I have never been in a fight. Not as such where I fought back. Keith and his merry band of bullies did hit me quite a bit in primary school, but I never fought back because I couldn’t see the point. I was defeated before I balled my fist to strike back; defeated by my own mind that said winning was impossible. That said, I don’t lack aggression. I think I actually have more aggression than most people.
Having a volatile temper is both a boon and a curse. If you air the temper once or twice in a controlled environment it acts as a deterrent to aggression against you. Bullies in potentia will think twice about going for a guy or girl who can explode in so many expletives and emotional mega-joules that they need a fallout-shelter to protect them from the scorching heat of the outburst.
On the other hand, sometimes you don’t control yourself, and in particular when the bonds of iron-will and inhibitions are loosened by that most treacherous of drinks, alcohol. So, I nearly got into a fight yesterday, and it was Mark that saved me from a trip to the constables and the courts. Now, after, I am thinking that the joys of summer and friends should be constrained more. I should soberly analyse what went on in that perfect storm of jealousy plus alcohol plus triggered bully defeatism which in turn triggered a deep-seated resistance to being bullied again. It is also not a side of me that I am particularly proud of, and it is a side of me that I want to expose to Mark as little as possible. Sometimes I fail, like yesterday.
It started with me discovering another guy flirting with Mark. Mark noticed it too, and it made him quite uncomfortable, and he wanted to leave, but we had promised Ben and his new girl that we would stay. So, he decided to try to ignore it, but the guy continued. I’ve mentioned my jealousy before. It is not a little tinge of worry; it’s a full on assault of suspicion and vehemence. Of course while this happened we were drinking beer and wine, and eating barbecue food, listening to the gulls and the waves and the wind and the music.
So, as I grew angrier and angrier, and my fuse was well and truly light and burning toward the inevitable nuclear detonation, this prick sits flirting with my guy whose head is in my lap watching the stars and listening to the music. There’s no stronger signal of couple-hood than that is there? That didn’t stop him. So at some point my non-sobriety and my temper crossed the Rubicon and I pointedly told him to back the fuck off. Expletive included.
Instead of backing off he played innocent. But the glances he passed along my boyfriend’s body was anything but innocent, and in particular where he looked, and those reaching-out-and-touching Mark all the time, and the smiles, and the attempts at eye-contact. Oh no, even in my explosive state, and in my growing panic, and in my sweltering jealousy, I knew what he was doing.
Things escalated from there until the point where Ben asked the other guy to leave, which he did after five minutes of arguing over the shoulder of Ben who held him away from me. I, the little ball of fury, was useless for the rest of the evening, and I drank more than I should have to try to quell the burning inside. But it only grew worse, and I was incredibly sullen and withdrawn for the rest of the evening until we headed for the sleeping bags and rest.
Today, when I think about it, it strikes me that the biggest emotion, the one under the jealousy and the anger, was fear. Fear that one day Mark will see that he could do better than me. Fear that one day Mark will realise that I’m a down-marked thing from the bottom of the bargain box. That I’m not good enough for him. And I think my jealousy comes from that; and it is entirely possessive in nature. It wants to prolong us as long as possible.
And while my friends and the love of my life, kept me from running afoul of the law, I think I need to get a handle on that fear, and I don’t think anyone can help me with that. I have to go to the dark side of me, and defeat that side of myself, or else the paragraph above this will become true, and not just lies whispered by that dark side of me. I have to defeat it, somehow.
The same feeling that I had when I fell down in the school yard when Keith and the rest caught me is still strong inside me. Unless I get a grip on it, I am defeated before I even start. I don’t know how to get past it.