I've been fighting with people on four different fronts of my life and found that it removes the spirit. I've felt anxiety, unease and despair. My daughter-in-law, true to form, did something I disapprove of and once again, brought chaos into my life. I've spent the better part of the last 8 months trying to force her to live according to my standards and it's sapped me emotionally and physically.
An old friend, who works at the bank, offended me. Bill and I argued. The downward spiral continued with an unexpected and vicious attack on facebook from a nephew who's been apparently nursing resentments from his mother's death. (I don't know why my family thinks I'm the responsible person, my sister got really mad at me when my other sister's daughter died and I didn't call her first---she's not mad at our other sister or anybody else in the family, just me.)
I used to jump right in on these types of battles, but anymore, they just wear me out. I defended myself to my nephew; disassociated myself from my daughter-in-law, first attempting to take responsibility for my part in the debacle, made an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile with my granddaughter, who got caught in the crossfire; voiced my objection in the way a bank transaction was handled, but I felt no peace.
Finally, I had a good 10 hour cry and dang, I feel a little better this morning. But let me tell you, contention is a soul killer. I'm not at peace, but I'm not in that dark place I was a couple of days ago.
I feel like a failure in life. All the things that were important to me, the goals I was committed to, have turned out wrong. I made serving others the focus of my life, but actually, I think it was about controlling others and forcing them to be what I thought they should be. I've worked for years on this tendency in Al-Anon and have made minimal progress.
But, increasingly, I'm learning that human contact is the most disagreeable thing I do every day. So, now I'm making Bill and his ex-wife deal with this daughter-in-law (Bill's already frustrated, but I do not care. It's their turn). My nephew, I just have to turn over to God. My friend at the bank? Well, lesson learned. Changing accounts as soon as it's possible.
The older I get, the less sure I am of anything. But I have learned that bad times don't last. Nor good. Might as well please myself in the meantime.