Monday, September 14, 2009

Hammers and family

"Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with a hammer?
Because it feels SO good when I stop."
~ Grey's Anatomy

This was a very long weekend. Some of it was lovely and seeing my sisters was (mostly) really nice. The reason for the gathering was not a good one (which I will talk more about in its own post later). And the old arguments that just never seem to go away I wish would just die already.

I drove home yesterday and spent almost the entire drive angry and ranting inside my own head. And believe me, 8 hours is a long time to rant.

Everyone has a "hammer" of some sort. It's something you do that is bad for you, or for those around you. Maybe it's an addiction, maybe it's eating when you're not hungry, or perhaps you're a workaholic. You might even have several hammers in varying shapes and sizes. The reasons why we hold our hammers are many. Some people are too attached to their hammers to let them go. Some think that if they hit themselves enough times the hammer won't hurt them anymore. Some people won't acknowledge that the hammer is a problem. Perhaps they think they don't deserve better than the hammer. The reasons for keeping the hammers are as bountiful as the types of hammers themselves.

In my case the hammer has a name and shares DNA with me. 14 years ago I decided to put the hammer down. I realized that I had a very one sided relationship with it. I kept bludgeoning myself with the hammer thinking that eventually it would become a "normal" relationship. And then, at the age of 16, I realized that eventually enough is enough. I still talk to this person a couple of times a year and I didn't shut them out. I just stopped trying. Because every time I tried I was hitting myself all over again.

Why is it that the people whose hammers are most similar to our own, the ones who would understand the damage the hammer causes better than anyone, are the very same ones who encourage us to pick it up again? And are angry with us when we won't?

Unfortunately there isn't really a "DNA Anonymous" so I'm left to deal with this one by myself. I think that there should be a "Hammers Anonymous". There are two steps. 1.Put the hammer down. 2.Don't pick it up today. There are no lectures for slipping up and accidentally picking up your hammer. Tomorrow you just try it again. Put it down, and don't pick it up.

Hello, my name is Sara and I haven't picked up my hammer in 14 years.

And know what? It really does feel so good when I stop.


  1. I can only guess what the hammer is here but hope you feel good after indeed. Good luck ;)

  2. Whew! Good for you! Weeding out toxic relationships so that your inner beauty can blossom! : ) I can definitely relate! Through my experiences, I found that it was particularly difficult when I was younger. Like you, I expected that at some point the relationship would normalize and become healthy. However, I discovered that dreamy ideal was NOT working for me. Typically, those who carry the burdensome load of emotional baggage tend to damage the relationships around them. Sometimes they fling the contents of their own mess at us. Sometimes they try to bully us into carrying their load for them. Sometimes they beat us over the head with it. Which is why it sometimes is best just to go away and leave them to their own trappings while wishing them the best. Good for you for having the strength to do what's needed for yourself. I hope you feel better and are having a relaxing day!

  3. Isn't it usually those closest to us that have those types of emotional hammers? I know of one and like you I decided there was no use running in circles any more, I opted to get off the wheel and travel a road that may actually lead somewhere other than the place I was in.
    Hope the drive was worth it, you are such a great person and I love the way you articulate! xx

  4. I wonder if Bambi can get you some hammer repellent? She got axe repellent.....
    sounds like you have your own version of hammer repellent and I applaud you for your determination!


  5. THAT's what that knocking is!!!! I keep going to the front door and no one is there... Is that saying volumes??? Thanks for putting words to my hammer!

  6. I love you :)
    -litle little

  7. congratulations on resisting the urge to hammer away!

  8. This must have been a hard post to write, you've expressed it very beautifully. I've had a couple of hammers in my time but nothing as sustained and painful as yours clearly is.

    Hugs to you x

  9. sometimes you come across a post exactly when you need it. i'm currently hitting myself with a hammer and i think that now i will put it down. thank you for writing this. although i'm sure it had meant something different to each person who reads it, it was exactly what i needed on this day. thank you for that.



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