Today turned out to be a beautiful spring day! Our garden shines with bright optimism. Small yet, olive trees by the driveway are happily soaking in the sun's rays, after being drenched in yesterday's downpour. They were happy then too: we haven't had nearly enough rain this winter season.
We saw Goldie (she is the outside cat, whom Sylvie particularly detests) in the backyard. She began coming by again, sitting in the garden until I notice her and pour some cat food on a stoop. Today she was not waiting for me. She took matters in her own paws and hunted some small creature among the tall grass. Her orange tail was trembling with concentration, as she put one paw down, then waited and made another step. The phone rang loudly in the house then, and her hunt was over. She sat, licked her fluffy white chest, gave us a disgusted look and commenced to await our offerings. Soon her meal was finished and she sprung on the fence and walked away, no doubt, firmly putting us out of her cat's mind!
The morning began on not such a harmonious note, though. As Taka was getting ready for work, I, as usually, tried to avoid him at any coast. Mornings are tough for the Toyoda men: they feel unjustly pressured and are very likely to lose their tempers. Sonny can control himself better than his dad, to whom I just recently began to wish a good day before he leaves fro work. I didn't do even that for a couple of decades, because he can be very unpleasant in the morning.
Today I had to tempt the fate. Taka recently took away my credit card, and now I had nothing to pay with for gas. I reminded him, as he was heading for the door, that my car was on empty. "Are you crazy?!" - he erupted. "Why are you asking me now? I have to go to work!!!" All that was delivered in a highly abrasive manner, his face all screwed up with the ugly emotion that he felt. He was telling me that he was in too much of a hurry, but, nonetheless, he stopped and began his derisive speech: "You really don't care for anything! I have to get out early, and you bother me with your stuff right now!"
I couldn't take anymore of that: "Then stop talking and give me money for gas!" - I said. In reply, Taka walked out of the door, saying poisonously on the way: "Then ask Sonny to buy you gas!"
He was punishing me, like if I were a child, for a non-existent offense! I pulled my laptop closer and wrote him an e-mail:
"I did not appreciate you acting like I was a child to be punished for not asking you for the card on time this morning! I am equal to you and deserve respect and consideration. You also forget to do things and act in a way that makes my life inconvenient sometimes. I would appreciate, if you can keep control of your temper and treat me with the respect that I deserve!"
It made me feel better to, finally, let him understand that his behavior was unacceptable. At our last session, Mr. P. and I talked about it, and I understood that, my and Taka's concept of normalcy is faulty. We settled into an uneasy relationship, taking from each other things that should not be tolerated.
A little later, Taka wrote me a reply:
"I understand. I appreciate you talk not only on your term. I was about to leaving and you have plenty time to talk about it other time.
I respect you, but things need to get done sometimes. All behavioral change require practice. What do you want to me to practice?"
Did you get it? No? OK, I'll translate!
He says that, he was about to leave, when I asked him for a credit card. There was plenty of time to talk about it, so, why didn't I do it at some other time?
He is also saying that changing one's behavior takes time and practice. We used to do this thing called "Daily Temperature Taking". It meant that every evening he and I sat down and asked each other questions about the day and expressing any concerns that we had. I stopped doing it, because he broke the rules. He didn't want to hear me out and got mad at what I was saying. I felt that I opened my heart to him and he stomped on it!
Now he is looking for some other formula to practice good familiar communication instead of just being humane and treat his family with respect and kindness.
In his e-mail I also saw a desire to change things, isn't it true? So, may be, he will be able to absorb some necessary social skills this time. He is a good guy, after all!