It’s odd, you know? The things that our minds and hearts choose to remember. I read somewhere once – if you want to remember something – try to forget it. I think it also works te other way around.
Who wants to remember the arguments and fights we get into? I suppose one way of thinking, though, is that remembering is how we learn from them? I think I have learned that arguing is how NOT to settle things. What good really comes from arguing? No one listens to the other. You tune each other out, or try to talk over each other…
I bring this up because one of my earliest memories is my parents in an argument – not a talking over each other argument either – a knock down, drag out all but anything goes, argument. There were things broken everywhere. I was very little, as we were still living in New York. I have no idea what the argument was about..I wonder if mom remembers?
I think that shortly after is when mom took me and my baby sister home to Georgia. Daddy followed shortly afterwards. What did the argument solve? Nothing as far as I could see. We ended up in Georgia, living with relatives. We no longer had our own house to live in. Daddy missed out on spending the last few years of his father’s life with him. His mother had died while we were still living there. I remember that day, too. I remember the color of the dresses my sis and I wore. I don’t remember going to the funeral home or the funeral..or the wake. (A wake in the north is much different than those I have experienced in the south, at least, from what I have been told about them and seen on television) ..
As a teen, arguments didn’t happen quite as often – or my parents were better at hiding it – as they did when we were younger. Or maybe, they were just too busy working trying to keep a roof over our heads to have anything left to argue.
I argued, my sister argued. Teen stuff. We hadn’t learned to truley communicate yet. With each other, well… there was the time she stabbed me with a fork…and I threw her purse through the front window. ..With our parents..I guess the two worst that I can recall ..I knew exactly how far I could push until I got my way – and mom finally let me have my way. A car wreck, a year in and out of the hospital, three surgeries, the loss of two toes and having to learn to walk again ..I learned that sometimes, mom does know best.
My dad..the one that stands out..I guess bi-polar disorder was running my life at the time…I was totally out of control (even though I was probably the most responsible teen ever) ..I can’t remember what the arguement was about, but I threw a phone at my dad, knocked his glasses off his face and it bounced off his head. My dad never laid a hand on me. All I could think was – we have no money to get new glasses for him – what if I had broken them?
After that, I argued less, but still did. Eventually through the years of therapy, learning to live with bi-polar disorder, and of course, life itself, I have learned there are better ways to communicate. I know now that when you have a disagreement, you should talk about it – don’t hold it all pent up inside – because at some point, you are going to explode.
I think, somewhere in all of the dysfunction that my family has – and boy, there is a lot (keeping in mind of course, I also have a large family) – we somehow come full circle into a “functional” family. In our family, if we are mad at someone – we tell them. We tell them why – and it is done. Life is too short to hold on to so much anger. Every minute of anger is 60 seconds of happiness you never get back.