Well it’s been a really shitty morning, but as I’ve had part of the afternoon to myself to reflect back on what happened I feel pretty convicted that my stinky attitude was at the core of its shittiness.
It kills me that my relationship with Ruthie is so bi-polar. At one moment I am totally in love with her, and even enjoy snuggling with her in bed on the nights Bryan is gone. Then suddenly I’m screaming at her in ways that I know will shame her and cut her down, all the while feeling the contradicting emotions of guilt and power and grief. I know what it is I am doing, yet, when I allow myself to get that far into it I cannot seem to stop.
This morning I was highly distracted by the computer. Bryan and I were IM’ing a conversation, and Ruthie hadn’t had any snuggle time with me yet. She was supposed to be sitting at the table eating her breakfast, but in my distraction she got into the bathroom, pulled out her stool, and was playing in the sink. I checked on her once and she seemed to be fine, so I went back to my computer.
An hour later when I decided it was a good time to take a break and go to the park, I went to the bathroom to put on my contacts and… no case. My contacts were gone. I realized she must have been playing with them when I was distracted, but I searched all over the bathroom, in the trash, the hamper, the magazine rack, EVERYWHERE, and I couldn’t find the case.
That’s when I blew up at her.
I was so angry that I was throwing stuff around as I searched other rooms for the case. The crazy thing is, I knew within ten minutes of looking that it was gone for good, yet I kept thrashing about the house because dammit if I’m going to let something like this be out of my control!
It was definitely a car stereo moment.
I finally gathered my senses enough to call somebody for help. I called three people, but nobody answered the phone. I left messages. I called them back again, and this time one gal answered.
“I need help,” I sobbed. “Can you come over?”
While I waited for her, another friend called me back and said she’d be right over.
I felt stupid. I felt weak. I felt incompetent. I felt like a failure for not being able to manage my own life. I struggled with asking for help, but in my recovery I knew it was the right thing to do.
One friend swooped in and calmed my screaming children. She helped me look one more time for the contacts case. She fed the kids lunch while I called my eye doctor to order an emergency pair of contacts.
The other friend took Ruthie home with her to play with her kids, and will keep her until dinner time.
The eye doctor couldn’t get my new contacts to me by the time my flight leaves tomorrow, but he has a pair of soft lenses I can borrow for free until my new rigid gas permeable ones come in tomorrow.
I am wearing them now.
The problem was solved quite simply and easily, except for my excessive temper. In retrospect, I am very ashamed of my actions, and I think this is one of the first times I have felt true remorse for my anger.
I spoke disrespectfully to my daughter, I disrupted the morning of two friends, I interrupted Bryan’s morning with my all-caps IM swearing about the incident – and I did it all because of my own selfishness and adolescent you-borrowed-my-jeans-without-asking mentality.
In retrospect, I know I had reason to be frustrated, but I took it too far. I ignored my triggers and allowed myself to blow up. I made it personal. I make everything personal. I never seem to remember in the moment that Ruthie is three, and she’s smart, and curious, and as Bryan said, she was probably sitting in front of the mirror pretending to be me. I forget that, and instead of celebrating her curiosity, I shit all over it and punish her for it by making it all about me.
I don’t know how to end this because I’m still processing, and still feeling crappy about it. I don’t have a tidy way to wrap it up. So I’ll just end it and hope a better post comes soon.