Your 50's are the time when you start to hate your parents. Not hate them in general, but hate them for certain things you find in yourself. Looks, speech, mannerisms ... you name it ... it's their fault.
If you're determined, you can overcome the speech and mannerisms. With a little money, you can even overcome the looks. But there are other things that are ingrained deep inside of you, that you may struggle to change, but find that you can't, no matter how hard you try.
With me, it's my nagging inability to overcome a grudge or a slight, perceived or real. My parents were hill people; my father from West Virginia and my mother from the Ozarks. They could hold a grudge like you wouldn't believe. Decades upon decades. And when they couldn't think of any, they either made them up or turned on each other.
There were a lot of things they taught me ... not to be. I was determined that when I grew up, I would not strike my children, I would not constantly lose my temper, I would not be intolerant of other people and I would not be coarse and unrefined.
For the most part, I've succeeded. Except for the grudges.
And this week I developed a two-fer, both on the same day. One as a result of a situation at work, and one from a long time friend. I believe both were inadvertent from the parties involved. And since I've almost convinced myself of that, I still find that I can't let either instance go.
I do all of the standard avoidance techniques. I keep busy and direct my feelings in other ways. But the human being can't stay occupied, physically or mentally 24 hours a day. So there are times when the mind stands down. And the feelings of anger and betrayal rush in to fill the void. Once they get a foothold, they're tough to lose again.
With me, time is a great healer. But time isn't moving fast enough. I keep telling myself that in a week, or a month, I'll feel different ... that I'll smooth out and chide myself for wasting all that time on bad feelings. But it isn't a week, a month, or even a day from now, and it sits there gnawing at me. Daring me to lose my temper and ruin everything, just so for one minute I'll feel vindicated.
So, here I sit tonight in one exhausting conundrum. I'm irritated at my inability not to be irritated at a situation. This is somewhat amusing to me, because I'm continually counseling other people to "calm down" and "let it go". Shit, I can't even take my own advice.
I hate my parents.