Posted by: Judy | May 20, 2014

Perspective on the unexpected…

I mentioned, yesterday, my fridge may be on its last leg. Then again, the dear little machine is over 30 years old. It’s working perfectly now. Since I didn’t do anything but turn it over to God, God fixed it. Thanks, God.

What was the purpose of this hiccup in my life?

No, it really wasn’t to annoy me or frustrate me. I had to move what I could save into my space in my parent’s fridge. It’s amazing how well I’m able to pack things. I told them about losing the frozen stuff, but fortunately there wasn’t much because I’d been clearing it out so I could defrost the fridge without having to worry about moving stuff around. If the machine died, I simply planned to store less on the shelf I have in the parents’ fridge. It sounds complicated. It isn’t… well, it isn’t to me, but I’ve been living in the insanity for years. Onward.

I never complained about the money. I wasn’t worried about the money involved. Life happens. I’m perfectly fine with this. I was frustrated with myself because 1) I didn’t turn it on properly once I finished defrosting. 2) I didn’t double check it to make sure everything was working until the next day. 3) I should have defrosted months ago. I was lazy. None of that had anything to do with money. I was frustrated with myself.

My parents kept asking about it, the same questions, with variations. I explained, over and over and over. I left the room. NM came back to my room and asked the same questions again. I again explained. A little while later, I came back into the kitchen, and the questions started up again. I lost it. Yes, I raised my voice, out of frustration and to make sure they heard me. “It was my fault. I admit it. I made a mistake. Can we please stop beating the dead horse?”

The next day I find a letter to me explaining they’re only concerned about me and how difficult it was for them when they were struggling with finances… I never mentioned money or worries about money, but that was the only thing they got out of the few things I said. I NEVER mentioned money. I mentioned the loss of the food items because they asked how much I lost, but I assured them it wasn’t much.

All I did was tell them I failed to turn on my fridge correctly after defrosting and I lost a few things. I even made a joke about maybe I needed to make some different food choices.

What they got out of it: She needs money.

While it’s true my funds are sparse, I’ve been working hard to learn healthier spending habits, along with my healthier everything else.

What did I want from them?

“Oh, no! How frustrating!”

That would have been enough… Oh. I wanted empathy. Something they can’t give me. I wanted the impossible.

They offered the only thing they know how to give: Money. Unfortunately, there are always strings… ropes attached.

I am rethinking some of my food choices. I’m also rethinking what to store and what to release.

Thanks, again, God for fixing the fridge.

God is aware of me.

God wink.


Responses

  1. Yes! What we want is empathy and to be heard! Yes, yes yes!

    I find that so hard to deal with when what seems to us as a simple telling of a situation and what happened gets turned into something else. They spin the situation around, embellish, add details to make the scenario work for the them to get their exaggerated needs met. The reminders of their inability to think about the other person is so apparent even when stories of our daily life are shared.

    Glad the fridge is working again. xx

    • Yes! Thanks for expounding, clarifying. It truly helps. ((TR))

      • ((Judy))

  2. This makes more sense now. Mother tried to get me in ‘her corner’ on Sunday. I reaffirmed that she and Dad are critical. Now, I have the rest of the story. What they said is not about you. It was about their reaction in the same crisis. Hugs. Talk to you later.

    • Thanks, Ruth!

  3. I was going to say something similar to Ruth, that their reaction says more about them than it does about you. My parents do that sort of projection all the time and it’s very frustrating because it is partly them not listening. They have a whole narrative about me that has nothing to do with me.

    • Exactly.

    • “They have a whole narrative about me that has nothing to do with me.” I echo the “Exactly”! They can only hear the story they’ve pre-constructed in their heads.

      Isn’t it interesting how their “concern” only causes trouble for you? Despite my NM’s complaints about how much time she’s devoted to “helping” me (unasked and mostly after promises that she’d mind her own business), I would much rather have faced all my problems alone than with her. Having her along means that, with any problem or inconvenience I have, I have to a) try to handle it without her finding out — very inefficient — and b) failing that, put all my energies into reassuring her and keeping HER calm. Not only does everything have to become so much more of a big deal than it should have been, but my problem becomes completely HER tragic crisis. I get completely lost in the shuffle.

      • And you end up not only having to solve your problems but her problems, too. No wonder we dread something going wrong: We know it will soon be twice as bad simply because we told people we should be able to tell. Perhaps awareness of the pattern will help.


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