Friday, September 17, 2010

Ongoing Erruptions of Hostility

I feel pleased to be able to write that I had a productive week. Usually, I tend to plod along slower than I would like at work, but these last few days have been different that way. It's a great feeling to be on top of things, especially when you're not used to it.

I wish I had that kind of control over other areas of life -- that I could simply start over with minimum repercussions -- especially to my DD -- but such a peaceful process isn't always in my control.

Last Wednesday DD went out to a movie with some friends. After the show, I pick her up, but when we arrived at the front door to drop her off, MDM wasn't there, so we drove to my apartment instead. In the past, whenever DD's mother is out somewhere, DD and I will wait for a call then walk to a designated pick-up spot. However, that night MDM refused to cooperate, thus ending the evening on a sour note with one more episode of power playing.

I asked myself, "Why does MDM go out of her way to show unprovoked hostility and pettiness? What would it have cost to stop off at the side of the road for a couple of minutes? Then, I remembered who I was dealing with and why I broke the ties in the first place. I remembered her combative nature -- her tenacious sense of entitlement, disproportionate with reality.

I've been under the illusion for some years that somehow I could start life over again without it getting into messy loose ends -- without there being any conflicts of interest -- but I'm now suspecting there is no such a thing (for me anyway). Perhaps that is why I kept putting the divorce proceedings off, because I knew sooner or later I had to face the dark side of MDM and all the FOG she would dish out.

What's the lesson? Life sometimes has unpleasant episodes, not because we want them, but because dealing with PDs is inevitably a toxic endeavor, because sooner or later, you have to contradict that person's self-referenced world.

MDM's snubbing episode shed some light into another relational dynamic of the past that used to frustrate me -- a deeply ingrained pattern. Whenever I became angry (for any given reason) MDM would put up a wall. The message is that anger is never appropriate, so I usually end up feeling bad and apologize. The worst part is that DD has learned to do the same. She goes into her shell and refuses to interact, no matter how I try to draw her out.

I'm finally becoming aware it's okay to be angry even when others don't think so. Sometimes only you can give yourself that permission as long as that angry doesn't become destructive. As Alice Miller affirmed, "I don't have to look cheerful for someone else,and I don't have to suppress my distress or anxiety to fit other people's needs. I can be angry and no one will die or get a headache because of it." This is the emerging of the authentic self.

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