Sometimes crashing provides excellent life lessons
I had prepared for months in counseling for my upcoming trip to Michigan. I’ve been reading the book Boundaries to help me prepare. I knew it would be stressful and full of anxiety but little did I know HOW much stress and anxiety it would bring.
Our first stop was my grandma’s house. While it wasn’t full of stress, it was full of foods that I’d grown up with, very familiar and comforting. So I fell into the trap of comfort and familiarity. I honestly didn’t realize how these two emotions would drive my eating, but they did. On top of that, there wasn’t really a good gym to work out in. I tried. I failed in nutrition. I gained .5lb.
Then we went on to my mom and stepdad’s for a week. Truth be told, we should NEVER have stayed more than a couple of days. Not because of the eating temptation, but because of the stress.
While my mom is very hospitable, but stepdad is not. He tries for the first couple of days, but then it ALWAYS hits the fan. He just can’t handle people in his space for more than 2 days. This translates into a lot of passive aggressive nonverbal crap that drives me literally nuts. It sends me into a tailspin, which is EXACTLY what it did.
So on Monday. I had been walking on egg shells for a couple of days when my stepdad’s passive aggressive behavior escalated. It started with me doing laundry and being in his way. Of course, I had NO idea that he was wanting to do laundry when I threw mine in. (keep in mind we’d been travelling over a week and I had about 2 loads of clothes….TWO, not TWENTY) anyway, it started with a lot of huffing and puffing around the house. Nothing direct….then it became, “Angie are you still in the washer?” 2 mins later, “Angie are you still in the dryer?”
So this started the day
this attitude continued throughout the day with various annoyances that me and my family were “doing” to tick off my stepdad.
Keep in mind, we were guests or supposedly in their home
(side note: no matter how annoyed I may be at someone staying in my home, I would NEVER make them FEEL like and annoyance)
This behavior preceded the next passive aggressive outburst.
Our original plan was to stay through Jan. 2. Our plan was to stay the night at friend’s house on New Year’s Eve so we wouldn’t even be there the full 10 days.
Anyway as I’m sitting around the table with my mom and stepdad. (Jeff in the other room within earshot) My stepdad says to my mom, IN front of me, “Jeff and Angie are leaving on the 1”, then once he realized we weren’t leaving until the 2, which we ok’d with my mom I might add. He got pissy and said “well I need to have a full weekend with my wife!”
I mean what do you do with that?
I didn’t handle it well….I’ll get there in a minute, in the meantime, on Facebook, I have a handful of obsecure cousins, (3rdish cousins to be exact) making a bunch of shaming statements about an opinion I stated about my contempt for Michigan. Apparently I’m not allowed to have a glowing report of my home state. Keep in mind, these cousins NEVER call or keep in touch with me. Have no real clue of the struggle I’ve been through in my life, nor do they really seem to care…..but it was enough to send me over the edge emotionally.
So how did I cope and deal with it?
I’ll tell you what I did……I drank a full bottle of wine and ate about 10 sugar cookies and 2 cupcakes.
No I didn’t deal with it well.
Yes this was old eating habits to deal with stress.
I knew enough to know GET OUT of there!!!!!!
Thank the Lord that I have a supportive, understanding husband who was willing to get me out of there.
So we packed up and left the next day.
The only reason we didn’t leave that night was because my mom had scheduled a professional photo shoot for family pictures and my husband thought it would be rude to stand her up for this project she had coordinated. I talked to my counselor about staying the extra night because I really wanted to get out of there immediately. She helped me see that a family picture would be a good future keepsake. So we stayed.
The pissy undertones from my stepdad continued and by the next day my husband had wished he had listened to me. Oh well, he didn’t but I can tell you in the future we won’t be staying under my parent’s roof again…… When and if we visit Michigan again we’ll be staying in a hotel!!
The other “boundary” related topic that kept arising was from my mom. Since she knows that we will be looking for a house in Texas soon. She kept saying things like, “oh will the house you buy have a mother-in-law suite?” to my husband.
We will not be purchasing a house that my mom and stepdad can move into with us.
Are you kidding me??!!?!?!?!? I’ll weigh 500 lbs if this happens…..HA HA
My parents don’t really understand nor practice any boundaries, so this is all new territory for me. I’ve never demanded any respect or boundary in my relationship with them and this has led to a lifetime of dysfunctional patterns to cope. I am DONE with all of this crap.
So while I’m devastated by the 2 lb weight gain that occurred over this holiday season. I can honestly say I’ve learned A LOT about myself and the boundaries I will start demanding in my life. Sometimes you have to crash head on into the life lessons that you are supposed to start implementing in your life. I know after this experience, I’ve learned just because you are blood related doesn’t mean that your relative has YOUR best interest at heart, whether intentional or not. YOU are the only person on this earth who can look out for YOU.