I sometimes struggle with what I call “stupid rage”. It is one of my methods of protection.
It has always been a part of my response system, but in recent years both leading up to the moment when my mind unlocked, as well as once I began healing – it has shown up far more that I want to admit.
I 100% hate it, it must be hard for my daughter to witness, and I absolutely fear the potential long term effects of her seeing how I can lose control. Always for the most menial of reasons, but never disappointing in the over-the-top outbursts from me.
I am getting better at recognizing these episodes in the moment to slow them down, I haven’t quite figured out how to stop them before they start.
Recently, on a few separate occasions involving situations with my youngest and with my husband, I found myself fighting off sudden bouts of anger that wanted to escalate.
The first when my husband finally told me after nearly three weeks of health issue, that there was something going on and maybe we should monitor it and call a doctor. I was immediately angry with him. Concerned too, yes – but angry. It took everything I could to not yell at him for throwing this at me when the issue could now be too late to help, and even more to express the concern that I absolutely felt but was too angry to speak aloud.
I am sure other wives and partners would be perturbed by this too – but I doubt to the level I was dealing with mentally.
The second and third instances involved my little one: one situation involved her sticking a bead up her nose and an “almost” ER visit during a pandemic, followed by a bee sting that had her screaming like she’d had her finger cut off.
In both situations I literally did circles where I stood, like a quick 360 degree look at the room would offer answers to fix the problem. In both instances I was snappy and agitated with my husband (who turned into a rock-star each time as he took the lead). At one point I even yelled multiple times “hey siri” at my phone, pissed off that it wasn’t responding to my command as I tried to google remedies quickly.
Just picture that – me in a fit of rage screaming at my phone as angrily as I can muster because it won’t listen.
What must my child have thought in those moments when she needed me and I was angry?
Ugh, stupid rage.
The Common Denominator
Every time I go through an episode of rage, I feel drained, embarrassed, guilty, and ashamed. I know better, yet I struggle to control it when it happens.
Every time it happens, I do what I can to reflect on what the hell is going through my mind and body in those moments. What am I feeling, what am I thinking?
I think I figured it out.
In those moments – I feel completely and utterly powerless. The more powerless I feel, the angrier I seem to get.
My traumas have hardwired a deep need for control into me, and when I feel like I am loosing that control, my response is rage
I don’t necessarily have the answer at this point on exactly what I need to do to get a better handle on my response to powerlessness. If I did, stupid rage wouldn’t be a challenge to me.
I think this realization, however, is a first step.
This is one of the most tangible things I have realized as I work through my different trigger responses. I am not sure how to develop the awareness necessary to stop the rage when I feel powerless because right now it feels like that rage is the first signal I get, but I know that just can’t be.
It’s time to pay even closer attention to myself, to be that much more committed to mindfulness and connection in my day-to-day living.
I know I will figure it out eventually.
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