Don't Push My Buttons

I felt this story. I grew up with a step-dad that was very easy to get mad. Mum would warn me that he would ‘hit the roof’ and so often he did.

To make matters slightly more complicated my younger sister had a brain hemorrhage at birth (and also has ADHD) and so has always been a big handful for both of them (Although Mum did the most work and is still doing so). So my childhood is one of yelling matches, unfair convictions and hiding in whatever room I could find to sit alone.

I think the fact he stepped in at age four meant that I did have a few reservations about the new guy…but I really didn’t deserve the bulk of what I got. He chased me down, tugged my ears to drag me away from any hiding spot…he busted down locked bathroom doors…all because I was naughty? I was furious but weak.

And then as I got older, and he would yell at me, I began to yell all the louder at my younger sister. I love her and always did, she smiled first for me, but I was still unfair to her. Before long, she was taking chunks from me. We couldn’t sit together in the car, my little sister was abusing me! And I tried my best to restrain myself, but she was acting like devil spawn…more then once I snapped and lashed out, always resulting in my telling off. My sister didn’t know any better, she just wanted a response…but the way she laughed while she did it, I couldn’t help but feel victimized.

Twice my sisters were taken to A&E because I slammed doors on them, fingertips caught in the slam.

I learnt to dwell on things that bugged me, because I had no-one to bounce these thoughts off. I got sort of twisted for awhile. Went to child psychologist and got nothing but ice-cream and red-bull.

Then I went to boarding school. Even Mom admitted that this was to help with the constant battles I was having with my step-dad, I said no. She knew what was best (And in hindsight I agree) I went away.

I would still fight with him when I went home sometimes, but at least now it we were holding together a happy family for at least one weekend. Two week or longer holidays were often mixed with conflict.  

A few years ago we argued over the Christmas holidays, I became physical with him, pushed him hard, he pushed back, mum cried for us to stop. I stormed out.

I always storm out. That’s my mechanism. Get away and get rational.

We don’t fight anymore, my relationship with my step dad has leveled out and when I am home we are both civilized and don’t step on each other toes. I’m not afraid to question him anymore.

I shy away from extreme emotions, don’t get too exited, don’t get too upset, and don’t get too anxious. These are the things that lead to extreme reactions. When I’m in a fight with my flat mate, as sometimes happens as he is a New York’n with pretty solid opinions on the world, I try to maintain rules of conduct in my mind. Don’t get personal, don’t be rude. But even then, I’ve been to that point, yelled and pushed, picked up and thrown…ordered, blackmailed. I can be wicked.

Adrenalin released like that shouldn’t be for friends and family, it should be there for the dangerous situations we hope will never happen.

So yeah, I am afraid of myself in that regard, worried one day someone will push all the right buttons to get me to the point of irrational rage. In that frame of mind where any self-serving action is justified, where another’s pain is seen as justice.

So be nice to people!

smebro smebro
22-25, M
1 Response Aug 18, 2007

I'm actually a pretty nice person