Thank God the holidays are over. As much as I love 5 rounds of Christmas, two new years, and a couple double time birthday parties chucked in at the end; I’m happy to wave goodbye to that round of chaos.
Things escalated quite rapidly around here last week. I believe it was the illness plaguing everyone in our house for the last 30 days, making its rounds from one to the next and then back again, a flu that never really had to retire. Or maybe it was the stress of all of the planning and shopping and wrapping and strategizing and stressing and showering….at least I’m pretty sure I took a couple of showers last month. Regardless of the reason, my typically controlled, stoic, calm facade cracked in two pieces without warning. We went from a calm discussion to me nearly throwing my phone through a front window, only to be followed by a couple of framed pictures shortly after. Imagine the silent thud in the new fallen snow of both communication and history landing together in a perfect juxtaposition to the volume of my voice in that moment. I snapped. I knew in that moment I had snapped, I heard my inner voice frantically pulling back on the leash, flailing about and whispering “no! NO! NO!”. I didn’t care. In that tiny 2 second window of argument between me and me, I won with a simple, “I don’t care, what do we have to lose?!”
So I lost it, in the verbal attack sense. It ended with a demand to face the past and set out some boundaries and ground rules. To apologize and offer insight into history. To smooth the road so that I have a fair chance in this life I’ve chosen. It ended with an ultimatum.
I don’t believe in ultimatums. I don’t believe any true relationship should ever come to that. It should always be give and take, take and give. Never should one have to demand something from the other….or else. It’s not a great moment in our history, but I don’t regret it. In the end, the reason for my snap, my loss of control, my demands and ultimatum, was due to my own insecurity. In a previous post I mentioned how we do not have time for our own work, our own needs, our own insecurities and they pile up behind us. Well, this was the avalanche. My own insecurities won out against sanity and brains and took over. And it turns out…..I was wrong. Damn. I do not like being wrong. I don’t do well with being wrong, BUT I can find the silver lining in being wrong. I was wrong, but look what came of it!
Because of my temporary loss of control over my emotions we are now looking down the barrel of a long life that is just starting to build itself. Their relationship has been taped together through communication and honesty, for the time being. My relationship with her is new, fragile, and uncomfortable for both of us. I feel that we both want to dive in head first and skip all of the steps we need to take to build and establish trust in one another and start swapping recipes and Peanut stories like old chums. My sanity has returned enough to put the leash on this at least. I’ve stopped myself from unnecessary texts to try to force a relationship, but at least for now there are two new key elements to this awkward family dynamic:
1. They can talk to each other honestly, at least for now.
2. She knows now I have no intention of taking her place as Mommy, and will even go so far as to defend her role to people she doesn’t know.
I think that we have a chance. I am caustically optimistic as I’ve been burned by blind faith before. But if nothing else, it’s a start. I’m a good person, and maybe one day she will know me well enough to believe that.