Saturday, August 25, 2007

Can I?

Ahhhh, a soothing image of Lake Powell. A home of the soul . . .

As a few know, Muad'Dib and I "downsized." We sold our two untrustworthy cars for a single '05 Ford Escape. Already it feels more real to me than either of the others. At least real enough that I have given it a name: Junior. Junior of what? I don't know. But the name seems to fit. It is the first car I have ever driven that felt entirely masculine. The other cars I have driven were named Judy, Red and Quest. And Wiggit. They each were feminine in my brain.

But this analysis is not the point of my blog. (I have a point? Let's see.)

Now Muad'Dib takes the car to work and I am home with the two kids. All day. Anyone I have told about the situation has expressed concern for my sanity. Rightly so, no doubt, given my past displays when cut off from any one of the many things I enjoy. I remember well the first day and night spent in our first apartment with no T.V. no phone and no car. I was consumed by inexplicable anxiety.
I'm happy to say that has not been the case this week. I have been more than content to be home. I have cooked, cleaned, baked, gone for walks, read Sandworms of Dune, and played with my children in the rain and in the house.

Today, however, has been a different story. I wigged out a little. I wasn't sure why. I gave myself a time out and tried to calm down. When I felt calm, I came out and before making it entirely out of the hallway, I was yelling at my son because he was laughing.

Hmmmm. Something's wrong here.

Rivulet grabbed for my glasses as I helped the kids clean up and I yelled at her, "You know you aren't allowed to touch my glasses." What is she? One? Good laws! Like I expected her to know what I was saying. Well, sensitive little Rivulet, she understood she was in trouble, curled under her lip and began to cry. I held her while she calmed down and fell asleep.

And I went through the past few days, compared them with today and tried to discover what was different. Without too much trouble I found the difference.

Today I have been unproductive.

The past days each had me doing at least one thing I was proud to tell Muad'Dib about when he returned home to a warm dinner, clean downstairs and happy family. So far today, I could boast no such thing. No laundry done, no real cleaning done. Okay, I finished Sandworms and therefore could discuss it with My Muad'Dib, who was so yearning for someone to talk to about this great ending. But . . .
Then I looked back over much of my life and noticed that I like to relax for a day or two, but all in all, I would rather be busy doing something. I like to be productive. Because I can be. When
I'm not, I feel that one emotion that Trailblazer rightly points out is entirely worthless and unproductive: guilt.
But why react with anger? Perhaps because i am addicted to the feeling of power I get when i exercise my ferocious anger over the little people who fall prostrate at my feet, amazed at my fire and wrath. I'm not giving any other perhaps's because in the deepest parts of my mind that is the answer: that's why I react in anger. I think it gives me power. I think my power is so great that I will scare away anything I don't like. I will change things by the mere force of my anger.
Sound dumb?
It would if it hadn't worked so many times before. But however much this tactic worked or I believe that it worked in the first 20 years of my life, I have to realize that it doesn't work now. Nor should it. Not on my children, not on my husband. Especially not on them. And my body doesn't put up with that anymore. My body does not retreat when my emotional self gets all fire and combust-y. No. It just sits there. Because I have lost it's respect.
I seem to be doing that a lot. (Wildbound, you know what I mean.)
So: earning respect. I know how to do it. Be Productive. Be a producer. Act. Be. If something's not working: change it. If something is working: expound upon it.
Often I end a blog with a great opening of the mind like the one above. Then I say simply, "I can do that."
Can I?
Even as i have been writing this: even as i feel the truth of the revelation in my heart, I have yelled at Lemur. I have felt the hand of anger squeeze my heart, shrinking it, turning it purple with rage that yearns to seep out. then it comes back to guilt. Stupid circular system of emotion.
I guess this is one of those entries that is a little more raw emotion than should be allowed. But it's my blog and my thoughts and although I'm a little ashamed of some of them, what good does shame do me? Writing makes me feel better. Cleaner. A little less Strangled Purple.
But do you know what I could really use right now? I know, but dare not ask for it. It sounds too much like quitting already. Let me see if I can push past this pure primal reaction and create something to be proud of today. I can do that.
Can I?


WildBound said...

Yes, I know what you mean. And you probably know what Wildman would/will of two of his favorite sayings....

How's that workin' for ya?
(the other one, is "I'm over it." Probably put that on his headstone.)

Anyway, you can see that what you are currently doing isn't working. Got it. The tricky part is knowing how to change that, or what to change it to. Otherwise, you immediately go back to the habitual. The reaction. What do you replace it with? What CAN you replace it with? What DOES work? What DO you need? What are your options?

Ahenobarbus Textor said...

Even though it's just "raw emotion," it still resonates. I've felt and acted similarly. One thing that I've discovered about myself (this in no way implies that it's true for you) is that there is a spot of time, too infinitesimal to measure, between feeling powerless and the rush of anger: FEAR. For me, the biggest hurdle is usually discovering what, exactly, I'm afraid of and am trying to circumvent dealing with. Sometimes the answer comes quickly. Others it takes weeks. Most, I still haven't dealt with. But I will. That's one of the reason's I'm here on this earth.

Good commentary, Wildbound.

Sayyadina said...

Thanks for comments that make me think along a brighter path. Here's hopin'.