I have this situation happen periodically, so I want to write about it while I am in it. I know I am going to be OK and won’t be able to represent what it feels like in the moment unless I write about it while I am in this place. Typically, I withdraw so I can heal and get back to “normal,” but I am going to push through to write about it in case this is also helpful to others.
Hub, child, and I went to the beach for Labor Day Weekend. Hub and child are both high-maintenance in different and opposite ways, so I try to be as adaptable as possible so we can all get along and have a good time.
Hub and 11-year-old child had a huge argument in front of me in the car that went from 0 to 150 MPH in about three seconds. If I could have thought fast enough to intervene, I would have, but each said the absolutely WORST possible thing to push the other’s buttons, so the argument flew out of control quickly. There was nothing physical involved – just yelling – but it was intense with me being the only one in the car “getting” how deeply the emotional wounds were being inflicted back and forth with each response.
I did finally get things calmed down between them after about an hour, but I do believe a certain amount of long-term damage has been done to their relationship. I have tried to explain to each separately that they have different love languages and that just because X means Y to one does not mean that X means Y to the other. I don’t think the bigger picture was resolved and that more of these situations will arise.
Then, the next day, I was driving us home on the Interstate highway when we drove right into the heaviest storm I have had the misfortune to encounter in a car. The windshield wipers on the fastest speed we are good as sitting still, and I could barely see two feet in front of me. I could barely hear hub’s criticisms about how slowly I was driving (about 40 MPH) over the noise of the storm, and most cars were either pulling over or flashing their hazard lights so we wouldn’t hit each other. I gradually made my way over to the right-hand lane so I could get off on the next exit while hub kept telling me to pull under a bridge so he could drive if I “couldn’t handle it.”
When we found an exit, the car kept turning itself off while we were stopped at a light. The car died again while I was driving it through an intersection. I panicked in trying to turn it back on (it would not turn on in Drive), and trying to get it to Park to turn it on did something really funky to the transmission. Hub started yelling because I was tearing up the transmission, and child started screaming because he was frightened of being stranded in a car in the middle of a heavy storm. Hub got the car into neutral so I could start it again (I had never heard that is what you are supposed to do – never came up in Driver’s Ed, I guess), and we were able to pull into a gas station. Hub drove home from there, and of course, the storm ended within a few minutes of him taking over.
My emotional reaction tomorrow…
Photo credit: Hekatekris