Lately, I've ben thinking about how we treat the ones we love. The elusive we.
Or more accurately, how we mistreat the ones we love.
We don't mean to. It just happens. Unintentional.
It's the ones closest to us, the ones we love the most, that suffer our wrath. Our bad days turn into their bad days. They take the brunt of our unhappiness and anger. Become acquainted with our temper tantrums and feelings of displacement. When we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, they roll out next to us, stand awkwardly in the kitchen and try to figure out what to do or say. Nothing. They can't do or say anything.
The ones we love, they witness this. They get the first dose of crotchetiness.
And at the end of a long, unsatisfying day, our loved ones are there. Standing in the kitchen again, taking our cold shoulders and sharp tones. Trying to figure out if they can make something special for dinner to turn it all around. No amount of home cooking can fix this. There is no confectionary bandage.
I wish I had a more eloquent way of phrasing it, but I don't.
It just sucks how harsh we can be to the ones who love us the most. Because we start to wonder. How the hell can they even love us? That's only if the pattern gets out of control.
Most of us manage to hold ourselves together for strangers. After all, it isn't polite to snap, crack and pop people we don't know. We put our feelings aside for the faceless nobodies who walk through our doors and into our live. Because it isn't acceptable to tell them to 'leave you alone' or ask them 'why are you following me around?'.
Who wrote this ridiculous rule? Since when is it okay to vent and moan and bitch and whine to our loved ones? We say it's because they love us. They will forgive these behaviours, but if we really loved them, wouldn't we want to shield them from this sort of hurt?
It doesn't matter whether we mean to do it or not. We still do.
I'm human. I make mistakes. I snap with snark and roll my eyes. I let the frustrations of my job, my upset tummy, and my lack of patience get the better of me. Not all the time, but enough to take notice of. Enough for me to be not impressed with it.
It happens back to me. A grumpy boyfriend, annoyed co-worker, and frustrated sibling. I might make excuses for being snapped and scowled at, but it doesn't make it hurt less. It's one of those weird idiosyncrasies of life.
And good for you if you're not one of us. Good for you if you've never taken your bad day home, or said something out of frustration you know you shouldn't. Congratulations if you never got short with your children or gave your spouse your back because you're so overwhelmed with debt and disappointments.
You're better than I.
A lot of it comes down to not wanting others to think we are bad people. We don't want them to think us mean or harsh, or blunt or temperamental. But as someone rushes around shutting windows and whispering, what will the neighbours think? I'm standing there wondering, what about what I think?
Damage is done.
Maybe it's time to start giving our loved ones the same consideration and understanding as we give strangers. Or maybe not.