Well there he goes again...
Same old stuff. Doesn’t he know how selfish he is? Doesn’t he know that I spent hours this week researching on the internet and talking endlessly on the phone to all those companies? I had to find the perfect medical alert system for him. It’s not like I didn’t have a million other things to do. How dare he get angry at me for just trying to help him?! After all, at 78 years old with Parkinson’s disease, he could fall at any moment. What then? I thought we had already agreed on this. Why is he so angry? Why is he so stubborn? Doesn’t he know that I know what is best for him?
I felt the anger rising up in me, starting in my toes, moving upward through my body, swirling around in my stomach until it had reached my brain. Its only outlet was through my mouth. I thought to myself; “Think, don’t react! What have you learned in your program?” All I knew was that if I did not get off the phone right then, the emotions would over take me and explode violently through my mouth in the form of words that assassinate someones character.
The hurt that I felt had created a fear inside of me that was all wrapped up in a package disguised as old pain. My old behavior was ready to pounce in, open the package and let out a powerful wrath of destruction and blame.
The only way to prevent it from happening at that very moment was to disconnect. I said, “I’m going to have to call you back...I’ll talk to you later. And I quickly hit the end button before he could say another sylable much less another word. I’d like to say that I said it with composure and grace. I did not. I said it through a locked teeth clenched jaw that was tighter than a beartrap. It was clenched so tightly that it was difficult to speak.
When I hung up, I felt ANGRY. Not just angry. I felt that old familiar “self-righteous anger”. You know the one that it talks about in the twelve step book; the one that can be very enjoyable. It’s the same anger that brings a comfortable feeling of superiority. I hate to admit it, but I like it. I love it. I wrap myself up in that feeling like my soft down comforter, it is familiar, and it makes me feel secure. I feel justified in my anger and oh so entitled to it. I am right! They are wrong! I glorify myself with it. I sulk. I resent. I revel in it.
Does it feel good? You bet!
Do I give my power to it? You bet!
Does it ultimately hurt me again? You bet!
What is the difference now? The scenario played out the same way. I walked away with my prize. This time the lollypop turned bitter. It was so sweet at first but when I got below the top layer it became bitterer.
The deeper I got into my prize; I saw it was no prize at all. Another deception, another lie I tell myself. Now I know what the program has taught me. When I am so worked up over anything or anyone; the problem is me. Me? Really? Are you kidding? Not me! It couldn’t be.
Sorry, but it’s the cold hard truth. Not pretty, but true. Isn’t that what I am really seeking?
The truth? Isn’t that what will set me free? I am the one who put me in bondage here. My choices today to face the truth, the painful truth...will set me free. I want to be free.
So I begrudgingly ask myself; Self, what was your part in this? What was the “payoff” you were looking for?
Did you think he was going to be different this time and thank you for all your hard efforts? Did you think you would be the Heroine riding in on your rental car to save the day? Were you trying to make up for the fact that you haven’t seen him in almost a year and feel guilty at how he has deteriorated? Or were you seeking to control and have power over him in a passive aggressive way. Perhaps as a punishment for what he did to you as a little girl? Possibly it was a combination of all of these.
Whatever the motive behind the action, it really doesn’t matter. What really matters is that I stop. I see my part. I don't have to do this. I have choices today; I have the opportunity to change. This is an "Aha" moment. Oh yea.
A wise woman in the program once told me, "Its not that we won't make mistakes in the program but its how quickly we clear them up that really shows what we are learning." Isn't that what Step 10 is all about? Taking personal inventory and when I am wrong promptly admiiting it? Grrrrr... Me wrong? Time to eat some humble pie. Playing God, to another human being and expecting a payoff isn't exactly altruistic behavior. Looking back over my story, I see that in reality its all about me. Me, Me, Me. Who is the one being selfish? Him for not having a program and living in fear? Or me for having a program with the; "Wisdom to know the difference."
I think I'll give him a call today and really listen...