Saturday, May 03, 2008

We Are Inside, The Landlord is Outside

Twice a year GaryBob, a name composed of 2 different landlord names, likes to pull up weeds, trim trees, spray insecticides and knock stuff around. I come to dread this day, as he has pulled out my flowers, shattered my potting table, broken my vases and garden pots. He is not a mean person. He is not cruel. He is reckless in a dorky kind of get the job done kind of way. Already today, the blackberries have succumbed to his method.

I cannot go on hating him and cursing the whole tenant/landlord relationship. All of the anguish and suffering is locked up in my head, because I don't have the confidence and daring to confront him and to say out loud all of the ways he infuriates me. I feel angry and hurt by what he does, sad about how it makes me feel and really frustrated that I have not addressed him on each occasion of his offenses.

This morning I had a learning moment, an epiphany of self realization and enlightenment: I rarely, if ever, speak up on my own behalf. Haha... it does not escape my notice that I am still not addressing the individuals that I am actually mad at. I never want to hurt someone's feelings, appear petty or insensitive. I never want to create conflict or make waves. But I am realizing that the net result of sparing other people pain or conflict is that I endure it all for myself. I subject myself to sadness, aggravations, anger and a black hole of a knot in the pit of my stomach. This is no favor to me, and it is no favor to the one I presume to spare. What I don't release is bottled inside and festering. GaryBob and a few other unsuspecting folks have me so furious and disgusted, so darn mad and hurt, and as they go along their merry way, I am left with the belly ache, and a powerful dislike, disrespect and stink-eye for them.

There is a point at which I am not a victim, but a bitter martyr, disingenuous, and depleted of self-worth and dignity. I think of the people I am mad at and I realize that there was a beginning when what they did upset me, but as long as I cannot address the issue there will not be an end. They are free to repeat the offense and I am free to replay it in my head over and over again, so that I victimize myself. Aggh... enlightenment can be so hard on the eyes! I don't like seeing this in myself, let alone saying it out loud.

Hmmmm... now what?

Geoff re-injured his knee, the right one, the one with the torn meniscus. This is so sad. He really should get a break from exercise related injuries. He wants to be out there playing, getting healthy, staying healthy. I feel so bad for him. He can hardly walk.

If you should happen to come to our place and we invite you to dinner, sit carefully. I don't know what we've done to deserve it, but our sturdy, rustic, heavy duty solid wood chairs are crap. We started with 8 and I think we are down to 5. They just get loose, come undone, fall apart. One chair cut my leg and Max's with an exposed screw. This morning another chair popped a railing and left an exposed screw that punctured William's back. I want to burn them.

So, gee. I seem to have a list of aggravations and frustrations. Eh. It's good to purge now, then in a year when we are living in our own home and savoring the beauty of the day and our fine lives, we can look back and rejoice over how far we've come. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Maria is driving her car. Her baby and her driving hat are in place and she is turning corners, seatbelt fastened. Did you notice her haircut? Oh, these dear rites of passage. She cried after I committed the first snip and she sobbed, "I not want a haircut!" It's not up for debate. The deed is done, and we all think she looks pretty with her healthy, fresh do.

Her steering wheel is very big. She purses her lips and makes a motoring hum. When I sit behind her she fastens my seatbelt too.

The house needs cleaning, and we are expecting Hans and Gretchen for dinner. Obviously, Geoff cannot help, and I am too cranky and moody to feel motivated, yet. I suppose when the work outside is done, I will breath easier. GaryBob just finished washing the whole yard with a "mild oil to kill black stuff." And I said nothing, because having an epiphany and doing something about it are not the same thing.


YayaOrchid said...

Natalie, as I read your post, I can so relate to it. I am the same way about things and people that upset me. I truly wish I were more outspoken and gutsy, but I'm not. And there we have it. You'll have folks tell you that you should be more assertive,etc. etc. They would most likely be 'right' in saying so. Yet, we cannot all be alike, or react the same, or be perfect specimens of a human being. As for me, "I yam, that I yam". Improvement is good, don't get me wrong, but don't beat yourself over the head about this. I hate to repeat a cliche, but really "This too will pass". Look at your precious baby girl, this wonderful gift from God. You really will feel better. And about the landlord, when you're having a really good day, and you're feeling strong and confident, bring up the subject and address your concerns with him. Doing this when you're calm will help you sound non-combative, and you'll be able to be more in control of your emotions and words. He just might surprise you and turn out to be a really nice and civil person. If not, well, at least you'll know he's the one with the problem.

Sending out prayers your way, Natalie. We all have days like that.

calamitykim said...

I love you Natalie.
We are sisters.
I am the same.
No confrontations for this girl- I will say OK< you are right faster than lightning!
All I can say is what Fred always says to me.
"It won't always be this way"
life is change
life is hard
I wish I had a rabbit
and frogs
and a cat
and a dog
and a chicken or 5
I wish I had a tree house
I wish I had friends like you who lived near me
I wish...

Shay said...

I had a landlord -- in S. Cal, too -- who routinely pulled up my flowers while "weeding."


On a chirpier note, I look at Maria's face and can just hear her engine noises!

Jennifer said...

Hello, my friend! I am trying to catch up and have so many things I'd like to say to you on all the posts you've done in the past week+ (and, in time, I will!) but wanted most in this moment to say that I too precisely suffer from the inability to express anger and so understand your frustration. I wish I had some sage advice to offer but I know we both know what we're supposed to be able to do and that's something else entirely from what we are able to do. I sometimes think of it in terms of "how am I going to choose to spend my emotional energy?", and when I decide that I don't want to spend what it will cost me in attempting any kind of confrontation, I then try (try, try) to decide to NOT let it cost me the angst that can come when feelings are bottled up. It's hard. It's really hard. Oh, the martyr thing; I wish I didn't know so well....