Friday, January 4, 2013

Grr mode

This week hasn't been all that great so far, except for a nice meeting with a friend yesterday and an unexpected day off work on Tuesday. Since I was on my way to work when I got the news that my boss decided to take new year's day off, I headed to the Boulder Book Store where everything was 25% off, even on items already on sale. I purchased a calendar for my mom and a $4.00 used book for myself. When I got home, I figured I would do some writing, read a little and maybe do a load of laundry. Instead, I took an extra long nap and barely cracked open the new reading material. Considering I didn't stay up late celebrating, it's strange that I was so fucking tired.

In addition to dealing with excessive fatigue, I've had to get through two very uncomfortable situations in the last two weeks, one at work and one outside the job. Sometimes dealing with the public is a challenge, especially when alcohol is involved, and there's no doubt that working on the mall increases my chances of running into drunk people. The first incidence had to do with a customer being a little too aggressive and insulting. Though I stood my ground, I wasn't very happy about feeling badgered and somewhat vulnerable. Even though I refrained from physically escorting the guy out the door, I was thinking how great it would feel to do so. I have only put my hands on someone once, and that was because he was clearly a threat and probably not right in the head. The fact that he was probably 2.5 times my size didn't stop me, but it probably should have. My tendency is to either jump in with both feet or back off completely. I never know which reaction will be dominant.

The second more recent incident made me realize that I'm afraid of my own anger as much as I'm afraid of other people's aggression. I'm not 100 percent sure if I feel I might react inappropriately and do something I will regret or that I will regret NOT doing something. Maybe it's a little of both. Once, not long after my dad died and my emotions were a bit all over the place, a lady driving as if she were the only one on the road stopped for no apparent reason and then backed into my car. I had stopped and was waiting behind her, wondering why she was just sitting there, and before I could react, she plowed into me. She got out and started screaming at me, as if I had done something wrong. At first I got out and calmly explained that she had backed into me. When she kept barking, I sort of snapped. It was the first time I was honestly afraid I might take someone down. Rather than end up with a record, I forced my fiery self to get back in the car. I knew if I didn't, it might not end well. There's no denying the deep well of repressed anger inside me. In that case, the situation was a bit extreme because of the emotional edge I had slipped over with the recent death of a family member. Still, I can surprise myself with getting into things sometimes, so walking away doesn't always seem like a bad choice, though I wonder if it has become a habit these days. I can get so overwhelmed and quickly fed up with situations.

I guess when someone is in my space talking too loudly or yelling at me in a condescending way, I sometimes react poorly. I'm sure the uncomfortable feelings I experience have something to do with my past. I find it odd that people are shocked at an intense counteraction after being on the attack though. It's a space thing more than anything for me. Someone yapping at me at a close distance is going to get a stronger reaction than a nobody shaking his fist at me down the road. It's true that when I'm dealing with a flood of emotions, I will react more quickly and often without thinking things through, but I don't think that's anything out of the ordinary. Considering that the behavior of others can't be predicted, it might be a good move to get out of the way before anything happens. What really pisses me off, though, is that my reaction is considered by a few to be "crazy", when what's really fucked up is any guy, especially a guy I don't know, getting in my face in the first place. I guess I will never be OK with that, and, unfortunately, it has happened more than once.

Maybe walking away isn't such a bad thing when reasoning and speaking calmly doesn't seem to be working.

Are you a fight or flounce kind of person? If you're a fighter, do you keep it calm or get physical?

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