If you are raised by a relentless bully there is a challenging process you must go through not to become a relentless bully yourself when you grow up. Granted, it is not a process for everyone.
Under stress, we sometimes revert to type, in spite of what we may have learned to do better, through great effort. Human.
I don’t want to argue with people all the time. I try my best to avoid it, I really do. You want to argue me out of my desire not to argue, since it is a waste of a good skill set, to your way of seeing it. I understand you can’t help the constant demand that I justify everything I say and do, but I don’t like it, can’t make you understand how much I don’t like it.
“You have an emotional blind spot,” I say, when subjected to this again, when I can see no other way out, no way to make you see my point of view.
“I don’t see it,” you say, reflexively asserting your human right to see things as you do.
Later, blood pressure rising as the futility becomes more and more impossible not to feel, I will make an ill-advised reference to tone-deafness that will send you into a rage, cause you to scream and slam down the phone.
“I am neither tone-deaf nor do I have an emotional blind spot, I, in fact, love you more than just about anyone in the world,” you will write in a long, reasonable email a few days later. “As for your ‘kryptonite’ — silence by way of response — I don’t get why your right to a response supersedes my right not to have my innocent silence misconstrued. Further, my recent apology, which I found it unfair and unreasonable of you to demand, was only given because you were so irrationally enraged…”
At which point my desire to continue reading fades, the stomach acid returns to my stomach and I reach for my guitar. I play “That’s Amore”– now in the key of D, a much better key for a solo guitar version of this snappy tune, which I can’t seem to get out of my head. Play it in D, you will like it very much.
I later rescue from undeserved obscurity two paragraphs I wrote in closing a post I later deleted for fear of offending an old friend, my last words on the subject:
Silence, ideally, is the best remedy for unwanted silence, to demonstrate exactly how it eats at a heart that has posed an unanswered question. To know how it actually feels, a thing difficult to explain in words.
Though here, in the odd event that my old friend who could be affected by this ever reads these words, I’d have to sacrifice the cold satisfaction of that beautifully symmetrical working of easy, elemental justice in the name of further digesting this true, hard stone — that professed love is worth little without a reflex to unconditionally empathize when your friend is in pain.