Some days it is like I wake up and it just doesn’t matter what I do, what good intentions I may have, I mess it up. Every thing I touch turns to crap. In my head I will see a picture of how something is going to be; it could be anything, a day out with the kids, a meeting at work, and yet no matter my intentions it all goes to pot.
Take a day out with the kids for instance. The kids might all moan about getting their shoes on when I ask, they might sulk and whinge that they can’t find them, or they don’t want to go out they’d rather watch TV. And I’ll get pissed off. Don’t they know that this is supposed to be fun? Don’t they realise that I took a day off work to spend with them. How ungrateful are they? So what do I do? I shout at them, they don’t understand how this is supposed to be fun and so I tell them; In no uncertain terms I shout at them and let them know how they are ruining the day. They are selfish and ungrateful and they should appreciate me wanting to take them out.
They will then, 9/10 times all jump up and get moving and apologise to me. We will get going to wherever we were going to go, but the day will feel slightly tarnished, slightly forced and I will spend most of it chastising myself for being a terrible person/mother.
It happens in other areas of my life too. When I am tired or feeling low and all I actually want is to feel loved and needed and wanted, I often seem to express it in extremely unlovable ways. I might pick a fight with a loved one, then end up in floods of tears because, actually the last thing I wanted to do was alienate them. I just needed something from them (love, reassurance, support) and couldn’t express it in a way that showed how much I needed it. Maybe I tried to be loving and it was missed, or I’m sad and want to know that someone is there for me and so I behave badly. It is a child-like response that I am aware of but seem to have little control over it. I want the dream. I want it perfect.
And yet it’s almost like I self sabotage things that are good in my life. Seriously, why am I so bothered by the fact that kids would rather stay home watching the TV rather than come out and do something that I think is better for them. They were happy, perhaps I should have been happy too. But no, I have an image in my head as to how the day is going to go and so I relentlessly pursue it against all opposition. I need to learn to chill out more. To let things go. To know that the way things are in my head isn’t the way that things have to be. If anyone should know that it’s me.
Its not just me that does this though, I see it or hear it all the time from my friends, or people on the street. Somehow we are conditioned into thinking that things are always going to be perfect, that we will get married and live happily ever after, that our friends will drop everything because we need them, our kids will be beautiful and angelic and well behaved. And maybe that is a reality for some people. Maybe all of my friends are as bat shit crazy as I am and actually there is a whole community of “normal” people out their living the lives of their dreams.
Whatever. I honestly don’t think I care, because do you know what? Sometimes it is from the shadows of our failings that the best things happen. Perhaps if I didn’t feel that guilt for shouting at the kids I wouldn’t have made the extra effort to ride the zip wire with them. We wouldn’t have made those memories that hopefully they will remember forever. Perhaps I wouldn’t have reached out to a friend and reaffirmed our friendship over the stories of my fuck ups and their commiserations and affirmation that I am, indeed bat shit crazy.