There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Learning to Be Angry

I put a tarot image up here, because it's what I want to focus on. The lady in the Strength card is controlling a "wild beast" but not through brute force. Rather she is controlling it via her love, patience and intellect. She cares for it, and it can tell. I'd like to learn how to control the angry beast in me a little better, because it seems I am just not quite there yet.

I've had lots of practice messing up how I deal with anger in the RM situation. I'd be patient, kind, caring and firm, but eventually I'd lash out, and because I had not had much practice in getting that angry before, I was unable to handle it constructively. I did eventually learn to bring up strong concerns earlier, to not let my hot buttons get triggered so easily, and to use all the skills I already had to deal with his explosions pretty well (my anger at him came, for the most part, when he got irrational, misunderstood situations, and blamed me). I felt it worth the effort, since I lived in the same house with him and really did need to learn to get along.

Well, you see, I do not live in the same house with the STBX woman. And I am coming to see that I feel a stronger need to fight unjust treatment when it comes to those I love than I do when it comes to me. When the STBX treats Lee irrationally, misunderstands situations (on purpose, as a manipulative tool) and engages in blaming behavior, it triggers MY defenses. Then, if Lee reacts to her like I used to react to Jeff (just going along with her so prevent a confrontation), then I get all righteously indignant that he should NOT do as I do (did) but should do as I SAY! See, it sounds funny when I type it out, but I just want to help him become the strong, confident person he really can be when not dominated by an angry vindictive person who is used to getting her way by intimidation and passive-aggressive behavior. That is the kind of energy I do not want in my life.

But, I am not coping like Super Suna on this front. Shit, I kicked a soda machine, like a petulant child but with very big Doc Martens on when I found out the latest stunt the Drama Queen of All Time decided to pull. A lot of it is frustration that I can't deal with this stuff myself (it is not my thing to do, in any case). I am not pleased that as a result of her manipulation of HIM, I am also being manipulated (I am getting two additional dogs before my home and possessions were ready to get them). And I want to support Lee and hold him up so he can do the best he can, not make him feel bad. I am afraid my anger at the STBX's ways of interacting might come across as anger at HIM for not "doing something" about it (it doesn't help that I said, in frustration, yesterday, "make her go away"). I am not angry at Lee, just hoping he can get through this stuff in such a way that will minimize future contact with the negative energy that does neither one of us any good.

Because I have to admit this: after the treatment I received from the people at Ye Olde Spiritual Community, the deceptions and unkindnesses I dealt with at the Dysfunctional Nonprofit Organization, and the difficulty I had getting through my own divorce (yes, yes, I learned a lot from all of this), and what I learned during the difficult times with RM, I do not want to bring game-playing, manipulative and vindictive energy into my life. I am a little irritated at myself for letting that happen.

On the other hand: the world's full of that kind of negative crap, and you can't avoid it altogether, just try to learn to deal with it better. It is so many people's primary mode of interaction that you can't avoid it altogether. I just want none of it in my "inner circle" of people I have to deal with closely. I guess I will need to do a ritual to separate the STBX energy from my personal inner circle, while allowing Lee to gradually remove it from his at his own pace.

And: Lee's personal energy has NONE of those features I want to avoid. Absolutely none--it is probably what first drew me to him. Since I am so close to him on so many levels, I am very, very confident that he truly is honest, incredibly kind, endearingly flawed in ways that match my own flaws, and in many ways strong. It's just hard to get out of a pattern of playing weak to avoid pain. Now, really, how can I judge THAT personality trait, since it is such a strong one in me?

So, I am sitting at work, watching the outside temperatures fall, waiting for Lee to bring the immense yet sweet dogs, one with needle-like puppy teeth poised to gnaw at my chairs and tables, so they can live at my house. In my car. Which means STBX knows my car now. Oh well, driving mine in to work at noon today seemed like a good idea at the time. It was not covered by an inch of ice.

I plan to learn a lot about changing locks, restraining orders, and such to try to help prevent her from pulling future Dramatic Stunts like camping out at Lee's house without his permission wailing, "the dogs are in DANGER!" (yeah, right--many PEOPLE have less food, shelter and attention...he was out there every day but ONE, when he would have been endangering his own life to go out--how can a dead dude feed and house animals?). I do not plan to play her games, and this is her last chance to give it a try. Lee sees that when you stand up to a bully, they back down. And I certainly know that first hand in my own home.

Just wish me luck this evening. I hope everyone gets along as my house becomes more and more full. I just want it to be full of love. I need to get back to the Strength card, and deal with all this stuff with love and patience. Tough love.


Anonymous said...

I want to say thank you for sharing so much of your own struggles and learning with the rest of us. I got divorced 18 years ago now, and have mostly been on my own ever since (well, I was living with my kids, but no real, ongoing relationships with any men). I know I have many things that I struggle with in this whole area and it is helpful to hear your honest stories about your own issues and learning process. And I hope you enjoy the dogs! (I have two big dogs myself and they are a hassle at times but really I love them.)


Sam said...

Even in a house full of love there is conflict from time to time. I hope the love stays strong and prevails and that the frustration that inevitably will come, serves to teach you new and wonderful things about one another. It hope it helps you feels MORE loved and MORE supported to learn new things about yourselves!! What a lovely commune you have created.

Suna said...

You two are both SO sweet, it nearly makes me cry. Thank you for all your support. And I agree with Teresa that sharing stuff is a good idea--you might help others learn something.

I think we have done a pretty good job with all this frustration, and with learning how to support each other when frustrated, so it's all worth it. Thanks, both of you.

Tina said...

Aw, Suna, you're wonderful! And I can't wait to play with Lee's dogs, hehe.

Oh, and my big news of the week - Kat's moving back to Tulsa. Like, next weekend.