They made plans together for earlier in the day. He said he’d be in her area so maybe they could meet up. She had plans for the night but had time to meet for a few hours. He was a little later than she expected. She walked around her neighborhood to pick up a few things, and stopped for takeout. An hour passed and they still hadn’t met up. Not his fault entirely but it didn’t change that she had other set plans. After an hour, she text him to tell him she had plans and would have to see him some other time.
No sooner than she hit “send” he was calling.
He was angry.
“You know that really pissed me off! Why would you do that! You make me sick; you’re so inconsiderate, I’m so sick of you always doing this s*&t to me, every time, that’s really f*&%ed up!”
Breaking plans is never pleasant but it was getting dark outside and she had other things to do. He was typically late in their past dealings so she figured it would be at least another hour before he got to her house. She calculated it would leave them about 30 minutes of hanging out before she had to excuse herself to get dressed for plans she made far before his random call.
She simply did not feel like being accommodating. A decision most women don’t feel they have the right to make. She did.
She took a deep breath and said calmly “How am I doing this to you? You said you were already going to be in the ar…”
Her words never bounced off a cell tower because he hung up on her. After a few minutes he called back. It wasn’t the first time he “flew off the handle.” He had a pattern of yelling, then apologizing, yelling, then apologizing. It was exhaustive.
She looked at her ringing cell phone, shook her head, hit ignore, put it back in her pocket and kept walking home.
She didn’t bother to answer his texts.
I’ve never understood the concept of hanging up on someone then calling them right back. If you scream obscenities in my ear then hang up on me, especially in the middle of me talking, slamming a dial tone in my ear, which, to me, is an indication that you no longer wish to continue the conversation, was the choice you made. Not me.
I will not answer when you call immediately back. I am not being childish, I am not angry; I respect your wishes.
You do not get the opportunity to change your mind so quickly with me. You speak your treatment into existence by virtue of your actions. I’m not a doctor; but if I make you sick then I will gladly quarantine myself from you.
I completely understand his anger was coming from dashed expectations and I allow grievance for that, disappointment isn’t a good feeling; however, my understanding doesn’t have to lend itself to an acceptance of rude or abusive behavior.
The entire concept of loud arguing, name calling or putting my character down, evades me. I don’t believe in it. I don’t participate in it. My abstention tends to really piss people off. For me, problems arise when you are debating against unchecked, unbalanced anger. This isn’t useful.
I believe people think they “lose” their temper; but it’s more plausible that people toss their temper rather than lose it.
You haven’t lost it. It’s IN your hands; you’ve simply chosen to take your temper pull the pin from your grenade of insults and projectile shoot it against the wall or lock, load and fire it at someone. Most often the ones you love because deep inside you know they’ll catch your ignorance and hold it until its safe to return to you.
I’ve been exposed to many types of anger over the years. Anger used when you don’t get what you expected, or anger used as an excuse to conceal bad behavior. Anger displayed as an inconsolable tirade that addresses nothing but your own personal “feelings” and its most often trotted out when you haven’t gotten your way, want to deflect the situation, are revealed or in fear of losing something.
Most often it is a fear of losing someone.
Most my life I’ve found myself inside the fiery trenches of flaring tempers being launched like missiles amidst the battle of the sexes. I’ve experienced firsthand collateral damage an unchecked temper can cause. I’ve seen carnage, mended broken bones and treated broken hearts. I’ve witnessed the death of self-esteem and the murder of might.
I am shell shocked; but in recovery.
What I’m learning is to some, temper is about having control, not losing it.
“Snapping out” is just as deadly a weapon as field artillery used to destroy, defeat or disrupt your perceived enemy with integrated fire.
It is a “fear me, fear my wrath” mentality. If she is afraid of me, she will abide by me. She will do all that I want to avoid my anger, my wrath, my mouth, the possibilities of my actions. She will be chained to my bidding. And I don’t have to lift a hand. Legally, I’m untouchable.
Over a period of time you become an Ivan Pavlov’s conditioned reflect project. You will react negatively to the mere perception of his anger.
I’ve learned from the mistakes and missteps of others. I will train you on how to interact with me. You will not have to guess. And if you’re guessing it is because you do not believe me when I tell you what I will and will not accept. I will take a stand where my comfort level is involved. Name calling, putting me down, yelling then apologizing, then yelling then apologizing, I will not be caught up in a cycle of abuse under any circumstances. The moment I see, hear, feel a red flag – I will explain to you that this is something I choose not to deal with.
Irate behavior is a deal breaker.
I choose. I am allowed that. I wish every woman on this earth knew that being involved does not mean you lose your individuality.
I’ve been told my failure to react in kind is me behaving as if I don’t give a “f*&*” that I am cold.
I have a cold calculated indifference to any cycle of abuse. I listen close and watch carefully when people “spazz” because I will find valuable information in the landmines they’re planting. I stand quiet; but I am recording every word, every movement, every moment.
I recognize the signs and I avoid them at all costs. People deploy abusive tactics to maintain an upper hand on their friends/mates/lovers/husbands/wives/children.
The energy I expend screaming at someone who is screaming at me would be better spent doing something constructive with my behavior. I simply prefer to remain calm enough to effectively deal with your crazy. I will not be the fuel to your explosive fire.
I’m not against honest and raw communication. A good constructive debate can clear the air and all parties involved will walk away with a focused objective and clearer understanding of how they can do better in the future to avoid whatever precipitated the need for discussion. I believe in having constructive debates. They can be painful introspection into self, an uncomfortable reveal of truths and lies, they can take forever to reach an amicable solution; but if done correctly, they can be healthy.
How do I know it works? I don’t. But I’ve never heard on the News that a husband killed his wife in an act of debate.
“There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as moral indignation, which permits envy or to be acted out under the guise of virtue” – Erich Fromm