Writing and Hurting the People You Love

March 4, 2008

Last weekend I had two sets of homework to do:  my last homework assignment for my grammar class and second homework for my composition class.  The composition class homework was a 250-word book review, and the final grammar homework was a 1000-word story and a quiz.

I decided to do the 250-word review on the book I was reading, The Marble Kite by David Daniel.  By Wednesday I was only 2/3 of the way through the book, however.  By Friday night I had finished the book but was completely unprepared to review it.  I needed to re-read it and get more of the details of the story in my head.  So, I woke up Saturday morning with: an entire book to re-read, a 250-word book review to write, a 1000-word story for grammar class, and a grammar quiz to do by the end of the weekend.  I was absolutely hysterical.

I stormed into the bedroom where poor John was napping and started screaming at him, jerking him awake from his slumber.  I accused him of every fault in the book, starting with never paying the bills and never fixing things in the house.  I pulled out all stops, I was so stressed out — accusations, criticisms, every belittlement I could think of.  I just wanted to hurt hurt hurt him, I felt so agitated with the pressure.

John did what he always does when I start screaming at him.  He patiently let me scream to my heart’s content.  When I was done dumping my verbal abuse on him in every below-the-belt way I could think of, I was able to finally get to what was really bothering me — I had too much homework and too little time to do it in.  It was only after doing that to John that I could settle down and get to work (after profusely apologizing, of course).  What a psycho I am.  How I ended up with someone as well-adjusted as John is a mystery — god knows I don’t deserve him.

It took the entire weekend to re-read the book, work it through my brain, and write the review.  By Sunday evening I hadn’t even started on the grammar quiz and the 1000-word story.  I was so exhausted, I told myself I’d wake up early Monday, do them at work and then turn them in late.  I went to work Monday and immediately had two fires thrown on my plate, so I never had a chance to work on the grammar homework.  As of tonight, I still haven’t done my final grammar quiz or 1000-word story, and I don’t think I will.  I just simply don’t have it in me to push myself to try to get them done any more.

After everything I went through (and put John through), the book review turned out to be a mere 7 sentences.  I emailed the review to the author who liked it, and my teacher who loved it, so I feel tremendously satisfied and proud of myself.  Still, I can’t help but wonder, if it takes this much agony to write 7 sentences, how on earth am I going to be a writer without eventually killing my husband?


6 Responses to “Writing and Hurting the People You Love”

  1. Ned said

    I’m sure my girlfriend can relate. She’s never the problem, but usually she’s close by and *not me*.

    The real kicker is when she sits there like some Zen master while I throw a temper tantrum… arrrgghh.

  2. Y’know, I think you should keep John.

  3. Jane said

    Ned: It’s nice to have someone who can dissipate ones tantrums. I find that if I have a tantrum to someone who fights back it inflates my tantrum. With John, the tantrum dissipates into nothing. I think the “zen” retaliation method has another advantage. It makes me feel like I was a total shit, which means I apologize sooner, and the possibility of my having another tantrum in the near future diminishes to almost-zero (can’t precisely predict when I’ll turn psychotic, which is why the value isn’t zero :P).

  4. Jane said

    Hal: He’s my Dylan 🙂

  5. Mike said

    Perhaps you will write about murder. It seems
    to be an entire genre.

  6. Ned said

    I think you’ve run across a practical purpose for zen. More than some fantastic inner experience or all-knowing enlightenment, I’d appreciate being able to deal with my life as it is. 😀

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