Passive Aggressive Behaviors

Yesterday I was having a… discussion with some people online about politics, morality and   forgiveness and the term “passive aggressive” was thrown around not directly describing me, but describing a hypothetical the people on the other side of the discussion would find offensive, and I wondered if that really meant what they thought it meant.  So I looked it up.

I’ve been in recovery for compulsive behavior and codependency since 2001.  And while I’ve had some relief of compulsive and addictive patterns, I continue to struggle with chronic disorganization, procrastination and avoidance.  Passive aggression is characterized by these and related behaviors.  But what really spoke to me was the theory on the origin of passive aggression, that we grow up stiffling emotional responses and the communication of wants and needs.

Without getting too down on my parents, I believe they tried to provide a good home.  But they were products of their own home environments and they had very different ideas of what constituted a good home.  By the time I was 14, they were legally separated and despite several adjustments in living arrangements, they finally divorced when I was 21.  My parents each struggle with chronic disorganization and compulsive behavior.

A genetic component is likely considering an relatively high rate of cognitive and emotional regulation disorders (autism, anxiety, attention defficit) among their descendants.  Though as I’ve explained to my own children, it may be part and parcel with above average intelligence and proclivities for engineering and art.  A lot of us are uptight, living in chaos, or twisting in the wind between the two extremes.

I’ve been thinking more about grad school, I guess from my birthday and stuff. I wrote about that on a couple of my other blogs. It’s something I will think harder about if, say, my husband doesn’t pass the bar exam. Otherwise, it’s probably a “when baby starts school” timeframe. I am also working on my memoir story still. I got out my nanowrimo from 2004, but it’s pretty heavily fictionalized and I just don’t know that it will be that helpful for the story I’m trying to write. Gah. I sometimes worry that I keep starting with whole cloth and each fresh start is moving me backward. Well, we’ll see. Then I have a few healthy lifestyle projects going. Like, 3 is a few. All sane people agree on that. One interesting thing I hadn’t realized I didn’t know is that eating disorders and addiction are regarded as separate by psychiatry. There is significant overlap. I mean, chemical dependency is delineated from behavioral addiction, but I really think it’s not that simple. If any addiction were strictly chemical, methadone and nicotine patches would be more effective than they seem to be.