Hi. I’m really angry.

Hi. I’m really angry. It’s starting to come out in ways I don’t like and I am starting to not like myself because of it. It’s starting to spill into my life and affect my personal relationships and how I deal with people. Then I start making excuses. And it’s getting really old.

It all started when my parents got divorced. Which was over 10 years ago. I shouldn’t have picked a side. That was my first mistake. I sided with my mom. At the time, a friend told me not to side with either of them and I didn’t listen. My dad must be wrong, otherwise why would my mom leave?

My second mistake was meeting a nice girl and getting married. Not a mistake in the sense of “I made a mistake” but “my mom trying to make me think it was a mistake”. I’m terrible at remembering conversations and details, but I remember my mom telling me when I started dating that this “wasn’t a good time for us”. I responded by saying “there’s never a good time for this”, and continuing on with my life. I certainly didn’t choose for my parents to get divorced, or decide when the person I wanted to be with showed up.

I’m mostly angry about what’s happened since. How my family can’t seem to enjoy being around one another. How my mom uses the silent treatment by not returning my phone calls. How I realize I’m being manipulated, so I ignore my mom’s cries for attention. How my mom tells anyone who will listen how terrible of a son I am. How if I show if any of her antics bother me, she knows she can get to me that way. How I have to refuse to let it affect me.

The truth is, it does affect me. I sometimes snap at people, mostly my wife. Sometimes I’m extra judgey — and not in a good way. (There’s no good way to be judgey.) I want to have positive relationships with people, encourage and inspire them — but if my home life isn’t right, what’s the point of trying to help others in the world?

I mentally battle this every day. I try not to think about it, which just makes it worse. I try not to let it affect me, but it does.

Just typing this makes me feel better. I refuse to let my mom win. I refuse to let her toxic behavior take control of my life. I can’t prevent her behavior from affecting my life, but I can minimize the impact it has.

I can look at my relationship with my wife the way I need to — as my opportunity to show that I’m not my parents, that their relationship mistakes doesn’t have to affect my marriage, and to show I don’t care what anyone else thinks, I am only responsible for making my relationship with my wife the best it can be.

Secret Writer