Posts tagged frustration
Posts tagged frustration
sometimes things happen that will bring out a side of your nature that you forgot even existed. since my transition a year ago, my highly sensitive, highly emotional self has mostly manifested in the form of tears—sometimes even sobs. moving away from my family, becoming detached from everything that was my life for 30 years, and the solitude of a soul-less city like LA, has created a pitri dish of emotions—often magnifying parts of my psyche that have long been forgotten…and then something will happen.
today i was reminded of one of my mom’s favorite stories from my childhood—an experience that i was far too young to ever recall on my own that, however, is a perfect example of a personality trait that i’ve never grown out of, but may have put to rest for a bit of time.
growing up i lived in two-bedroom in a decent-sized apartment complex with my mom and dad, little sister and a mut from my dad’s youth (later becoming my mom, her boyfriend, my little sister, her 6 ft iguana, and often her boyfriend/soul mate). it was tight, and we were often piled on top of each other, which forced me to learn to just let things be sometimes…the constant poking of a little sis, the never-ending nagging of an over-caring mother, the lack of privacy…live and let live was the only way to survive. who wants to spend their life fighting every day?
in spite of all the patience learned, my emotions became a sleeping bear—snoring through most of the insanity—even if outside disturbances caused the occasional nightmare, they were my nightmares that i endured in solitude. However, at times the mania became too much to sleep through, and if pushed too hard, the beast would awaken…which was exactly the case with my now best friend, Traci. poor Traci.
i was always a well-behaved child. Mom made sure of it. always said please and thank you, never spoke unless spoken to, didn’t talk back (until my sassy teenage years), and never…ever…used foul language or mom would make me a nice plate of dial soap for dinner. but there was ONE time that i managed to expel the F-bomb without suffering punitive damages, and a 5-year old Traci was on the receiving end.
Traci lived up the block. my mom used to babysit her. we spent a lot of time together, which lent itself to plenty of opportunities to get on each others nerves, as i’m sure we did…often…i just can’t remember. As my mom likes to tell it, we were enjoying a lovely swim together in the community pool—a favorite hangout for the Terrace crowd—when Traci decided it would be fun to dunk me under water. not cool Traci. It happened quite a few times, (i’m sure there were tears and desperate pleas of release somewhere in there), before i climbed out of the pool, dramatically stomped my foot and in my best outdoor voice belted a single statement: “EFF* YOU TRACI!” [*substitute “EFF” with your favorite F-word and mine]. I had had enough.
that threshold is something that i’ve carried with me throughout my life…opting most often to internalize my frustration rather than voice it, often resulting in personal determent, but also personal growth. i had to learn to let MANY things slide. i constantly tested my limits and boundaries, making excuses for bad behavior or things that caused me pain, and ultimately it made me stronger—still a cry baby—but stronger.
some days more than others…
or maybe i do…
i spent a large part of my day crying into coffee shop napkins and hiding out in my car. it’s so strange how, in spite of all the amazing surrounding us, it’s so easy to put it aside when something bad happens (like when a swarm of mating termites fills your bathtub or you step in a miscellaneous pile of shit)…we can still have bad days.
i began today in my favorite way…doing my favorite things…surrounded by all the things i love. woke up to crazy smiley faces, had a private moment with my blackberry (if you know what that means…lucky you), felt good about my outfit (but changed quickly when i realized how good some other folks felt about it), got into work early and got to work feeling good about my plan to be very productive. the sun was shining, good music filled the air, i had nothing in my way.
i live in LA for Christ’s sake! i have every reason to smile.
but crushing words came my way…short poignant snipes that came quick and came hard. “I don’t trust your judgement.” “i don’t believe you are capable…” i wish i could say that i want to rise to the challenge, but i feel quite the opposite. a feeling of failure and inadequacy swept over me…a feeling i have known only since i came here…and i’m really not sure what to do with it.
perhaps i was foolish to believe that i really had a hold on this. before beginning this new chapter, i felt like i was on top of my game…i believed i was the best…and with all my learning and experience, i believed in what i was doing, and i had evidence and to back me up. numbers don’t lie.
i am always the first to admit that i have a lot to learn, and i welcome the old and the new alike as they offer an equally important and valuable education. never have i been accused of not having an open mind…until today. i can accept that things will not always go my way, that i will often times have to bite the bullet and execute someone else’s vision. i may not like it, i may not agree with it, but i understand my role and i’m ok with it. there is always something to learn…even if it is what not to do…or even if it is simply in the experience of coping with marching orders that go against your beliefs. that is OK. accepting the inevitable is part of life, part of maturing. thinking you can change someone, or considering them close-minded or incapable for disagreeing with your viewpoint shows a lack of maturity and the inability to accept or learn from another’s stance.
although i know in my heart that i am neither incapable nor inadequate, knowing that i have disappointed simply by being who i am, still hurts…maybe because i work so hard to get it right and i so rarely feel like i’m performing to expectations. it does help to know that i am not alone in this. that at least there are others in the same position…others whose talents and abilities i have witnessed with my own eyes..who seem to be equally as disappointing.
in spite of this, and in spite of my desire to bury myself in a pillow and perhaps not get up in the morning, i will. there is so much to be happy about…even if what got me here is the one thing bringing me down.