what we had already said... with just enough moxie and attitude to keep me on my toes).
So I go to work and my Department Meeting and escape back to my office 2.5 hours later. I meet with three students which eats up another hour. Within a matter of a few minutes of finishing with the last student, I receive a phone call from her. The end result is we end up talking (arguing) about why she was upset with me on several levels for the above two items. This takes up another 2.5 hours, and by this time I am tired, with a headache and very aggrivated and unhappy. Of course my wife then tells me that letting out all "these feelings" makes her feel "great", to which I think and I of course feel like sh*t. I don't need to be vented upon like this, especially when I didn't do a damn thing wrong. When I do something wrong.... yes, I will take my lumps and my punishment.... and deserve it. But I DID NOT in this case.
Unfortunately this happens every few weeks. It has been going on for years now. It is frustrating and emotionally draining as hell.
I have tried for years to understand why she feels she needs to do this time and time again. I have finally realized that there is no hope of it ever going away. It is just going to happen for as long as it does. Reasoning and logic do not help in any way, shape or form.
Therefore, after long contemplation (it was already too late to go visit my father-in-law, so I had to make up an excuse of being caught in a meeting to not hurt his feelings), I have decided the only way I can protect myself from this when it happens again (AND IT WILL) is to not play along. I will not talk with her about it until I am blue in the face... as it does NO GOOD. The reality is that the only thing I have control over is HOW I REACT TO IT. I am going to try my very best to react in a different way... to not get into a 2-3 hour discussion/argument where I try to reason out what happened and why... and instead either a) ignore it, b) go about doing my own thing, c) finding ways to not take her attitudes towards me to heart, and d) not trying anymore to get her to examine and analyze why she is doing these things. It does no good, and only hurts me.
I do not know if there are landmines lurking around tonight. But even if one explodes in my face, I am determined to change how I respond from now on. I do not need the hurt or the heartache.