I’m not an angry person by nature.
I don’t get angry. I get frustrated, annoying and sometimes even a little grouchy. Okay, maybe a lot grouchy. But never angry.
I’m not sure where this new emotion is coming from. I’m guessing that some of it is weather related. But not all of it. There are days when it feels like there’s just too much to deal with. Too much to take on.
This all came flooding out while I was trying to fold a fitted sheet.
Stay with me.
I can’t fold a fitted sheet. I have never been able to do it. Tim has tried to teach me many many times. I just can’t. Maybe I don’t have the wingspan to hold the corners just right. Maybe I just don’t have the fine motor skills. Whatever the reason, I can’t do it. So for my entire adult life, fitted sheets have been crumpled up and shoved into the closet on top of all the flat sheets and pillowcases. And I quickly close the door.
The other day, I was doing just that. As I was trying to shut the door, the whole pile came out on top of me. And big, ugly, angry tears began to fall as well.
In my head, I was screaming at those balled-up sheets, so angry that they had the nerve to fall out and not stay where they were. I started to rattle off all of the other things that were making me angry.
- I’m angry that my almost five year old still won’t sleep through the night and I can’t figure out what else to do.
- I’m angry that my eight year old comes home from school and asks me at least once a week why we can’t do “x” like all his other friends do. (X= take a long family vacation, go to the movies, go to museums, play nicely together)
- I’m angry that I am constantly in the role of “police officer” in my house, and I can’t figure out if my two year old has actual behavior problems or if he’s just copying his brother.
- I’m angry that my son does better with his behavior management at school than at home, because of what that implies about my parenting skills.
- I’m angry that there are days that I just can’t help my son manage his body and his sensory issues. And I’m angry at myself for being tired of dealing with it.
- I’m angry that I have friends across town and across the globe who are fighting for their children’s rights to have basic services in our schools. Friends who just want the words in their IEPs followed and not ignored.
- I’m angry that it matters where you live – that some towns and states are really good at supporting our kids, and some don’t care.
- I’m angry that I have friends who are going through incredibly hard things in their lives – things that would be difficult anyway, but add in their special needs kids and it’s so much more trying.
- I’m angry that whatever I do, it never seems like enough. There’s never a day when I go to bed and say “we did everything we needed to do today for our son and his day was right.”
Apparently I’ve been pretty good at keeping this anger inside, crumpled up behind closed doors like those sheets. But like those sheets, I don’t know what to do with it now that it’s out.
My friend at Diary of a Mom talked about the need to process our anger, and find the hope and progress interspersed with the raw emotion. She’s right. I see it and write about it all the time here. I know how lucky we are in so many ways to have what we do, to live where we live and have the supports that we have.
I’m at a crossroads with this anger. Just like with that that sheet. I could try and stuff it back in to the closet, waiting for it to explode on me again. Or I could attempt to fold it. Maybe laying it out flat on the bed and bringing the corners together. Look at it from a different angle. Try something new.
I can choose to let it eat at me and become more unhappy, causing misery to those around me. Or I can choose to channel it to make some changes in my life and help others make changes too.
Maybe ask for some help.
Right now, I’m going to leave the sheet on the floor until I can figure out what to do with it. It can’t stay crumpled up. Because I’m not just angry anymore. Now, I’m sad too.
“So I start a revolution from my bed
‘Coz you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside the summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out
So Sally can wait
She knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away
“But don’t look back in anger”, I heard you say” – Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis