Growing up I was made fun of for my clothes, my shoes, my hair, my home, my parents, my face, my glasses, my everything. I was continuously told everything that was wrong about me. Including being smart. It gave me a complex that I’m still working on today. There is a lot of baggage there that I have to unpack.
This baggage still creeps into my life today. Little things feel like big things. Little things like my husband giving my sarcastic crap about banging my hand on the corner of the counter as I walk by because I’m clumsy and it happens all the fucking time. We have been together for almost nine years and this isn’t the first time he has been sarcastic about it. But, this time and the time before it caused me to lose my shit.
I felt attacked. I felt like he was criticizing me. I felt like every time he acknowledges when I hurt myself, he is making fun of me. All of that emotion bubbled up and came out on him.
It isn’t unusual. Baggage builds up for years if it isn’t addressed. Then one day it explodes. And it probably explodes when you least expect it.
I took the approach of trying to understand why he continuously commented or pointed it out. He didn’t understand where my questioning was coming from since it has been “our well-known joke” for so many years. He couldn’t understand why all of a sudden I changed from joking about it with him to feeling attacked. We disagreed. Doors were slammed. Feelings were hurt.
He said he would stop. He said he would work on it but asked that I not expect an immediate change to an old behavior. He said he didn’t realize it was hurting my feelings. He didn’t understand the change in perspective.
Neither do I.
I don’t know that he should stop. Is this one of those things I should work on accepting? Is this one of those things that my baggage is causing more issues than necessary? Is this something I could actually lean into and have fun with?
I should do the work, not him. It is an internal issue, not his issue. He is sarcastic by nature. I am sensitive and serious. Probably because I was made fun of. I probably got so serious because I was trying to avoid being made fun of. I got tired of getting picked on and feeling like shit. So I limited myself trying to become invisible to their comments.
Eddie isn’t making fun of me. He isn’t criticizing me. Eddie actually loves me and is a very sarcastic person. He is very easy-going. He is the complete opposite of me.
So what did I do?
After a few hours and during a walk with the dogs, I told him not to change. I told him I am going to work on my baggage issues. We talked about what might be causing my increased sensitivity to things that haven’t ever bothered me before. The discussion led to talking about other things I’m working on and through.
The lesson here? No matter how hard we work at unpacking our baggage, it may still creep back up into our daily life. Also, talk it out. You might not be able to talk it out right then, but cool off, journal or find a way to have some introspection, and then talk out whatever caused you to lose your shit. It doesn’t hurt to say sorry either. That is, sorry for losing your shit. Don’t apologize for being you and working through your baggage. Thankfully Eddie know’s I’m working on that and that I have to ponder on it. He just hopes I actually do ponder about it rather than just continuing to lose my shit on him.
Baggage may creep up, but we can work through. I can work through it.