I feel like I discovered today that I am no good. We've been building a fence. The company who we got to do it was recommended by my brother-in-law. Turns out its really just one guy. He said he'd have it done in 2 days. That was over three weeks ago. Its been sitting unfinished for weeks. I've been slowly getting angrier and angrier. So hard to explain, my wife doesn't get it. I haven't been angry at the project taking so long, but rather the guy's attitude. We never know when he is coming or how long he will stay. It really is a two day job, but he's stretched it out by only doing an hour here or there. My wife asked me not to confront him, afraid I would blow up at him. Let me explain. Everytime I saw that unfinished fence, I felt used. I hated the idea of this guy wandering on and off of my property at will, lying to me about the next time he would show up. He's been unprofessional, but its been a like a slow-burning trigger. Feeling taken advantage of, laughed at behind my back, treated as unimportant. Every day just a little worse.
And I held my tongue for three weeks, let my wife handle him because we both knew that tact in these situations is not my strong suit. I just couldn't take it anymore. He promised he'd be out here first thing this morning and work all day. With no sign of him by 3pm, I called him up and told him I was thinking about getting a lawyer. My voice was firm but I used no nasty language. And lo and behold, he comes out this evening and finally finishes the fence.
And yet, I feel awful. I feel awful for not passing the test. I didn't call him because I didn't think he wasn't ever actually going to finish. I called him because I wanted to assert control over him instead of feeling like he was holding my property hostage. I wanted to let him know I was The Man In Charge, not him. Part of it is that this guy comes out with a puppy-dog face and is full of "I don't understand why your husband got so mad at little old me" to my wife (I couldn't talk to him by that point -- not because I was afraid of him but because he was pissing me off too much). My wife told him I could be a "hothead" sometimes. She told me later she only said that to smooth things over, so he would just get in his car and leave. But all this made me feel like maybe I am a horrible out of control temper monster. I'm just so mad because I feel like up until today I had it totally under control, and I just failed the class on the very last day.
"As long as the child within is not allowed to become aware of what happened to him or her, a part of his or her emotional life will remain frozen . . . all appeals to love, solidarity, and compassion will be useless."
-- Alice Miller