Saturday, February 12, 2011

It's like deja-vu (or Sometimes we protect them from the wrong things)

Last night, there was some turbulence in our house, for lack of a better word. The impetus was food (and actually not my cooking, surprisingly). Things were said, and I eventually got so mad that I left. Drove away. After first telling my kid that I loved her and kissing her good bye.

Up until I was a senior in high school, my parents almost never fought. From the time I was born (or from the time I could actually start remembering things) until I was in my mid teens, I recall only three fights my parents had. They seemed pretty bad at that time, and I still remember a few details from each, but the other thousands upon thousands of days of my life, my parents were pretty happy together. We had a really great family life. Unfortunately, things started to go a little south my senior year in high school before getting worse my freshman year of college. I actually don't remember things being as bad my sophomore year, but that was the last year my parents were together, so...

Why am I telling you this, you may ask? Don't worry; I am not about to drop a bomb on you. I was just thinking about this in comparison to Jordan's childhood. She has seen Brian and me argue more than we should, and I hate it. But unfortunately, I seem to have to be right most of the time (which is because I am right most of the time!), and Brian feels the same way, so, as you can imagine, it is hard for either of us just to let the other "win." And although I am not a typical woman in so many ways, I am pretty standard in one way--I won't let things go. If Brian says nothing is bothering him, well, of course, I have to drag it out of him.

Anyway, after two and a half hours of my being gone and wishing I had a friend who lived close enough whom I could have visited, rather than drive around endlessly (I did actually spend an hour on the treadmill at the pool watching a crazy Pens game). And after one and a half of those same hours of my being angry and resentful (couldn't he have called to make sure I was not in a ditch somewhere?!), I came home, not because I was ready to, but because my kid wanted me to kiss her good night.

As I read to her just before tuck in, I told her that I might not be there tomorrow, but I loved her very much and that that was not going to change. She asked where I was going to go, and I said I was not sure, but I again said that I loved her. At that moment, I considered going to my mom's empty house, but I was fairly sure I was probably not going to go anywhere; I was still angry, just saying things, and mostly wanting Brian to hear me say those things. But Jordan seemed fine, as far as I could tell. And Brian and I talked things through, once again saying that we need to stop arguing in front of our kid. Now, please don't thing we do this all the time, but I just think more than a few times a year is probably too much (and we have a ways to go to get there). I don't know, though. I have a friend who is on the verge of getting a divorce who said she and her husband have never once fought in front of their kids. When it finally happens, I have to imagine it will be shocking for those children.

But I digress. Early this morning, Jordan came into my room, crying because she had a bad dream. She told me she dreamed that she had a different family and she kept trying to find me, but she couldn't. It broke my heart. I felt so bad for saying the night before that I was maybe not going to be there the next day, which was on top of the argument she witnessed. I assured her she would never have another family, and I was not going anywhere (for a little levity I did ask her if her other mom was prettier than I, but she said she could not remember what the mom looked like).

So what have I learned from this and what is my point, really? Well, I wanted to get this off my chest because, as I have blogged about before, I don't want to pretend to be someone I am not. This is who I am. I love my husband. He loves me. But we have some definite differences. And we argue more than we should. The stress of my not working much has been getting to us. And I have another interview for another job next week, a job that will complicate things because of the hours and the pay. But I also wanted to get this down because my memory is not that great, and I want to use this as a reminder that I have a small person to think about. What I (we) do affects her more than I realize. And maybe I should worry more about that than trying to protect her from things that probably don't matter as much as I think.

Sigh.

4 comments:

Sherri said...

Well... you know what they say about couples who DON'T argue, right? Apparently, not healthy - as evidenced by all those 1970s marriages that we and our peers thought were perfect, and... well.... obviously weren't.

When hubby and I have argued in the past - even if it is a passing thing - a quick comment - a nose turned in the air - an under the breath comment or full-on argument, the kids do notice - affects some and not others. Sometimes hard to avoid those moments, though....

Anyway - next time, call me. I'm close :-), and.... would totally understand (as I am a hothead, myself ;-).

Facie said...

Sherri, good point about those '70s (and older) marriages.

And thanks for the offer of the call. Another friend left me a VMM and third sent an email, pretty much saying the same thing. I appreciate it! And maybe in the future I will. I just know that everyone else has her own life with spouse, kids, job, etc. I hate to bother people for some petty little thing, ya know?

Bill Applegate said...

So I am a yeller...I wish I wasn't but I am. My New Year resolution is NOT to yell at the kids and so far it's working out pretty well.

My advice is this...and I know this sounds all "high and mighty"...sorry for that...life is short. Do NOT forget that and do NOT take it for granted. We ALL get mad, pissed off, angry but in the end it takes a really big person to just say "I'm sorry" or "lets not fight".

Everyone needs to vent and blow off some steam once in a while...it's natural just don't take it out on each other. easy to say - hard to do I know.

One of my best friends was venting to me last year. Him and his wife were fighting like cats and dogs over anything and everything. I told him that "I would kill to have that argument but I couldn't because of obvious reasons". He stopped dead in his tracks and got the point loud and clear. I really try to play the widower card but in that situation I did.

Somethings are much more serious to fight and argue about, but for the most part its the little trivial things that we tend to set us off. I'm not saying to be a wallflower...just pick and choose what to argue about...hope that makes sense.

Facie said...

Bill, I know I can count on you to help me focus on what is important. You make me strive to be a better wife, in the same way Callapitter Amy helps me as a parent.

And you are absolutely right about picking and choosing. I need to work on being less stubborn and my ever-present need to be right!