How and when can you recognize the communication style of a wounded child? When they violate your boundaries.
I was in the gym a few days ago and a sole man, whom I noticed watching me work out stepped up to a workout apparatus near me. As I picked up my equipment to resume a certain strengthening weight resistance movement, the stranger lunged towards me just as I was going to pull the weight towards me. My legs strong and straight in front of me pushing against a resistance board , a part of the equipment. I saw him purposefully hesitate then rush at a particular time to interrupt me. Not one to give into losing control of my thinking ability( after years of practice), I abruptly stopped my actions and, like a stern school teacher reprimanded the man. I said,” You do not interrupt a person who has begun a rep because it might cause that person to injure them selves.” I continued by saying, ” Now let me finish!” Which was more of a command not a request but the man, thinking I had made a request, said,” go right ahead”.
I knew in my gut I had yet another wounded male child before me. How do I know he is wounded? Because, on purpose he was either trying to hurt me, which is what I asked, and in that case he was angry with me as so many abusive men are with me here in Las Vegas. Why are they angry because from my view of the collective behavior they are under the impression women are obligated to stand and endure their inability to communicate on any other level other than their fight or flight level. The amygdaloid gone wild. Their inner child on fire for attention and healing. What these abusive men refuse to acknowledge is that they can be men and heal themselves by recognizing their anger as the result of the trauma they experienced at the hands of their first care givers. These care givers did not listen to them , they more than likely gave them orders to ” shut it” rather than take the time to listen to the need of the child. They were humiliated and abandoned in their time of stress.
Second, when I reprimanded this man he did not react, at all, to my words, signally, he had an agenda. He did this action towards me on purpose, not caring if I were to injure myself or not. This is called risk taking behavior. Whether or not it was the case, that is how that appeared to me. He was willing to take the risk of injuring me and my getting him dismissed from the gym all for what? His proving something which had nothing to do with me at all. This might be considered an element of Borderline Personality Disorder wherein is caused by many elements but one being, the experience of being abandoned in time of stress. Having been so frightened the child development may tend to acting out in risk taking behavior, self harm, abuse of substances and more. Maybe the abuse was chronic, his behavior unabated becomes his pattern of assaulting others in his communication style to make him feel powerful, dominant.
Which leads me to his next behavior. With flat emotion ; when I finished my set of repititions and he quickly moved in towards me saying, “Let me introduce myself,” as if nothing uncomfortable had passed between us. Clearly his need, whatever it was , was more important to him than building any sustainable bridges between us. He showed no remorse or concern for my state of mind. This might be his sadistic nature, or his inability to relate to the feelings of others, perhaps he did not trust that his courage would hold up if he were to let me speak, in any case he began to assault me with what was on his mind. And it was an assault.
After I asked why was he talking to me, and what was he getting at, what was the point of his clamorings, without feeling he finally made his story clear, well almost. What I was receiving was the story of how he improved his condition from being confined to a wheelchair to walking unaided as he is this day. And with rapid fire talk he said that he had helped himself and saw me using a wheelchair to get around , he felt somehow we were the same and that he felt compelled to help me.
My inner reaction was, once again unwanted help. But instead of saying so, I saw that he had a speech impediment, he wore a hearing aid, he was combative in his speech. I had worked with deaf children when I was a young adult about thirty and recalled how rambunctious those children were. I remembered as I stared into his wide open eyes how much more expressive these children were. They spoke with every inch of their bodies. Talking with them ,to me, felt more like a boxing match than talking but I saw they all moved forcefully, tried to make themselves clear more forcefully. Because speaking to a hearing person must have been very frustrating to them, the constant having to repeat what they wanted, needed. They had to say right then or johnnie was going to hit me sort of feeling. I watched him, calm , interested, and patiently as he tried to make himself understood.
Eventhough , I did understand his speech pattern it was when he asked me if I knew what the equipment I was using was meant for, did I stop listening. I thought,”How arrogant of him.”
I understand that , men, Macho men or abusive men, from my life experiences, begin using this one-up-man ship style of communication to make them superior to the woman. He was being condescending. Did he know it? I understand most people have poor communication skills they assume and then go on to give advice where advice was not sought. He was going to give me advice without even asking my background of knowledge, had I ever had a trainer, how long have I been training, etc..
I made my decision, to state my knowledge, end the conversation as quickly and non offending as possible and extricate myself. This is not the kind of feeling or conversation I want to have. And I believe each person has the right to have or end any conversation. Each person has a choice about what experiences they wish to have in their lives. No one has to suffer fools . There is no such universal law that states one must sacrifice your health and good feelings to endure an oaf. Even if it is no ones fault. You always have a choice. There is no such thing as you Must Take what feels to you as abuse.
So, I quickly said my thank you for sharing and walked away.
I could feel his violence in the cells of my body.
No one must endure a conversation that was: unwanted, and uncomfortable. Be kind but be firm.
And do not attempt at any contact again with the person.