A New Position on the Crisis of the Week

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Totally. To spite my backing up a lot, I still find my family situation almost impossible. I’m trying to teach myself to detach. Preventing the vent is the most difficult part, but at the same time it is such a relief to be heard. Most of the time I just feel crazy and angry. It’s always just under the surface. if someone asks how things are going, the most recent outrage flies out.

This week, on the way to the Elvis Costello concert we had been looking forward to for months, my brother asked me about something to do with that situation. I tried to be as brief as possible because these conversations just create an argument between he and I, but it was the crisis of the week. I had pushed to have it solved it for all of us, and Grandpa refused the solution. It was hours of my time to arrange a new shower head and my brother was putting it in. And then he wasn’t.

It was insulting to see how he looked at me when I got angry and vented, especially after he had spent the first 10 minutes of our car ride venting about his work day. It was incredible to feel the things he thought about me, and for how long that lasted after I picked up my “transgression”. It was good to notice all that immediately after I had had the same feelings about him. Yes, really unattractive and off-putting. If I hadn’t had the self-restraint coupled with all the work we have done here together in the past few weeks – negativity and default statements – I wouldn’t have been able to let that roll off.

It feels strange to not share with him my real feelings about what is going on there, but I have done that already. I also have some feelings that shouldn’t be shared. I’m too angry. The truth is that my brother and I are on the same page about most things, and especially this situation. He is, however, allowing me to see a completely different way of handling it. He’s providing an amazing example for me.

Ha – he provided an amazing example of the good and the bad… When HE vented, I felt sick and irritated. I judged. It’s the same issue he has with his work, just the new daily details, and mostly irrelevant. I knew it would be happening, that it is a normal part of the family social interactions – vent, get heard, then have a nice visit – so I just waited for it to fall away. Then 2 minutes later I found myself doing the same thing. He did ask, but I didn’t need to go into the venting.

I could have used a default statement and moved on.

Anyway, these conversations of late have really been key for me in this regard also. I have the terrible habit of venting. I remember also when it started. University. Sharing a room with someone drove me insane; I was in a concrete box with someone for 10 months. I actually remember my Grandpa of all people bringing that new habit to my attention. He said something like my complaining about something I couldn’t change only made me look bad, and that I should stop that bad habit right away, that I should cultivate other things to talk about.

It’s all flooding back. Then when I was angry about a wedding where I had to be a bride’s maid… my friend who I was venting to told me that I had to make a decision. If I was that angry, I needed to not go. OR, if I felt that obligated, I needed to suck it up and move on.

AND… the venting and complaining that went on in ski patrol… there were certain people I would not get on the lift alone with…

This is a really great thread for me, and comes at the perfect time. When I vent it really doesn’t feel good, and it honestly doesn’t solve anything. It is the habit I am trying to break, and I suddenly see my own pattern and tendencies really clearly, how long it’s been around.

I”m looking forward to the next few days with our current conversation around positive positioning. There’s the negativity. There’s the default statement I can use to protect myself – and others ha! But more, there is always a general positive position that I hold – and frankly come to instantly – in almost any and every situation. It’s who I am. Literally. I am always standing in that spot. The rest is a learned and habitual behaviour that I can temper.

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