Applying the Brakes


Today, I am torn. I hate him so much today, it is not even funny. Although Morning Person says I don’t and to not speak such strong words( and here I have to say….”hate” is a strong word, when I have called him everything under the sun but a child of God and all using 4 letter words …..really? “Hate” is a strong word?) but I really do. Maybe the hatred is a mask to cover the hurt and pain I am still feeling six weeks later or perhaps it is misplaced frustration. After all, it did not surface until after I found out some guy on Plenty of Fish has added me to his favorites, whatever that is. In any case, I go to view his profile (even though I say I am looking for something platonic/friendship only and wanting to go slow with that, men tend to be stupid and have a lack of comprehension at times) and he says a woman’s status, race, weight and age do not matter, but you should be a single sista, in-shape and in the 28-42 age range. And this one WTF moment triggered a blast of anger and hatred so strong, I threw an I Hate Him party last night complete with fried chicken and chocolate and I am still feeling it today; but I also miss him so much I could cry. I am remembering good times, laughter, randomness and being naked…..and I feel as if I am frying bacon naked, and the hot grease is popping onto my skin, causing little pricks of stings and pain. I am a mess but I am standing fast in my resolve to not contact him.

I am going to talk about last week’s episode of Grey’s as that is where I got the inspiration for today’s topic. There was a story line regarding a woman who was involved in a car accident; she told hospital staff that she lost control of the car, it went through the window of a Laundromat, crushed her husband against a washing machine and also injured an innocent bystander. The woman was understandably distraught, crying and constantly asking about the bystander’s and Larry’s status. She was afraid to face the police and all their questions and Lexie felt for her…on the surface, it was just a horrible, horrible accident and Lexie ran all kinds of tests (necessary and not) to alibi this obviously upset and seemingly nice lady. We find out later on that Larry is no longer the lady’s husband…he left her 3 months before for a younger woman from their church. They had been married 38 years and in all that time, the woman says Larry would not even pick up a bottle of Tide, yet while running some errands, she comes across Larry’s vehicle parked in front of a Laundromat and there is Larry, washing Kimmie’s ( the other woman’s name) laundry and holding her hot pink panties in his hands. The man who could not be bothered to ensure his wife had laundry detergent to wash his dirty drawers is doing another woman’s laundry……and the wife saw red. All she knows is that one moment she had her foot on the brakes, idling her car in the street, and the next…..she is inside the Laundromat, her car crushing Larry against a washing machine. She felt badly about the innocent bystander…..she really did as this was between her and Larry, not anyone else and something about seeing Larry doing the laundry of another woman caused something in her to break. It was evident in her eyes, in her tone of voice ( it was a flat monotone until she started reciting the story….then the  anger, hurt and rage came across so clearly as she relived the moment) and it also rendered her either crazy or stupid as she admitted this to two doctors thinking they were bound by doctor/patient confidentiality. Lexie and Angie, who were the doctors, listened in horror and disbelief and were totally stunned not only by this Psycho moment, but were probably afraid to tell her that she was thinking of lawyer/client confidentiality as doctors are only bound regarding medication and medical records…which they did tell her, stuttering and maintaining eye contact the entire time. The look on that woman’s face as it crumbled with this knowledge was priceless.

Lexie could identify with this woman…..Lexie could understand not applying the brakes in this situation as Lexie is going through a ton of stuff herself and to have a target to release all the hurt, rage and frustration on…..she definitely understood, and had her family and friends looking at her as if she needed another psych evaluation. I understand……wanting to let loose, to let it all out on a tangible object (preferably the one who caused the turmoil of emotions in the first place)…would be wonderful. To see HIM black and blue, bruised and bloody…to wear and feel all the hurt and rage he caused…to just take my foot off the brake and charge head first into the face of pain…would be so cathartic, so freeing and the price to pay for it would be so worth it, but only for a minute or two.

We all come with brakes; whether we apply them or not is up to us. People who apply the brakes do not go out and rob banks or beat people over the head to steal from them when they are broke; people who apply the brakes do not abuse their children when they misbehave, break the lamp or when they throw tantrums and just will not stop crying. Applying the brakes keep us from going postal in the workplace for whatever reason, and stop us from killing off our family members to prevent a divorce or as a means to solve a family argument. Applying the brakes help us to quiet The Committee and those who don’t apply the brakes……make the front page of the papers, are the lead story on Nancy Grace and make jails, prisons and mental institutions a permanent fixture in today’s society. Regardless of how healthy or grounded we are, we will also take out foot off the brakes once in a while…not completely, but just enough to coast along downhill for a minute. This is when we get “ghetto”, “lose our religion”, and act as if we have no home training. You know you have been there (we ALL have) with the neck rolls, cutting the eyes and screaming 4 letter words at the top of our lungs and who knows what will set it off: bad traffic, a lingering argument, complete stupidity, betrayal, stress/pressure…who knows what will make us take our foot off the brake for a minute or two; but usually after venting, ranting and raving, most of us can smooth our hair, make the necessary apologies and walk away with our head held high and a slight strut in our walk. Sometimes we need help applying the brakes: this is where Higher Power, church, family and friends (I LOVE my Panel….they are my personal Midas team) come in. We pray for strength and patience, we vent to our parents, siblings and friends…and we get the advice and soothing we need to put our foot firmly back on the brake. The answers may not be what we want to hear, but it will be the truth and while sometimes painful, the truth will set you free to leave behind angers, hurts and slights.

We have to keep the brakes applied….no matter how overwhelming life becomes, no matter how much life seems to knock us down and regardless of how deserving the person or situation is of us just letting loose , we simply can’t. The consequences are simply too high….we could lose jobs, respect, friends, family, our freedom or even our lives. We can identify, we can coast for a couple of seconds but in no way can we not keep the brakes applied and applied firmly.  When you overstep your bounds ( I actually told him he did not have a complete set of balls, and said that was a compliment as if I had never seen him naked I would have called him ball-less)  or people do not live up to your expectations (sometimes, no matter how simple you make things—be it a conversation or a relationship, some folks simply WILL.NOT.GET.IT.)….take a deep breath, make the apologies and reformulate your game plan. Patience, tolerance and compromise are the key players in this game of Life and keeping your foot on the brakes and holding your personal Midas team close will help you play the game fairly and regardless of the outcome, allow you to at least win the battle(s), if not the war.

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2 thoughts on “Applying the Brakes

  1. I really, really, really like this post. It should be a reminder to all of us to think before we act. I for one, need to remember to apply the brakes more often than I do when it comes to my mouth!!!!!! Thank you!

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