Aggression is a strange thing. It often manifests itself without the subject immediately realizing. It is often extremely difficult to recognize. It is often more difficult to acknowledge it's presence in oneself.
I shared a story with Casey, a full timer at PBS that sums up how I can lose control without any provocation. It all happened at my university a few years ago. Imagine a cold winter day. The kind of day where there is no snow on the ground and, in a strange way, because of the lack of snow it seems colder. Class had just ended and I was walking to work with a few friends.
We pass this girl on the sidewalk. She payed us no mind, as she had no reason to notice us above the crowd of students filling the walk. As she nears, I am filled with this inexplicable rage. She is wearing a short skirt (I mean short short) and a pair of Ug boots.
I completely lose control and begin shouting about how much of an idiot she is for not dressing properly for cold weather and how stupid she looks wearing those clothes.
It was an unprovoked outburst. It was totally unnecessary. The sad thing is that my friends thought it rather amusing and agreed with me wholeheartedly, thus reinforcing that kind of behavior.
I retold the story to Casey who did not react the same way. I'm glad he didn't. He seemed kind of shocked, and I could tell that he thought what I had done was completely unacceptable. It gave me pause to really step back and think about that story. About how I shouldn't think back on it fondly. It was an unprovoked verbal attack, and I embarrassed that poor girl in front of everybody.
To this day, I am still a very verbally aggressive person, sarcasm being my greatest weapon. On my way home this evening, while waiting for the bus, I made a sarcastic comment to some stranger on the street who was annoying me. There was no reason for it and it didn't change anyone's behavior.
It's an impulsivity that I need to bring under control if I am to grow into a more healthy human being.
Tomorrow I've decided to get up and go to a wooded area on BSU's campus and meditate for a while. Something to ground me, but ground me with the world, not with my apartment.
On another note, I'm an uncle for the second time over today. My sister in law gave birth to her son Gabe today. I'm excited for everyone and I'm joyful that I may get to have a part in this child's life. It's hard for me as well, as I'm not sure how much a part of that family I am right now, nor do I know if I will be at all in the future. But, as I can only know what I can know, I'm an uncle for now, and I need to work on being a good one. Men today need positive role models.