Heartache, Analytical Style

I so seldom talk about my own bad behavior. It’s embarrassing to do so, but you’ve got to figure that if my background is as dysfunctional as it is, I must have some crummy dysfunctional traits. And you’d be right. I fight them all the time, but it never fails. There comes a point in almost every relationship I have where people “notice” my biggest flaw, because I fail to be on my guard. And it causes some sort of break down. And I have to step back and declare myself a jerk, and the whole cycle begins of me trying to be a reasonable human being begins again.

And you don’t need to read this, because it’s not upbeat or about writing. I’m just thinking things through.

The very thing that makes me frank in writing is the thing that makes me very hard to know personally. I will let you know what I think. I will do this without any sort of internal check regarding your feelings or reactions. I will expect you to take my spiel and “learn” from it, when in reality, I have no right to impart my “wisdom” to you.

This flaw comes from years of trying to parent my parents in a sarcastic, controlled atmosphere because I wasn’t happy with the way things were going and I thought I could fix things.

So, imagine me talking to someone about an issue they are sensitive about, not picking up their cues, pontificating ad naseum. Not a very pleasant experience.


And then, imagine me getting called on that, realizing again that no, people do not appreciate my “help,” and they have been tolerating me until something breaks in them, and then it comes out.

Of course, because I make an effort to present as unemotional and calm, also a legacy from my days as a star child, no one knows how much being called on this makes me feel like crap. Not because I’ve been called on it, because I deserve to be, but because I’ve done it again, and I seem to do it everyone I know, at one point or another.

Or as Bryon put it last week, “Your help comes with a price. Maybe that’s why Ken doesn’t want it.”

It doesn’t matter if it’s good advice or stupid advice or me trying to hang my ideas on you. What matters is how you feel, and that I always blow it. My concept of boundaries is shaky. My ceiling for self-righteousness is epic.

All I can do is apologize and mean it sincerely, and like an alcoholic, start over, one drink at a time. Although in my case it’s one conversation in a relationship at a time. I don’t try to explain this, because the other person is upset, and it just seems like too much meta, and inappropriate when they are sick of my behavior.

So, there’s that again. Still. Always. I will continue to fight, but I expect I’ll be back here often in my life.

Okay. I have a very full two days. Let’s get on with it.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

One thought on “Heartache, Analytical Style”

  1. *hugs* Relationships are tough, no matter what one’s background is. and no one gets them right 100% of the time. You’re being a bit too hard on yourself here.

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