In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mad as a Hatter.”
Anger is my Achilles Heel, I try to bury it as much as possible but when it does come out to the surface it tends to be an endless stream of cursing and blustery rhetoric. I used to be able to control that beast by running until my legs hurt and my stomach was ready to purge itself, but lately that hasn’t been an option. Fortunately there also hasn’t been any need to get angry with anyone but myself, so I internalize all of that until it makes my stomach want to purge it’s contents.
Last week I had a Gamma knife plow into the side of my head. Would I have loved to wake up with Hulk-like powers? Hell yes! A big green rage monster sounded good. I also know from the comic that disease didn’t affect him, so that would have been a great solution to the problem to begin with. My mother, who is in her later 60’s [shhh, don’t tell anyone!], stares at me when I joke about some Marvel movie. I have to remind her it’s her fault for allowing me piles of comics when I was a kid. Plus I am old enough to recall watching “The Incredible Hulk” back when it was originally running. [Another hint to my mom, you would send me to bed right before Dallas came on!]
See I know the last time I got angry, truly angry. My mind was so wrapped up in trying to protect someone, my mouth might have been doing damage as well. It was always the same circular argument, how to handle her mother. I was so desperate to talk things out, get it in the open and deal with it. On the other hand, it was a source of great fear for her, watching two forces collide. The winner was always going to be her mother, that was always my plan. Say what I needed to and get ready for the beat down. In plenty of ways I had earned it.
But that day I found out about the cancer returning was supposed to be a simple conversation. Sit down, talk about what they found and how we were going to deal with it. That talk got delayed, Whitney was not feeling well so I had to make a choice. Make her day worse or bury it so deeply that it wouldn’t show. Guess where I went with it! Bury it!
It only made things worse later that day. She never asked what was so important and that hurt. So while she was out at the doctors and letting her parents know she wasn’t feeling great, I was holding onto this knowledge that was explosive in many ways. Later when she got home, it came out in an unexpected way. I told her to go to her parent’s house. It wasn’t fair to include them in her illness but not tell them what was going on. It wasn’t that I didn’t wish her to go crawl in bed and sleep the rest of the night away, but I knew I couldn’t help her right then. I needed to cry, I needed to get it out in some manner. It only came out like I was an unfeeling bastard.
Days went by without a word, then the call from the doctor’s office. Then another trip to the E.R. We still hadn’t talked about anything other than how to fix the root of her stomach problem, the stress she was feeling. My stress by now was so high I couldn’t think straight.
See when I asked her to marry me, it came with a long list of things I knew. I knew her mother was going to interfere, I knew my mother was going to as well. Things were going to be a roller coaster of good, bad, great highs and heart wrenching lows. But the most important among them was that I was supposed to take care of her no matter what the outside situations were. Shut the door, close the windows and make sure to do everything possible to keep her safe.
Forgot that once in a while I might be the thing that was making it worse.
We never had that talk before she left permanently. I don’t know what she knows. And that also makes me angry.