Thursday, June 5, 2008


I just read Vickie's post about her meltdown. As the queen of meltdowns I soooo identified. I used to be able to roll with the punches and not react. Not anymore. Maybe it is not having the calming cloak of estrogen, or maybe it is finally getting fed up with being walked on, but whatever it is, I lose my cool at the drop of a hat.

I won't go into all of it because it is too painful, but I lost my composure big time during our trip Home. I yelled and threatened and finally stomped off. I did get the injustice righted but at a great cost to my peace. Took me days to recover from this fit...and then the cat pulled the Coo-coo clock off the wall.

I was in the shower when I heard this big thump. Mollie came running in to the bathroom to alert me that all was not well. I quickly finished up and dashed out to the kitchen in a towel. There I found the cat trapped under the remnants of our 60 year old family heirloom Coo-coo clock. She was okay, just scared. It is me that went nuts.

I could feel it building, but I was soaking wet and without my glasses. I held my anger in and untangled the cat. I went back to the bathroom to dry off and put on some clothes. I felt as though I might explode. When I was dry, clothed and could see, I went back to survey the wreckage. Then I exploded. I screamed. I was overwhelmed with rage. I ran after the cat who luckily enough was near the bed and dived deep under it. That action saved her life. I was so angry I would have killed her. I was raised on violence and this training swims to the surface when I get enraged. The poor dog. She squeezed herself into a corner with her ears and tail tight against her body. And those eyes. Makes me cry in shame thinking about them. I was screaming and swearing and crying over the clock when Mark came home for lunch. Thank God.

I loved that clock. I have very little left of my family of origin. This clock belonged to one of my Aunts and I remember being fascinated by it as a child. In the now, I loved the little bird and its cheerful reminders of time passing. And then there was Mark's reaction to it. He cursed the bird and insisted the "wretched thing" was stealing moments of his life. Made me laugh each time he confronted the tiny wooded creature. And it is no more.

Poor Mark, after telling him what happened I immediately picked a fight with him. I said he hadn't secured the clock to the wall and that is why the cat could pull it off. I needed Cher to slap me hard and yell "Snap out of it." Instead Mark prayed for me. Did the trick. I calmed down and just cried. We picked up the pieces of my little friend and put them in a box. Mark rescued the cat and I tried to reassure Mollie. Dogs are God's creatures. She forgave me and licked my tears. All was not well, but was quiet.

A few weary hours later I tried to figure out why I so over reacted. Yes I was angry and grieved over the loss of the clock, but to contemplate killing the cat? That was not normal. I reviewed my recent fit at Home. What were the commonalities? In the end it came down to loss. I just can't handle loss. Of any kind. Each loss seems monumental and irreparable. When it comes to disappointments I HAVE THE MIND OF A CHILD. When a one-two year old's mother leaves the room he cries as though his heart will break. He truly believes he will never see her again. Out of his sight equals out of his life. This is how I react to loss.

Again the shitty childhood shoves its way into my pleasant present. A good many of my childhood losses were final and irreparable. To cope with the pain I learned early to have no expectations and to feel nothing. I spent most of my life numb. In the past few years my feelings have come back to life. I am currently attempting to deal with past and present pain with almost no coping skills. I never learned how to feel pain and not be overwhelmed by it. So, now each time I suffer a loss I emotionally go back to where I was when I stopped feeling. Eating no longer works to stop the pain. Tooey, what a mess.

What is the upshot of all this intense introspection?
1. I need to learn to judge the severity of each loss and react accordingly.
a. Ask Mary how she would react to a loss.
b. Ask Mark what emotion is appropriate for each loss. (I react to everything with anger.)
c. Sit with the emotion and get used to it and through it. I am no longer a child and emotions cannot kill me.
d. Tolerate loss without having to immediately "fix the problem."
2. Be kind to myself during time of loss.
a. Stop berating self for "over reacting."
b. Give self something (not food) to comfort self.
c. Talk about loss.
3. Move On (slowly)
a. Apologize if necessary
b. Learn from "meltdown."
c. Wish for long lost estrogen.

Gad that was hard. I think I will take the dog and go and have a rest. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea


Helen said...

Your comment to me today made me laugh...I guess the grass is always greener!! ;-)

Sorry about your clock...and your estrogen. I'm a lot more even since I'm taking HRT.

Vickie said...

When the lids fly off our boxes - it is like a cyclone unleashed.

Annimal said...

This post really helps me. I will read it over again. I am in the same (sinking) boat. ANY disappointment for me anymore creates such a low, it drags me down and scares me how deep it goes. I had a meltdown in the grocery store when my husband told me the strawberries were too expensive to buy. HOW DARE HE TELL ME I COULDN'T BUY STRAWBERRIES!! I literally stormed through the store, cursing him, and continued in the car. I know people were staring, and I DIDN'T care.
What are we going through? Is it the realization that at our age, we still don't have the joy we so prayed for as a child? Maybe we know we will never have that joy, so the most we can hope for is a fair shake. When that fair shake doesn't happen, the loss is just too much.
I plunged deeply earlier this winter and it scared me to the depths of my soul. I now understand the term "depression" and why loved ones can't prevent suicide. Had my fall lasted a couple weeks longer, I might be in a different place now. I've never known such intense pain. I think maybe anger prevents me from going there.

Cindy154 said...

It took almost a week, or about 5 days for me to recover from my meltdowns (which were severe) of the prior weekend. This weekend I did pleasant thing that I enjoyed and spent time with people who were nice to me, drove me places, fed me, and so on. It was good for me. I like that you made a list. I think I will make one, too. It is amazing how nice it makes me feel when someone else cooks, packs a lunch, or buys dinner. I feel like I am being cared for. And the driving, it was also a feeling of being taken care of. I am going to seek this stuff out, I think it is therapy for me.