In my last blog I shared about the start of my journey of self discovery. The changes in the way that I viewed myself were gradual and small. I completed the paper and enrolled in another as well. Whilst life at university was rosy I was still struggling with life outside of academia. Circumstances in my home life were pretty dire. Those of you who know me personally will be aware of some of those things. I do not have any issue sharing these things on a one to one basis but for the purposes of this blog I will only share information about myself. If you wish to know more feel free to engage in a discussion. I am happy to share it in a private forum.
My family continued to grow however I had a deep sense of dissatisfaction in my life. I had acquired a very reactionary persona that manifested itself as a bombastic argumentative presence. This largely became present when dealing with injustice, most often injustice towards others. I had very little patience when dealing with authorities. More particularly when they were not acting in good faith or being obstructive or acting outside of their code of conduct. I ensured that I knew the relevant law and developed a reputation as a bush lawyer of some renown. I had a simple mantra when dealing with officialdom, I would ask people this question, are you saying you can’t help me; answer my question whatever the issue was or you won’t help me. If you can’t help me then put me through to someone who can and if you won’t help me then you better make sure that you have a very good reason because I will eventually find someone who will and I will ensure that they know why I have to go to them.
I have a deeply entrenched lack of faith in a number of New Zealand’s public services fed by the many bullies that I have encountered working in such positions over the years. I have developed an allergy to bullies but more on that another time. I was aggressive and angry. It took me a long time to work out how I presented to other people and to learn that sometimes (often) it was counter productive. This was based on the fear that I would not be heard, (ie) I would get ignored. I equated not getting my own way as being ignored. At the root of this was fear, fear that my childhood would be perpetuated that I would remain the small, bullied boy whose life was miserable. I saw any rejection as a form of bullying.
My course began to show me that there were many other people who were in a similar situation to me. Some of these people were on the other end of my encounter. These were people who had reactions to my direct requests. They saw my directness as a form of bullying and reacted by implementing strategies of their own that were learned responses. I saw a direct link between my behaviour and their response. I learned that I could be seen as a bully as well. Recognising this was one thing doing something about it was another. There had to be a time of healing to occur in my life. I needed to be able to engage in some therapeutic conversations. Enter into counselling, confront my worst fear.
I could be honest in a written form and confront myself but the thought of discussing that with someone else… A bridge too far or so I thought.
Until next time