My book list reads pretty funny for the past year. It ranges from the hardest attachment and trauma theory to the 50 Shades of Gray (trauma effects played out in sex) with a side helping of history, fluff and encouragement to keep me sane.
Last night I put aside "Overcoming Passive Aggression: How to stop hidden anger from spoiling your relationships, career and happiness" by Murphy and Oberlin. It was that sort of book that I needed to read - because for years I have known at the most basic level what P-A (Passive Aggressive) behavior is - but have had no real comprehension of how it was affecting my life and household.
First let me say that P-A behavior is super common as a pattern for those under the ADHD, FASD, LD, RAD, trauma, and insecurely attached realm. It can start as a coping mechanism for some and a control mechanism for others - it can be intentional or unintentional and very nice -loving - smart - kind people can be using or participating in it without even knowing that it's going on simply to avoid direct conflict. Hidden or repressed anger also has a large corner in this issue and truth is that almost anyone can use it as a method of interacting with other people.
Reading this book made me realize that throughout my life some of the behaviors that have freaked me out most have fallen into this category. Those ones where something just felt, tasted or sat wrong in a certain situation where I was taking on blame (usually) and responsibility for something that wasn't my problem because someone was asserting or implying that it was. Looking back I can see that I was simply enabling a person engaged in P-A behaviors by overcompensating and taking the weight off them - which is why it felt so confusing. Be they a child or adult I had been playing the game and carrying out my part remarkably well. Though I can't really decided which type of enabler I am (I think I would be in a 'someone has to fill the void' category) - there is no question - that is what I have done.
I read the book twice and took notes. This week I hope to talk with my kiddos about what the whole P-A game is so that they can begin to see the dynamics in their own actions, understand that they can be direct and honest with both their needs and anger and hopefully reset our course so that the P-A game can be put back it its box on the shelf.
This book is definitely one I will keep and share.
Happy direct, honest and real communication to you today! Go in peace.