Introspective: Responding to Crap

It is absolutely maddening when you are irritated by something and you can’t quite put your finger on. Oh, it could be that recent incident with family that resulted in an intervention order. It could be the youngest daughter who is intent on not taking responsibility for anything but wanting everything her own way. It could be son, who having run away with the older woman, tries to hit you up for money. It could be second daughter who wants contact but makes no effort to build the relationship. (Thank goodness for eldest daughter at the moment who is being gorgeous.) It could be any one of a number of things but none of them quite seem to be the one.

What if? What if there is an endless round of irritation that has no actual beginning and no end? Argh! What if? What if there is simply no way to resolve some of these issues and they will be endlessly irritating. Oooh! What if? What if there will never be an opportunity to complete each incident and relationship? Ah, nooooo!

Oh wait, that’s life isn’t it? Life, that incessantly irritating and irrespectful (just to maintain an alliterative effect) experience, troubling and traumatic as it can be. Life can also be iridescent and effervescent, glowing and bubbling with energy. Okay, scrap that, sometimes life can just be crap.

I tell myself, in my endless internal soliloquy, that it is not what happens in life but my response to it. Well and good when things are going along well and good, but crappy when things are crap. This has been a particularly crappy year. Friends have had crappier times than me, I will admit. But this year has still been right up there in the crap-o-meter of crappiness. Crap, crap, crappity, crap.

Okay, that’s enough of that, now to figure it out. All the things that I’ve listed above and talked about elsewhere have happened this year. I guess there are years when unpleasant and downright awful stuff happens and can be dealt with as they occur. What’s difficult is when all the crappy stuff happens at once. I have had worse years certainly. The year I was dreadfully ill and waiting for surgery was the year my dad died after long illness, my mum lost the plot and my ex told me to get it together and was increasingly angry with me and cruel toward me the more I fell apart. When my turn for surgery came around, the whole wound got infected and split open. There I was with grieving family, furious spectacularly unsupportive “partner” and split open from navel to pubic bone. Yep, that was a pretty crappy year. If it hadn’t been for a friend who came each week and talked to me, I don’t know how I’d have stayed sane.

The year I was burning out from work and dealing with a lot of nasty, bullying behaviour there, struggling on my own with the kids and my eldest left her husband and baby. That was shattering. Harder still was offering her any support while she worked it out to return, when she believed everyone was against her. Poor darling. That was a crappy year. Others that go back in the mists of time are not worth remembering other than that I not only survived them but learned from them. Oh yes, that’s the real bugger of crappy years is that there is so much to learn from them. Retrospectively. While you are in the midst of them, there you are, in the midst.

So, I’m in the midst of a rather crappy year. Standing firm in the face of all the crappiness and remaining true to myself is ever the challenge. Hauling myself out of trauma and doing my utmost to respond in an adult, responsible manner has been exceptionally challenging. I read a quote that helped a lot: When we react, we give away our power. When we respond, we have power to act. I like that. I’d put it on a t-shirt but I don’t wear t-shirts. I will stop and think about each of my irritations and consider what my response was or could be.

I responded to the threats and intimidation with an intervention order and my solicitor. That seems to have settled things down. I have responded to son by not hassling him and letting him live his life. I will not be sending him money either. I will respond to second daughter with the same. It’s her choice, even if it’s not mine. Eldest daughter, being gorgeous in the moment, will simply be appreciated. Youngest daughter…sigh. That’s daily dealings.

Most of all, I will do the best I can. Here’s to responding and the power to act.

(C) CLHHarper 31 August 2014