I’m going to talk a little about how my anger affected my daily life. I’ve expressed before that I had fairly good control over it, never physically lashing out at anyone, managing to bite my tongue most of the time people pissed me off, so unlike a lot of people with anger problems, I wasn’t going around harassing people or making enemies. But it did affect me a lot despite that.
One, it made me never talk to people. I hated everyone, why the hell would I ever go out of my way to talk to people? I mean, come on. So I don’t have a lot of friends, and now I have no goddamn clue how to make new ones because I never figured out how the hell to talk to people and have to learn a new skill. It’s not gone well so far. But the amount I moved around, combined with a desire to punch most people in the face, I never had a chance to meet a lot of people or make a lot of friends. I have a few close friends, and some people I got along with enough to add to Facebook. I rarely ever leave my apartment outside work and grocery shopping.
Two, I hated myself. Every time I would get angry I would hate myself a little more. What right did I have to look down on them so much? What did I have to be so angry about when so many people had so much worse lives than I’ll ever have? What the hell was wrong with me that I couldn’t control my emotions? Why was I letting such menial shit get to me? Why couldn’t I stop being so goddamn angry? What the fuck was wrong with me? What right did I have to get mad at these people’s actions, I’d done bad things too, sometimes even similar things! What right did I have to get mad at these situations that I wasn’t a part of? Why was I letting things that shouldn’t affect me, affect me?
Three, it affected my health. Did you know that being angry is linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, headaches, stomach ulcers, stress related illnesses… I’ll bet you did. I was not immune. Sometimes I would get so angry my temperature would go up so high I could go sit out in a Canadian winter in the snow without a jacket and still be boiling hot. And that is NOT good for the body. I had stomach pains, digestion issues, headaches, knots in my muscles… My everything hurt more often than not. And I’m immune to painkillers, so I just got to hurt, all the time. Sometimes to the point of throwing up. Life was fun.
Four, when I did fight with people, shit got LOUD. And I hold a grudge. There are people who crossed a line with me well over a decade ago that I still won’t forgive. And I was scary. There were people I had never even been angry with who were absolutely terrified of me. The ones I did hate, some of them were genuinely afraid I would kill them in their sleep. And I don’t mean jokingly, I mean they were afraid to come anywhere near me. Again, neeever actually intentionally hurt anyone. Not once. But my anger was so visceral that I didn’t have to. People did not fuck with me. Which I will admit in some cases was actually a good thing… But in others it was fucking obnoxious. Especially the people I had no problem with who were afraid to even let me show them something because they were certain I was going to hurt them. It’s hard to realize that people you care about are afraid of you. People who knew me well knew better than to find me scary, but the ones that didn’t, friends of friends, or people I just hadn’t known long enough yet, who were great people and I wanted to try and get along with, were legitimately afraid of me. They’d at some point seen or heard about me finally hitting the end of my rope with someone and ripping them a metaphorical new one and assumed I was a vicious jackass. And they had every right to. I couldn’t hold it against them. Why wouldn’t they be scared of me? I was a jackass.
Five, my already bad relationship with my parents broke. By the time I graduated high school, my parents and I weren’t really on speaking terms. We didn’t even really tolerate each others existences. Whenever we would see each other, there would be a shouting match. No matter what was going on, whether we’d actually pissed each other off or not, we could not just talk to each other. Even if I’d done well in school and was showing off an A on a test, it would after only about 2 sentences progress into shouting insults. We could not co-exist. And I wasn’t on speaking terms with my sister at that point either, though that wasn’t fighting, that was just pretending we didn’t exist to each other. So after high school there was about a 2 year stretch where my parents and I only talked on holidays. To be completely honest part of me still wishes that was the case because they never did acknowledge their part in the strife between us but they’re pretty damn quick to point out mine. But that’s not really the point. I had, in my mind, no family, almost no friends, and life sucked on just about every conceivable level.
I had no money, the only jobs I could get were part time temp work. I had no support system, financial or emotional, I didn’t even have a functioning computer. Couldn’t afford one. I was living on kraft dinner and koolaid because it was all I could afford and I was just getting increasingly isolated and angry. I didn’t have anything. At that point even though Llama and I were already friends, we were more tangentially friends. She was a friend of a friend of mine and we’d started talking from time to time. So I had bills I couldn’t pay, pretty much no friends because the ‘friend’ that Llama and I had gotten to be friends through was the only ‘friend’ I had in the city I was living in and he was my roommate and a bigger jackass than I was with even worse anger problems. I had nothing in my life worth living for. Just a bundle of shot nerves, a massive chip on my shoulder, and a bunch of burned bridges.
And of course all of this just served to make me even angrier. 100% of the time I could feel the frustration and anger in my chest. Sometimes it was physically painful. Even when things were going well or something good was happening in that moment I would still feel the frustration and rage. At it’s worst it would only take one tiny little thing to make me snap into full blown visceral rage. Being angry all the time sucks. I knew what I was doing, I wanted to stop. I wanted so much to stop. But in my head the world was just such a terrible, unfair, miserable place. There was so MUCH to be angry about, that I couldn’t pull myself out of it for even a few minutes. I was trapped in a pit and I didn’t know how the hell to get out. I didn’t think it was even possible to.