Having spent the last hour on Twitter ranting furiously at people bemoaning the sacking of (ex) BBC bully Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, I realised that something had been triggered for me personality, so decided to take a deep breath, make a soothing mug of tea and figure out what was really bothering me.
So there I was cuppa in hand, pondering my emotions carefully and it turns out that…
It’s definitely Clarkson.
Theres nothing I hate more than a bully. Especially in the workplace. In a position of authority.
As I was at the mercy of one of them for about 3 years.
Plus, it’s a shame I didn’t know that punching someone out in the workplace was OK, as I’d have had a field day on my exit interview ;-)
Then this song came to mind, Amy Winehouse’s sublime ‘What is it about Men?’.
More to the point, what is it about me and men?
This might sound like an obvious thing to say, but I’m not good with shouty, violent, threatening men. Right, so I don’t suppose anyone is, but my reaction tends to be different to most people’s when confronted by them.
Instead of being afraid and cautious around them, I want to get in their face and scream at them. Mainly I suspect it’s because I was too small, weak and vulnerable to defend myself properly when I was a kid. it’s put me in danger a number of times, but when the volcanic rage erupts I don’t tend to care about the consequences.
Sertraline helps. Thank God.
Something else added fuel to the fire the other day, and whilst I didn’t think it affected me at the time, I suspect I’m pretty tense about it now.
To cut a long story short, the other day in group therapy, one of the guys pulled out a knife.
Shocking, I know. That said, I immediately recognised that he was doing it for attention. Whilst always very needy and attention seeking, he is generally good natured, but this time I sensed his moodiness and resentment when we all were sat in reception waiting to be picked up by our shrink.
Anyway, this guy drinks green tea (or something suspiciously murky anyway) and always adds a slice of fresh lemon to his brew whilst we’re getting settled, but to date a knife has never emerged. The other day however, he rather theatrically took out an entire fruit, produced a serrated paring knife and proceeded to carve a slice mid air, smirking arrogantly whilst doing so.
A couple of the younger girls looked pretty unnerved, as they have also been abused in the past, and, by all accounts this guy once killed someone, but I was never going to give him the satisfaction of showing any kind of reaction whatsoever.
My suspicions that it was all for show were confirmed because even when he had his segment, he kept it out and at one stage even held it between his teeth.
The shrinks froze.
I glanced at him in derision.
‘What the fuck are you doing?’ I asked, ‘you look like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean.’
He grinned knowingly ‘Ah sorry about that! I just have to have lemon in my tea! I wasn’t about to go on a, um, another killing spree…’
‘Well if you are, feel free to start with me.’
He then put it away and we continued with the session, but every now and then he’d punctuate the conversation with some aggressive aside or comment.
Afterwards the girls were concerned, as he has kicked off in therapy before (never in front of me) but I tried to reassure them.
‘Don’t worry, it’s all for effect’ i soothed, ‘he’s just trying to get attention.’
But over the last few days, I’ve become more and more angry about it, and I just know I’m going to confront him next session.
When I started group therapy, I was under the impression that all the participants were female, so when i turned up for the first session and saw two men sat there, I was not comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong. I get on with blokes very well socially and as friends. I’m just not good at showing any vulnerability in front of them. But I gritted my teeth and got on with it.
And now, six months later, one guy has issues with me, and gives me sly little passive aggressive digs because I don’t want to have contact with him outside the sessions (something the girls have no problem with). And now this little turd thinks he can bully us into indulging his demands for friendship and love, facilitate his excessive neediness by tolerating the the long, boring, droning monologues that he foists on the group.
And more and more, I feel that I can share less and less because of the male presence.
It’s not like I didn’t try, but me, men and trust go together like lemons, salt and paper cuts.
I could let this slide, of course.
I could accentuate the positive as another song goes. Make lemons into lemonade and try and give him the attention he so craves.
But right now I’m more inclined to stick those lemons in the freezer, and when they’re hard, take them out and peg them at his stupid, smirking fizzog next time he pulls a stunt like that.
I hoped it might do me good to work with both sexes, but it’s honestly not working out that way.
How the hell am I supposed to build solid bridges with my male family? Accept authority from a male boss?
Let a man access my body, and more frightening still, my heart again?
I know I have to speak up, but if I do I’m going to try and address it with integrity but there is no point of me attending these session if they’re making me worse.
It’s a lonely place without intimacy with beings that make up half the population.
Men, I miss you; do you think we can work this out?
‘It’s bricked up in my head, it’s shoved under my bed
And I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?
My protective side has grown a mile wide
And I question myself again: what is it ’bout men?
What is it about men?