Ever had a nasty argument – a how-could-they-say/do/think-that fight, and the next day realize you weren’t really mad at them, not really? When the past gangs up with a present situation to ambush you, life gets messy because this is really about that.
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I work from home, and there have been days when the hubs has come home from work and I’ve snapped at him. Not a deal breaker, but still hurtful. On the days when his own exhaustion doesn’t cause him to snap back, he has this fabulous insight that only comes from years of living with another person.
He’ll stare at me for a moment (this tactic has taken years to master, don’t think it came naturally), he’ll sit next to me, maybe kiss my cheek, and with a calm voice that completely disarms my wrath, he’ll say, “What’s really bothering you?”
Sometimes you lose it because you’re just tired, or frustrated about a project or another situation going on. Sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint why you’re grouchy. Sometimes I’ve over-reacted to the current situation and can’t even articulate why — because my hurt isn’t about what’s going on, it’s really about something else, something I can’t/don’t know how/don’t want to deal with, an old wound, or a past that just won’t stay dead.
Ever had one of those moments? It’s humbling.
Recently a friend made a few comments that really stung. I don’t suppose this person even realizes how hurt I was, never intended to cause harm I’d like to think. I haven’t mentioned it, partly because I don’t know how – but also partly because it’s my own past making the hurt worse. Stuff that I have already dealt with, moved on from, but this situation has twinged a lingering wound that never seems to completely heal. Like Jacob with his limp.
So, while I realize I need to own some of the hurt as part and parcel of my own baggage, does that mean the other person is completely off the hook? How does that work? Maybe if I hadn’t had that past experience, the comment wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But I did. And it did.
When do you suck it up and when do you stand up for yourself? How much influence does the past deserve in the present?
When my kids come home from school grouchy and make snarky comments, I understand they’re not mad at me. It can take some digging, a little mom prying, but eventually I find out the true source of the bad mood. Forgiving them is a simple thing, but with adults it’s easier said than done.We’re too worried about being hurt again, about protecting ourselves, defending our point of view, declaring our hurts.
So, here I sit still hurting and festering. The hubs has listened and done the proper guy thing and offered suggestions to fix it. I love how he wants to fix everything for me. But in the end, his final comment remains – the reason this is bothering you so much is partly due to that.
After resisting the urge to smack him for being so insightful, I grudgingly admit that maybe he’s onto something. So, I guess for now I keep my trap shut and wait for calmer winds to prevail. It’s easier to take a few days to cool off and look at the situation objectively than knock off a snide remark I’ll have to retract later.
What about you? Ever had a this is really about that moment? How do you handle it?
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