I feel okay. I feel better.
I’ll tell you what did it.
I was really, really angry after I came home. Really angry. I couldn’t calm down. My whole body was activated. And I started to think, why won’t this settle? Why does it just keep going on? They are intensely evocative. That is absolutely true. They tie into old angers. Also true. But it seems like there has to be some upper limit to the intensity of feelings. I don’t really know what causes anger in our bodies—is it a hormone? No idea. It just seemed like this isn’t right. Something isn’t right here. The intensity and the duration don’t make sense to me.
Because things aren’t getting through. I am afraid to feel the feelings, and they are in my body, but some part of me is still afraid that they are there. So some part of me is shutting down the awareness of my feelings. I don’t feel safe feeling, and so I don’t entirely know I feel. Feelings are part of what we know. They allow us to know things. So not feeling means I don’t entirely know what is.
I don’t entirely know I stood up for myself. (At lunch time, I kept walking. After the fourth “Is it like this?” I went to the toilet. Not all of me knows that happened. Not all of me knows I didn’t allow myself simply to be trampled.
I also began to think—and I knew this, but I thought more about this—all of this is very reminiscent of my childhood, which was a lot of being disallowed from doing what I think of as “my things.” I just wanted to read a book. I just wanted to play with my dolls. I wanted to write stories. And a lot of my childhood was, “Go do something else.” I was playing quietly. I wasn’t hurting anyone or being annoying. I just wanted to fucking read.
I have been generally reliving this in the staffroom. I noticed it recently—maybe yesterday or this morning. I was very intent on my work, and everyone who walked in made some loud disturbance. I think four teachers did this. The old man-toddler who shouts shouted. Arts Sir did pretty much the same thing. Somebody else I can’t quite remember did something.
I have also noticed there are two teachers who, when they have the same period off together, talk continually, which ought to be fine. They aren’t talking that loudly although it is typical Country X style—from opposite sides of the room. But they annoy.
I realized why recently. Although I don’t understand most of what they are saying and I mostly don’t care, I know that tone of voice. It’s a whiny, “Pay attention to me. Please pay attention to me. Mom mom mom.”
In the morning—whichever morning it was—I am deep in my work, and for some teachers, that touches a wound. I am being ignored. I feel lonely. Pay attention to me. They are making noise and disturbing me on purpose. The two look at me teachers annoy because they want attention. Actually, they don’t want my attention probably, but they want someone’s attention and I remember that.
I remember that hurt, “You aren’t paying attention to me, so I am mad at you and the thing you are doing that you enjoy.”
That’s probably the experience of someone who is introverted. An extrovert remembers being pushed away more. An introvert remembers being interfered with more. It still adds up to, “I don’t want you.”
I began to think why this happens. Because VP Ma’am acts on impulse. She doesn’t think what will happen if she behaves the way that she doe. She doesn’t think that when she constantly tries to control and interfere with someone’s activities, they don’t want to be around her. She has this fear that they won’t, but makes no connection. And I also thought I am sitting here trying to calm down from all the rage of being interfered with continually in pursuing my own goals of whatever kind, because I don’t want to be like that. I do understand the consequences. I do get that I am a shitty teacher when I go to my class angry. I do understand that even handling VP Ma’am with finesse will be problematic if I cannot calm down. She doesn’t. So she has no idea that after dealing with her, I have to go and calm down for a while. She doesn’t. She just lays into someone. Naturally, she has no empathy for me. She isn’t trying to preserve her relationships. For her, the chips can fall where they may. She doesn’t understand my experience at all.
So I thought all of that—why VP Ma’am seems to have no empathy for me when she constantly seems to intentionally impede my progress toward whatever goal I have. Why it’s such a part of my childhood memories. Why the anger won’t calm down. I felt a little better.
I went to buy some things then—things I needed, things for C. The whole time, no one tried to prevent me from doing anything. No one demanded I stop and pay attention to them. No one got alarmed when I walked to where I wanted to go. I felt quite a lot better. I also started to realize this isn’t normal behaviour, is it? It isn’t normal for someone to want constant attention, is it? It isn’t normal, for example, to go to the vegetable market and have someone have something negative to say about everything you buy. (She’s done that. I will not be going shopping with her again.) I feel very trapped right now, because I cannot get away from her and quietly do my work anywhere. Whatever I do, she finds me and prevents from doing whatever I want to do at that moment. But it isn’t normal. It won’t happen forever or for the rest of my life. Because it isn’t normal. Not everyone does that.
When I was 11 and trying to sit quietly and read a book, I didn’t know that. It seemed like it could be forever. It seemed like it could be everyone who wanted to stop me from doing “my things.”