Have you ever gotten completely upset about the most ridiculous thing? In reality, you are just not addressing a much bigger issue?
Well this weekend, I had my own little mental breakdown over potato chips, barbecue potato chips, just so you have the image in your mind.
My husband and I were watching TV yesterday afternoon and he gets up and goes to the kitchen. He comes back with a bag of barbecue potato chips and starts eating them.
“Sweetie, those are for your lunches. If you eat them all, I won’t have a snack to pack you” I said, hoping he would put them away.
“There is another bag in the cabinet. It’s fine” he said.
A normal response would have been something like…”Okay” or “If you run out, you will have to go to the store this week” or even the deathly “I may have to pack you fruit instead”. However, normal isn’t my style.
My response was to start crying, not just a single tear drop while I quietly wipe it away. Oh no. I burst into blubbery, snot dripping, hyperventilating tears.
“Babe” gasp “If” gasp “You eat all the” gasp “chips” gasp…..”you won’t like your lunches” gasp. Tears and mascara are running down my face. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My face turned bright red. I was seriously sobbing over the fact that he might not have a snack this week.
My husband is looking at me like I have lost my mind (rightly so). He jumps up and puts the chips away and comes and sits by me laughing. He hugs me because he already knows what I figure out after I calm down, that I am upset about something else entirely. I, of course, am even more upset that he is laughing because my heart is aching over the thought of him eating his lunch snacks when it wasn’t lunch.
Am I crazy? No I don’t think so. Was I really upset about the potato chips? No. My husband could survive with some yogurt or grapes that day but I had been holding in that cry since earlier in the week. I wasn’t addressing a much bigger issue and my brain decided I couldn’t hold in my frustration and sadness anymore, to my husband’s expense.
My mom has been lying about having her license. She said the judge gave it back. I had dinner with her and my dad this week and bluffed saying I knew she didn’t have her license because someone had told me. She freaked out but eventually admitted she did not have her license because she had refused to blow when she got the DUI.
We went in circles about why they hadn’t told anybody, how she was getting to work, and why were they lying. Frustrated that she was still lying and that my dad was enabling her lying, I told her that if anyone asked me how she was doing over the holidays, I would be honest. We will be seeing a lot of family and the subject is definitely coming up.
Her response was “Why do you want to hurt people?”
“I am not hurting people by being honest. You are hurting people by putting yourself and others at risk while driving drunk. You are hurting people and yourself by continuing to drink and not seek treatment. You are responsible for any pain caused.” I said while laughing incredulously. I was so amazed that she was actually trying to blame me.
She shook her head the entire time I was speaking, like she was shaking what I was saying right out of her head. I was so mad. It was like talking to a five year old. She just kept repeating that I was being mean to her and that I was wanting to hurt her. Classic manipulation.
I am not going out of my way to tell everyone how terrible she has been but the least I can do is be honest if someone asks me. Lying for her for years clearly hasn’t helped. She is getting worse so something different needs to be done. I tried to explain this. She refused to see this as her fault at all and it was just me being “vindictive”. Could she be anymore textbook alcoholic?
After my good old potato chip breakdown, I realized I needed that cry. I needed to let out my disappointment and frustration with my mom. My husband is still not touching the chips but I think if he does, I will be able to manage 🙂
I try so hard to show people that my mom’s alcoholism doesn’t affect me. I try so hard to look strong and normal. I try even harder to pretend like everything is fine to avoid making people uncomfortable. I forget to remind myself that I am strong! Verdict is out on normal. BUT there is nothing wrong with being affected by my mom’s disease. We need to talk about things even when people get uncomfortable or nothing will ever change.
Sometimes dealing with the pain right in the moment isn’t ideal but don’t bury it down deep enough that you are sobbing over something insignificant. Don’t let it burden your heart to that point. Be okay with the pain. Share that pain! You are not alone.
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