Saturday, November 09, 2002

When the Going Gets Good, the Tough Freak Out

My life is good. I have all of the bottom teir of Maslov's Heirarchy of Needs fulfilled. I even have some of the stuff on the other teirs. I have friends who keep me company and banish the lonliness. I have great books to read. I have a class I'm taking. No complaints. I have a job where my boss recognizes my hard work, treats me like a human being, and is giving me a chance to succeed - or fall on my face.

It's funny that at times like this I find myself most combative - internally and externally. Old fights erupt in my head and make me angry - especially those concerning my mother and other people who told me all my life "you can't do that." The chip on my shoulder reappears and I feel like I have to prove myself all over again.

Fortunately, I'm able to recognize this 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent - when I actually react strongly to those old memories or other people's stupidity or prejudice - occurs when I'm very stressed.

For example, in class the other night my instructor made a somewhat innocent remark that pissed me off. He asked me to give examples of what I do for a living. I told him that I'm writing job guides for the removal and installation of hydraulic components for an unmanned aircraft. He started bobbing around and said, "Oh, guy stuff!"

After I ripped of his head and shit down his neck in front of the entire class I found that I didn't feel any better, so, right after he announced break and again in front of the whole class I apologized, explained that I was having an unusually stressful week, and that "innocent" remarks like that usually bounce right off normally. Then I excused myself for the rest of the night and went home and went to bed.

My goal in life right now is to recognize when I'm stressed so that I don't respond inappropriately to things. I'm going to try to learn to keep my mouth shut when I know I'm stressed out.

We'll see how I do.