Get Out

Really Real Mental Health Post

My neighbors had a really loud fight early this morning.

It was loud enough to wake me up with the shrill screams of “Get out! Get out! Get out!”   More screaming, doors slamming and car doors and later knocking on doors and my dog growling and barking.

I don’t know what happened down there, but this happens sometimes between them.  Mostly we just stay out of each others business even though we are friendly with each other.

The whole time I felt some combination of fear, shame, and guilt.  I wanted to curl into Wonder Woman or curl into a ball or just disappear and it was some combination of feeling like a little kid and hearing my dad yell, and feeling like a little kid and hearing the whole world yell, and feeling like a little kid and hearing myself yell.

How did I spend so many years yelling when I was that angry.

I feel so guilty for it.

Feel so guilty for letting my Kidlet hear me like that when he was little.

Downstairs there’s a little girl that lives in the apartment and I know she hears these fights and I can’t even think about her when it’s happening because I feel so guilty for the years that my own kid had to live through that.  He heard those same fights between his father and I, except no one was smart enough to finally leave for the night and I’d keep it going until I went to bed exhausted with no voice.

How did I ever let myself do that.

In hindsight it wasn’t fair to him, but at the time I couldn’t see the little kid who was scared, just like I was at his age.

It sucks that I’m just now figuring so much of this out, now that he’s out of the house as a full grown adult and Parker’s dead.  Both of them spent so many years getting the brunt of a very hurt person who turned that hurt into anger against those around her.

It wasn’t fair to them, and it wasn’t fair to me.

And the whole idea of “life’s not fair” just doesn’t work here.

I’ve apologized to my son.  I can’t go back and apologize to Parker.  I can’t take back the yelling and screaming.

Now it’s a matter of finding the boundaries.  My neighbor screaming isn’t me.  That isn’t my guilt, my shame, it doesn’t need to keep me awake for hours, but it does.  I don’t need to feel it to my core.  I don’t need to internalize it.  I don’t need to pay penance for their fight, or for fights I’ve had in the past, by staying awake at 3 or 4 or 5 am.

But yet, here I am.



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