— Baiting and Picking Fights – “Baiting is the practice of generating a provocative action or statement for the purpose of obtaining an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another person.”
This is what I associate with Pushing away and Pulling back. That back and forth feeling of being suffocated, needing to escape being hurt, fearing the loss, and desperately trying to get that person back, often by apologizing profusely and doing everything we can to be perfect for them again. Repeat.
That’s the resulting cycle anyways.
It starts with something small. Gradually growing into something else. Baiting and Picking Fights is HOW this cycle is fed.
I know I have a very caustic tongue. I’m not physically violent towards anyone, but I know how to wound your pride, your ego, and your heart. It’s not necessarily a big explosion, though eventually it may get there. It’s small steps, little barbs. Small hurts, followed by tearful apologies about how we’re such bad people… For me the fear that’s generated turns my stomach and flips my heart. The person hurt is really wonderful, we don’t deserve them, we’re so sorry that we would even think to say such things, act that way. The thing you need to keep in mind is, we absolutely feel this way, at least I do. I don’t set out with this in mind. I don’t wake up in the morning and think, ‘Gee, today seem s like a good day to fight with so-and-so to see if he/she’ll leave me.’ It just happens. It happens gradually as we get closer to someone. And it’s always with someone we’re close to. The fear of being hurt by staying, coupled with the fear of being abandoned by leaving. I’ve never figured out how to find a way past this. I don’t mean to be this way, and I can see myself doing these things, which is why I know I’m such a terrible person when I do it. I try to make up for it, but I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it again when something sets me off. It’s generally not out of the blue though it may seem that way to the other person. I know for me, I’ll be triggered by something, read more into something than was there, feel like I’m losing myself to them and need to get myself back. I’ll bite back quick and hard and there’s really no thinking about what comes out next. Over the years I have learned to temper a lot of these reactions. I’ve learned to hold back, not be so quick to lash out. However this has the effect of allowing me to internalize the hurt I feel, bottle it up, ruminate on the things I want to say from it… it gives me time to tailor a harsher response when something bigger does set me off. I’m trying to fix this too. I’m trying to write down the responses I want to scream out. Release my anger onto paper. Come back to it. Find a better response, a calmer response, and then come back to it for discussion when I feel like I’m more in control.
There’s something else though. An element of, if the other person will allow me to push, stay with me through the hurtful things I do, it ‘proves’ that they won’t abandon me. The more we can push away, the more baits and barbs we can throw, the more fights we can pick, the longer they show that they’ll tolerate it or try to work it out with us, the more we can believe that they mean what they say and aren’t trying to deceive us … If we can make someone we care for SO ANGRY, they’ll either prove us right, or prove us wrong. Either way we’ll know something for sure, and it stops (momentarily) the constant second guessing going on in our heads. Believing someone, trusting someone… I know I’ve been hurt so badly that I can never fully do this. That doesn’t mean I don’t want it. I just have to test the fences to be sure.
The one thing I don’t do but I fantasize about constantly:
I grew up fighting. I was heavily involved in the martial arts ever since I was young. I had an outlet, a channel for my aggression in a safe, healthy, constructive environment. Because I’ve moved so often in the last few years I haven’t had the ability to find a new place to continue my study.
It’s come in handy a couple times in the real world when guys have tried to press their advantage with me only to have their wind knocked out and taken aback by someone half their size. I’ve never been in out right fights though, like bar room brawls, in the real world, though I fantasize about it constantly. Especially when I’m running. If I want to amp up my energy, creating a scenario in my mind where I’m rescuing a pretty girl from some drunken brute, or disarming someone that has me at gun point with less than honorable intentions… it sets my heart pounding, adrenaline pumping through my veins.
I’m not afraid of damaging myself. Some days I even welcome it. I know how much my body can take and I’ve survived the worst that can be done to it. Short of death I have no fear of injury because I already know I can survive anything that I’m dealt. And I do mean anything. I don’t fear pain. The thought of taking a blow to the face, the stomach, the chest, doesn’t deter me, it makes me gasp and come back stronger, attack more fiercely. My anger boiling and bubbling over until all I am is a fury of fists and feet.
In my visions I never escape unscathed, I take my hits, bruised and sometimes broken, but I’m never beat down, never relent. I always get back up and I always end up on top. Some day I’ll push this into reality and see just how well my fantasies match up to reality….
Sex. Attraction. I don’t really have a type of person that I’m drawn to, but I do tend to like more assertive people. More aggressive. I like men that can take charge and challenge my dominance or strong women with soft well trimmed features that give me a run for my money. That softness, femininity coupled with an inner strength appeals incredibly. There’s something in being with a woman that I don’t get with guys. A connection. I don’t believe that sex should be meaningful, but there should be some kind of connection, even if it’s just for a night or two. Some spark of excitement. Heat. Intensity. Some thing that attracts. Without that kind of attraction sex becomes pretty pointless for me. I could do more for myself without exerting so much effort. This is probably why I don’t just jump into bed with anyone to feel something. Most people don’t have substance enough to hold my attention, connection.