Michael can be extremely cruel to Andrea and I at times.
That was pretty evident last night.
She and I drove to the community center to get a calendar for fitness classes in the hopes of finding a beginning yoga class we could take together. By the time we returned (20 minutes later), Michael was seething and accused us of of purposely cooking up excuses for leaving the house. He's lonely, he bellowed. To which Andrea replied that she's lonely during the day at times despite being surrounded by people at school. Then he said something really cruel to Andrea which I hope she didn't hear because by that time she was halfway to her room. (It's a coping mechanism she's developed - find a safe spot away from it all.) I told him he was totally out of line.
Not willing to fight/argue, I told Michael in total sarcasm, "Yes, you're right we look for things to do outside home to get away from you."
His response, "Fix me a cup of tea." The rest of the night before bedtime was tense. I reminded him that my brother and his best friend want to spend time with him, but he's pushed them aside. (Don't like Martin - he's an idiot. I have nothing in common with your brother.) He's jealous of the time I spend with Andrea - his needs are more important than hers, he claimed So, I sat in the family room with him, listened to him and watched the inane television shows he likes (South Park and Tosh.0) and then excused myself to get ready for bed.
I had trouble getting to sleep so I read some more of Carol Kent's book that I mentioned yesterday. Was it ever meant for me! The chapter began with a quote from Eric Liddell: "Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God's love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously working out his wonderful plan of love."
It's pretty apparent that Michael doesn't have a clue about redemption - to help in overcoming something detrimental. The anger in him oozes onto us and somehow we have to find a way to rise above the gooey bits. Even in this situation, as Ms. Kent, pointed out, we can experience a spiritual and emotional empowerment. I can certainly help Andrea toward this as well.
What about Michael though? Anger and stubbornness are two of his traits which never were endearing, but at the moment they seem to be possessing him more and more. As he pointed out again to me last night, he's dying. Wouldn't we want to say in the future that we helped him, he asked. My position is this, how does he want to be remembered?
Right now, the answer to that one is not nice.
I gotta get to work. Sorry for the tone of this post today. I had to get it off my back, so to speak.