"I’m going to have a Sophia from The Golden Girls moment, but instead of picturing "Sicily, 1922…," picture this:
Your kid’s school has only just contacted you to say that everyone needs to wear orange the next day. You have nothing orange for your kids because it makes their complexion look like their kidneys are failing.
You quickly buy the last orange t-shirt at your local Target, and just as you start to hate yourself for adding to the consumerism that will result in an even bigger landfill from your family home, your tire blows, and you have to wait for the tow truck. This sets you behind on a project, which leads to a hellish week at work, and every time you come home to the pressures at home, you just want to turn around and walk back out of the door.
You can’t walk out on your family, so you grab your kid and try to comfort them, but they smack you in the face with a toy, and then your significant other tells you not to wind the kid up, and then you start to question the significance of your other, and anger builds as relationship conflict gathers momentum like an impending hurricane.
Sound a bit like your own life? Life throws the occasional spanner in the works, but when you add in the pressure of kids, finances, or even a pandemic, life with your significant other, or your friends, or your work colleagues, or family, becomes so much harder.
And then you turn on each other, picking at the smallest of faults as if they will make or break you, for example:
• You don’t answer their text messages quickly enough (or at all).
• They forget to pick up your kid from practice.
• You don’t pursue the promotion you spent a year talking about so you could both climb out of this financial pressure.
• They don’t show your family as much kindness as you think they should.
We hurt the ones we love because they are the closest to us. Something startles you, angers you, or scares you, and your words fly out as if you cannot control them. At the time, you believe you are helpless to this impulse. But the truth is you are not helpless. In fact, there is a great deal you can do to help yourself and the travel companions in your life.
You thought it would be fun to have these travel companions; you saw life's long, winding road ahead of you, and you thought you needed people to talk to, share stories with, and laugh and eat and drink together. But lately your partner, your best friend, your brother, your work colleagues, and even your parents, have made you want to live on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean, or in a castle, with the drawbridge up, and the crocodiles snapping in the surrounding moat."
Read more in Beyond the Blue, out now in paperback and ebook.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, author of Beyond the Blue, and LGBTQ+ advocate
Beyond Your Confines will help you to
discover the wisdom and natural rhythms that exist within.