You know how sometimes you are in your car and someone cuts you off or does something obnoxious on the road and you want to shout at them or flip them off and you don’t because it crosses your mind that they might be a little bit crazy and escalate things and do something really horrible like kill you? Well I want to tell you that your instincts are good. Some people are not in their right minds. Some people will overreact to a tiny slight and want to do awful things. Sometimes I am one of those people.
If I was doing stand-up comedy, this would be super-hilarious, and I could make you roll on the floor laughing about what goes on in my mind when someone commits a minor transgression. However, I will back up to the last post and give you a prequel to this one.
I got some serious blow-back for writing openly about something as gruesome as suicidal thoughts. Apparently some things are better left unsaid, unspoken, and certainly unblogged about. But I wanted to throw some light into the darkness of chronic pain. I keep reading statistics (which I then forget because I am still medically-induced dumb) about how many people suffer from chronic pain or chronic illness- which means there is a good chance that many of you out there reading this blog either suffer or know someone who does. Even the language is telling: people SUFFER- we don’t own an illness, we don’t attach to an illness, we suffer from pain. Get it? Okay. So I wrote that post, which was perhaps too real for some people. Perhaps it was too in-your-face and too Oh-My-Gosh. But it was very raw and very real and 100% true, so for all the crud I got about posting it, I left it up. Let people see my dirty laundry and then maybe they can have more insight into people close to them who don’t tell/won’t tell/can’t tell.
Well now I’m about to tell again. Because of the cocktail of my life, I am simmering with anger. Because of my background, I am willing to stand and fight. That’s great when there is a bully around, but not so great when the “bully” is someone who has too many items in their grocery cart (which by the way, I did a few weeks ago, not realizing I was in an express line. Nobody said anything until I got up to the cashier, and then he told me and I sincerely apologized like 5 times. But I hate when people knowingly take advantage. So yes, I am possibly a hypocrite too.) or someone who gives me an angry look or someone who does any number of relatively harmless things.
A few days ago I was standing with a group of friends on a corner. As we stood there, other friends who were out walking joined us, until our group not only monopolized the corner, but also spilled into the street. When a car came and tried to drive around the round-a-bout, the driver gave us a really disgusting look, I guess for daring to stand in her section of the road, and drove very slowly so we could be sure to see her face. And I swear to you, had she continued to drive slowly, or had she stopped or yelled anything, I probably would have kicked out her tail light. Had she gotten out of the car, it would have been game-over. As some of the husbands tried to herd the wives away from the street, I just fumed, “Who does she think she is looking at us like that? Curse word, bad word, mean word…” I was so angry I could have come apart. That lady really has no idea how lucky she is that she just kept driving.
Yesterday *h informed me that T-mobile, our new cell phone carrier (and I am calling them out by name for a reason) will charge us if we want a detailed bill sent to us. I am a paper bill person. I need to see what I’m doing, and have something to file after I’ve looked it over and paid it. Computerized transfers don’t work for me. So if we want to know how much we owe them, and then just give them money over the computer, it’s all good. But if we want a monthly bill, it will cost $1.99. So I said, okay, then I am going to start charging T-mobile for the checks I write to them. I will charge them $1.99, and we can deduct that from the bill, which I am happy to explain to them, and then we will be even. Poor *h. He got his, “I knew I shouldn’t have told you this” face on, and then he said,, “Okay, then we are going to end up owing them a bunch of money and they will put us in collections. Is that what you want?” To which I replied, “And I will sue them in small claims court for this ridiculous charge to be refunded- which, by the way you know is going to spark a class action lawsuit anyway so who cares- and it will all work out fine.” Diplomatic *h said he plans to print out our bill for me every month from the computer so we can avoid this whole mess, which I told him is quite beside the point. Charging us to bill us is so ludicrous I can’t even think of an absurd enough analogy to compare it to. And I am the queen of analogies. But I was so mad I could almost see stars.
I know that in the course of a normal day, people get mildly upset. I, however, get meteorically furious. I don’t explode, and I don’t go around wreaking the havoc that I dream about, but sometimes I feel like I am a whisper away. I see by the look on people’s faces sometimes when I’m talking, that the way I am interpreting a situation is not the way most people would deal with it. Sometimes I think I just have a more ghetto approach to life than they do, but I have been living a middle-class life for a long long time now…
I know that my anger is not the problem, but a symptom of other things, so I need to get those other things in order. I am working on it. Meanwhile, I mostly save my rants for the privacy of my own home and the ears of close friends (who all probably think I am a lunatic by now). Oh, and my long suffering blog readers, who know that underneath my crazy is a good heart, and who (mostly) don’t judge me too harshly.
The main thing is, you should know that your impulses to avoid confrontation are smart. There are crack-pots out there like me who would crack skulls if given a half-decent excuse. I am not telling you to let people walk all over you (really, though, I guess in some measure I am), but I am telling you to be careful. For me, I have a lot to learn. I told a friend on Saturday that I wish I could go to AA without being an addict so I could learn how to have grace- and she told me you can. So that’s pretty interesting, and also somewhat compelling. So many ex-addicts seem so calm to me, and so serene. That’s what I need right now. Grant me the serenity…