A friend was telling me that her daughter is going on a weeklong mission trip to North Carolina with the local Methodist church. I told her it sounds like the people who I met in Gulfport, Mississippi when I went there for Habitat for Humanity. She asked me who I went with and I told her I went alone. She said, “That is just amazing! That you wanted to do something and you just went all by yourself!” People say this sort of thing all the time. I know they really do think it is amazing, and unusual, and that I am “the most independent person they have ever met in their entire lives.” I don’t feel it though. I feel that I am doing these things to isolate myself, or to run away from problems, or because I am searching for something and I don’t know what it is.
On August 1st it will be one year since I started on the crisis hotline. I made a one year commitment and I am trying to decide whether or not to continue. The main factor in this decision is that I got this new job in February and it is working out to be about 25 hours a week. Plus 5 hours for my other job, and another 5 or so per week seeing my foster child. So there isn’t a lot of time left over. Selfishly I also really want a day in my week when I don’t have to set my alarm clock. During the work week I get up at 6:30, Saturdays I get up at 5:30 or 6:00 to run, and Sundays I get up at 7:00 to get to the hotline. Then I was thinking of switching to another shift, but the weekdays are so busy already. I enjoy the hotline, even though I don’t really feel like I am doing much. I will have to think about this some more during the next month.
Yesterday I was having a pretty nice day. Got up really early, went for an 11 mile run down to the zoo. Then my running group went to a coffee shop and I sat with another woman who I have been running with for the last 3 weeks or so. She has a son somewhat like my son, and she is divorced, so she is interesting to talk to and we have some things in common. I actually worked with her when I was a substitute teacher, but I didn’t know her well. Then I came home, and spent the day at the pool. Swam, and read, and napped. Talked to people who came and went. Around 6PM I went home to shower and change so that my husband, son and I could go out to dinner.
I went into the bathroom. Noticed there was no toilet paper on the roll. Got annoyed. How hard is it for whoever uses up the paper to replace it? There is plenty more under the sink, you don’t even have to move to get it. So I replaced the paper. Went to the bathroom (sorry for too much information), flushed the toilet. Turns out the toilet was clogged by the last person who used it and now the water is overflowing all over the bathroom floor. I grabbed the towels and threw them on the floor. Not enough. Ran into the kids’ bathroom and grabbed all the towels there (they have tons of them since they never bring them down to the laundry room, just keep taking new ones), and ran back to my bathroom to throw them on the floor. Ran back to the kids’ bathroom to get the plunger and run back to my bathroom to plunge the toilet, which takes all of 3 seconds.
Now I have an unclogged toilet, but the floor is full of sopping wet towels and rugs. I take the plunger back to the kids’ bathroom, throw it across the room, and slam the door. Go into the linen closet to get a clean towel for me and slam the door. My son asks what is wrong. I ignore him. My husband comes upstairs and asks what is wrong. I scream at him, “Someone left the toilet clogged and now I am the one cleaning up the mess.” He says nothing, turns around, and leaves.
This same exact thing had happened a couple of weeks ago. After that time my husband went to the linen closet because I had used all of the towels in the bathroom to soak up the water, and he got himself a fresh towel. Didn’t bring one in for me though. I said to him at the time, “I see you got yourself a clean towel, but didn’t get me one.” No response. So this time I got myself a clean towel and didn’t get him one.
I piled all of the wet towels and rugs into a laundry basket and it was outside the bathroom door while I showered and changed. My husband came upstairs to change his clothes. Walked right by the basket full of wet towels into the closet to change. Walked right by the basket of wet towels to go back downstairs.
I am feeling rage. I get these feelings of fury, of rage, and lately they have been happening more often. It happens when people in my family do things like leave me a big mess to clean up, act like I am the maid, pretend they are stupid and don’t know how to do anything, don’t admit they made the mess, etc. I guess they are making me feel devalued, and my response is rage.
Sometimes it gets really bad and I throw things. I used to do this a lot when my kids were little and there is a lot of shame there. My little kids would see me have terrible tantrums and throw and break things. I don’t do it as often now, but I still feel the rage. It is horrible. A couple of weeks ago I broke a bottle while in a rage (cleaning up a mess my daughter left), and picked up a piece of the broken glass and slashed my arm with it.
I can’t even write about this anymore. I’m still doing the damn laundry for the towels and rugs from the overflowed toilet. And I am still furious at my husband.