While I clean up puke from the floor, the phone rings.
She: “May I speak to the head of the household?”
Me: laughing my internal diabolical laugh. Sure. I’m the head of the household. Who else would be? A husband? A soldier who might actually be home for more than two minutes of our marriage? Of course not! That would be asking for too much normalcy! “This is she.” Sweetly. Sticky. Pulling her into my horrific cage of torture.
She: “I’m calling on behalf of someone with something who wants to make sure that I rub into your face that normal people are going on vacations. Or at least suffering from the recession in each other’s arms. We are giving away free tickets to the ‘here is how the rest of the world lives exhibition.’ Can I interest you in blowing your money on a pipe dream? Because surely if you buy this wonderful vacation package by the time you actually pay off your credit card bill and pack your luggage, your husband will be shipped off to Korea for a year while you try to salvage your ‘family’ vacation by packing, driving, smiling, photoing, and entertaining your children all without the company of your spouse. Are you interested in this Mrs. Husband-is-never-home?”
Me: “No thank you. I’m not interested.”
She: “Are you sure because I am authorized to repeat to you once more about the joys that others are experiencing while you currently ache in your knees from cleaning puke. And, you subsequently have oil dripping from your hair because every time you want to shower, a child either vomits, poops, or screams.”
Me: “no. Not interested”
She: “May I ask why?”
Me: “Because my husband is deployed. And all those wonderful vacations you are describing will not include us, and may never include us again. Is that good enough?” I can feel tears burning.
Me: Smiling. Feeling wonderful. I must be the first person to ever put this horrific, evil…… probably a mother, and most likely the nicest telemarketer to ever call, into her place. Surely no other person could be as brave, no as genius as I to slit open her vein and simply watch it drip, drip, drip while I relish in the sting. The shock. The inappropriateness of my outburst. Surely she deserves this? Surely all who cannot understand what I am going through deserve to have me selfishly pound on them? I am evil. And pathetic. And typical.
She: I’m truly sorry, ma’am. I won’t take up any more of your time. And, thank you for all you are doing.
Again I am angry. At everyone. No one. And all that lie in between. I have avoided all calls. Pushed myself to recognize when I am moving over into the rage. Educated myself. Talked to others about how the anger will just “sneak up on you. Don’t hate yourself when it does. We all do it. You are fine….” And here I am again. Angry. And ashamed.
The scariest part is how comfortable it feels to pull that familiar companion from my gut and wear it again.
So, I’m searching for ways to curb this. Punching a pillow. Signing up for kickboxing classes. Talking. Writing. I don’t enjoy this anger. This horrific toxic fume that fills my body. I keep saying this time I will give in to the process and quit trying to fight it. But who wants to feel this angry? Especially when it spills and “outs” us from our previously pleasant exterior?
I wish I could call her back and explain how horribly I feel. But, since I can’t, I’ll have to find some way to forgive myself and expel it in some way that doesn’t hurt anyone.
How do you deal with these fits of rage? Do you have any helpful ideas to get through this?