Since I was very young, I’ve struggled with controlling my anger.
As a little girl, I’d succumb to temper tantrums often. Throughout adolescence, I’d quarrel with my parents, having meltdowns in rapid succession. When I was married, I’d fly off the handle at the smallest of infractions, becoming even more incensed when my former husband refused to engage in an argument. He’d always manage to remain reasonable and level-headed; to stay exasperatingly calm regardless of how irrational or emotional I became.
Instead of this calming me too, however, his detachment and formality only angered me further, making me feel trivialized, childish, and impotent. I doubt his fighting back would have done us any favors, though. The problem, of course, wasn’t him. And it wasn’t my parents, my siblings, friends, or peers, either. It was (and is) me. Me and My Rage.
As a bipolar adult, I still struggle with rage issues. Often. Big-time. I’m impatient, impulsive, and irritable. Plainly stated, I have a short fuse. Excess anxiety makes me hyper-vigilant — that is, I become startled easily. When that happens, it triggers instantaneous anger.
Of course, anger’s actually a secondary emotion to…
Originally published at www.parent.co on June 9, 2016.