I’ve always found it hard to accept that I hold on to anger and resentment. Typically, it hangs on until I can aim it at myself, with only minor outbursts here or erratic behavior there to indicate I’m out of sorts. Mostly I shut down when I try to process it, for reasons I don’t fully understand.
I can say that it’s messed with my work output. I can’t function normally when I’m like this. The last few months have been struggles for me to just get through a day without acting against myself in a permanent manner. People around me are easy to hide from, since they don’t really interact with me unless they want something. It really hurts knowing that if I was missing from their lives, the only reason it would impact them is because of how it might inconvenience them.
Here’s the part where people tell me that loved ones care no matter what. That’s a common trope in fiction, something we tell people too young or stupid to know better. The reality is that caring takes effort and time and all sorts of ugly, hard things with no guarantee of even a hope of return on investment. On some level I’ve always known this, and I think that might be why I resort to suicidal thinking to feel better about any of my problems.
Introspection has brought me to my keyboard, and an old habit that I thought I might have broken. Just recently I was pretty brutally honest with a couple people, and I got the same response I always got – shock that I’d opened my mouth. Normally I’m the person trying to make everyone else feel better. They don’t appreciate I do it now out of a sense of self-preservation, to mitigate the harm they can inflict without thinking.
And blowing up does nothing except start a cycle of me punishing myself for being honest and hurting feelings that I know full well will survive regardless of whatever the fuck I did. The worst I do is rip the band-aid off, and I treat myself like a monster for it. I mean, I am a monster, but only in that sickening, horrific way a person can be who would point a weapon at himself if he could just find one reliable enough.
For whatever reason, I can’t be okay with whatever happens. Somehow people who allegedly care about me will get revenge for slights real but mostly imagined. Perception is key, and I’m going to get gaslighted into oblivion it feels like. Thoughts of ending my life are the only way I can cut through that haze to maintain clarity. What does it say when my sense of self-preservation lies in my sense of self-ruination?
I woke up this morning wanting to get so much work done, and now I’m trying my hardest to not delete everything ever. Going to such extremes is something I recognize is unhealthy. And I still do it anyways.
4 thoughts on “Unhealthy Anger Management”
Hey SB. All sorts of thoughts but all I can give is a “like” at this moment. I haven’t been able to write because lately it’s led to a downward spiral, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your posts and are reading them ~Q
My experience is that we take over from parents and relatives the job of chastising ourselves. Were you criticized for acting out anger as a child? If so, when you parents stopped doing that you took over. Or you took over as a mechanism to prevent the criticism. It makes perfect sense that when you feel anger, that you pause to process it, and turning it on yourself rather than leaving it on others is a way of stifling an anger display toward others. (You can be silently angry at yourself in the confines of your own head.) Of course, carried to extremes, if the self-hatred builds up steam to can lead to nasty consequences, like self-mutilation, etc.
I use to have a nasty, nasty temper and no longer do. I did have to learn a lot to effect that change, part of that being able to laugh at myself (and somewhat to forgive myself). Mostly it was me being at the effect of powerful emotions with no way to handle them and maturity gave me some better tools to do that, I suspect.
I would disagree that caring for others is had work. I think it comes naturally. What is hard work is showing that one cares. I suck at that, and have been called everything from heartless to evil because of it, even though I have actually done much to help the individual concerned. Just because someone doesn’t show empathy in the way you expect, doesn’t mean they don’t care.
On the other hand, I know what gaslighting can do, especially if the offenders don’t realise they are doing it. I’m not sure what the answer for that is. I’ve always been fortunate in that I’ve had at least one person who showed that they valued me as a person, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be when that kind of support isn’t there.
One thing I do know is that I wouldn’t be the person I am now without that support, and whether you believe me or not, I do worry about you. What I don’t know, is how I can convert that care into something that would be of some help to you.
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You’ve been very quiet lately. Is everything okay?
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