punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Managing anger pisses me off...

I never could manage anger very well. I used to have this default process that simply folded all anger into a serious form of depression. If I got upset at something, I'd just go into a zombie-like state, swimming in a black vacuum of nothingness where my hate and rage would ravage my body and mind until it finally dissipated. This is not a good idea, really, but when the whole world is against you like I thought it was as a kid, it kept me alive. Sometimes when I think about the crap I put up with, I want to go, "Why didn't you fight back? Tell them to go to hell!" Of course, hindsight isn't always 20/20, but I help my focus by going, "Well, realistically, what if you did fight back? You'd be dead."

It's true. It seems dramatic, but I could easily see my father beating me literally to death. He came close once. He had me on the ground and kept kicking me in the chest until I couldn't breathe. I was coughing spots of blood for days. There was more to this story (I don't want to go into it right now), but the summary is it was over some schoolwork thing, and I talked back to him. I had been attacked by bullies at school a lot before, and I discovered that most bullies, once you're down, stop attacking you. My father didn't. He was a separate kind of evil.

So the "hold all rage inside, no matter what the damage" was better than "let it out, and get killed." I am glad I can't go back in time, knowing what I know now because I'd be dead in a week. I'd certainly be expelled from school for mocking authority at the very least. "Oh, you don't really need to know this... I mean, 90% of adults don't know it either and they get along fine," I could see myself saying. I totally wouldn't respect authority. I don't now, unless they prove themselves to be reliable. Bullies? Now I know all it takes is a few fights, even if you lose them, to get them off your back. The trick is, if you are going to lose them, at least initiate the fight or cause damage. Since I know most of the kids that bullied me vanished as background noise in society, I'd... probably see no harm in permanently scarring them. In the face. But I know all bullies are cowards, and some of them were at the peak of their popularity as jocks, so if I gouged one of their eyes out, they'd be the victim REAL quick and I'd be in Juvenile Prison. My old friend Kate used to do this "crazy act" that got people to stop bullying her, but she knew when to hold back. I wouldn't. I'd get drunk with the power, and say all KINDS of crap to mess the adults up, and I know now that when adults don't know what to do with a kid ... they shuttle them off where they don't have to deal with them. Even if they have to lie. You could be a peaceful Buddhist that never harmed a fly, but if they can't deal with it, they'll claim you are on drugs, and whoooosh! Off to the drug clinic rubbish heap you go. So ... again, being the passive victim paid off back then.

Of course, after age 15, when the courts forced my father to stop abusing me, I got therapy, friends, and then later a great life... I got cocky. My level of tolerance dropped as I didn't need that room anymore. Before, I could easily go, "Oh, I don't matter. No one likes me." I can't do that now. When I get dissed or annoyed, I get pissed off. If I get pissed off enough, I get angry.

And here lies a big problem. I... never learned how to deal with anger. I have the temper of someone probably about 4 or 5 years old. People who had a supportive as a kid probably learned how to deal with anger far better than I do. To me, it's like a foreign element that roars through my head and messes up things. I am unable to focus, and the alliance I forged between all my levels of consciousness starts to fall apart at the seams. There's the Id, wanting to rid itself of pain, the Ego, wanting to inflict pain, and the Superego trying to work with the Ego to rationalize the energy into something more productive. For a while, I was able to just throw myself into some exhausting physical task, like yardwork, housework, or whatever. But recently, with all the rainy weather, bad back, and bad ankle... I don't have these outlets. So I start to fume. My temper because short as all this energy gets backlogged. And years of training has closed off the usual depressive avenues of release: self-inflicted wounds, burning self-hatred, and being all zombified. I don't want to be a zombie, it's boring! I don't want to be depressed, I have nothing to really be depressed about! I don't want to inflict pain, what if it gets infected or I damage my body for good? What in God's name do normal people do?

Punch pillows? Pfuh. I punched out a dresser a few months ago. That was much more satisfying, but for a while I thought I broke my wrist because it swelled up like a grapefruit. Besides, I need that dresser for my clothes. Punch a person? Hah! I mean, even if I totally ignored assault laws (and the crippling guilt that would follow), the worst thing about hitting a person or an animal is their tendency to move out of the way, and they I'd get even more frustrated that I missed. Oh, and some punch back, so that's a waste of time and energy; it only makes the problem worse. At least a pillow stays still. So does a monitor, which I punched so hard a month ago, it stopped working (I didn't like it anyway) and I have a deep knot of scar tissue on one of my knuckles. I smashed a large wooden spoon to splinters on my head to release some rage a few weeks ago. To splinters. Now, I liked that bamboo spoon, so I am starting to see a problem. Logic? Okay, sure. Try and tell a toddler to stop crying because he's not being reasonable. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Back? Okay, now maybe you see what I am up against. But as an adult, I can't run around screaming with snot and tears running down my face, punching stuff that doesn't work. I use the same methods to calm myself I'd use on a toddler, too, like giving myself a cookie or buying a new toy. That only goes so far, as you'd know if you were a parent of a toddler in a rage loop, or actually have extended your finances to the point you start skipping meals to save money. Sometimes, toddlers just have to sort it out themselves, although too much of that leads to ... my problem. Some may have thought of comforting a raging toddler by holding him and rocking back and forth. Well, I have no parents to do that, and never had, which, yes, I realize might be a stem issue here. But whatever the reason, the best I have are friends who listen to me rant and rage, but if I do that too much, I'll drive them away.

Recently, it came to my attention that I complain too much. No one said this to me, but as I was looking at my diary here, some posts I made on a board, and posts I wanted to put on my diary but didn't... I realized that I was getting into a self-reinforcing loop. "How are you doing?" a friend would ask. "Well, it all started when I woke up and..." There's only so much you can dump on a friend, and most of my bitching and kvetching is petty, anyway. This diary has been more valuable to me that I realized as a self-objective tool in this case. But when I try and not complain, I end up swallowing all the frustration and desire to tell people off, and it just builds and builds. This is no good, either. I can only write so much online because, well, some stuff are better left kept secret. Like if I am mad at some ass at work for being said ass, it could get back to the ass, and then all hell would break loose. I could lose my job, a few friends, and my problems would be even worse. I once had an entry called "The Help Desk Whore" about a girl I used to work with who slept with managers, took their money, and left them, resulting in managers of departments hating our whole desk for months because "she" was still with us. But I closed it soon after I posted it because a coworker said, "Uh... she may no longer be working with us, but that could get ugly if your former boss saw it..." This diary cannot be a venue for speculative gossip, even though I'd love to get some work crap off my chest, a few con politics, and some friends who are being buttheads about their life choices, and somehow I think I am a judge of that.

But writing this entry helped. I hope it helps someone else, too.

Now back to mysql server and ... whatiia mean "/usr/bin/mysqladmin" does not exist??? Where did it go??? WTF??? ARRRRGGHHHH! [shatter]

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000244.html
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