Opened and Closed
It occured to me this afternoon, as I drove down the road in a state of such writhing anger, that these days I am operating completely in persona when dealing with my current boss/former husband. It is painfully obvious to me that the occurences where I am in essence with him are becoming more and more rare. I feel angry about that.
I have committed to living my life congruently and in my authentic essence. When it comes to my interactions with him, though, I am generally on edge and ready to fight if he even so much as breathes in my direction. His stories have become so tiresome. I am surprised to feel myself bristle when his truck pulls up to the office. Before he has even stepped through the door, I have already donned my boxing gloves and tightened the ropes of the ring. When my cell phone rings and I see that it is him, I am aware that my jaw clenches automatically and I usually growl – sometimes even out loud.
I am having the story that he is always on the attack with me. This results with me always being on the defense. This morning is a good example of that. He called at 8:40 am. My assistant answered the phone, put it on hold and told me that Charles was holding for me. Silently I groaned. I successfully stopped my eyes from rolling before there was any indication that I was already bothered before I had even picked up the phone. I forcefully held my eyes opened so that I would not close them and groan into the darkness behind the lids.
Pasting on a smile, I placed the receiver to my ear. “Hello?”
“You wanting to start the day off on a bad note?” He snapped at me, yelling into the phone.
“YOU wanting to start the day off on a bad note already?” He yelled louder. He was clearly pissed and I had no idea why. I hadn’t talked to him since sometime yesterday afternoon, so I had no idea what the hell was wrong with him.
“What are you talking about?”
“Where the fuck you been? Why the fuck aren’t you answering the phones?”
“We did answer the phone,” I said aware that even though I wasn’t feeling it, the remark sounded like I was talking back to him.
“I mean earlier. I have been calling you all fucking morning. Since, like, 7:30. I have called the office and your cell and you haven’t been fucking answering. You fucking want to start the day off on a fucking bad note?”
Now I was pissed. I had woke up in a good mood. I had enjoyed my morning with my daughter. I had felt happy. I was feeling successful in the training of my assistant. The day was shaping up to be a great day. Up to that moment.
I closed my eyes and bit my cheek. I was angry. Raving, screaming, heated angry. And now my day was starting on a fucking bad note. I wanted to reach through the phone lines and slam his forehead into the steering wheel.
The conversation disintegrated from there. It didn’t matter that my cell phone had no missed calls or any indication that he had ever called. It didn’t matter that I had been working at my own desk in the back office which has no phone so I didn’t hear any of the calls going into the front office. It didn’t matter. He assumed I was intentionally ignoring him. He threw all sorts of pissiness my way until I declared, “I am done with this!” And hung up. Hanging up is not usually the best way to go with him because it generally pisses him off more. It’s a control thing on my end. I know this. This time it worked.
But the day didn’t get any better after he arrived at the office a couple hours later. I was still hopping mad and so was he. Never a good mix.
I slide into defiance when I am pushed like he has pushed me today. Rather than being smart and staying silent when I want to go into combat, I choose to go into combat. He is never an opponent that I have taken on easefully (then again, what opponent is easeful???) and, yet, I still do it. There is something about him, my relationship with him, that brings out the absolute worst possible aspects of myself, I am ashamed to admit. With very little trying, he is able to light my impossibly short fuse and I become an entire Independence Day fireworks display trapped in a five foot body.
No amount of talking myself through the episode, reminding myself to use my skills and such – none of that helped me today and rarely ever with him. I immediately forget to breathe – I haven’t breathed, I am fairly certain, since 8:40 am… until just now and it is 1:00 pm. I become stupid, inauthentic and completely out of my essence.
I close my eyes in the face of this painful awareness, praying that I am going to be able to rise above this petty behavior that I succumb to time and again. I feel angry that I crash so quickly, so easily, seemingly at the drop of a pin. And then, on top of that, I feel angry at myself for still being here, all the while knowing that I am here because I choose to be. And then I feel hateful…