Last week I lost it, I blew up at my Mother. I yelled, I yelled, I cried.
"I don't see what you're so upset about."
You're not taking care of yourself. I know you haven't taken a shower since last week.
"Yes I have."
No you haven't. If you want to live by yourself you have to take care of yourself.
I didn't tell her that I knew she hadn't taken a shower. I knew because I marked the bar of soap with a tiny dot of blue toothpaste. Ten days later it was still there.
The grapes we bought, that I washed and put in a bowl, were still there on the counter, a week later, dried and furry. The frozen meals in her freezer are all still there.
"I don't know why you're upset. I take care of myself."
I must learn not to yell at her, not to lash out when I'm frustrated and worried.
We're not having an argument, there is no back and forth. She doesn't understand why I am upset. I end up with puffy eyes, a huge headache, upset stomach, and the shakes. All she remembers is that I yelled.
Yelling at her was as effective as kicking a rock.
Yelling was never part of our relationship.