Our son is playing Little League ball, and in a very healthy league. But our coach is counting winning as more important than developing skills, during the game time. I've been telling myself all season, that the coach is right, even when our son was played for just two innings a game. I wanted my husband to get past his sighs and his prophesies. At each game he mumbles, "That's the last inning they'll play T. He won't get up to bat again." Frankly, I have wanted my husband to put on the same happy face that he wants our son to put on (at coach's directions). I've struggled with this command for inauthenticity all season. (If you don't look happy your coach won't play you. Barf. Last night my husband finally said, "I don't blame T for being unhappy!")
So we took action. It was yesterday, when our son was played for two innings and was on the bench for the final inning (when he plays better than the substitutes who were still out on the field), that I really felt his pain. I no longer want to tell my son that he should smile more in order to have the coach think he is happier than he really is. And when my husband looked at me and said he wanted to leave, in the bottom of the last inning, I concurred with a lightness to my step. It may have looked like passive-aggressiveness, but for us it was saying "We've had enough." And my son did have another commitment that he could be on time for if he left. After all, he was not needed!
But I was surprised at how much anxiety I felt for our actions, even as I sat home alone I wanted to call my program friends and see if I could .... "fix" it! That's right, I should know better... but still I wanted to talk it through.
I did not get the chance to do that, very effectively. My more distant program friends all said they could do nothing to reassure me. Then, right before he turned in to sleep, my husband told me that he would not sleep well after my son's baseball game tonight. That bothered me. In hindsight it was his way of admitting powerlessness, but I heard him planning to fail at doing good self-care. I wished, in vain, that I could hand my program teaching to him to help him to consider carefully the words he tells himself before he goes to bed.
But men too often won't "talk" feelings. My husband would not make time before he went to sleep. My son said, I don't want to talk about the game. Instead, the way I see it, T took out his powerlessness on the ants that have begun showing up inside our house, namely in the kitchen. I was more willing to be at peace with the ants than he was! But to help assuage the obsession, I took care of bleaching all the countertops in our kitchen. This is soooo not me to do that kind of cleaning after dark on a sweaty spring night. It made me feel more anxious actually.
I wish my men would talk about their feelings more; I think it would help. But maybe I am just not the person for them to share their feelings with. Boy do I feel powerless.
In dealing constructively with my son's anger, ended up with a husband who was mad at me, because I could not get our son to bed as early as he thought he should be. How do you spell anxiety? And inability to please?
Thank HP, I have program friends to talk this over with, by light of day.
There is a part my friends can't help with. So I am praying for guidance from my HP in being direct with the coach the next time I see him, and asking him, if there is anything we can do to afford our son's greater participation in the final weeks of the season.
If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison