As a child, I had anger problems. I’m not talking about slamming doors and stomping away, although that certainly happened. I’m talking about tossing a desk across a classroom kind of anger. I’m talking about smashing all of my figurines against the back wall of our house kind of anger. I’m talking about that time I came to in the middle of nearly strangling my friend Laura on her bedroom floor. I had problems…
It’s easy to understand where the anger comes from and then again it’s not. Of the previously mentioned incidents, only the desk one can be directly linked to a trigger in my mind (in this case, bullying).
As I grew up, I learned to swallow my anger or redirect it. I learned this on my own, and it took trial and error, which explains many a frenzied self-inflicted slash fest on my arms and legs with razor blades or broken glass in dimly lit bathrooms in my late teens and early twenties. I wasn’t emo, whatever that connotes. I genuinely felt pain and anger and couldn’t find an outlet.
I’ve tried cigarettes, alcohol, sex, and marihuana. Each comes with it’s thrills and risks, but none have stuck as my addiction of choice. Addiction is constantly needing and craving one thing such that it consumes ones life and livelihood. In my case, my bouts with the aforementioned vices have been fleeting and sporadic, although the scars of some misadventures are more visible than others.
I’ve been accused, by others and honestly myself a time or two, of being addicted to either electronic devices or social media. If it’s true, it makes sense, but to dismiss my attraction to media as purely an uncontrollable addiction dismisses the larger issue of my needing an outlet for my frustrations.
Sometimes, I can keep myself in check. I can take a beating and breathe through it, goosfraba om om boom shakalaka rama lama ding dong the witch is dead. Other times, I explode, and not in the orgasmic way I’ve described in embarrassingly accurate detail in previous writings. Sometimes, and usually without obvious provocation or warning, I will scream, cuss, holler, and yell like a woman possessed. I’ve actually been accused of said possession a time or two.
As an adult, physical violence towards other living beings hasn’t been part of my MO, but I’ve done my fair share of damage to personal property, unfortunately usually my own. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last year, but a link between anger outbursts and bipolar isn’t universally described. In fact, some close friends and relatives with the same or similar mood disorders seem to think this symptom is inexcusable and wholly unrelated.
I don’t know what to do about my outbursts, other than continuing my therapy, continuing my medications, journaling, praying, and hugging my children and puppy as often as possible. I also don’t know how to deal with others who cannot deal with me.
Ani DiFranco–Girl, next time he wants to know what your problem is, girl, next time he wants to know where the anger comes from just tell him this time the problem is his just tell him the anger just comes, it just comes.