Today was really intense. So much information was shared, it was really interesting and I learnt a lot.
However, since the beginning of the course I’ve found myself consistently triggered by one guy. He’s had an aggressive demeanour, he’s very tall and seems to exude this darkness. Other people have commented, but for some reason it always seems to be him and I that get into verbal altercations. In part I blame my need to get control, prove to him, and myself that he doesn’t scare me.
In a lecture today, there was ongoing bickering. Sniping at each other. But it’s his physical presence when he looms above me that always makes me feel more aggressive and defensive.
At the end of the lecture, after a long and tiring day the lecture called us out on it. In front of everyone. Despite her comments, we still argued above her. Neither one of us wanting to back down. Other people in the class were clearly uncomfortable, there’s at least two women that always seem to be on the brink of crying. Easily affected by subject matters. Of course they seemed to take us two at loggerheads personally.
The lecturer decided to offer us the opportunity to meet with her afterwards to find a solution. I was happy to take that approach. I wanted to understand my own triggers and also have a safe place to analyse his aggression. I trust the lecturer and felt she would find a way forward.
Initially he was angry, unwilling to talk. Short with me and swearing. Whereas I just talked to the lecturer, feeling increasingly awkward. Would he get physical? Would he wait until the meeting to take it out on me. I felt my confidence wavering, emotions starting to rise. Part of me wanted to get up and walk out and leave the course. Leave all this shit. I’m tired, my separation is a constant drain, I feel I have no one in my life, the nightmares constantly ruining my sleep, my son being sick, my skin infection requiring more antibiotics. The migraines splitting my skull open. I didn’t need this trigger, and I certainly don’t want the fear of another man doing anything to me.
In time, I reflected on his strong points, he’s so eager to learn and we often make the same comments in the class. He’s not a stupid guy, and perhaps I’m equally as guilty as projecting my own fears into him. He’s very tall, abrupt and clearly defensive. I explained my position in terms of his physical appearance and demeanour leading me to feel unsafe. That I found his behaviour unpredictable. That I felt it necessary to express myself in a way so as not to appear weak. In my honesty he too opened up about his own lack of confidence and his struggle to be back in a learning environment. In our differences we found stark similarity. The lecturer was impressed by the speed at which we found common ground and spoke openly. She ended up excusing herself, confident in our ability to find peace.
A small element of fear lingered in my stomach, but I decided to ignore it and work with him.
We chatted for some time. He was open, friendly and seemed a lot less intimidating.
I have no idea how our future will go, if we’ll become friends, acquaintances or remain as just peers in study. But for one thing, I’ve learnt a new way of dealing with conflict resolution. I’ve found a quiet confidence in myself and the ability to be open minded despite past fears.
I’m back at my flat now. Worn down, the warnings of a migraine beating my head.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with the psychiatrist – a long time due. And I also had confirmation of my neurologist appointment on Thursday – this time it’s definitely the neurologist!
I feel overwhelmed by all the changes that are occurring in my life. Positive and negative. And the influx of emotions I’m experiencing.
I hope I’m closer to finding an inner peace.