The Meanest Monster

Finally I just get tired. Tired of regret, tired of guilt, tired of rehashing the same old unforgivable situations over and over in my head. And it mostly happens when I'm trying to sleep, thinking that all that thinking has to put me to sleep eventually-- but instead it riles me up into a tightly bound bunch of frayed wires, my eyes sparking dangerously close to the outlet next to my bed. One of these days my anxiety will electrocute me, an ironic twist of humor that would complement my first electrocution experience which was caused by the furthest thing from anxiety: a five year-old's imagination. I was confident as the housewife of a magnificent hotel bathroom, and I took it upon myself to "open the door" for my cousin by falling for one of the oldest tricks in the book--keys in the outlet. (Hence my firm belief in the use of outlet covers.) I can still remember the neon blue, bony arms that jumped out of the outlet at me, wrapping themselves around my stomach and squeezing the air out of me. I managed to scream and my parents came running. They put me in therapy because I walked all the way around a room in order to avoid walking next to an outlet, and I drew pictures of the outlet monster to get over my fear.

That's the long way around, but maybe it explains the suffocation I feel from regret. I just haven't quite figured out the therapy this time. Do I try to move on and forget, as I've done for most of my life? Do I write about it, hide the file away and never look at it again, or print it off and burn it? Or do I speak to the people I've hurt, attempting expired apologies?

I've never been adept with confrontation, but marriage has taught me to deal with frustration instead of shoving it into a closet like I used to do. I've always heard that with a spouse, the one thing you must never do is "let the sun go down on your anger." It's probably the most quoted Biblical advice I've ever come across. But frankly, I wish it was used for other relationships just as much as for marriage, because if I had learned it a long time ago, maybe I wouldn't be suffering another night of insomnia.

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