A few thoughts this morning, a bad decision, and a moment of clarity.
My 13 year old and her mother were going at it again today, the focal point once again was the cleanliness of "the room".. my daughter's bedroom looked very much like hurricane Charley had actually been through our house. The task was for her to clean the floor, we joked about pretending we had in fact been flooded and just to sweep it all up and throw it out. Not likely, and of course after hours the room looked little different though we were assured she had been working at it... There was a party involved in the schedule and the room was to have been done by the time it was time to leave, it wasn't. My wife came in and explained the situation to me, I felt she was seeking some kind of release to let our daughter go anyway and have ME do the dirty work of sweeping up what was left and tossing it as a punishment for our daughter not doing it. I said no, that if she was suppose to have it clean as it wasn't, then she should stay home and continue working at it. My wife huffed, (well not really huffed, more like whimpered) away cause I hadn't stepped up to be the bad guy for her. In the end she let our daughter go, but SHE (wife) was the one who would now be the one to "finish" cleaning the room and throwing out whatever was still out of place. A compromise of sorts I guess, but I have to wonder what she thinks she's teaching our kid.
This has been a bone of contention between us for about the last, oh 12 years I guess.. LOL I feel my wife is constantly giving in when it affects what SHE has to do, when it is inconvenient for her and not what will instill any sense of value in our daughter. I am by my own admission a very stern, sometimes unbending person when it comes to discipline, and I see it as discipline, not punishment. I'm sure it feels like punishment sometimes to my daughter, but the idea is to get her to see that actions have consequences and that SHE is the one who determines what happens much of the time, not just whether mom and dad are angry about something and then she catches hell for it. I have tried always to keep the consequences related to the event, not my emotional state... and of course I'm successful at that to varying degrees, but mostly I think I keep it pretty separated.
So the day was tense between mom and child, and while I was snuggling my daughter when she would come in for a hug now and then, I was also telling her that she really needed to be getting her work done instead of cuddling me. I didn't not let her, but I did cut it short, sending her back to continue with her task. I would kind of jokingly hug her, squeezing her several times, saying "hug, hug, hug, cuddle, cuddle, I love you, now, go away!" ;-) It makes us both laugh, but I know she'd like to stay and avoid having to do the work. She spent a lot of time cuddled in my arms as a baby, in fact she wasn't out of our arms much till she was almost 2... I would give her up so her mom could nurse her, then she was mine again. I loved holding her and talking to her, playing with her, singing to her, etc. and she still seeks that comfort today, though she barely fits on my lap anymore.. LOL
So, anyway, we have a very close bond, even though the normal growing up conflicts occur.
After this day of turmoil, and exasperation, they arrived back home after the bday party for a friend's 2 year old, and my wife went in and "cleaned up" the room, 8 large trash bags of stuff. Of course she won't be throwing it out right away, she'll have to "go through it" first. Another point of contention, but I let it pass. The child came out from her shower/hiding to say goodnight, got some more cuddles and went to bed with kisses and "I love you's" from both of us.
It was now time for my evening snack but when I went to fix it, discovered that MY cereal had been depleted so as not to have enough for my normal amount, I was ticked, pissed off in fact, cause this morning there was enough for the day, and the store has the new case I ordered and will be picked up tomorrow before breakfast.. I immediately went into my "2 year old" mode, being very upset and grabbed my daughter's cereal, knowing it was too high in sugar content, and finished off the measure with it(½C). It was OLD behavior to be sure, I was "eating at my wife" for inconveniencing me by eating my cereal. I knew I would be uncomfortable because of it, I knew that nagging stomach ache would occur, but I did it anyway. And sure enough, my stomach is in knots right now, though I won't be doing anything else about it.. except to endure the consequence of my rash, childish, compulsive action. Of course all I said to my wife was, "You ate my cereal!", she made no response, and I made no further statements, so she doesn't even know what I did, so I ask myself "Who I am really punishing here?".. of course it's me, as it always is, and why? I let myself get into that judgmental state again... and being unable to control other's actions, I chose to hurt myself. Makes no sense, but that's what happens.
I immediately got in touch with my HP, asking for strength to let go of the anger about the helplessness I was feeling, the frustration with the situation between my wife and child, and asked for the willingness to let go my childish nature, my self-centered obsession that everything revolves around me, that MY needs are somehow more important than anyone else's in this home. I have often thought that MY food was more important because I am the compulsive overeater here... at least the one who's admitted it.. ;-) and so just like before I was in recovery, My food is MY food, and everyone else better keep their paws off MY FOOD@!! Me thinks I haven't really changed all that much!
At any rate the moment of clarity came from working on the computers, I had run a program that left about 50,000 backup files on my hard drive, and it was slowing down the functions of it significantly, so I decided to delete them, ticked that they had been left behind in the first place, and when I started trying to remove them, the system would choke and freeze up. I tried several different ways of removing them, finally just doing them in small chunks, about 2,000-3,000 files at a time.. and I noticed that my own patience was being tested. You know how you learn patience? You are put in situations where you must practice it. I would highlight several thousand files and click to delete them, and then I would have to wait... and wait, and wait... and finally the window would pop up and give me the progress bar letting me know that in fact the files were being deleted. It dawned on me after about the 3rd time, that even though I wasn't seeing immediately the results I had started in motion, that behind the surface window, the processor was doing it's thing, and eventually I did see the change. It was so clear at that moment, that all the things I have started in motion in my recovery program, that things are happening in the background, that I am just not aware of them yet. I thought back to this morning and while changing clothes after working in the yard, my wife was watching me and said, "you know you're really getting skinny".. and for so long I never "saw" the change in my body, even after losing hundreds of pounds, but finally NOW, I am seeing the changes, my mind is finally catching up with what my body is doing, and it's wonderful.
I still, obviously, have lapses in my emotional growth, but overall there is a lot of good changes going on there too... even though my decision tonight wasn't a good one, my mind somehow knew that I would suffer because of it, but also that I would not have to continue on that path.
Trusting that the changes are occurring and that someday I'll be made aware of them, and isn't that how it works? I always see the progress looking back, never while it's happening. It's that moment when I realize, I didn't do the same thing in a similar situation, I chose a better path, I corrected a mistake immediately instead of letting it take me for a ride. Progress, not perfection... I am so grateful for the connection to that Source Energy, it brought me back immediately from a little wobble in my decision making.
I have never worked this program perfectly and never will, but I am moving in the right direction, and growing a little at a time, and sometimes even receive the gift of being aware of it. I know this is where I need to be, and so I will keep coming back, keep bringing myself into the light of this program. My sponsor told me long ago, no matter how you are doing, no matter how you are struggling, no matter if you're working it great, keep coming back!
The sun will be up soon, and I'll be out walking, starting another "normal" day... I ask for the willingness to do the next right thing, as I always do.
love and hugs,
Table of Contents