A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret. 

I hate surprises. Always have and always will. I need to know what is going to happen everyday before it happens and a little disruption to my routine can bring days worth of anxiety. That said, you can imagine how I felt when I pulled into my driveway after a long day at work to find a strange car in my driveway. I proceed into my garage and get out of the car to find my Step Dad getting out if the car and walking towards me. My parents live in GA, I live in NY. If I see them once a year that’s normal. For some reason they forget that I suffer with anxiety. For some reason they think it’s fun to “surprise me”. As soon as I saw him I got angry. “What don’t these people understand?” I thought to myself. I was happy to see him, don’t get me wrong, but to just show up unannounced and stay for a week? I was extra miserable because I had a long day at work and I was exhausted. The last thing I felt like doing was entertaining and I wasn’t prepared to do it. I began to open my mouth to ask what he was thinking not informing me that he was coming when I paused. Here he was excited to see me walking towards me with a huge smile on his face to give me a big hug. At that moment I decided to keep my mouth shut. It wasn’t the right time. And I’m really glad I did. I knew I needed to have a conversation but I took the time to think about how I really felt and how to approach this. Not everyone is like me, and I can’t possibly expect everyone who doesn’t have anxiety to understand what it’s like. But I can tell them how it makes me feel and if they do care about me that should be enough. A few days later I had the conversation with both of my parents. My grandfather suffered from severe anxiety and after I explained to them how “surprising” me made me feel and how it sets me off they remembered that they couldn’t surprise my grandfather in Florida because it affected him the same way. They had to notify him in advance, even if it was 24 hours. They seemed to understand where I was coming from but only time will tell. My parents have big personalities and are loud, unlike me which makes it even harder. I’m glad I didn’t react the way I was feeling when I saw him because I know it would have devistated him. I have no regrets now that I’ve had the conversation calmly. I just hope I got through to them. 3 more days…

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