I took that as a lesson.
I learned that the way to get respect was to scare people, to bully them into doing what you wanted.
I was all of 17.
I yelled at my boyfriend, my sister and my mom.
I bullied my friends, my acquaintances, my teachers.
I was known for having a short fuse and for flying off the handle.
What a mess we created.
Before college, I’d decided I wasn’t going to be known as the “girl with the temper” anymore. I didn’t like being that girl. I was going to be nice, damn it.
And as easy as that, I became nice.
I tried on a new personality with a new group of friends, a group that wouldn’t have believed my previous anger.
Now that I have you and your sister in my life, I realize that some of these traits run a little deeper. Please forgive me if I lose my temper. Your even-keeled father is here to help me out and we’re committed to raising you coolly, calmly and happily. But even I can feel that familiar lick of fire in my chest.
It’s a daily struggle.