jmgoyder

wings and things

When things go wrong

on February 19, 2013

This morning, on our way to town, Ming and I had a ferocious argument, with him yelling and me shrieking and both of us swearing and me crying.

Our first stop was the chemist so I left Ming in the car, slammed the door, wiped my eyes and went in to get a few things with a big fake smile on my face. It took awhile for a couple of prescriptions to be filled so I went back to the car to find Ming with silent tears rolling down his cheeks. I got into the car and sobbed an apology which was reciprocated, then we just sat in silence for a few minutes, staring dully though the windscreen.

Then we began to talk:

Ming: There is something wrong with me. I’m ruining your life.
Me: There is nothing wrong with you and you are not ruining my life.
Ming: Then why does this keep happening?
Me: Because you keep losing your temper with me and I keep overreacting.
Ming: I just want to make things perfect and it never works.
Me: Yes, and that includes me?
Ming: Yes, well, no – I just want you to be happy.
Me: Well I just want you to be happy too. But you are a bully!
Ming: I think we should go back to counselling.
Me: I agree.
Ming: Sometimes when I wake up, I just want to go back to sleep.
Me: Same here.
Ming: I want to be a child again.
Me: So do I, sort of.
Ming: Am I really harder for you than Dad?
Me: Physically, no, mentally, yes – emotionally, about the same.
Ming: But I’m only trying to help.
Me: By nagging me, reprimanding me, trying to control me, yelling at me?
Ming: You said we’d leave today at 11am.
Me: So we left at 11.10am – was that a tragedy?
Ming: No, but you’re always letting me down – you never want to leave the house.
Me: I’m having a bad time with lethargy.
Ming: Same here.
Me: So we need a plan of attack. From now on we will make a daily plan for each day. We’ll do one chore together and one separately, schedule it into the day and allocate a definite time. Neither of us is allowed to renege or be late. We’ll write tomorrow’s plan tonight and sign it like a contract.
Ming: That’s what I’ve been saying for ages, Mum – teamwork!
Me: Okay, I don’t particularly like that word but yes, you are right.
Ming: Shake hands then?
Me: Okay.

We went on and did the rest of our town errands and got home smiling. I feel terrible about the horrible, cruelly sarcastic things I said to Ming, and for screaming at him like a psycho, and he feels terrible for his control-freaky temper, but maybe we had to have this crash in order to wake up.

I am hopeful.


71 responses to “When things go wrong

  1. That must have left you both so exhausted. Anger drains so dreadfully. Hope the contract works.

  2. TBM says:

    At least you can talk about it afterwards.

  3. I am a total Ming person. I can read myself in that whole conversation. I get angry with my partner for constantly being late out of the house and taking forever to get ready when I just want to go. I also want things to be perfect – it is a real knock to the system when it isn’t. Worst thing is you hold onto it all – it’s very personal for some reason. Are you the same too?
    I guess what I want to say is that he isn’t being a bully on purpose. I get the same anger he does when things don’t turn out right and I feel exactly the same way he does – I want to go back in time to a point when everything was perfect, which for him sounds like it was before his dad when into a home.
    But as TBM said, it’s great that you can talk about it together even if there is a fight. Fighting gets all that tension out in the open and then it is gone.
    Goodluck with the plan you guys 🙂

  4. Synables says:

    Reblogged this on Skin n Bones Global Movement and commented:
    Often parents spend a great deal of time not understanding their children, and children think that parents just do not get it. The truth is that life is harder today for both parents and children but communication is key on both sides for the relationship to work. It takes work to find a balance that works for both parent and child. This blog showcases that perfectly.

  5. It is unfortunately part of life–a part I wish could be bypassed but for some reason we have to go through these awful times to get to the other side–I always consider the things that come out of people’s mouths when they are angry not that person’s real thoughts — you both have to forgive yourselves–you did not mean what you said

  6. Rohan 7 Things says:

    That sounds like a really mature, constructive conversation. Sometimes things do need to boil over before we can settle down and hammer things out, and laugh again about the silliness of the whole thing.

    I hope things continue to get more open and easy for you guys 🙂

    Keep well!

    Rohan.

  7. viveka says:

    Julie, that is what happens .. mum and I was the same. In a way we still are … talking and listen … maybe try to read between the “line” – he has one leg in each camp – teens and adult. Sometimes we have to listen to the silence too *smile I think this is great step, just talk and talk about absolute everything. To be a parent must be the hardest job in the world .. and to be a child is not easy neither.

  8. So glad you guys can talk. 🙂
    xo
    Diana

  9. I am so glad that both of you were able to get past the hurt to apologize to each other and acknowledge that you both had said hurtful things. Ming saying that counseling was perhaps needed again is tremendous. I know how you feel because I live with a controlling person and it can be very hard.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Yes – controlling people are so difficult sometimes – I didn’t realize you had one too. Thanks, Laurie. I still feel so upset by today but it’s nearly tomorrow over here thank goodness! Juliexxx

  10. Lynda says:

    Julie, you are both in a pressure cooker right now and certain events are out of your control. When this happens it is natural to try and find something you can control. Sometimes you need to let off steam, to clear the air. At least you are able to rationally talk about it afterwards, and that is so healthy!

  11. I appreciate your frankness and willingness to share your conversations. You’re lucky Ming doesn’t mind that you share on your blog! My daughter made it quite clear that I wasn’t too write about her (I still do at times) because a future employer might see it. Sounds like a perfectly normal exchange between a parent and teenage child! Hope better days are ahead.

  12. Rhonda says:

    imagine if you didn’t have each other. imagine not having that outlet, even when it means you say things that hurt each other. imagine that explosion on a stranger. you wouldn’t have the chance to apologize. and if you didn’t have the chance to let it go at all? what then jules? for both of you…I suppose you could go let loose on the birds, you’d end up laughing like a loon when you were done and Ming would think you were even more bonkers if he saw you do it. yes, it would be better not to have to ‘go there’ because words do hurt, and once said cannot be unsaid…but you are both willing to look at this for what it is, recognize that you are both showing signs of depression, and that you need help in expressing what’s built up without the explosion factor. I have faith in you two…complete faith…xo

  13. bulldog says:

    You are both under so much pressure it has to blow at some stage… but a referee is needed… you both make up afterwards and sometimes I think a good argument can make a lot of difference… it relieves the tension and creates a closeness afterwards… very healthy if you ask me…

  14. Tammy says:

    Wow, that was powerful. I’d say the two of you have a tremendous relationship. It’s so awful to fight so badly, but there is so much love and respect and maturity in the way you two are able to communicate, that you have a stronger relationship than most parents/children. Do continue to talk and work it out…everyone has a different style. You guys have your own. I’m so proud of you.

  15. Gardengirl says:

    Yes, sometimes things do need to boil over, or perhaps they don’t have to but they do, and you and Ming have the special ability to be able to talk to each other about it and compromise. Things have a way of working out in the end and you two seem to be on a good track even if it’s a bit bumpy sometimes.

  16. dcwisdom says:

    Friend, Google “fair fighting.” Read several posts and methods. If you practice “fair fighting,” it will help take off the rough edges. Too bad I learned this late in life. If would have made my world a happier place.

  17. Tough step by step, but you have each other. I pray you both find peace in this difficult time.

  18. I see one problem immediately: ‘I just want things to be perfect.’

    Life is messy, sloppy, awkward, unkind, generous, funny, weird, good, strange but never, ever perfect.

    It’s a hard lesson to learn.

  19. robincoyle says:

    Yikes. I hate that kind of circular argument. No one wins.

  20. You both always seem to be able to come back together and come to an agreement of sorts – which means you are both doing something right. Good work to both of you.

  21. You’ve received already such good thoughts and comments really can’t add much except even your plans to try and keep your ‘contract’ may have glitches at some point so maybe add a ‘clause or two”….just to be tolerant if things aren’t exact…Diane

  22. tersiaburger says:

    I posted about eagles today. It is about my philosophy as to why teenagers and parents fight. It is a natural process dear Julie!

  23. Trisha says:

    Having grown up with two parents seething at each other in silence, I think it’s much healthier to blow up once in awhile! And it’s so great you could talk about it and find peace again so soon after the fight. I hope the contract works out.

  24. terry1954 says:

    You two will get passed this. You are both hurting and the emotions are running high each day. Just take one day at a time

  25. victoriaaphotography says:

    I wrote you a lovely long comment on this post last night Julie and for some reason it wouldn’t publish and I lost it.
    I can’t remember what I wanted to say now – LOL.

    Perhaps I wanted to say that despite the conflict and arguments between Ming and yourself, at least you both quickly apologise and see the error of your ways.

    Keeping the communication channels open is the secret to all good relationships.

    Secondly, having the ability to see your faults and being ‘man’ (or woman) enough to openly admit your failings to each other shows how much you really love each other.

    Thirdly, I think you two really need to keep those regular counselling sessions. Having an objective listener really helps to offload your stress.

    (damn, I lost my internet connection for the umpteenth time and nearly lost this comment too).

  26. Fergiemoto says:

    …but it looks like you two came to a resolution, which is a good step.

  27. Kozo says:

    Julie,
    You and Ming are doing an amazing job communicating. We can’t be perfect at all times. The fact that you both apologized and came up with a strategy is what matters. I’ve noticed that arguments are rarely about what people are arguing about. Sometimes we need to just release steam.
    I feel a lot of love between you two. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks, Kozo. Ming is a lot like I was at his age – intense, introspective, anxious etc. Anthony was always much more happy-go-lucky. I wish Ming had more of Ants and less of me. Still, he is who he is! Juliex

  28. Kids are so tough, and you have been Ming’s main parent for most of his life. You’re his rock and when he sees you fall apart, he does too it seems. All in all I think you have a marvelous relationship with your son, one to be proud of. Both my son and my husband like to control me. They constantly correct me, and reprimand me for apparent errors, and it plain drives me nuts. Unfortunately, I do not yell at them when they do me and I sit and seethe in silent anger, or burst into tears–usually both. Life could get easier any time for me. How about you? Sending you positive thoughts and thoughts of peace between you and Ming.

  29. sbcallahan says:

    the great thing is you both see there need to be changes and that is going to take a little third party intervention. that is the first step to real change! you both love each other so much and just want the best for each other, sometimes you have to trust the other person to know what is best for them. hang in there it gets easier over the next 20 or so years:)

  30. I’m rooting for Ming. He’s doing such an amazing job at communicating with you, keeping you on schedule and trying to make you happy. You’ve raised such a wonderful son!

  31. eof737 says:

    Rooting for bot of you. Keep talking even if the yells are part of it. 😉

  32. bluebee says:

    With the pressures and terrible grief you’re both suffering, you have to be able to release the valve at times. A couple of years ago, I went overseas to spend time with my mum after she’d had heart surgery and we ended up having one of these terrible blues in the car on the freeway where all the years of anger and resentment came out on both sides – it wasn’t a very good time, given that she’d just had major heart surgery, but we couldn’t help it. But afterwards when we hugged and apologised to each other, we had a better understanding of what the other had gone through. It’s ugly, but sometimes necessary.

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