Clearing the air

There is a reason why email is never good to deal with resolving heated issues.  I had a little chat with my sister, and it turns out she didn’t know what her friend was going to say until she heard it.  I was still  pretty steamed about it (dog with a bone) and let her know PRECISELY how I felt about the assvice, but in true familial form, she never confronted her friend other than to say she didn’t agree with her suggestions.   I also let her know she should have more faith in how I deal with our mother (she never doubted it) and that I get INFORMED input before making any major decisions.  So no, I didn’t make any ultimatums and I didn’t tear a strip off her but she could feel my heat through the phone.  I also informed her that I would be removing the phone from my mum’s room but increasing the hours of one on one care.  I made myself crystal clear and she received the message.

It’s interesting how she deals with me.  It’s like being managed by a social worker.  She repeats back what I say without ever telling me how she personally feels about the matter.  Mind you, her son is almost always in close proximity to her.   I suspect it’s also a reaction to my anger.  We never dealt well with anger in my family, most our rage got swallowed and repressed and tends to come out sideways or misdirected. We safely rant about the little things in life.   It’s just part of our family dynamic.  I still have issues with anger, but since I married a person who has no issues with showing it, it’s been an interesting challenge for me.  I’ve learned that I excel at righteous indignation with strangers but I rarely express with with the people closest to me. I’m very uncomfortable wielding it. I like to control things so I can get what I want.  Who doesn’t?  But frankly, trying to control what people do, especially your family, is ridiculous.   All I can do is be clear about how I feel, and if that’s anger, well, then so be it.  As a Buddhist, I’ve spent years trying to clarify my true nature, learning how to be happy with who I am and challenging myself to become a better person. I’m still learning.  I’ve had to face some ugly truths about myself.  Infertility brought out every insecurity  I ever had about my place in the world.  It’s a little like finding out you’ve been betrayed by the one person you thought you could count on – and nothing is ever the same again.  I misinterpreted Buddhist teachings to mean that I should never become angry instead of understanding the deeper nature of it.  Still working on it.

But I digress.

I also talked with my eldest sister who is a pro at dodging any serious talk about my mother.  She did offer to contribute to her companion care, but at this point, it’s not necessary.  It’s not about the money, anyway, a point she never seems to comprehend, but I recognize her disabilities even if she doesn’t.  Dealing with her is a little toxic if you know what I mean, so I rarely interact with her.

I find greater relief  and clarity in daimoku than in trying to psychoanalyze my way through my family.  It’s much more effective at affecting change anyway.


5 thoughts on “Clearing the air

  1. Families are such fun, aren’t they?

    So glad that you have a framework for dealing with this difficulty.

    I also have a hard time expressing (even being aware of) my anger. I’m a work in progress.

  2. I also find myself unable to express anger a lot of the time. I usually wind up crying instead. Dh has no problem with anger whatsoever — he explodes (& then 10 minutes later it’s forgotten). It’s an interesting combination, isn’t it??

  3. I guess daimoku would work….but so would alcohol and/or pharmacology 😉

    I escaped needing either, as I wasn’t forced to spend time with my family this holiday. Yay me.

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