The Assumption of Anger

Today I’m realizing (yet again) how screwed up I am in regards to interactions with people. I assume that “grown-ups” (by which I mean people in authority positions) are always just waiting for me to screw up so they can get mad and yell at me.

Yesterday, my regional field director texted me to tell me my candidate had tried to call me. I didn’t pick up because I was in the bathroom and didn’t recognize the number. (I only do bathroom calls for some people.) No big deal, right? People miss phone calls all the time, right?

Except I can’t stop obsessing over it. It kept me up last night, and it’s been gnawing at me all day today. I don’t know if I should text my RDD again and ask if I need to call her back or something, but I’m afraid he’ll think I’m dumb. I mean, it’s not like the candidate would call me about anything important. I’m nobody, and she’s the state attorney general. I couldn’t even get myself elected as a delegate. Then I start worrying that she was calling to chew me out for not getting elected. I only lost by one vote, so if I’d just gotten a few more people to come vote for me, I would’ve won. She probably thinks I’m totally useless.

I know I’m being ridiculous. She was probably just calling to thank me for running and for working for her. Honestly, the lady is probably too busy to call failed delegates and yell at them, and besides, she’s always seemed to me like a nice person.

This is the legacy of emotional abuse, of growing up in a family where the adults really were waiting for me to screw up so they had an excuse to attack. It makes me really angry–I shouldn’t have to spend two days obsessing about a missed phone call and all the implications thereof. It shouldn’t be that big a deal. I want to be able to be pleased and flattered that the attorney general–and probably the next governor–of Massachusetts is calling me. I want that so much, and I don’t know how to have it.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Assumption of Anger

  1. I take things like this quite seriously too, even when they seem silly after the fact.

    Glad to hear you’re still involved though…good for you for managing it at all…you’ve been so physically ill recently you must be running on empty. 😦

  2. kat

    ha! i would have obsessed over this missed call too. its not just you. i too grew up in a family where you never knew when they would be ready to jump you for any perceived infraction. sometimes, x was ok, but other times that same x got you screamed at for hours. you never knew when, or what about, but you did know that sooner or later, you’d pay for it.

    im sorry you are being torn up in your head of what is the right way to be feeling, and how much, if any, you should feel badly for. my logical side is telling me that not answering the phone while on the pot is a good call. no one wants to hear plop drizzle flush on the phone. and if they really needed to reach you, they could have continued to call or forwarded a message to you through your boss. your boss may be a bit miffed if he is also feeling bad for catching the call, or maybe, miffed cause he didn’t actually get the call himself. or he may just think that talking like that to subordinates is a great way of encouraging them and making them work harder, faster, better–which we know is not.

    • Oh, my RFD (direct boss) is a really nice guy. All the mean stuff comes entirely from my own head. I’ve never had a campaign coworker say anything mean to me ever–there’s a sense of camaraderie on campaigns, in my experience.

  3. I agree with the legacy of emotional abuse you said, words of wisdom and awareness.

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