A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for June 20th, 2011

When the guilt weighs you down.

Posted by Pepper on June 20, 2011

I’ve been feeling awful the past few days. It is because of something I did. The burden of guilt is weighing me down. A part of me wants to forget about it. But the other part of me wants me to remember it forever, so that I never repeat something like that.

I have a temper. I think most of us do. But some of us are able to exercise some amount of control. These days, if I get mad, I scream. I’ve told myself to take a deep breath and talk calmly, however angry I am. It doesn’t seem to work. I don’t even know when the cool is lost, when I start shouting and when it turns into unbearable screaming. The more angry I am, the louder I scream. A few days ago I went a step beyond that and did something unforgivable.

We had gone shopping and were on our way back from some store. Like always, I knew nothing about the way back home. Mint wanted me to take note of the way and started insisting on me driving back. I was tired and cranky. I only wanted to sit back, but he was pressurizing me too much to drive. He probably thought it would be a better way for me to learn that particular route. I reluctantly agreed.

Once I started driving, he asked me to guess where we had to turn from. I really was in no mood to play guessing games and only wanted explicit directions from him. So I started screaming. We stopped at a signal and he asked me to guess the next turn again. I lost it. I was stressed out already and had agreed to drive for his sake. Now the light turned green, I had to go, and I wasn’t sure of what direction to proceed in because he asked me to ‘guess’. That made me explode. In his defence, he had only asked me to guess because we were waiting at a red light. And if he gave me no directions, that only meant we had to go straight. But at that time, I was stressed, tensed and angry. Nothing made sense to me. We fought, shouted and screamed as I drove. At one point, I realised I had no clue of where we were heading, and I couldn’t just stop on the road. So I stared following some random car as we continued our screaming match.

Now when I think of it, I don’t understand what it was that got me that mad. But at that time, angry tears threatened to spill. I finally stopped following the car and stopped in some dark lane. I was supremely angry with him at that time. Just because he wasn’t giving me clear directions when I was driving. And he was angry because I was shouting at him like a maniac, only because he asked me to guess a few times. We continued arguing. By now I was a complete mess. Screaming, crying, with a pounding headache. I asked him to take over and drive home from that point. He refused. I kept telling him I was not in a fit enough state to drive, but he was obstinate. He said he would not drive, even though he had no reason not to. That got me more mad. I was hysterical. I told him I wanted to slap him. He said, ‘okay, then slap me’. That tone sounded almost challenging to me. It was the last bit of provocation I needed. In a fit of rage, I lifted my hand and gave him one tight slap on his face.

He was quiet for a few seconds. He said nothing for a while. I was still screaming and crying. Don’t ask me why. I kept commanding him and alternately pleading with him to drive. But he simply refused. I called him names. He said we could spend the night in the car, in that lane. But he would not drive back. I didn’t wanna drive back either. Both of us were on our own trip. I was still furious. My mom was with us in the car, witnessing the entire scene. She was rather shocked by the way we fought. What can I say? Our worst fights happen only when we have an audience. I finally agreed to drive back home for my mom’s sake. But Mint said he refused to tell me the way. He said I was the one who brought us in that random, obscure lane and I should be the one leading us back. I was so furious, that brought another round of screaming. After a while, he agreed to tell me the way, and I drove back home.

We continued avoiding each other that day. But I could see my vision clearing as the veil of fury clogging my senses was lifted. I thought about it calmly and concluded – this was my doing. I overreacted to the ‘can you guess’ part. All of that was okay, but what I couldn’t digest was the slap I gave him. I couldn’t believe I had done it. This was unacceptable by all means. Nothing justifies it. You cannot, ever, raise your hand on your partner. That is nothing but abuse. I would not tolerate it. I don’t know why he did. I wish he had slapped me back. He didn’t even deserve to be yelled at, let alone be slapped. My mom was very mad at me too. She said she couldn’t imagine slapping her husband or vice versa. It is just not done. I couldn’t help agreeing with her. It made me feel terrible.

I haven’t been at peace since the time it happened. I apologised to him, but I know it does not make up for what I did in any way. I cannot take my darling boy for granted. I cannot turn into an abusive partner. I cannot. I need to get a grip. I need to keep my temper on a tight leash. I say it a lot of times, but each time the moment comes, I see my resolve flying out of the window. So far, I haven’t done anything drastic. This slap to him hit me the most. The guilt has made me more clingy. I wait to see him and then curl up in his arms. He’s a sweetheart, and his embrace is welcoming and warm like always.

I still feel jolted. I hope this was the very last time I face such overwhelming guilt..

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