I got angry Friday night.
As I was warming up dinner and settling in for the weekend, he sent a text:
“Lydia asked me to join the planning committee.”
I responded, “I am disappointed she didn’t ask me as I mentioned my interest a couple of months ago, but I understand why she asked you.”
My feelings vacillated between anger at Lydia for once again ignoring me, and jealousy over his being “chosen” yet again. I’ve offered my time to help Lydia and her small town cause crusades many times, but she’s never called upon me. She always calls upon him.
When he got home, I asked if he was going to join the committee.
“I already told her I would. I like to be involved.”
Cue the rage.
While I attempted to stifle it, distract myself, journal, read–whatever I could to avoid a full-on codependent crisis…I was on the brink of meltdown.
Why him, again? Why not me? Is it because I’m not on Facebook all the time like he is? Is it because she doesn’t like me? No one likes me, apparently. Everyone likes him better.
And that’s exactly what I shared with a friend via text as I furiously paced back and forth in our bathroom, waiting for the bathtub to fill.
He knew I was aggravated.
I knew I was on the edge of yelling at him.
The City Council meeting is tonight. In my anger, I wanted to remind him that he already committed to taking his son skating tonight, but caught myself–it’s not my job to caretake.
My texted friend suggested that Lydia is intimidated by me, that I should break something if I feel like it, and was patient as I used ample expletives.
Eventually, the bath did fill and I sunk myself into a hot bubble bath. I changed the texted conversation to the topic of a painting class we were taking together the next night, and then I read more from my book.
At some point, the hot water worked its magic. I laid back, relaxed, and found calm again.
And because I didn’t bite his head off, he at one point asked if I was ok, and then if he could bring me anything:
Tea? Chocolate? Want me to come talk to you?
All of it.
He brought me hot tea in my favorite mug, turned the bathroom lights off and lit a candle, hand-fed me chocolate, and talked with me. Not about the committee or Lydia or the City, but about other things. I don’t even remember the conversation now, but needless to say–crisis was avoided.
This weekend’s reading touched on allowing yourself to feel good feelings, and finding balance. Today’s reading is about feeling anger when it’s necessary.
During a peaceful moment this weekend, I cleaned one of our guest bedrooms. As I dusted the Indian bust, I saw the supposed name of the Indian roughly carved into the bottom. I remember how he told me about his son viewing it in our home for the first time and how he “remarkably” found the name inscribed. He marveled at how smart his son was and acted as if this was new information made available.
It wasn’t. We saw it when we bought it and discussed it a few times.
But I remember stopping myself then from pointing this out. It seemed more important to let his son be amazing than it was for me to be right.
Sometimes, you have to let people do things.
This phrase came to me as I was dusting and suddenly, I drew the same conclusion about his joining the planning committee.
I have to let him.
Let him choose this.
Let him become involved.
Let him be the recipient of all that entails.
It came up only once more during the weekend, when I asked him to please be careful in his City dealings. I know it sounded as a caution, and it was meant that way. He said he would.
I have my reasons for my request. But part of that was letting go, too.
If this is his choice, I need to let go and refocus on me.
One of the greatest pieces of advice I received this weekend was from a CoDA friend who said when she’s on the verge of crisis, she repeats to herself the first Step of CoDA:
We are powerless over others.
I am powerless over him, over Lydia, and over whatever will happen as a result of his political involvement. I am powerless over it all.
So I need to let. Let him make his decisions. Let him have his moment. And know that in doing so, I’m letting myself experience more peace, more freedom.