When the Hurt Takes Over
I have a reasonably supportive family, but they're not perfect, and one of the things that trigger me is their loud, abrasive debates, often angry-sounding, often high-decibel, often non-empathetic. It's hard to be around them, even though I do love them.
Yesterday I lost my cool during a loud, ultimately angry dialogue between my sister-in-law and myself. I really wanted a cool, intellectual exchange, but that isn't the way my family works. I tried to keep it together as I even admitted that "I can't have an intelligent argument about this because, really, I don't have all the facts" (about the place of illegal immigrants in U.S. society). I only knew things based on the immigrants and illegal immigrants I knew personally, and because these relationships developed, my feelings were intense. And yet, even after I identified myself as a "left-wing liberal" they didn't seem to respect the fact that I was coming from a different perspective. They kept pounding away, until, it seemed to me, I would back down and fall into silence yet again.
Anyway, things got louder and louder, until I finally lost my decorum and started swearing. After that, still in my flight or fight response, I grabbed my things and stormed away (ran away?).
My family communicates in a loud, harsh, non-empathetic way. They think an education buys them superiority, and that's not true, it really isn't.
Anyway, after all that commotion,l've decided to avoid holiday get-togethers. It's already discussed with my mother (the matriarch) and officially approved of.
It's so hard to communicate with family members about anything sensitive when they don't seem to have an open heart with other issues. It's hard to trust them.