There are no clocks to measure time
But the beating of our single hearts
The most wasted emotion that has ever poured forth from my mind, mouth, and acted upon by my limbs is frustration. I think I have encountered it on a weekly, sometimes daily basis for as long as I can remember. I can dutifully report back that it was a smashing success at accomplishing : nothing. Not a damn thing. Yet there it is, waiting to burst out and make me grit my teeth. Big things. Little things. Treacherous things. Things of utter betrayal. Things of devastating sadness. All frustration did was end. It annihilated. Whatever it was that summoned it would be rendered second hand once the bestial tentacles of frustration exploded into the conversation. My point is, that getting frustrated stops being effective once its no longer directed at a mischievous teenager who didn’t do their homework or snuck out at night. With adults, with real life problems, its just going to rehash something awful or angry and delay any sort of healing process. So actually, if you want to keep doing this dance of doom involving frustration, lets just save time and money and just go ahead and throw down the gauntlet and walk out of the room. No fighting yelling or accusing. This is just over.
Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it? But I cannot even count all the times we ended nights in tears or glares while being “frustrated”. We’re human. Not everyone has the immaculate patience to count to 10 or some other hypnotic cease fire to end all conflict. However, there does need to be a moment of clarity where you can say out loud, “is frustration towards my partner taking this somewhere it doesn’t need to venture”….because if it does, hold on for dear life and leave a note in case you two don’t make it back alive.
I walked away from my marriage out of frustration. Should have I? I think the real question should have been asked years prior, and worded differently. Before the abuse. Before the affair. Had I approached things that I wasn’t understanding with open arms and an open mind, perhaps things may not have progressed to shattered glass. I know I wasted so many precious precious moments going away from the roots of problems because of my frustrations. I had the intelligence to try a new approach. I definitely had the love to want to help instead of chastise and criticize. But what stopped me from helping things have a chance in hell was the snake pit before the solution. The frustration. “How could you steal the money?”, “Why are you out all night with strangers and who keeps texting?”…. did I have a right to know? Of course. Was a sober moment on a sunny morning a better setting than a dark, substance altering moment during the wee hours of the night? Absolutely. But that frustration…wasn’t going to let ME put my head down and wait until morning. No, I wanted it then and there, laid out with the screaming the crying and the threats. The police needed to come.
When you’re the sober one in these situations, I think people on the outside look at you like you must be strong and just at the breaking point. I always just felt really confused. How and why the hell am I doing this and why is my family seeming so broken all of the time? It broke because we thought we could just beat all of the demons because we loved one another. We were wrong. The human heart is a fragile thing and it will jump and flip right out of your hands the moment it thinks something it just cannot tolerate has occurred. I’m not saying we can save every relationship that is on the rocks. But I will say this : if you stay calm and figure out both sides of the stories no matter how gruesome it gets, each person will be ALWAYS better off than if frustration consumes you and becomes one of its deadlier growths, such as wrath and revenge. I was put to this test recently and while it may not have worked out as I had hoped, and yes my heart had that sad familiar feeling of loss come back to it, I didn’t get frustrated for once. I heard the other persons frantic goodbyes, and was able to respond with a dignified one of my own. One that I never would have given honor to had I became frustrated. I walk away towards my new life with my dignity intact, my head held high, and the knowledge that it is me who controls my “I love you”‘s and final goodbyes, not frustration and anger.