I’ve noticed a pattern, and I don’t like it.
It starts out when I’m in a lot of pain or extra tired or unusually weak or suffering from some other symptom in the extreme. Sometimes I’m upset or stressed out, sometimes I’m not emotional at all. After all, I’ve been dealing with these symptoms for a long time. Sometimes I’m fairly zen about it. Sometimes not. The pattern plays out either way.
The details vary, but something or other upsets me: a friend’s comment, a lover’s actions, a parent’s advice…. something. I respond by explaining why they upset me. I think I’m being reasonable. I always address issues head-on. Only instead of the usual productive conversation, they’re hurt. They’re upset. They can’t understand why I’m so sad/angry/hurt. Their reaction is just wrong! We talk. I feel bad and I don’t know why. I apologize. And eventually I have to admit that I’m not seeing things clearly.
This happened again today. It happened 2 days ago, also. It happened several months ago. It’s happened sporadically over the years. And I don’t know how to stop it. Because I don’t know that I’m not seeing things clearly until after I say something that someone else finds hurtful or offensive. I don’t realize it until it’s too late.
Until now, the people I care about have been very forgiving. They seem to understand that sometimes I’m just not myself. They know that whatever it is, it’s not intentional. They know that when I feel better, I return to myself. They know that even when I seem irrational, I care about them. But I wonder, will something happen some day when they won’t forgive me? Will it go too far?
This has happened twice in my current flare, so I know how to be extra careful. But what happens during the next flare? Or the one after that? Who will I hurt next? Who will I accuse of doing something terrible, when they were only trying to help me? I know it will happen, sooner or later. I just wish I knew how to stop it.