Monday, July 7, 2008

Ingrained Response

I was having a discussion today with a rather excitable individual and something I said set him off. The volume went up, the language deteriorated. He was shocked when I took a very noticeable step back. Enough so that he jumped instantly to the erroneous conclusion that I had at some point been physically abused.

For the record, other than an attempted strangling that occurred once and only once, I was not. I can not however, make the same statement about verbal abuse. Without going into much detail because even now talking about it still leaves me too raw, I will say that for years everything that went wrong in the entire world was my fault. Additionally, all that happened was a direct conspiracy against him, my doing of course. Um, no, the truth is if I actually had that kind of power the last thing I’d do is waste it messing with him. Besides, he has so much bad karma the universal powers are already at work taking care of him.

You may notice if you ever read any of my books, there tends to be some exaggerated apologizing. Yes, you guessed it, there is a lot of me in my characters. But don’t all authors do that to some extent? Don’t we draw on what we know and have experienced in order to give life to our stories? Even so, I’m working on that one, both with myself and my characters. I sometimes think I’m making progress. That is until voices are raised for little apparent cause. Then I slip right back into it but that’s what I used to need to do in order to survive. You see, I was never sure if events might or might not go beyond a verbal level.

A couple once emailed that they had a bet on whether or not I was really a woman because she felt that only a man could write a hero that was as cruel as the one in my first book was. They obviously hadn’t even considered the possibility that personal experience made it all too easy. Honestly, I was very glad for that. Anyway, I settled their bet which meant she had to buy dinner but I suggested that he, in return, provide the after dinner entertainment.

Okay, getting sidetracked. I know I had a point I wanted to make when I started. Wait, I know. I wanted to ask you to think before you overreact to a situation. Yelling is fine when it’s justified. But when it’s not, please don’t do it. Your actions may inflict hurt in ways you might never realize because for some it’s very difficult not to take it personally when the only other person in the room is getting loud.

Oh just so you know, I did have a brief conversation with the man I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. He’s agreed to make an effort to remain calmer around me and I’ve agreed to work on not being so overly sensitive.

On a lighter note, I’m guest blogging today over at Night Owl Romance. Stop by if you have a chance.

And on a really happy note, I came home to the perfect card from my sweetheart of a friend, Dakota Rebel. Thanks, D! You never fail to make me smile.

Tour de France Update-
Winner Stage 3, July 7 - Domoulin - France
Overall leader - Feillu - France


Sandra Cox said...

You are a wise woman, Ms.
Barbara. Its really hard to curb our responses and not do a knee jerk. But I agree its very important. Once the words are said, you can say I'm sorry, but you can't make them disappear.

Regina Carlysle said...

We must talk, darling. Really. I also tend to get very shaky around a lot of yelling and criticism. When the volume goes up, I freak out.


anny cook said...

We all have baggage. Lots of it.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

Oh sweetie - I understand completely. I fall apart when people yell at me. I absolutely cave. Anny's right. We all have baggage. Mine is monogrammed and color-coded.

Amarinda Jones said...

"A couple once emailed that they had a bet on whether or not I was really a woman because she felt that only a man could write a hero that was as cruel as the one in my first book was." What a sad arsed couple they are.

Yes, of course we write ourselves into your books - and yeah I have read your books but along with the unhappiness I see an amazing, resilient and strong woman who is taking back what's hers

Molly Daniels said...

Wait until you read my 4th book...if you ever regain your reading skills, that is. Great therapy.