Meltdowns Happen

My husband is a saint – seriously – he’s about as good a guy as you could ever imagine. He gives me all the freedom I need to be me, but he includes me in everything I need to be included in to feel like we are partners. He never complains about anything I do, even though I know I must annoy him occasionally (rarely, I’m sure!). He works hard, and will juggle a million things so we can pay the bills. He truly enjoys being with me, spending time with me, and making me happy. All of these things contribute to his saintliness.

I am far less saintly. Anyone who knows me knows this without being told. I have an earthy, be one with nature sensibility about me, but I also have a lot of my parents in me, so I am very regimented and orderly. Add to that a need to be in control in most situations, and I am naturally a person who lives at a certain level of stress at all times. When my stress level is raised to a sustained maximum, I tend to lose my temper – usually in the presence of my afore-mentioned husband of endless patience.

Yesterday was the culmination of weeks of stress that built up to a fever pitch yesterday afternoon. After getting home from a shopping excursion that worked my very last stressed-out nerve, I finally broke open and all my frustration came gushing out of my mouth and my arms as I yelled and slammed things around while trying to get stuff to fit in the refrigerator while the door kept closing on me. A small thing, certainly – obviously nothing to get all tantrumy about – but apparently that stupid refrigerator door closed on my arm for the fourth or fifth time on the wrong day! Andrew came in from the car to me howling at the refrigerator and slamming things into the box trying without success to get them to stay inside. A man of great wisdom, or at least a man who knows his wife well, he grabbed the door, looked me sternly in the eye and told me to, “Go! Go sit down!” Thinking back on it, I have to laugh. That’s all it takes for me to be startled out of my tantrum. I’m so alarmed when he gets mad at me and just speaks with a frustrated tone that I am shaken back to reality immediately. I guess that says a lot about how he speaks to me normally!

Today, I stayed home – I did not try to deal with traffic on Route 9 nor on I-95; I did not mingle with those who do not seem to know how to drive, or shop, or interact with general humanity in a courteously aware-of-their-surroundings sort of manner; I did not do much of anything but make big headway on getting this disaster of a house put together. The biggest thing about today, though, was working with Andrew – my greatest ally and partner – to get this place livable. Another day like today and we’ll be ready to finish painting the last 2 bedrooms, hallway, stairwell, and dining room cabinets. Then our house will feel like a home  (translation – it will be neat and orderly and not a producer of stress in my life!). 

So that was my I’m-too-stressed-out-by-everything-going-on meltdown. It only happens once a year or so – or so.  I guess I’m good for a while. Good thing Andrew is such a patient guy.