Friday, July 25, 2008

Anger Management Is A Problem For Me

It has come to my attention that I have anger issues.

Now, one might say, "Why, Haley. You are such a good, sweet little Southern Girl. You're polite and like cuddly things, like dogs and bunnies. You wear lots of pink and have blond hair. How, oh, how could you possibly have anger issues?"

I hear this a lot. I mention my dark side and people look at me skeptically. This leads to all the tales--the Asian man in D.C., the woman in B.J.'s, being banned from several establishments in Cleveland, TN. Sometimes, I even call my Mom in as a witness, after all, she's been there for a lot of it. She likes to think of me as opinionated and high-strung. I think that's probably just a nice way of saying that I'm a psychotic bitch, but since she's my Mom you can't really fault her for trying to put a nice spin on things. At the very worst she might say, "She's crazy as a Bessie Bug, bless her heart." After all, she is a good Southern Girl too.

I have a nice smile. I'm able to fool a lot of people. I am, however, a pretty angry person. There's not one good particular reason for it. I don't have some sketchy, abusive childhood or anything. I grew up on a farm surrounded by a giant family who loved me a lot. I did have a few traumatic romantic relationships as an adult, but frankly, who doesn't? If that alone was a trigger the world would be fueled solely by hatred. No, there doesn't seem to be a very good reason for it all. Most of the time, I am able to deal with it pretty well. At times, if I am extremely high-stress, little things push me over the edge. For the most part, though, there are only a couple of triggers that really get me going, one of which I would like to discuss here because it's appearance is in my imminent future: a relative of B's. And this relative is coming to visit this weekend.

Let's back up a bit. For those of you who don't know, I was married once before I married my current husband. The marriage was brief, even shorter than the three-year courtship. My ex-husband had a crazy, Jerry Springer-like family that was unmatched by anything I had ever experienced. We're talking, immediate family members with serious addiction problems, frequent stays in mental hospitals, the works. Getting rid of that load in our divorce was probably just as beneficial to me as getting rid of the ex. At that time, I swore that if I EVER remarried, the guy would have to be an only child, and an orphan at that. NO MORE RELATIVES. I can barely handle my OWN crazy family. God knows I don't need someone else's adding to the chaos OR to my stress levels. He could be ugly or stupid or completely useless if I loved him, as long as he was alone.

Then I met B. B is not ugly or stupid or completely useless. B is neither an orphan NOR an only child. As a matter of fact, his family is very Brady Bunch, and then some. He has a sister, stepbrother, half sister, Mom, Dad, Stepmom, ex-Stepdad, ex-step-siblings, and many other various cousins, steps, and whatnot. All I can say is that I must have really loved him a LOT. I did. And I do. Otherwise, we would never have made it through seven years of togetherness, including two children (one unplanned), three bouts of cancer in the immediate family, two grandparent deaths, several career changes, and moves spanning four states and numerous homes, along with an assortment of other roadblocks. During all this drama, I have grown to love his nutty family. With one exception.

I will not get specific as to who that exception is, for B's sake, on the off chance that somebody (anybody?) ever gets bored enough to read my ramblings. I will just say this: there are few things in this world that cause my anger issues to flare like this relative does. This person has harmed my children (unintentionally, but through neglect, which is still unforgiveable). This person has psychologically screwed with my kids, as well as my husband. This person has done things that I will never, ever forget and never, ever forgive. I'm not Christian enough for that (see my Homeboy blog if you don't believe me). Yet, I am forced to endure a relationship. I am forced to endure visits. I am forced to endure news, holidays and photos.

I am forced to endure. And I am very, very angry. Yes, folks, I am one pissed off little Southern Girl.

The problem comes in when I try to figure out what to do about it. There doesn't seem to be an answer. I have to stay close by to protect my children, so I can't avoid this person. My husband won't keep this person away. I fly off the handle easily and might pull a Ninja and flip out and kill somebody with a spoon at any time if I have to keep this up. It's not fair and it's not healthy.

So what do I do? Right now I stew, and shave years off my life with a sharp dagger of hatred (I may be furious, but I'm still quite poetic). It makes me mean and angry and particularly unattractive I'm sure, but I can't seem to control it. And THAT, that loss of control, is the worst part of all.

No comments: