Yesterday, D got upset with me. Two things usually set him off: when my “tone” is aggressive, despite me having good intentions (eg. When he went out during the tail end of the hurricane to pick up fallen branches, but the wind was still blowing pretty strongly. My response: “What are you doing??!?! Get in the house!!!” His response: “DOn’t yell at me!”); and when I accuse him of some character defecit (eg. When I say things like, “you’re not understanding me,” or “You probably should have seen that one coming,” or “It seems like you might not be very in touch with your emotions…”)
Granted, no one wants to be yelled at, nor told that they’re doing something wrong. But sometimes, he’s a litte too senstive. Hell, he’s dating an Italian woman. I thought my “tone” was colorful 😉
Anyway, so last night, he was very upset because his group of core friends from high school (think “Bill Chill“; if you’re younger think “Old School“) attempted to plan a turning 40 party for one of their other friends, and kinda included D, but kinda didn’t. The upsetting part is that D is turning 40 too, a day after this other friend. For starters, that wasn’t acknowledged in any of the correspondence. Then, when they decided on a time when they could all get together, they ended up changing it, later, to a time when D couldn’t go. Needless to say, he felt hugely snubbed. And so I comforted him as best I could. “Those guys are self-centered assholes, and they’ll never change…” I said. “Yeah!” He agreed. “How dare they leave you out when you’re just as much a part of that group as anybody,” I said. “Yeah!” He agreed. And then, “But darling, you shouldn’t have any expectations of them because they do this all the time!” With that, he snapped at me too. Suddenly it was, “You’re not helping any. “In fact, you’re making things worse.”
“How so?” I asked. “It’s the truth. Those guys can’t be trusted and you should know that by now.”
“I don’t need to be told, ‘You should know better’ when that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a little upset right now and have a right to be upset.”
“Sure! You have a right to be upset. I’m not trying to take that away from you. But doesn’t it help to be reminded that this is nothing personal? That you’re in control of having expectations of these idiots or having none, based on knowing their history?” I mean let’s be realistic, here. They do this all the time.
“No, it doesn’t. Because while I have no expectations of most of them, I do have slightly higher expecations of some of them.”
The conversation basically went on like that, but I ended up feeling pissed off myself that as soon as I state a fairly obvious truth, D gets angry with me.
D and I don’t bicker. And we don’t get into many arguments. But it’s these moments when I feel he doesn’t quite understand my intention. And that bothers me. I never mean to hurt. I never want to tell him that he’s wrong, no good or bad at something, and so when he thinks that’s what I am doing, I feel hugely misunderstood. On top of that when he calls me out on it, it makes me feel attacked.
I mean, is it so wrong to want to draw attention to someone’s own part in their upset? Is it so wrong to want to help them place some of the blame on themselves? Heck, this is what recovery is all about, isn’t it? Removing blame from the PoA and placing it squarely on our own shoulders. And yet, I am beginning to realize that not everyone in the world is in “recovery mode” and not everyone wants to accept blame for something they clearly believe they didn’t create or do. Events are done unto people. Period. And there is no personal responsibility for it. And if there is, it doesn’t always need to be mentioned. Is this right? I guess it is. On a scale of human behavior where one end it total insanity and the other is complete self-awareness and good health, I consider D to be pretty close to the emotionally and mentally healthy guy. A real marker of “normal” if ever there were such a thing. And yet, at times like these, I kinda think he’s being a big baby.
I wanted to post this for its inconsequentialness. This is what healthy relationships are all about. A healthy balance between two totally different, unique individuals and their personal idiosyncrasies. The “Im right”; “No, I’m right” moments we cannot avoid simply because no two people think alike. So, I’d take this any day as opposed to the extreme imbalance, drama and love-sick insanity and confusion of my past!
But I’m still right, right? 😉