Slow and Steady

Learning when to back off and when to speak my mind

Posted on: December 1, 2010

I’ve had some very interesting experiences this week. They have reminded me that sometimes you just have to leave people to their own devices. Also, sometimes, instead of being quiet to avoid argument, I really must speak up.

The bathroom in my mum’s house has a massive hole in the exterior wall, and the panel for the side of the bath isn’t on so the bathroom is permanently cold. There were also some problems with the toilet, the sink, and the sink in the kitchen.

I decided that even though it’s not my house, I’ll get the panel put on because I don’t want to go into a cold bathroom. I got someone round and he wasn’t able to do it immediately because the panel wasn’t the right size. He did everything else, and promised to come back next week (this week) to put the panel on.

Then I noticed a leak in the bathroom that wasn’t there before, so I called him, and he came round and changed the valve. I asked him what day he’s coming to fix the panel, and he said next week or the week after. I said ‘oh. What happened to this week?’, he started going on about how busy he was so I just said OK, and left it.

What I should have done, is tell him we had an agreement, and let him know I wasn’t happy with the change. It’s not like he’s doing it for free! It might not have changed the situation, but it would’ve made me feel better, and show him I’m not a pushover.

My Mum was away last week, and I thought getting the panel put on would be a nice surprise. Last night however, the leak started again, and she got upset with me for causing this new problem. I felt really hurt because I was only trying to help. The kitchen sink isn’t leaking any more, the toilet and sink are fixed, and you’re upset with me? After calming down, I realised that you know what?

It’s not my house.

If going away is more important to my mum than getting HER house sorted out, that is her decision. I’m not going to get the panel put on now. I’ll just run the shower before I go in so it’s warm like I have been.

It’s not my house.

Then today, my mum comes in shouting the odds about how much money is being spent on gas, as we have a meter. I’ve told her before that the meter is the most expensive way to pay for heating, and sent her the comparison table. What has she done about it? Nothing.

The heating is timed to go off in the mornings at 8.30 when she leaves for work, and come back on at 5.00 so she can come into a warm house.

I spend the days in the house with no heating, under covers with a hot water bottle. So why am I getting shouted at? Is it my fault that you didn’t notice there was no thermostat when that idiot of a man installed the boiler? I didn’t respond to her shouting because I thought if I opened my mouth and said what I thought, she’d get upset, but you know what? Sometimes the truth has to be told.

I just need to practise responding to these situations in a calm non-emotional manner.


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