So I’m hopping on the bandwagon with this 30 Days of Truth stuff. Mostly because I have a tendency to be overly truthy on this thing anyway, so why the hell not, right? So okay, 30 Days of Truth. Here we go.
Day One: Talk about something you hate about yourself.
WHEREVER TO START!!!!!
Here’s the thing. I could go on for eons about all my self-loathing tendencies and how I tend to self-injure in mental and physical ways in order to deal with that self-loathing. But we go into that shit enough on the blog, just look under the category “insanity” and you’ll get a good idea.
With that stuff already covered, I shoved it aside and just answered it off the cuff. First thing I thought of. So here we go.
One thing I deeply hate about myself is my total inability to deal with confrontation. I have no idea where it stemmed from – I did not grow up in an abusive or volatile home, but from a very young age I was bullied, and instead of growing a thick skin and a stiff upper lip, I collapsed in on myself like a bad soufflé. The words were always there, right below the surface, the witty comebacks, the straight spine and self-confidence, the anger, the fury that I was desperate to let out.
It never came. Not against anyone else, that is. Against myself, sure, I was a pro. But even the slightest confrontation with another person set me into hysterical tears, a wellspring of self-loathing and begged apologies, as I backed away like a beaten dog. I’m talking grade school here, before kids got REALLY mean. Where the hell was my backbone? I had two strong parents, I had a pretty decent brain in my head, I SHOULD have been able to deal with simple confrontation like any other person.
This was before the days of diagnosing kids as having bipolar and the like, so I’m not even bringing that into the equation. Let’s take the bipolar out of it for the moment. I was just scared. Scared of confrontation. Scared of other people. I was a clumsy, awkward kid with few friends, who would rather be alone with a book at recess than playing kickball. Teachers tried to make me interact with other kids. I fled. Because what if they said something mean? Then the tears would start and THEN they’d REALLY make fun of me. And of course, on the playground in the early 80s, that was the zenith of the social ladder: The kid crying on the playground.
That kid grew into a weepy teenager, a sobby young adult, and a sniffly thirtysomething. I’m a crier. Always have been, probably always will be. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and MAN do I hate THAT. I wish I could wear a suit of armor around my emotions and the perceived wrongdoings would just go *PING* off the metal. But that’s not something that has ever, or probably will ever, happen.
And you know what? I hope it doesn’t. Because no, I don’t deal with confrontation well. I jump like a jackrabbit to apologize for things I didn’t do, to make right the wrongs of the world, and the wrongs that I am convinced I have done, even if all evidence is to the contrary. Am I over-dramatic? Well, sure I am. But along with the weepy confessions and apologies come the bon mots, the snappy comebacks, the thrust and parry of a good humor piece or dialogue. If I wasn’t dramatic, I wouldn’t be me, and if I’ve done any growing at ALL in my 33 years, it’s that I have accepted that I AM WHO I AM. No one’s going to change that, and that goes for me as well. I’m not going to change ME, even if I’d love to be an Ice Queen some days, if I was, I wouldn’t be Miss Banshee. Danielle. Me.
Yeah, I hate that I can’t have a simple argument without collapsing like a consumptive Bronte heroine upon my figurative fainting couch, but if I had to give up the fragility, outrageous dramatics, and deep empathy that make me…Me? I’d be nothing at all.
So if we’re ever arguing? And I start to cry? Just keep going. It’s a reflex of mine. I can hysterically sob and have a rational conversation at the exact same time. Most people get frustrated and stomp off, which I totally understand, but if it ever happens with you? Gimme a chance. I might even make my point, if you don’t mind handing me a tissue or twelve.
I hate that I can’t deal with confrontation. But I’d never want to NOT be an emotional powderkeg. That’s Miss Banshee. That’s Danielle. That’s me.