When I was a kid, I would always be in small fights with fellow students at my school. Usually, it would be because they were making fun of me for my skin color. A small conflict like that helped me stand up for myself and as much as I can, stand up for others as well. However, when people fight or have a shouting match in front of me, it takes a toll on me and I don’t why.
I mean, it’s normal for people to argue. But, it just doesn’t sit well with me and it affects me greatly. People I live with (whether it be at the rented house in Pasig or my childhood home in Manila) would always get into some sort of quarrel. It’s normal but it triggers something in me. It’s like the energy that my mind and body utilize runs out quicker than it should.
Am I alone in feeling exhausted whenever I see a conflict in front of me?
I have never been afraid of getting into a fight. But, when others have a conflict in front of me… for some reason, it makes me feel exhausted. I mean, is it just me? I’m not necessarily a peacemaker and I’m a total war freak. I don’t like it when other people think they could get away from what they did wrong.
I don’t feel this way when I am the one doing the arguing with another person. But, when others yell at each other in front of me, my heart weighs heavier than it should. I actually relish it when I get into a row and win it. I’m not worried about ruffling feathers but if other people fight in front of me, I’ll have an internal meltdown.
I will be difficult, aggressive, and defensive when a person wronged me. I could be brash and pushy but when I see my mom shout at one of my sisters, it triggers my anxiety. My heart weighs a ton and beats too quickly for my liking. Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe properly anymore. They won’t see how much it affected me, though.
It doesn’t look like I care, though.
I could look nonchalant and act like I don’t care but truthfully, I feel like I want to crawl in a hole and die there. Sometimes, if there’s an opportunity for me to get away and lock myself in a room, I would. But, if there’s no place for me to run away, I would stay and look like I couldn’t care less with their problems.
Even as I act like I don’t care, the day would end with me physically (and emotionally and mentally) exhausted. Then, the next day, I would do it all over again. I don’t have conflict anxiety or conflict-averse or something like that. I mean, I wouldn’t know, I have yet to check with an actual therapist.
This is too confusing for me but I just hope I am not alone in this.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.