Welp. We went to my sister’s house for Christmas dinner, and she had her in-laws there, so there were more strangers than people I knew there. I coped with two strong drinks and when we finally left I thought I’d made it through Christmas Day, but I thought too soon. My parents and I got home to their house, and the phone rang right after we walked in. My dad didn’t pick it up because he thought my mom was getting it and vice versa. So it went to voicemail and I said to my mom that she could just hit redial for the last caller (she’s not the best at technology.) Suddenly it turned into a yelling match with my dad hollering at my mom that he thought she was going to get it and it rang so many times and so on and so forth.
I don’t know why that was the last straw for me but it was – I’d mentioned earlier (probably more snarkily than I would like) that it was kind of stressful staying here because they yelled at each other all the time, and slammed cupboard doors, and that I liked things to be more mellow. Anyway I was really shocked at how soon it escalated into a screaming match – like can you just not say, conversationally, “Oh, I thought you were going to answer it. Guess I’ll call them back.” It’s not a Defcon-3 emergency or anything.
Anyway, I lost it and yelled “Holy shit! This is NOT NORMAL for people to yell at each other all the time over nothing, like you can’t even say “I thought you were going to get the phone” in a normal voice?!” So my mom started explaining how she wasn’t really yelling, and my dad started yelling at me about how he thought his yelling was justified because my mom was closer to the phone, and it rang X number of times, and I was like “That’s fine but that doesn’t justify YELLING at each other ALL THE TIME! Staying here really sucks! If there was a bus leaving to go home right now I would be on it!” So my dad stomped away and my mom tried to explain how she tried not to yell but Dad yells at her and I said “Maybe you should get a divorce then!” which actually reflects my feelings – if you don’t enjoy being together and have an abusive dynamic, don’t be together.
Of course, the way our family dynamics work, the yelling was normal and it was my calling it out that was not normal, so everybody being upset becomes my fault and I’m the one who was a Bitch on Christmas Day, and so like it’s my job to smooth things out by apologizing. Dammit!
I’m also feeling like a sack of shit for the way I acted at the psychiatrist’s last time – I’m going to apologize next time and explain that the idea of having to see my family just stresses me out beyond endurance, which understates it if anything. As this visit mercifully draws to a close, I’m starting to get stressed out by having a whole week before I see him again. With my therapist retired I’m feeling pretty isolated and like that’s a long time to go without any kind of, I don’t know, supportive contact. I guess I’ll take one thing at a time.