I’ve always had an aversion to conflict. Don’t get me wrong, I can be excessively cruel, but I prefer to be mean via cutting remarks at normal speaking volumes. Shouting matches, or even angry tones, are my undoing.
The anger doesn’t even have to be directed at me in order to mess me up. I remember curling up in a ball at my desk and (usually unsuccessfully) fighting off tears when classmates would get in trouble in elementary school. I had managed to avoid tears by the time junior high rolled around, but I would still get a stomach ache from nervousness whenever a teacher would raise their voice.
I thought this would fade away with age, but that hasn’t yet proven to be the case. If people are arguing in the office near my desk, I head to the other side out of hearing range until the discussion is over. I recently put in headphones and cranked iTunes to drown out a heated conference call that a coworkers was participating in via speakerphone.
I thought that was the limit to this aversion. I can’t handle conflict, and that’s just something I’ll have to live with.
I was wrong.
Our affiliate company is doing construction on a building across the street from our office, and the building has been filled with the cacophony of machinery all morning. To most people, this would just be a minor annoyance, but I am emotionally & mentally losing my shit.
It’s like a part of my brain has decided that the machines are fighting with each other, or at least really pissed off at that building. I’m on edge, my stomach feels queasy, and I can’t focus on anything. It’s swell.
So there you have it. If you ever wish to render me helpless, all you have to do is sound angry near me. However, I do urge you to refrain from taking advantage of my candor. Sure, you can spaz me out with some simple loud noises. But once I pull myself out of the fetal position, I will be super bitchy. Just, you know, quietly bitchy.