30 Days of Truth: Day One

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.

Well.

Hmm.

Argh.

Fleh.

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.


Comments

30 Days of Truth: Day One — 9 Comments

  1. You just described my childhood and adolescent years to a T. (Or is it tee? I’ve never used that in writing before.) I would never stick up for myself. Until I forced myself, I guess. And then I would fistfight because of… nothing. Stupid things. I experienced both sides of the continuum – depression and no backbone to fury and fighting. It’s made me into a stronger person, all the fighting, but it’s not something of which I’m proud. I’ll still choke a bitch, but I’m much more law-abiding now.

    I so, so, so wish I could cry. It comes out during the Sarah McLaughlin/ASPCA commercials or when they reveal the winner on American Idol. Everything else is just numbness.

  2. I hate confrontation, too. And then went and married a guy who doesn’t actually *live for* confrontation, but comes pretty damn close to it. He just believes in confronting issues as they crop up, rather than sweeping them under a rug where they might be stewed upon for ages before turning into grievances that may or may not have anything to do with what actually once happened. Ahem. I can speak from personal experience when I say that second option doesn’t always work out so good.

    One of the side effects of living with confrontation and talking over all those feelings, for me, has been to become more weepy. I was always emotional, but I honestly cry at the drop of a hat now. I like to think it is endearing, but sometimes I wish I could turn it down just a little bit.
    Amy @ Bitchin’ Wives Club last post: My Dream Vacation… With Kids

  3. I tend to mutter things under my breathe and make a lot of WTF? faces, but actually yelling back? No. Law school should have prepared me for that at least.

  4. I get it. I don’t hate confrontation as much as I hate people being upset. That kills me.

    And I understand about the crying. It’s a defense mechanism of mine, too, believe it or not. 🙂
    sweetney last post: Boundaries

  5. I am EXACTLY the same way. I hate confrontation. I know part of it stems from years of abusive romantic relationships (that’s right, I didn’t learb my lesson the first time…or the second time either for that matter) but I’ve been that way my whole life. No backbone. Even though I can snark with the best of them, I can’t bring myself to stand up for myself. I always accept the blame in the argument even if, like you, I did nothing wrong. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I’m academic, arty and creative rather than athletic or Type A. Who knows though. OK, I’m done with my novel now but I don’t know how to end it so…um…yeah, I totally feel ya! 🙂
    mamaerin317 last post: Ten on Tuesday

  6. Nice to see you survived the Big Move of your blog. Congrats! You’re “New Miss Banshee” on my favorites now. A whole new you, just like that!

    I am another confrontation-hater. Takes me MONTHS to work up the courage to say anything even remotely stand-uppy for myself, such as asking for a raise. Major agita. However, whilst you are emotional, I am stoic, about everything flung at me, literally or figuratively. I have a poker face Lady Gaga would envy.

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