Today, I met with my therapist, and I was describing to her why I was annoyed about my mom’s reaction to Chris’s parents coming last night. As I’m telling her what transpired, she cuts me off at some point and says that she’s made the observation about me that when I discuss something that is very emotional or sensitive that I laugh. That’s true, I said. In fact, Chris has pointed this out about me relatively recently. Why do you think you do it? She asked. My initial response was for external reasons, that it was to make other people feel more comfortable about a topic that was not comfortable at all. She breaks into a little smile and says, Do you think you need to make me feel comfortable? Hm. Well, that’s a good point.

Why do you laugh? She asked. And I said that in 99% of these situations, I just think the overall thing that happened is ridiculous or just plain stupid. Why would she just predict that Chris’s parents would not be nice? Or why would she get so mad and hold a grudge because one isolated time, someone asked her if she wanted to remove her hat when entering someone else’s house? These things are not a big deal at all to normal people. My therapist responded, yes, that may be the case and is usually the case, but can I say that I think you do this because it’s your way of expressing your anger, and instead of allowing yourself to feel, you try to skip the anger feeling and go immediately into the “that’s ridiculous!” laugh feeling?

Yes, it’s probably true. Now I need to stop laughing at myself as much when I describe these situations to outsiders.

I guess I’m never going to fully get over my anger toward my parents. It’s just a fact that I need to deal with for the rest of my life. But I think so far, I’m doing a pretty decent job considering how much I talk to them proactively and how often I go home and do my good-daughter duties.

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