I’m Not the Angry One

jumping with dad

It was an emotionally exhausting journey across the mountains. Potamus slept until Issaquah (which is about…um…thirty minutes), and then cried until we got to Cle Elum for a snack. And then he ate a lot of french fries, and cried some more because he was out of water, and then he was content for five minutes down the road before he started to scream again because he had pooped.

We had three stops on the “2.5 hour” drive. It was hell. There might have been a ten minute stretch where I plugged my ears and shut my eyes (I wasn’t driving) and tried to notice my breath like I did when I was in labor or in Savasana in yoga. It helped me to keep myself from hurling out of the speeding car at 70 mph.

But other than that, the trip was brilliant. There was a wound-up kiddo who loved his gifts, and plenty of cupcakes that induced sugar highs for all of us, and maybe some good natured teasing. I even managed to only shout one time, out of passion and not anger, about how cool I actually think The Pope is (because my dad insinuated he was evil because he was ‘Marxist,’ which I later debunked). And then, about ten minutes until we left, the shit hit the fan. Somehow my dad managed to start yelling at me and saying that I had been yelling at him and it became a crazy convoluted argument about who-the-fuck-knows-why, of which I left feeling confused and sad and might have cried for twenty minutes until we got out of the city limits. Ad if you know me, you know that I cry approximately every 2 years, so it’s a pretty freaking big deal.

Because no matter what I do, I somehow am always pegged as the ‘angry one’ in the family. I’m tired of having a perfectly good time and still not ‘doing it right enough,’ to show my family t hat I’m not the angry  depressed teenager I used to be. But somehow in pouring my heart out to Boof, I realized…I am not the angry one. I haven’t ever really been the angry one. In fact, my dad, who has been so pegged as jovial and overly rational (let’s sit down and discuss this conflict using I statements) is actually the angry one. He is angry. I am not. And that realization shifted something in me.

I am not angry.

Knowing that he is angry relieves me. It makes sense for why he’s been lashing out and blaming me for things that I didn’t actually do. I don’t know why he’s angry, what hes’ bottled up over the years, but that’s not my job to figure out. My job is to work on myself, which I have been doing in therapy, and it’s my job to continue to treat him compassionately. So while I don’t like having to have experienced that explosiveness earlier today, I do like the insight, because now I feel like I am better prepared to handle myself in the future.

What have you learned about your parents over the years that has re-shaped how you view yourself, your childhood, or them?

Oh Vulnerable One

Do you ever have moments where you have SO MUCH TO SAY and then you sit down to write and nothing comes out? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s almost like a physical manifestation of anxiety…where I’m anxious about nothing in particular, but it feels like everything, and I can’t articulate what’s exactly going on inside my head.

But I have been writing…a lot more, but it’s been by hand. I’m now 6 days into my 6 week Zen Pen Course, and I am LOVING it! If you were interested in signing up, but hadn’t gotten around to it, she’s going to offer another session starting September 30th…it’s so neat to begin this process. For example, this week I wrote a letter to my abs from my low back. Whoa! So much wisdom when I get out of my head 🙂

Bikram yoga and therapy is helping me relinquish some of the family roles that I’ve been playing into for a long time. The “Angry One” has been able to be the “vulnerable one,” in spurts, which has been able to communicate some needs in a way that is heard differently. Same message, different method, providing different satisfaction. I’ll be interested to see where this goes…

I leave you with this. King of the Naked Chair Sitting…

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