I Suppressed my Anger until it Finally Suppressed Me
Freshly returned home from dropping a friend off to work, I’m sure they’re figuring out the ways to call the mental health hospital between serving drinks. So easily triggered into calamitous bouts of rage, I’m ashamed that I still have this problem. Sometimes I can’t control myself enough to not endanger the lives of those who love me. I’m sick of it.
I shouldn't have turned a simple 10 minute drive into Forza.
What triggered these negative emotions?! It’s more of a who, what, where, when and why; you can’t isolate the causes of such behavior to a singular thing. The fuse had long been lit for months now, the issue was that no one knew which powder keg it was going to stop at.
Festering beneath the surface, I’ve been silently cursing myself for a while now. “You’re still a complete failure,” whispers one thought. “You know you’re never gonna be loved by someone,” chimes another. “You should have punched that homophobe in the face, he has no idea what he did was wrong.”
I ignore and fight back against these thoughts and feelings until I can’t anymore. Writhing on the ground and covered in bruises, I tell myself I won’t be a victim of my mind. I remain steadfast until it overpowers me.
“You know he’s probably messing around with that person and there’s nothing you can do about it. He doesn't want you and you’re a fool for thinking so.”
I’m always telling myself that I need to be better. I’m too old to be so insecure and needy, I’m not allowed to act like this around people. I think I have toxic masculinity figured out, a master of emotions, able to process them with ease. I’m not like the dudes with the raised pick up trucks or the casual misogynist in your work office. No, I’ve got all this gender stuff figured out.
Until I don’t and suddenly I’m as bad as many of the men I’ve run into over the course of my life.
What happens when the calm, collected and cool demeanor you've cultivated for the world to see evaporates in an instant? Eloquence no where to be found, where once stood glorious introspection is now nothing but avoiding eye contact and silence.
Even with the understanding that LGBTQ people experience many things later in life than their straight counterparts, my behavior still baffles me. To so suddenly feel like a 16 year old child again, consumed with nonsensical thoughts and unable to process them. How easily those coping strategies we develop come undone with enough force.
I’m not even angry with my friend or the person I have feelings for. No, I’m angry with the fact that this was my reaction to that situation. I try so hard to fix and improve things in my life, be it successfully moving to a new city or starting a new hobby. To be a better person every day is the goal, yet my insecurity still plagues me at every turn.
People say being open about your feelings with others is the key to healthy relationships. What they don’t offer you is a guide on what to do when you’re simply too embarrassed to be open in the first place.I also hate the idea of people thinking that I’m a silly insecure child.
I hate it so much that I internalize the shame and avoid my truths. I walk away from what’s real until my face can’t hide the pain anymore.
“Are you O.K.?”
“Hey is something wrong, you've been acting weird lately?”
The response is exactly what you think it’s going to be: “Oh no don’t worry I’m fine.”
Over and over again, until it becomes the default response for everything. Upset about something? Gloss it over. Sad about something? Gloss it over. Hold it in until you can’t anymore, but make sure you explode somewhere private so no one sees it happen.
Now I’m sitting here reduced to zero. Shrapnel stuck in the walls, broken glass littering the floor, no energy to get up and fix the situation. I always think I have a leg up on my anger, but I’m just operating on borrowed time.