Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm better this morning. Gees, I don't think I've written a post like that before. I think that was a cry for help. Sorry guys, I try not to do that on the internet. I'm trying to compose my raw emotional posts in a way that if someone else indentifies with it they can feel comforted by it. The good thing is that this parental voice has come around in my mind and last night I was able to soothe myself to sleep - no beating myself up physically, or entertaining thoughts of hurting myself. That's a significant babystep I think.

So allow me to be more specific than I was last night. I was upset with myself for the insane way that I handle anger. Whenever someone I like, love, or even if it's just someone who I don't know well but want them to like me I'm extra, super nice. I know, I know, what an asshole right? Well, yes. Sometimes. For example, about six years ago I was a hostess at Houston's restaraunt for a very brief period of time. Like, just a few months. Eventually I was fired and it wasn't because I did anything horrible. I was told that I was not "seating aggressively." When my manager said this to me I imagined a hostesss politely leading a couple to their table, and then suddenly lifting one of them in the air, dropping them, and then body slamming them into their seat. But that's not exactly what he was talking about. Houston's is a busy restaurant and they want waitors and hostesses to be neaurotically fast and OCD on the ball. This is why my sister Stephanie was lead hostess. She was totally on top of things and damn good. I was kind of pokey and joked around a lot. But I also knew that the unspoken reason here was, "we want sexy hostesses who flirt." I knew this because I was told to put on more makeup, even though by more standards I was wearing a lot, and because all of the hostesses were very flirty and sexy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Stephanie is a tease. She's just hot and she's got a good game face. If a regular customer came in who liked to flirt with the hostesses, she was able to handle him even if he was a real slime. I was not able to do this. If a dude was all weird and flirty I would maybe giggle and fall silent, or I would look at him funny before I had time to stop myself.

Aaaaanyway, the manager didn't like me very much. This somehow made me want him to like me more even though this guy was kind of a jerk. I wanted him to see me as sweet and genuine. But these qualities only seemed to aggravate him. A few weeks after I was fired I came into drop something off to Stephanie and when the guy (whose name I don't even remember) came to the podium to tell her something I told him hi and then gave him a hug. When I hugged him he back away and said, "No, no. Good to see you" and scurried off.

I actually hugged this guy, this guy who I didn't like, who didn't like me and who had fired me a few weeks before. Though it was rude of him to push me away atleast he was acknowledging that there was a problem between us. I don't like being angry at people. I don't handle it well. I can even handle them being mad at me better than I can handle my own anger, and that's not saying very much. This reaction is seemingly genuine. A lot of people have been touched by it. They're kind of like, "Wow, you really forgave me fast, what a great, merciful person you are." But how could I have forgiven them when I didn't even acknowledge that there was a problem in the first place? I wasn't being all merciful and wonderful. I was in complete denial, and it's only caused complications in every single one of my relationships.

It's because this stuff tends to build. And build. And build. And Until eventually I'm an enormous ant hill of supressed anger, like one of those mountain sized African ant hills that you see on Animal Planet. I've said before that it takes a lot for me to completely cut someone out of my life, but that statement is misleading. That makes it sound like the problem is all theirs when the truth is that with all of these people I let them hurt me again and again, and each time I held them closer. Until I exploded. There are times when I've even said "I love you" when I'm extremely angry. I can think of times that I've done that with both family and friends. The reason those moments stand out in my mind is because I remember thinking, "Why aren't I mad? I should be mad." The friend I lost once asked me, "Why aren't you mad at me?" And I thought about it and told her, "I don't know." I wasn't able to let myself feel it. I numbed it with, "She didn't really mean it. I know deep down she respects me," and also "She's aldready so hurt. I don't want to be mad at her on top of that." As if anger is the absolute worse thing I can feel for a person. As if love is "I'm totally cool with you all the time no matter what you do," and "I'm pissed at you" translates into, "I hate you." But that doesn't make sense.

You guys are all wondering if the times I've said "I love you" out of the blue were times that I was pissed, aren't you? :) Well, honestly, I might have been. But to make it up to both of us I'm trying to learn how to bring a problem to light without acting extremely one way or the other. Also remember that the "I love you" wasn't a lie. I love all the people (who I know) who read this blog. It was just beside the point. It was more like a distraction. Like, I could have said, "Oh look, there's a pretty rainbow. Let's focus on that instead of the problem." The reason I felt pathetic last night is because I've done that sooooooo much in the recent past that it makes me feel crazy.

I know it might sound weird that trying to be really nice has made my life out of control and unmanagable, but it's true. I guess I could have done worse. I could have hit you all over the head with a plumbing tool. I could have buried my anger with drugs, World of Warcraft, or alcohol. (right now Christy is totally digging that I lumped World of Warcraft with addcitive drugs)

And now, my lovelies, it is time to face the reality of the day. I need to pick up the cat from the vet, post something for Creature Feature House, and attack the looming pile of laundry. Also accepting that I'm human and that getting mad doesn't make me the devil. And it should be noted that from what I know the friend I lost is doing very well. I'm getting there, I think. May we both have happiness.


melissa bastian. said...

I didn't see your bad night post until this morning. You can call me you know - I stay up late. Also, no need to apologize for having a bad night, or for writing about it.

Does not being able to get angry at people have anything to do with a compulsive need to make everything OK, even to the point of self injury? I never went down that road but I've seen it a lot. I... kind of went the other way. Well, actually, I've done both. I've tried really hard to make people like me who are complete jerks, who I don't even like. I've also been an evil crazy bitch, and I mean really, really cruel and mean, to people who I actually loved dearly.

Anger management is a super difficult thing. It's really hard to know what's reasonable and what isn't, especially in the midst of feeling whatever it is that you're feeling - largely because emotion and reason really don't see eye to eye. All to often one overrides the other.

You've got the right idea though. You're human, and you see your faults, and you're starting to grasp the idea that it's OK to have them, and you're working on changing. What else can anyone ask of you? Absolutely nothing. Everyone makes mistakes, ends up hurting the people around them in one way or another. You stand out only in that you have the courage to try to understand yourself, and to work to unlearn behaviors that you don't want to be engaging in. Many people live their whole lives without ever taking those steps.

You make progress at the rate that you make it, period. You're not on anyone else's schedule; this is your journey. While it may be frustrating for you to work at this rate, one of the other things you're learning is to be patient with yourself.

And, we love you too.

melissa bastian. said...

Oh, and trust me - we're all very glad that you never turned to WOW.

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Genevieve said...

Mel- Thanks my sista. That really was a good comment. Made me think.

WOW- (shakes head) You really are the devil.

melissa bastian. said...

Hey wallstreetcreation, you know what I hate more than pieces of shit that post ADVERTISEMENTS in the comments section of people's very personal blog posts? Uh, nothing! (Hey Gen, you should definitely erase that comment.)

Tom said...

Yeah, erase the ad. I have all my Wordpress stuff filtered so it doesn't show up. For a while I was getting probably twenty of those things a week.

WoW. It's evil? I had no idea. Then again, I've never played it. If there's a way to get obsessed over something, though, I'll likely find a way to do it.

Thanks for the post, homie. Always good thoughts from you!