My reaction to feeling unsafe is anger. So last night as the storm got worse, rather than excusing myself to go to a place in the house where I felt safe and could watch the news to keep myself informed rather than an action movie with volume cranked up to 11, I just became more and more angry.
I went to bed mad, I woke up mad, and I had on my active bitch face (you know, the one that’s way worse than RBF) as sweet Patrick drove away to work this morning.
It occurred to me after he left that it isn’t actually his fault that we had those storms….. and, more importantly, I realized that if I had told him what I was feeling and thinking last night, he would have had a chance to help me create a situation that made me feel a bit safer.
“He should know” is about the dumbest reason ever for keeping discomfort and frustration to myself.
It’s more than a habit, though – it’s learned behavior (anger) combined with coping mechanisms (keeping discomfort to myself so as not to rock any boats) that are deeply ingrained and just feel natural and, in fact, justified – at least in the moment.
In many ways, I am the best version of myself right now. I’m so proud of how much ground I’ve covered in the past decade, while I could have so easily curled up into a little ball of self pity. I’ve learned and I’ve grown, and I’m not the same girl I was when being safe meant hiding from something way scarier than a tornado: someone else’s rage.
But Lord, am I ever imperfect. You can acquire every tool necessary to navigate a situation, but if you’re too afraid to open the tool bag when it comes time, you don’t actually have anything but a stack of be-better books and a mighty load of cash-money you forked over to a therapist.
I’m a work in progress. We all are, right? So I’m gonna acknowledge what happened and why, and I will keep trying, keep learning, keep working on being the best version of Kelly Wade there ever was.
Today is new. I’ll take it.