I have needed to make a decision. One that should be simple enough but is so loaded with emotions that the simplicity has splintered into a million pieces.
It all began with an offer to go and visit my parents, with the ticket and travel bought and arranged for me. My immediate response was an emphatic “NO”. That lasted all of 5 minutes, then the obligation and guilt set in. The dreaded “should” crept into my thinking. I should want to see them; I should make the effort; I should be excited to spend time with them; I should give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe my thinking is skewed and they are not what I perceive them to be; I should give them a chance. Then as one does, the oscillation began – sticking to my guns and not going or listening to the “shoulds” and go.
I decided to try and sift through all the voices in my head and get to what I really felt, what I really wanted to do. I realised that I didn’t know what I felt when I tried to strip everything away. I could just hear the voices of my mother and my ex and a couple of other people who mean well, but don’t understand my thinking, nor my family dynamics. And I felt angry. I felt angry that I couldn’t decipher my own feelings. I was angry that I had let other people dictate to me for so long as to what I should think and feel and which course of action I ought to take. The more I plumbed the depths of my anger, the more anger I uncovered.
It struck me that it was a lot of anger and I wondered what was behind that. I recalled a conversation that I had had earlier in the day where a friend had commented that I was like a rebellious kid. It got me thinking about my most feisty child, who used to have proper meltdowns when he had been hurt or treated unfairly. It was never a meltdown just because. There was ALWAYS a hurt of some kind driving it and the response was anger, to cover the hurt. And I related. Yes, I am a rebellious child. I am reacting to the hurt. I am protecting myself. I am hiding the pain.
I don’t dip into this cesspit much, as I fail to see the point of poking this sleeping dragon. It is not stuff that I can discuss with the people concerned. In most cases, the recipients of these discussions would not be able to hear what I want to say. In a few cases, I think it may do more harm by bringing up the issues than it is worth, considering they are relationships that I wish to maintain. There are also relationships that I am not concerned about necessarily saving, but delving into the problems would be hurtful to the other party. I don’t want to cause hurt. So, when I wander along the edge of this particular pool, I look at the odd bubble that has risen up to the top, consider that the surface is relatively calm and choose to not dive in to see what is living down at the bottom of my personal Mariana Trench. I think it is sufficient for now to just deal with what bubbles up.