Sometimes you burn your bridges. Sometimes you BLOW THEM up.
I aspire to be the kind of person who doesn’t burn or blow up (metaphorical) bridges but given what my sister calls my “anger management problem,” I can’t seem to refrain from doing either. (My husband adds, “you curse like a sailor.” And I don’t think he means Popeye. Thank G-d, he’s never heard me drive!)
Yeah, I apologized to people before Yom Kippur like I was supposed to (since G-d only forgives sins you commit against G-d, not the sins you commit against other people). But when I look back at all the people I wronged this year (including the readers I scared off with my pissy responses to their comments), I think…maybe I need to learn how to count to ten before I react. Maybe this would solve the problem of having to crawl back on my hands and knees and ask people for forgiveness that they’re not quite sure I deserve.
Sisters, at least my sisters, will forgive (and have forgiven) just about anything. But friends are more fragile, I think. Strangers even more so because they can’t tell that you’re just in a terrible mood that day and that you’re acting out of character. Even the strangers who were trying to rile me up (like the guy who emailed to ask me why I was an Orthodox Jew so he could tell me how much he hated religion and then got nasty with me and said I was being un–Rebbetzin-like in my responses), I don’t think I’m supposed to be sinking down to their level. But I can’t help myself.
I am weak. And I am weak because…well, I’m pissed. P-I-S-S-E-D.
I’m pissed about all the horrible things in life…the horrible things in MY life AND the horrible things in yours. If they gave a degree in worrying and being pissed off, I’d have two PhDs.
Mostly, I’m REALLY pissed about being in pain all the time. And when my pain is at a level 10 out of 10 (10 being the worst pain you can possibly imagine), I have an even harder time controlling my temper. I’ve likened it before to feeling like the Incredible Hulk, able to decimate everything around me in a single bound. But maybe I’m just using pain as an excuse to lose it. I don’t know.
So I’m going to count to ten. (I think I saw that in an episode of Family Matters once when the Dad started having problems because he blew a gasket every time Steve Urkel came over to drive him and everyone else in the family crazy.)
I am going to count to ten (one…two…ten) because I need to remind myself that the person who is giving me advice about my health doesn’t know that I’ve ALREADY tried all the things they’re recommending (and more). (In general, don’t offer people advice about their health unless they’ve asked you for it. It’s not helpful. When people complain about their health problems, they want you to listen, not solve them.)
Also, I’m going to remind myself that the person on the other end of my email, comment or my Tweet, doesn’t know that I am having one of those REALLY bad days where I can’t leave my bed. They just walk away thinking I’m an angry jerk (because sometimes, I am!).
I’m going to TRY, TRY, TRY to remind myself that anger doesn’t solve very much…even when it feels reeaaaally good because I spent my entire childhood holding in my emotions, afraid I’d blow myself to pieces if I let out all that inner rage and fear that was trapped inside my little body while my mother pretended she was Rocky and I was her personal punching bag.
I’m just sick of being P-I-S-S-E-D. I want to be a zen version of myself, a higher life form. A less angry version of myself. Even if it takes me the rest of my life to get there. And it just might.