Some say that the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time. If this is the case, then I am insane. Or maybe just delusional.
Below is something that I wrote in my journal back in February 2017. So much of this still rings true in our family. Just this week, we had a family meeting. It did not go well. D- reacted in a panic, immediately rambling apologies and blaming herself for everything. I told her she is not the adult, she is not responsible for everything. After several attempts, I know she did not hear me. The last few days have been stressful on her. All I was asking her to do was be more honest about the amount of homework she has and ask for help more often. Plus do her weekly chores without a fight.
A- cried when she was told that punishments would increase if she did not follow the rules. She has decided that she will not clean her room for the past two months. She went so far as to look me in the face and say, “Mom, why can’t you just do it?” I walked away before I yelled at her. J- yelled at her instead and we had more tears to deal with.
The worst part of the family meeting was J-. He laughed at me and the girls. He rolled his eyes at us. When I asked him to help out more with daily chores like dishes and trash, he laughed at me. He gave me a bland response, “ya, I’ll try” and that was it. This was on Monday evening. He has not lifted a finger all week. And he yelled at D- when she asked for help with her geometry homework! How can I respond to this without losing my temper?
My temper has been a source of major problems in our family since we got married. Over the past two years, I have been working extremely hard to control my temper. A friend of mine pointed out to me that the more I control my temper and be nice to J-, the more he is walking all over me and the more depressed I am becoming. After the family meeting, I felt low. I felt worthless. I am just a joke to him. We have barely spoken to each other since and he is happy with it.
From my journal:
After spending hours scrubbing the kitchen, I expect it to stay clean. I expect everyone to take care of their dirty dishes, throw away their trash, wipe up their spills. Never happens. After doing six loads of laundry, I expect everyone to put their dirty clothes in the hamper each day so I may keep up on the laundry. Never happens. Instead, they leave it on the floor in their rooms or in the living room until I collect it all and get stuck with a ton to do all at once. To my family I have this to say: You are a bunch of lazy jerks!
In my imagination, once the kitchen is clean, it actually stays clean. The living room is neat and the floor is not covered in toys. Each bedroom has a floor that can be seen and a closet that can be accessed as needed. Each member of this family should be able to help with daily chores, pick up after themselves and show some amount of appreciation when someone else helps them with a task.
Obviously I am the one with the mental problems and my expectations are far to unrealistic.