Wild Thing

Yesterday we had a Christmas lunch with work and I found myself telling people -as you do after a couple of drinks- about my notoriously short temper. Funnily enough people didn’t believe me. Despite me having a flatmate who will verify my claims, I have often found that I apparently do not come across as a mean spirited soul. Well not mean spirited necessary, just spirited I guess.

As a child I could get really upset about things, that feeling of boiled up energy that suddenly releases itself usually without any direct link to the situation. Confusing for everyone involved, including myself. Only in hindsight I can recognise this as a sort of panic reaction to ‘not being in control of situation’. (Yes yes everyone’s a little autistic, they say!) Anything that changed plans or took me by surprise- triggered a moment of panic and a strong reaction. Even now, I sometimes need a couple of minutes to readjust when plans are changed. Though these days it involves less tears and tantrums.

As a teenager I just got upset about things I cared about a lot which during that time was a lot – life was black and white. Either I loved something or I loathed it. I had very strong opinions, strong emotions and very little control over it. I still have family members who tip-toe around me, afraid to be blown away by another emo-explosion. Being over-argumentative and having a way with words, I would challenge anyone and beat anyone in any hot-headed discussion. There was not always a feeling of triumph though, usually any verbal boxing match came with its share of guilt. Pride however stopped me from apologising to those I hurt with words – I was right, I had won. Ok, so perhaps the verbal boxing match was more free-style fighting; yet surely when you are fighting to prove you’re right there are no rules? All is fair in love and war.

These days people tell me I have mellowed a little. People don’t even believe the temper until they have witnessed it. Fact is: some who have witnessed it seem to be scarred for life and they keep a 6ft distance. I have accepted this as a consequence of my own foolishness that I shall have to live with – after all they are only human too. Having said that, I still feel I cannot apologise for something that is such an intricate part of me; it’s these raw emotions and strong feelings that keep me searching. It gives me a sense of adventure in life, it keeps me dreaming when hope seems gone. It makes me choose passion over sense, free over safe, and love over like.

By accepting it I can control it better. By discovering what I am or who I am and how I stand into relation with the rest of the world I can let things roll of my back a bit more. The more comfortable I am with me, the less I feel I have to explain or defend myself to the outside world.  My temper is unfortunately my knee jerk reaction, in a person who honestly wants to be nice, optimistic, helpful, happy and loving, my temper is my Wild Thing. Luckily my life’s burden was tonight kindly comforted by Spike Jones’ tagline: There is one in all of us. 

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