Hot Buttons

| A response to this month’s Random Act of Journalling.
A response to this month’s Random Act of Journalling

Most of us have “hot button” issues that are guaranteed to provoke an impassioned response. What are yours?

I considered this question for quite some time before attempting to answer it, as I came to realise that identifying one’s hot issues is more complex than it might seem, and requires honesty and introspection.

“What makes me angry?” I wonder, “Really, intensely pissed off?”

If that’s the criteria for hot buttons, then my answer is easy, right? Those rude people who take it upon themselves to comment on my weight. You know, the ‘helpful’ people who really believe that they have my best interests at heart when they confidentially whisper to me: “You’re a big girl, you know”. Really? Damn, and I was a size 8 yesterday! What the hell happened?

Yes, I am fat. I know this, and I am comfortable with it. Do people really think I don’t know? Actually, I think their issue is that they are uncomfortable with my size. The only acceptable fat woman (to them at least), is one who is doing penance for her sin of substantial existence by starving herself. I should, apparently, be focussed on minimising myself and my impact on the world. (I must diet. I must become smaller. I must shrink. I must pull or push my flesh inwards. I must implode.)

But I digress. As I contemplated my hot buttons, I came to realise that while rudeness about weight is one, it is not THE hot button. So what is?

Being silenced. Having no voice. Being unable to express myself, unable to make myself heard and unable to make myself understood. Being misconstrued.

When my hot button is pressed, my outward reactions vary. but this issue is so hot, my emotions so intense surrounding it, that I have buried my emotional reaction deep within. I recognise it’s call to me, though; the burning sensation in my throat chakra, feeling unable to breath. The powerlessness that I feel when it overcomes me is overwhelming. I feel like I will be consumed by the intensity of my emotions. I have so much that needs to be expressed, so much to tell, so much to yell and cry and whisper. But instead I implode.

Reading what I have written, I realise that I have put down how I feel when my button is pressed, but not what triggers it. The trigger might be an argument where my co-arguer suddenly announces that the “topic is closed”, or if I feel that I am being misunderstood. It can be a situation where I need to stand up for myself, but can’t find the words to do it. There are too many scenarios to list.

I am finding it very difficult to write honestly and openly about this. I guess I am silencing myself, in a sense…censoring.


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June 2002
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