things you only think about when you are driving

My grandfather used to call me all fire and passion and then he would laugh like it was an inside joke. I only remember being ashamed. I would throw some fit like tossing the golf club or my helmet. It must have been hard for my parents and him to watch though I was never scolded. Why would they as I always immediately felt shame and was embarrassed. It was so much so that I would wall up and withdraw. I would wait there until I was feeling better and then rejoin the activity as if nothing happened. I would be smiling but I was scared they noticed. Who was I kidding?

Now, after years of learning to recognize my emotions and practicing control, I successfully tuck the anger away but it’s always there lurking just below the surface. controlled. I was embarrassed last night to be reminded of it. A story of my behavior, an anecdote, suddenly I was reminded that this is who I am in some way. I thought about how I felt when it was shared. I thought about how I withdrew for a few minutes. Maybe embarrassed because it was someone new who I thought didn’t know me all that well but saw that shadow part of me just the same. Again, who am I kidding?

There’s a lot of time in the car to just be thinking. Some of my best work is done while I am crossing from one place to another. Today I was getting temperamental about the other drivers. As practiced, I laughed at myself, shook it off and put it away.

But then I started thinking about how I hate to be noticed. I have always hated to be noticed. All these years I have been blaming my mother and step-father. Her fault because she used to embarrass me when she was so condescending to people and him for scaring the shit out of me most days. Hide, don’t notice me. But I’ve been wrong to place it on them. It’s time for personal responsibility and to fix it for me.

I learned something new about myself today and I feel better about than I ever have before.

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