So, ummm ... I learned a lot about myself today.
Mostly that, for some reason, these days, I feel an intense drive to temper my emotions. While it's good for someone to regulate her feelings, there's also a danger in suppressing them entirely.
Right now I feel guilty for getting angry with my sister regarding her new boyfriend. (So, protip: Don't introduce me to your boyfriends -- I will hate them instantly. This probably stems from my intense fear of intimacy. Hey, I've been wounded and if I want to recover fully, I gotta take time to heal.) Anyway, in my defense, dude has been messy, my sister and I are horrible roommates, and this is our last month together, so tempers are FLYING. It's been triggering for me and for her.
The worst thing I did was call him "No good" and claim that he's just using my sister. I've been pretty adamant about acknowledging my faults in our arguments ("I understand your feelings, and I may be reacting irrationally ... "), keeping the #past out of the #present, and refraining from insults. I've been a bully though -- like passive aggressively vacuuming at inconvenient times. In reality, when I step back, this looks like a pretty normal #sisterfight. In fact, it's pretty mundane.
I did, however, text message the Man Who Donated Half His Genetic Material To Me (henceforth known as MWDHHGMTM) after almost a year of silence to demand payment for the cleaning I'm going to have to do (the cat ruined the carpet). I told on my sister. MWDHHGMTM responded with smugness, so I told him to go "fuck himself" (the worst I've said in all this), and threatened him with the glory of my future success ("I will enjoy it when I am more powerful, happier, and more successful than you" -- my exact words though, in retrospect, I lament breaking parallel structure). Childish, perhaps, but I was ultimately saying, "Oh my gawd, I'm so angry, I'm going to go be so successful just to spite you!!!" Is this not a parent's dream?
The problem in my family is no one knows how to deal with conflict, so I spent the whole day feeling sick and dreading coming home. (I ended up getting extra work done at the office -- so here's to my #vengefulsuccess.) No one talks shit out in my family. They just get angry, simmer and brood, and then blow up, and it's the end of the world, like all affection is suddenly severed. That's not how relationships actually work. Ultimately, it's very heartbreaking. Also, MWDHHGMTM is an emotionally abusive and manipulative narcissist (and I am, sadly, just like him ... hence my fear of intimacy). It's not really his fault, his parents were jerks too, and we are just a legacy of people being #assholes to each other. But that's actually not a novel concept. Have you read any Shakespeare? Those fools killed each other.
So this post is me laughing at myself. Because in reality, compared to some other people's #familydramz, this is tame. And I need to allow myself to feel angry without feeling guilty. My feelings -- however irrational -- are valid because I am feeling them, like, a real chemical reaction is happening. How I respond makes the difference. And I didn't go medieval on anyone. I may have acted foolishly, but "everybody plays the fool," and I've seen grown ass adults pitch infant fits.
I'm going to forgive myself. I have issues. I am aware of these issues. I am actively working on these issues. And one of those issues is giving myself permission to own my emotions and to forgive myself. Because you're probably sitting there thinking, "Well, gosh, let me tell you about one of the fights I had with my sister!" And that's exactly the point: If you told me what I just told you, I'd tell you to not worry about it.
This isn't a Shakespeare play -- there are no villains and there are no heroes. There are just people fumbling ever awkwardly toward the ecstasy from which we all came.