Panic vs. Temper?

April 28, 2010

So a strange thing happened to me the other day, but let me start at the beginning.

Our closest neighbor (I can see his outhouse from my art room... YUCK!)

We’re trying to move. The house we live in is nice and cheap, but it has a lot of downfalls. We’re really close to the paper mill, which is stinky. We don’t have any privacy since we live on a little plot of land with like 8 or 9 other people and our yard is small. We get NO sun, and our house is always cold and moldy. There are lots of reasons to move, but for me the biggest, for me, is that our house has no doors inside. I have no privacy unless Joe and Sarah leave, which is just awful. I would like to be alone sometimes without having to ask them to leave. And I really need more space for my art. The space I have now is okay, but I really could use more. Plus if I ever start the stop-motion project I have in my head, I need to know it’s not going to be knocked over by some cat.

We’ve been looking for a house for a couple months now. It’s turned out to be incredibly hard! There are so few houses for rent and the houses that are for sale are either way too expensive, have no land or are giant mansions. We don’t want a huge house, just a little one with space to garden. One day I found this house that looked so perfect. It was way too expensive, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to it. It’s on 3 acres, very private with lots of sun but it’s only one mile outside of the city limits. I thought perhaps there was a way.. Maybe we could work something out? So I wrote to the owners.

The woman who wrote to me was so wonderful and sweet, I really was hoping she would just rent to us! But the rent they charge is a lot and they really want to sell. So I forgot about it.

Then, last week, I saw the same house on craigslist again, and the price had come down! It was still too expensive for us, but I thought maybe they would bring it down more. Sarah told me I should write to them again and ask if they would consider renting to own, so I did. The answer I received was so exciting! The woman told me that she would talk to her husband and that they were going to try to sell it for two more weeks, then they would consider renting to own! There’s just something about this house, I feel so drawn to it…

What happened next was really hard. Sarah and Joe went to look at the house and came home saying that there was no way. The woman’s husband was very firm on the price and wanted $50k for the down-payment, which we don’t have. So that was that. But I can’t seem to let go… For some reason, I KNOW this house is ours. I don’t know what it is, it’s not a belief, it just is. I don’t know how to describe it, and I need to move so badly…. I was so heart broken when I heard the verdict.

But instead of getting sad, I got angry. I started to feel very angry with Joe. I felt that he hadn’t done anything to try to find us a new house. I check the internet daily and Sarah calls people and sets up appointments, all Joe had to do was fill out our loan application but after what feels like forever he still hasn’t, he just forgets. I got so frustrated I started to yell at him, why can’t he make this incredibly important little thing a priority?? I feel really bad now for yelling at him. I know he does so much for me and he’s very busy, but our living situation is a constant source of anxiety for me. We have to move by July 15 and I am terrified the move-out date will come and we wont have another house. It’s happened to me before and even though Sarah and Joe assure me it wont happen this time, I am so scared. I need a home right now, I can’t be homeless in the state that I’m in right now…

So I started getting mad at Joe. Instead of standing around being yelled at, he decided to leave and when he did I started to scream. I screamed so loud and so long, I’m really surprised I didn’t loose my voice. I screamed and I cried and I rocked myself in my bed. It was really hard but it wasn’t a panic attack. It was something else.

Sometimes my therapist talks about my inner child “taking over”. She says that when I freak out that is my inner child taking over and throwing a tantrum of some sort. I never really knew what that meant until the other day. When I was screaming and going through this experience, I tried to get talk to my inner child, to find her and figure out what was going on with her. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t that she didn’t answer, I couldn’t even focus on the question! I was so overwhelmed with emotion I could barely focus at all. I really felt like I couldn’t contact my inner child because she was consuming my being. The only thing I could think of was how afraid I am and how much I wish I had a safe home. I kept thinking “I want my mom”, like if my mom was there, she would make sure I had a home, and she probably would! But I’m supposed to be an adult! I am supposed to take care of my own problems with a clear head. I’ve never understood until now how much this “inner child” controls me when she’s upset.

But what is amazing is that I didn’t have a panic attack! I know this isn’t that much better, but I believe that anger and frustration is WAY more positive than fear and panic. I don’t want to stay here, getting so unreasonably angry, but it was much better than panicking. I have such a huge problem getting angry.

When I was young, I used to have such a temper. I would kick and scream and just cause a general ruckus. It was a real problem for my mom, I don’t think she knew quite how to deal with this loud, angry, obstinate child. She used to tell me that I needed to learn to control my temper and eventually I did, but not in a healthy way. I stopped getting angry. I stopped being obstinate. I started being more complacent and empathetic. If someone was mean to me, I would feel hurt but I would say “they probably have a bad home life, maybe their parents aren’t very nice to them” Instead of getting angry, I internalized it and those feelings turned to depression. I stopped standing up for myself and started feeling like everything people said that was bad about me had merit and that I must be bad.

Over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve been trying to get my anger back. I try to get angry or at least fight for what I believe in, but it’s been hard. Usually, as soon as I start to feel anger, it begins to dissipate. Anger doesn’t hold me like it used to, and usually I can’t hold on to it no matter how hard I try. And more often than not, my anger disappears and in it’s place comes a panic attack. That is why (as I’ve explained in another post) when my body shakes and convulses, it feels so necessary. Like there’s so much energy inside me and it’s going to come out no matter what I do.

I really think that doing this inner child work is what helped me to feel angry. I don’t want to stay here, where I scream at people I love, but I feel like if I’m going to learn how to deal with my feelings in a positive way the first step is to un-learn what hurts me. Things like bottling up my anger will never do me any good and I think I’m ready to let it go and to move onto something new and different. It’s time for me to finally learn how to honor my feelings and to find a way to feel like I’m being heard without screaming.


5 Responses to “Panic vs. Temper?”

  1. That angry lil’ girl pic is impossibly cute.

    Since I have my own problems finding the right balance/purpose/expression for anger I can’t help much except to say I sympathize deeply. Re: the house though, maybe I can help. I use this site just for their simple, interactive map. You aren’t locked into using them as agents, and you don’t have to register to access the info. Just double-click to zoom in:

    You can plug in the price range and other specifics and look by where you want to be. I don’t know your range or space needs, but to me there are many properties, far too many to actually look at – both for rental or to buy. There are also rental agencies here that charge a fee, so I would guess they have the best properties. I don’t know them but realtors do.

    As you know, I work at the end of town where that mill is. It sure does get stinky!

  2. I know, isn’t that picture of me hilarious? There are so many pictures and videos of my “lower lip” years.

    Thanks for all the house info. When I look for houses, I use craigslist, the Leader, John L. Scott, Windermiere and Coldwell. But our needs are so specific. The problem is we really don’t have or make that much money. The most we’ll probably get for a loan is 200k and I really want to buy a house with at least 3 acres. It just seems pointless to buy a house without land… I have so many things I want to grow!

    Really the problem is that the houses are all too big and fancy! There are so many HUGE houses, they say “single family home” but then they have like 6 bedrooms and three bathrooms. Do people even HAVE that many kids these days??! Who needs such a huge house? I don’t understand why people build them… If there were more dilapidated little cabins on acreage for sale, we would have moved long ago….

  3. Beats me about whether people have big families, but you are sure correct about house hugeness. We only want to grow friendships and write, so land isn’t important to us. I can see why you’re search would be challenging. However, you’ve been persistent and faithful so maybe Mr. Perfect House will cave on the terms eventually.

  4. OOPS, make that “your” search.


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