I started feeling sick last Thursday. That night, I tried to go to bed a bit early, but my wife and daughter (10) were up screaming at each other in the next room until after midnight.
I am still feeling quite dragged out. Last night, I tried to go to be early. My wife knew I was still feeling sick. At first, I was kept up because our daughter kept using her echo at a loud volume. But then my wife got into a huge fight with our son (16) who would not surrender his videogame system. He kept pounding up and down the stairs outside of our bedroom. They both yelled a lot. I could feel the tension in my body and thought that I can't take anymore of this.
This morning, I told my wife about this and also said that the high level of conflict is affecting my blood pressure, which has not been high until a few months ago. Now it is over 150! She said she was sorry and acknowledged this. Then my wife starts talking about how well she handled herself last night. I held back saying "WTF are you talking about?" and gave an unenthusiastic agreement that she had tried to disengage during dinner. She repeated it several times and then made it clear that she was upset because I was not spontaneously praising her effort. I pointed out that it did not make sense for me to spontaneously praise her after she brought it up several times and I agreed with her.
I get to work--after missing two days--and she calls me up and starts crying and yelling about how I don't give her enough credit for trying. I pointed out that it was hard to do this after she was so inconsiderate about me needing sleep while I am sick. At one point, I mentioned that I always try to keep the kids quiet when she is resting. Oh, but she never rests! So it doesn't count! I then called her on dismissing my positive actions, just as she was yelling at me for not giving her credit for her efforts. Naturally, she repeatedly cut me off several times during the call.
As background, I grew up with my father and grandmother constantly yelling. It was often followed by physical abuse. My father whipped my thigh with a TV antenna I accidentally broke. My grandmother beat me with a hair brush or the metal clasp of a belt. Oh, and there was the game that my mother played of making the belt "talk"--opening an closing it so that it looked like a mouth and made loud slapping noises--as a warning about what I would get. Shout is therefore brings up a lot of traumatic feelings for me.