It is funny, or maybe not funny at all, but since I have become so Aware (there is that damn word again) I keep finding all of these things that I have been doing that make me want to crawl in a hole and hide my face in shame. I have realized that when I am angry, it is not really about the person that it is directed at. My anger usually comes from a place in me where there is guilt about something that I have done or not done. I do know that as long as I know about this, and am working on fixing it, I don't have to beat myself up over it as much as I would have. It is just something that needs to be addressed so that I can keep growing and bettering myself.
The thing that I find most sad about this is that my whole entire life I have been lashing out at others for my lack of “doing or not doing”. I am sometimes verbally hateful to someone before I realize that this is about me. Then to top it off, my stubbornness stops me from taking responsibility and apologizing.
Example; I leave my belongings lying around when I should have picked them up. Someone says something to me like “do you want these “items” still?” My mind registers this as this person is criticizing my ability to pick up after myself by underhandedly asking me why I didn’t pick my shit up. In reality, this person just wanted to know if I still wanted this item and they meant nothing other than that. I become defensive and read into what they said because I feel guilty about being a slob or lazy.
Here is a situation where I saw someone else doing it, and I had a realization of how crazy I must look when I act this way. It was one of those slap your palm on your forehead moments.
My 16 year old step sister was at the house and was being snot to everyone. She wanted to use my laptop and I told her no because I wasn't going to do something for someone that was treating everyone that cared about her like crap. So the minute I left the house, she got on my computer. Low and behold something she tried to download infected my laptop and it became completely unusable.
She was afraid to tell me, so instead she hid in her room all morning only to come out and ignore me, glare at me and pass her fears off on me, like the whole thing was my fault. I mentioned that it would go a lot better for her if she would just come to me and say sorry.
Her: Ok, I am sorry that I got a virus on your computer.
Me: Well I am not very happy about it, but I would have felt better if you would have just come to me, told me about it and said sorry instead of acting like you’re mad at me and ignoring me.
Her: Well, it wasn't my fault.
Me: Really, then who's fault is it?
Her: It was an accident and you have no right to be mad at me.
Me: (in my head) *walk away slowly* When you figure out how to realize your guilt and not show it with anger, come and find me.
Later in the day, she tearfully came to me and admitted that she knew she was wrong and was mad at herself but was too proud to admit it, so instead she acted mad and childish.
The big thing for me was that if a teenage girl can figure this out, it is most definitely time for an almost 40 year old to.
Since then, another situation has occurred that made me so incredibly angry and aggressive towards someone that I care about. I took a step back, analyzed what the underlining issue was and realized again that it was because I have been mad at myself about something that I feel I should make an effort to change and yet have done nothing about. I ended up apologizing and explain my fear to them. It made a huge difference for both of us.
Ah, the lessons we can learn when we open our minds.