But I aint no vampire. I am a normal girl. In fact, I am a NICE girl. One of those girls who grew up without making any fuss. No tantrums as a child, no pre-pubertal mischief or teenage shenanigans. No questioning of authority, no deviations from normality. All nice.
A boy would have had a different normality to live up to. His Anger would have been expected. He would have been assumed to fight for his right to play with the toys in pre-school, be aggressively pubertal in his teens, and defend his woman's honour in adulthood. His anger would have been expected.
But I aint no boy. I behaved just as expected. Always. Well, almost..
The Anger always come in short bursts and strong flairs. Like that time when I was 14 and my new pair of jeans (an excellent pair of stonewashed Crocker's) felt too tight and I suddenly screamed, cried and pulled large tufts out of my hair. Or when I was 17 and cooking dinner and salted the food too much and screamed and threw a plate in the wall. Or that time in my mid 20s, when my opinion was dismissed in discussion at a party and I kicked a man hard on the shins. And now, two weeks ago, when the most moral man I know told me I was behaving ridiculously, and all I wanted to do was to punch him in the face. Hard.
|A flair of Anger can be powerful and|
completely uncharacteristic of your own being
But two weeks ago, when I suddenly felt the type of Anger that would have turned me into a domestic abuser, I came to an important realisation.
First, I'd like to make it clear that I do not believe that were as humans are built like pressure cookers - that feelings of sadness or anger can build up inside until we have "a good cry" or "a fight waiting to happen". Our brains are more sophisticated than that. In fact I think it might actually be harmful to always act on our feelings, as it will create a possibly damning behavioural pattern. If there is anything we humans are good at it is getting into habits. There are many people out there with a habit of crying, getting angry, or depressed. And I believe a change in behaviour is the only thing that can help. What was it Einstein said?
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
However; what my insight into an abusers brain (which at that microsecond happened to be my own) made me realise was the incredible danger we are putting people in by assuming a predetermined behaviour.
I grew up behaving exactly as I was expected to behave. However, that turned out not to be at all suitably to my true being. My Anger was not allowed, so instead of acknowledging to myself that my feeling were allowed I built them up inside and only let them come out in strong flares - which only led me feeling more miserable. Human phycology is obviously exceptionally complex, but I think we can all agree that one sure way of making an unhappy human being is to suppress her natural behaviour.
This leads to a ridiculous situation where little girls are assumed to be all nice and quiet, boys are assumed to be loud and aggressive, teenagers are assumed to be moody and hostile, women are assumed to be vulnerable, have shallow interests and gossip about their friends, men are assumed to be strong and intelligent and have uncomplicated sport-centered friendships.
If we happen to come across an individual whom's true natural behaviour matches all our assumptions, then I think we would be very lucky indeed. We are all humans and our behaviour spans over the whole register to varying degrees no matter what gender, and obviously also no matter what skin colour, background or education we happen to have been blessed with.
Assumptions are likely to make us all unhappy and if we are really unlucky they might make us behave in a way that not only hurt others, but is against our own true beliefs.
Let's do our best to open our minds a little and throw our assumptions away.
|I wonder how much things like these help cement our assumptions of children's behaviour?|
Will it make girl behave less angrily than she really might feel?
Will it make a boy behave more angrily than he is comfortable with?
|Sometimes all it takes is a clever comedian to point |
out how much we actually assume about each other, (and our dress sense! :D)
// Tee -- Wanted to write a short story, but had a brain full of mess. So thought I'd have a bit of a Tee-rant instead :)