Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On The Pity Pot

"Is it really truth that we seek, or just a sweet enough lie to settle our minds so we can sleep at night?"~Lou

It seems these days that I often go around thinking to myself, "oh, for fuck's sake." Sometimes it ends up being a quasi prayer as in "what the hell do you have for me next, God? Can't you see I'm on a coffee break?"

I've written about youngest son's girlfriend before. They recently celebrated two years together and considering they are now 16 and 19, two years is a long time. I knew the proper thing to do was to say, 'congratulations' but I just didn't want to. How can I say congrats about a relationship I still resent?

There's something about her that I don't like in myself. I can't put my finger on it yet and a little part of me hopes I never do. Some days it's hard to figure out the difference between working my recovery program and navel gazing. Some days I want the hard work chalked up to navel gazing so I can avert my eyes and the easy stuff to be classified as working my program.

Yesterday youngest son came to me and wondered, out of curiousity, he said, why I didn't like his girlfriend. This was the second time in less than a month that the topic was brought up. After a convoluted conversation I told dearest one later on in the day that the next time I was going to say, "I don't know." That was most likely closer to the truth than what I ended up telling him.

Tonight I spoke with my sponsor about this situation and she encouraged me to take an honest look at it. That when someone pushes our buttons like that there is a reason and the reason is found within us not within the other person. I no sooner hung up the phone from talking to her when youngest son pulled me in a room and said he wanted to talk to me. Actually his girlfriend wanted to talk to me. The topic of the day was once again why didn't I like her. Oh, for fuck's sake.

I was honest and the conversation ended with her walking out of the room in tears. Pressure. I feel pressure to be someone I'm not. To be somewhere else on the journey than I find myself. And what's bothering me the most right now is that with this girl in my life I am faced on a regular basis with my inability to love her. I end up feeling then like my whole Christian walk is a facade.

I ended up telling her that something in her triggers something in me. I told her it wasn't her fault, it was my problem and that I was working on it. I'm sick of working on me. The last AA meeting I went to I heard people talk about how they didn't take themselves so seriously as they did when they first sobered up and I left thinking I must then still be in the kindergarten of sobriety and I felt ashamed.

Several years ago when I was facilitating an adult Sunday school class there was this man in the group that rubbed me the wrong way. He disagreed with the course material and he voiced his opposition at every turn. It was exhausting to lead a class with him in it. Eventually he opted to leave the class. I gave the briefest sigh of relief before I remembered that those who rub me the wrong way are my greatest teachers. I missed a chance to learn from do some soul searching as to what it was in him that I didn't like in me. I went to him and told him as much. He didn't come back to class and I have often regretted the whole situation.

But do I regret it enough to step up to the plate when given another chance? Because here I am again, same scenario,different people. Much more at stake. How many times have I wished youngest son would just break up with her and poof! the stress of her and my relationship would be gone. I wouldn't have to do the hard work of sorting through what it is in her that I don't like in me. But I know if I turn the other way from this opportunity I will have missed out on something. I hate having to type that. I want to be a sixth grader again and point fingers and say it's all her fault. If I was still drinking that's exactly what I'd do. I'd put my hand up and tell God my excuse for not looking inward, for not doing the hard work. And while everything within me wants to do that, drink or not, I know better.

Before he nodded off to sleep tonight dearest one prayed outloud for me. I didn't want him to. I was looking up at the stars in the sky as he prayed and what came to me was that I was to keep my heart open to God in all this. And while I was tempted to say "oh, for fuck's sake" - I didn't.


Peter said...

Sometimes those who rub us the wrong way have things to teach us--and sometimes, they are simply crazymakers who rub everyone the wrong way, for no good reason or result. The trick is to discern which is which.

anj said...

Two things come to mind as I read and try to listen. 1) what is the prayer that is being voiced by "oh, for fuck's sake". And two - these sentences - "I ended up telling her that something in her triggers something in me. I told her it wasn't her fault, it was my problem and that I was working on it." are huge, and even if she chooses to leave the room crying that is her choice (for which you are not responsible) because there is a level of honesty and vulnerability in your statement that is amazing. You have brought some reality into the Light, and perhaps, just perhaps, now it is time to quit working on you and wait for transformative grace to happen. Of course, whilst staying in the struggle of where you are and where you want to be.

Sue said...

I know without any doubt that there are some situations that I in my own power will never be able to change my reaction to enough to model Christ in. It's a hard thing to face and the only response I can have is to sit back and let God work it out. Absolutely hands off kind of stuff. It's humbling to face my own dysfunction, and I hate that it makes me come out looking so evil, when I really would like to be loving and kind. I've learned to be more patient with myself as I wait for God to do His work in me. Sigh...I hear what you're saying, and 'oh, for fuck's sake' seems to be the best response sometimes.

owenswain said...

Your first three comments say in essence what ever it was I thought I had to add. Honesty, especially honesty with ourselves is wicked painful and so often it's our good God who pushes us there. One plus is that whatever we get worked out now won't be on the purgatory docket.

daisymarie said...

when i get to "offs" it's my cue to look at me. there doesn't seem to be any point in avoiding sure doesn't seem to be going away.

i'm sure that's just what you wanted to hear...but you know i'm just that honest with my thoughts.

i'll be here to wade through the muck! promise.

Beth said...

your transparency is inspiring...thank you for sharing.

praying that you rise above as you walk through your days...