I've recently reached out to various members of my extended family during this stressful time. I wasn't too suprised to learn one was angry at me.
Why are they angry you ask? I did not call and see how they were doing quickly enough. I have committed this offense before and she really has had it with me this time. The understood protocol is for me to call her. (Never the other way around.)
Ok - so why am I bothering you all with this?
I just realized that my greatest fear as a child (when I first started withdrawing and getting depressed) was the anger of this one person: very little physical harm, but the angry, disappointed face; the week-long silent treatment; the biting passive agression; the using of her body to physically prevent me from entering certain rooms.
I've been saying to myself when I think about our recent exchange: she is angry at me. She is very angry AT ME!
Now you're probably wondering why on earth would I do that? Isn't that the dreaded rumination taking hold?
Well, not really.
I look at it like a video I recently saw on YouTube, in which someone was trying to desensitize a horse to flags by letting the horse sniff it and then rubbing the flag all over the horse; letting it get used to the sound, the texture- so it doesn't get spooked.
In the same vein, by realizing my sister's anger, I'm learning to live with what I most feared. This is what I most FEARED! She is angry, here come the dreaded consequences, here they come....
And yet I'm still alive, typing on my smartphone.
Apparently, going to live another day to get her angry again (oops!)