Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my

No this post is not about me dithering about what pet to pick for my hunter. I actually don’t have a proper hunter. I have a low level character that I intended making a hunter but who now turns out to be a vegetarian. Most frustrating.

No this is about anger and the beast within. It is WoW related (I understand the god of WoW blogs looks darkly on Wow bloggers who indulge too much in personal life talk) but it has been sparked (and don’t forget my tank’s name is Sparci too- see there are WoW connections already!) by something that did happen this week.

I lost my temper. This is a very big thing for me. Very big. I’m struggling with it. I don’t like confrontation. Some of you might have already picked this up from this blog. But this week I had to – if I was to have any self respect. But it’s nearly killed me. I won’t talk about the details – I will say only I was treated very badly and finally finally stood up for myself. This was after something like a 24 hour pep talk from my husband all day Sunday (bless him)! He only just stopped short of getting the Rocky DVDs out to inspire me further. I thanked him by tossing & turning all night long & trying to wake him at 5 in the morning to pour my heart out. He was his usual saintly self and launched straight into words of wisdom while only half awake (meaning his words were a little less profound than normal and involved something about elves, a goalkeeper and horse …there is a punchline waiting to be found in there somewhere).

Anyway I had to stand up for myself & I did but it was very hard for me. I like to please people. I like to get on with people. I like things to be soft and fluffy (like my dog). But sometimes I bury alot for the sake of peace. Have done so since a teacher rebuked me when I was young for arguing too forcefully in a debate and making what she thought was a spurious argument. And it wasn’t. I will insist until my dying day that Bay City Rollers were a good band.  I loved you Woody. Anyway I digress. I remember consciously deciding there and then to change my ways & hold more back in future & only argue again if I was 100% sure of my position and had every counter argument under the sun well and truly answered. But how can you do this? I have tried but it’s made me able to see so many sides of everything that the world itself is a polygon. It effectively froze me if I’m honest- never as convinced of my position as I should be, always scared I’d put forth a foolish position and say something stupid (crazily asserting that PeterPan came from the Netherlands – actually I once did say that….), always waiting for an absolute fool proof truth that was never in my grasp. My husband is so different. He will argue about everything no matter how little he knows. In fact the less he knows about something the stronger he asserts it! He isn’t scared to throw a view out there and watch it bounce around like a ball in a squash court, taking what comes back to him from any angle. My ball is always in the box. In the shop. Somewhere in the back of the storeroom.

I see this too in our different behaviour in dungeons. We are both very polite to the group. We always say hello right away (both feeling very silly when the other three say nothing). But I take it further. If there is criticism in the dungeon I try to diffuse it. If there is bad behaviour I try to control it. My husband doesn’t. He quickly learned the power of WTF and has never looked back. He wants to play the game and enjoy it, and while he is always polite & friendly, if someone plays up they get it from him both barrels. And if he does something wrong (he does sometimes no matter what he claims) & they criticise him he stands up for himself. He does not worry what they think about him. He has self respect.

I’m so different. I apologise when I die. I apologise when I’m a healer and somebody else dies. I apologise if I accidentally pull when I’m dps. I apologise as a tank if we have a big pull and it all feels messy. I apologise when I get lost. I apologise if I get lag. I apologise if someone else gets lag! Given all these apologies why I haven’t got a macro for “I am sorry” I do not know. While I’m at it I should make a macro for “Please walk all over me” too.

I’ve been the peacemaker in my family for years even though at times it has hurt dearly. And I am a peacemaker now. I have a naive belief that good will always triumph, that if I work hard I will get the results I want and the praise I need & that ultimately people treat each other fairly.

And I am so so wrong. And I saw that this week. And so I lost my temper.  Finally. But now I feel sick. Sick that I had to go so deep in me and reach what feels to me like the beast within. Lions and tigers and bears oh my.

Last night I dreamt I was covered in fur. All over my stomach in particular. I was using hair removal cream to get rid of it but it was still there. I remember thinking how can my husband love me when I look like this. Then thinking – well he always has loved me, he says he loves me, maybe it doesn’t bother him (I hope this doesn’t mean he fancies Ewoks my waking self thought- she is far more cynical than my dream self). I felt like an animal. I looked like an animal. And clearly my subconscious thinks I behaved like one.

Don’t get me wrong- I wasn’t feral. I stood up for myself but apologised for any aggression, said this wasn’t me, that I didn’t want this. I took several deep breaths to control myself & stop the tears, and when the person took steps to be conciliatory I was there right away- prepared to meet more than halfway, having made my point I wanted (desperately in fact) to move on and make everything soft and fluffy again.

But I don’t know if it can be. I know I did the right thing but it hurt so much and I feel so bad. I am someone who likes to be in control. That’s why I like expressing myself in writing. I can control that, edit it, soften it, balance it. I’ve taken this too far in the past. I once started rewriting my diaries -so determined was I to make everything perfect I even tried to edit my past. My past from when I was 11 years old. How much editing did that need? I soon realised the futility (and insanity let’s face it) of that and dumped the diaries. Seven years worth. Gone. But it freed me for awhile. Writing generally does help me control things & express myself in a very careful way. But this week I had to do it verbally. I had to free myself and let something out and it was powerful and awful, dreadful and terrible.

And picking up on one of my previous posts about how we always take ourselves into the game – how we can’t lose ourselves – so my eager to please nature and determination never to argue is carried with me in the game. I have had arguments in dungeons but I hate myself afterwards. It takes alot to provoke me but very little to hurt me. I feel almost unclean after a party chat war. I analyse it for ages afterwards, irritating my husband who has already forgotten the fight. But for me it matters. They all matter.

Sorry this post isn’t as much about WoW as it should be and isn’t as lighthearted as I wanted it to be. I think I’m still a bit shellshocked. I want to write about WoW but I can’t write about it until I write about this. The WoW words won’t come while I feel like I’ve sacrified part of myself in standing up for myself. How can that be? How can you feel like you’re losing yourself when you’re defending yourself? Must I totally submit myself to others to feel like me? And if that is me what does that say about me?

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8 thoughts on “Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my

  1. Just *hugs*. This was a really brave post. And it totally spoke to me. I always came out as AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE when I did the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Test.
    I think you just have to steel yourself a bit.
    Yes, it’s not nice to make someone feel bad (although, just because _you_ hate being argued with, doesn’t mean that the other person does)… but you also have your rights to be respected and not made upset. Letting the other person set the tone sometimes helps too.
    And.. lastly.. try to make it about a _thing_ rather than personal if you can.

    (I also have _really_ weird dreams 🙂 )

    *moar hugs*

    1. Awww thank you. You’re so right about needing to just steel yourself a bit. I did do it so it shows I can, but it’s horrible. But you’re spot on about other people not necessarily hating arguing it as much as me (some people seem to thrive on it!). I also like the idea of letting the other person set the tone & to make it about the thing not the person. That makes total sense. Many thanks. I really do appreciate the advice. Feeling better tonight than last night 🙂

  2. Hmmm, i’m confilcted. I understand both your husband AND you’re view. I’m the perennial ‘look after yourself and nothing else matters’,which is my main viewpoint, but I’m also the type of person who seeks my peers approval and doesn’t like to be disliked. It’s a tough one and not something that has easy answers.

    1. That’s really tough feeling both ways. The peer approval thing is always so hard. What I’m starting to realise is that people can be quite random in views and it’s all very subjective & sometimes based on all sorts of irrational biases. And if you seek validation through others at some point you will be let down because noone knows everything & people are sometimes (often?!) wrong. But you have to keep reminding yourself of that I guess. I agree- no easy answers.

  3. I know exactly how you feel, I’m the same. Not saying anything is usually what I do because saying something is just as painful.

    I’ve always wondered if upbringing has something to do with it. As a child when a visitor did something awful my mother would say “they’re a guest in our house, you must be polite.” If we were the visitors she’d say “we are guests in their house, you must be polite.” Kind of a no win situation.

    So I try to take tiny steps, I am very proud that I told a customer support rep yesterday that he was being ridiculous and the issue was their problem. Whew, that was hard and just on the phone, but a victory for me even though small.

    To me, you’re incredibly brave, I’ve had a feral with a dps/tank spec for probably 4 years now and haven’t yet had the nerve to tank. /respect Bravetank

    1. Thank you. It’s so nice of you to say you think I’m brave. I don’t feel brave – not sure you can when you feel so shaky before, during & after any confrontation!! My hands also shake before I even go into a dungeon to tank but I do at least calm down once I’ve got a few mob kills under my belt – it’s like I need the reassurance that I do know how to play. I agree with you totally about upbringing. Your mother sounds similar to mine! Manners and behaviour are very important to her. She talks now of how well behaved my brother & I always were but I wonder if a certain anount of free spiritedness and fearlessness is needed in children to help them be more spontaneous and confident? I think you should be proud of what you said on the phone – I can well imagine how hard that was. I avoid phone calls – would rather do everything in writing!!! It’s really nice to know there are other people like me, feeling similar things, but dealing with them too. It’s really helping. I feel much better this evening than last night. I think my post got bleaker & bleaker the more I wrote last night!! Thank you again for your kind words.

  4. Sure, you can call a firefighter who risks his life on a regular basis “brave”. But that doesn’t mean a timid woman doing things out of her comfort zone, not trying, doing them, cannot deserve the same monniker.

    People in general don’t want any fuss. Some as you really. They want dependability and a smidge of control. And if they can’t have control, they want to trust things. You trust that car that was slowing down and stopping to let you cross the street will not suddenly slam down the gas and try ‘n run you over. You trust nature won’t drop a plane your head. Still, you know it could happen. But you can’t live life afraid of everything, so you trust.

    Not just you, we all do. It’s society at large. It’s what separates us from, well, I don’t know any group of animals who coexist on a sufficient scale taht don’t trust eachother in some way. And I’d like to think I know a thing or two about Mother Nature. Not that I’m any kind of biolygist or something (liking bioligy in class doesn’t count).

    And then somebody goes and throws sand in the system. Not a wrench mind you. A wrench is too obvious. Some people do that. But then you see them on tv getting chased by the police ending up “tanking the floor” (to keep it WoW related!!). So yes, sand. Sand slowly breaks down the system. Pour a bit and the system will probably toss it out by itself. Some technician will clean it up, just a bit of dirt. It could happen. Toss in too much and the technician starts asking questions. Things might get a look-over. The sand-tossing people then quickly go about there business “Sand? No I don’t know anything about sand Mr. Technician. Upstanding citizen I am!”.

    But someone notices. The sand causes trouble. Perhaps he / she has seen it happen a couple of times and let it slide. Just a bit of sand. And now that the sand causes the Technician to investigate you’re too embarrassed to say anything. “Why didn’t you say this sooner?” They’ll ask.

    But you swallow the bitter pill. You go right up to the guy and say “No more sand in MY machine!” and “Goobye!”. Oh he might find another machine, but why should YOU take the overtime on his funsies.

    That’s brave.

    That’s you.

    1. Thank you! I woke up this morning at a ridiculous time (it’s 6.15am right now & I’ve been tossing & turning in bed since 4.15) replaying in my head everything that happened. It’s over a week now & I’m still struggling with it. Then I came downstairs, came on the computer & read your comment. It could not have come at a better time. Many thanks. You’re right- people generally don’t want to have to stand up & fight, but then sometimes you just have to. It’s hard but it’s necessary. I never knew how hard it was though. Not really. Not until I had to go so far out of my comfort zone. Thank you again. Really appreciate you taking the time to write this.

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