I have a bad temper.
Or so I’ve been told. Being told I’m in a bad humour when I’m not kinda makes me angry. Which I guess proves a point to most people., but as they say in Field of Dreams, “if you build it, he will come.”
I’m quite defensive of my bad temper. I wouldn’t say it was a defining thing. I react to things, your honour, which I think is kinda normal. Say something funny and I’ll laugh. Say something which upsets me and, funnily enough, I’ll get upset. Say something or do something which angers me and I’ll get angry. And you will know all of these things.
This is normal yes?
I’m not good at putting a lid on my emotions. I can’t hide my emotions very well. Obviously some situations mean you must, for example, you’re on a crowded tube train and someone clatters you with a bag as they turn around. Do I pull them by the scruff of their neck and stamp on their throat until they apologise? No. But I will say something to them making them aware of what they’ve done. An apology usually comes, and all is golden. Perhaps because, at times, I can look a little scary.
The only times I don’t feel anger are when I’m with my children. Obviously I discipline them if they misbehave, which brings me to the time that I did lose my temper with my son. A time I still feel guilty about.
We went to a local safari park. It was a day when I was going to be with the children, a day which would be fun. Perhaps I had too high expectations but at one point despite several requests to stop doing THAT, T behaved so dreadfully I said that if he did THAT again we’d be going home. And he did THAT again. And so… well. I lost my temper.
In the soft play section of this safari park I shouted at T and told him we were going home RIGHT NOW. I shouted so loudly that this massive room packed full of children and adults suddenly went quiet. I picked up K and T, one on each hip, and we walked out, me with two child panniers walking a bit like John Wayne, and we left the safari park despite T getting upset and telling me he would be good and he wouldn’t do THAT again.
“You had your chance to be good when I asked you to stop doing what you were doing. It’s too late now.”
We walked to the station in silence, waited on the platform in silence, and got on the train in silence. We sat on the train in silence. We walked back to their house in silence and I said goodbye. From the moment I had both T&K on my hips and we were walking out I’ve felt guilty about how I reacted. Perhaps I should’ve given T another chance, but I also felt that I had to carry my words through into meaningful actions. Ignore what I’m asking you to do, repeatedly, and there will be consequences.
T reminded me of this event a couple of weeks ago. We were walking in the park and T told me that good boys and girls get presents from Father Christmas. And he was a good boy. “I wasn’t a good boy at the safari park when we went Daddy, but I’m a good boy now. I’ve been a good boy since then.’
“I know son”. And I kissed him on his head. “I’m proud of you. You are a good boy, but it’s always good to do what people ask you to do, when they ask you to do it. Okay?”
Okay, so it all worked out well in the end. But it doesn’t always. I feel my emotions bubbling away inside me. As well as my head making decisions, plans and thinking things through, I know that my emotions are also capable of taking over at any time. Both things feel valid to me. The careful consideration that goes on up in my headbox, and the massive sweeping emotional waves that take me over from time to time. Both feel valid and honest and true. Yet one is often at odds with the other.
This morning, at about 3ish, I resolved to address a problem which has been pissing me off. Despite me telling myself not to. Rational Spencer says ‘Stay Out’ but Emotional Spencer says ‘You need to say how you feel. You need to say that this is wrong.’ Rational Spencer won this one. And I’m glad he did.
But so often I react to something and then I feel guilty about doing so. I say sorry quickly, and hope all is resolved. I probably say sorry again. And again. And make a big deal out of something which really isn’t, probably. I apologise and apologise but, upon reflection, what I’m actually doing is apologising for my feelings and my reaction to the thing that pissed me off.
That’s fucked up right? That’s not normal?
I’ve spent this post saying how normal it is to react to things, and then what do I do? I constantly invalidate myself by apologising for getting pissed off.
No wonder I’m confused most of the time.
Perhaps I need to take a chill pill. Cool my boots. Relax Max! Whatever Trevor! Hang loose. Chillax.
But tell me to do any of these things and I’ll fucking rip your head off and shit down the hole.
What are you like? A calm sort or someone spiky and emotional. What sort of things get you riled up and what do you do to calm down? Please let a comment loose in my usual slot.
And thanks for reading.