Part I: Excerpt from my life this previous Sunday I was SOOO mad this morning at a certain individual, who I may have had two children with, that as I drove away from the gas station ( a horn was honking furiously), I MAY have heard some thunks and klonks and then maybe I noticed the pump hose still attached to my van and not at all attached to the station. Uhhh.
I already had tears in my eyes as I walked into the gas station. I told the guy, “I’ve completely wrecked your gas station.”
“I drove off with the pump, sir. What do we do now?”
Blank stare, no words, furrowed brow. In my complete and utter madness, I clearly had lost all ability to communicate with the natives. My primate self decided to get more specific.
I pointed outside. “Pump #2, you’ll notice there is no hose connected anymore.”
He looked outside. He looked back at me. He sighed. Got paper and pencil and handed it to me.
“Just leave your name and number; sometimes they charge to reconnect.”
“What do I do with the hose?”
“Hang it anywhere.”
Part II: Wednesday
My son was with me when this all went down Sunday. Have I indicated that he is emotionally connected to me? I don’t think I’ve covered that as of yet. Well, when I’m in a bad mood and don’t realize it, I often find that Michael is in a twist (emotional upheaval). When I do happen to notice that Michael is in a bad mood and struggling, more times than not I will realize my own bad mood. At that point, I can either name it or shift it and he immediately calms down.
So how did my madness affect Michael? He was a freaking mess the entire day! He just witnessed his mother doing something that very clearly he knew was not normal because she was mad at his father. So on top of me being maniacal and raging (which is not very maniacal and raging compared to most people), we had to be in this crazy space together all day long.
My boyfriend and his little girl were scheduled to come over and this could change everything. My thought, if I had a rational one, was that maybe I could talk to my boyfriend about this. I know even as I type this that that was a crock of bull. I was so far into the emotions of my former spouse’s stuff, it would have been pretty near impossible to reach me. I divorced that guy for a reason; this being one of them! I even pulled a hose out of a gas station and STILL I was feeling crazy and completely disconnected from my body.
Well, my boyfriend and his little girl came over for the visit, and I warned that guy, after he got here, about what I thought he was walking into. My boyfriend and his little girl left earlier than normal after I asked them to, as kindly as you can ask someone to please leave before I say more hurtful things. It was too much and I was finding it hard to be kind and hospitable. That poor guy got a big apology from me the next day and still will receive more. I was not able to work it out and talk it through. Nope. Not that day.
That night, though, a major shift occurred. I built a roaring fire before dinner, because truly there is nothing like a roaring fire built by an angry woman. Michael, Mason, and I sat down with the talking stick. We have a talking stick in our house where the person holding the stick is the only one allowed to speak. It’s a GREAT tool for those of you who struggle with “devoted communicators.” We don’t use it often, so it is still highly effective.
We had a conversation using the talking stick about how Michael is unkind to Mason and what are some ways we can stop that. I was raging alone; Michael was raging on Mason. It was not OK. The conversation was a really beautiful time together and we really did relax into that moment and become more present. And the truth and honesty was stupendous. At one point, Michael says, “Well, I could just say nice things.” This was in response to the question: “What are some ways to be kind to Mason rather than to say hurtful things?” So Mason grabs the stick and says, “Why don’t you just do that then?”
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? “Why don’t you just do that then?”
The gas pump attendant hasn’t called me. I kinda wish he would in an odd sort of way, maybe to validate that I really did pull a pump hose out of a gas station. Although, I know I did without a shadow of a doubt. Michael is all too eager to share our story with others as it does have a nice dramatic feel that invokes reactions of shock.
The three of us are in a better space today. Wednesday. I woke up happy this morning and know that I have moved through my anger and can live another day without the dark cloud over me. I don’t know what I’ll do about the incident that started all of this. That is not for today though. Today is to relish my happiness and to welcome it back. Today is to look my kids in the eyes and say, “I’m sorry I left you for a few days. I’m back.” Today is the day to write this piece so that I don’t forget this part of my story. And today is the day to thank you, dear reader, for reading and being part of my story. Thank you.
And please thank your local gas station attendants for what they do. You never know, the woman before you could have wrecked their entire gas station.