Triggering

Tonight my teenager, Charlotte called me because she assumed I would’ve heard her drive up. I did.  She wanted to let me know that she had just remembered the blueberries and strawberries that she had wanted for Sunday and needed to run back to the store before it closed.   The thought to call me came to her because she is considerate.  She didn’t want me to expect her to enter the door and then not after she assumed I heard her drive up.  I appreciate the way she thinks about me, us, her nieces and nephews.  Then, I thought about how she may want to get yogurt, so I tried to call her. I called her twice and it went to voice.  I was using the landline because I couldn’t find my mobile.  If I had the mobile, I could’ve texted her.  She always responds to texts. I went to Twitter and DM’ed her there.  That is the second best way to reach her.

When she didn’t answer, I was annoyed.  Actually, I was getting pissed.  The first thought that came to mind was how I’m ready and willing to answer everyone’s calls, messages, and emails when they come to me, but no one can bother answering when I call.  Of course, that was an exaggeration, because my daughter, and for the most part, my mother, one of my brothers, and my ex-M-I-L (from my first husband, 35 years ago) usually answer me right away when I call them.

But, do you want to know who didn’t answer me when I would call?  Never.  Not once.  He always had to call me back after I had left a message.  The cheater. Not just during his little whore-fair either.  Our entire marriage. There was no way, Mr. Independent Lone Wolf no one is the boss of him was going to answer to my beck and call.  Supposedly, it was due to him being somewhere or doing something that was so much more important than taking a call from home.  It wasn’t as if I called him daily either.  Sometimes it would be weeks, months even that I didn’t call him in the daytime because I respected how important his time at work was, and how it was necessary that he wasn’t disturbed.

Most of the time, if we communicated before he came home it was while he was in the car requesting me to text him a list of items that we needed from the grocery store (because he controlled every single penny, even grocery money).  I would have to rush to think of everything we needed because if I missed an item, we would be out of luck until the next time he was opened to shopping for our needs at home.  Of course if I left something off the list, such as fresh ginger, Cherimoya, or Himalayan sea salt (all ingredients that I would’ve never imagined he wanted, because not only had we not talked about anything he wanted me to remind him about, I don’t possess the ability to mind read an obtuse mute), he would suck his teeth and roll his eyes to express his dissatisfaction with my incompetence.

He refused to make some type of schedule or commitment to shop, such as every Wednesday or the like (or give me the money to shop).  There was no rhyme or reason.  My choices were to maintain a list at all times or scramble at the last minute.  If I had elected to maintain a list at all times and if he caught sight of it, I would be accused of expecting too much, —gold digging.  How dare I expect my husband to buy toilet paper and paper towels when he grosses over six figures a year?

So tonight when my daughter didn’t answer after several calls, I was getting pissed.   Only minutes before she was considerate enough to let me know she was running back out, but I was still angry.  How irrational, right? Then I started asking myself why I was so irritated.   Why was the first thing that I said to myself in this situation was,  “No one fucking answers me when I call them?”

When Charlotte read her twitter messages, she called me and I could hear the fear in her voice.  I was ashamed of myself.  There was no reason that she should have to feel scared.  I tried very hard to defuse the situation.  She said she didn’t get my calls.  For some reason the calls didn’t go through.  Who knows what happened.  There was a mention of a Wi-Fi problem in the grocery store.  Who knows?  She shouldn’t have to worry that I am going to rage because she didn’t answer me right away.

The problem kept racing through my head until I realized that I was triggered.  It took me back to how he would never answer my calls.  My anxiety was misplaced.  The blame for my emotional reactions belongs to the abuser of my past, my husband, not my loved ones and especially not my children. That’s what I will have to remember when this happens again. I cannot bring him forward into our lives.

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