I have this problem with letting go emotions from the past, in particular feelings of anxiety and helplessness from when people get mad at me. I also have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth. The combination leaves me dwelling on things I said that pissed people off and hurt those whom I love. No matter how many times I apologize, when I think about that moment in time, I get nauseous. Usually, almost always, this happens around people I love. This has its ups and downs. The people I piss off most generally love me enough to forget about it and move on. However, I’m often faced with the people I love most, and so, the memory of hurting their feelings or making them angry makes me anxious whenever I see them and remember about that moment that they’ve probably already forgotten. Is this part of my neurosis? Probably.
The above scenario plays out often in my life, but the most recent occurrence was with my brother in law. My brother in law and sister in law dislike animals of all kind. They don’t own any; they don’t allow any in their house; they don’t like being around them. Once they had children of their own, I think the dislike for dirty, unpredictable beasts doubled, especially when the animals were near their children. I, on the other hand, love animals. I love them so much that I tend to forget that they are indeed animals and not people, especially when the situation involves my dog.
My dog is the most lovable, kind, goofy, sweet boy on the planet. He’s well behaved, well trained, and a big, giant wussy. He’s afraid of cats and deodorant for Pete’s sake. So, when I made the comment that I thought it was funny that my sister in law acted as if my dog was going to eat her newborn child, I thought nothing of it until my brother in law angrily pointed out how much she had gone through to bring that child into the world. Foot, meet mouth.
Of course, I apologized; I clarified; I apologized again later on before I left the house. I had meant no ill will, had no ill-intentions, was not making fun but rather making a joke out of how much of a non-threat my dog is. I understand that as much as I love my dog and as much of a baby I think he is that he is still an animal; he is still unpredictable; accidents can happen. So now, I feel like an incredibly insensitive, overly critical, jackass for making that comment. I can’t get my brother in law’s voice out of my head defending his wife for her purely logical and natural and emotional reaction to my 100 lb beast with fangs and claws. I love my nephew and wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to him. I feel like by saying what I did I somehow meant him harm and was making fun of my sister in law for being a good mom, which is exactly how it came out but not at all what I meant by saying it.
I’d like to say that my overly self-critical, neurotic behavior is only due to the sinus infection and fever I’m currently toting around with me, but it’s not. I do this all the time. The only benefit for being so constantly reflective is that it forces me to attempt to filter my thoughts a little better before unleashing them on the world in all their stupidity and selfishness.