Friday, May 11, 2007

The Rage

I have issues.

The answer I usually get is "everyone has issues." But I think this one is a little different. I've had this issue for most of my adult life, but I only recently gave it a name--The Rage.

I don't think I have anger management issues, from an outward perspective. I think my issues are more internal--I've never acted out viloently (ok, there was that one time in High School that someone hit my sister with a twinkie on the bus). But it has gotten to the point now that I actually can feel it happening, as it happens. And I have a hard time controlling it.

Counting to ten and taking deep breaths doesn't work very well for me.

Usually there's a trigger--something relatively small, that sets the ball rolling. If everything becomes happy-happy-joy-joy afterwards, that trigger is still sitting there--I just can't tell for how long until it goes away. But I can feel it in my stomach, and as things continue to happen throughout the day The Rage takes me over emotionally. By the time The Rage is in charge, and I realize what is going on, I have a hard time reigning it in.

Let me give you an example.

I got tagged again to be the Director of the Op Center here just like I did a while ago. Same level of work, same level of responsibility, same amount of time devoted to it. Essentially, a no-notice torpedo of my life, since I wasn't supposed to do this again. After all was said and done, we handed out awards to all those that did the bulk of the work. Since I don't feel it is right to nominate myself for the award, I put in my guys who got recognized by the Big Boss, and they all got their awards last night. I figured my boss would do the same for me.


I was pretty pissed--not because I wanted an award, but because the guy that I had just sacrificed family time for could care less. So--this morning I was still a little edgy.

Last night we did the standard ritual of trying to force Princess to do her homework, essentially wasting the entire night and getting behind on keeping the house clean. When I loaded her into the car this morning, her backpack was open and I looked inside. No homework. When I asked her where it was she said she didn't know, and we were too late to get it. Small item.


As I lectured her on the sacrifices made by her Mom and I and blah blah blah, I drove them to school. I could feel The Rage raring up and getting ready for business. Traffic was slow getting there, so we were late. As I jogged across the parking lot with Princess and Cowboy in tow, the volunteer Mom manning the gate saw us coming, knew we were late, and swung the gate shut when we were ten feet away. The Rage stretched its arms, cricked it's neck, and got busy.

After getting them into their classes, even later since we had to go the long way around, I drove off to work even later than I already was. A school bus stopped on the other side and threw it's lights on. The car in front of my sped right through it. Rather than "I guess they're late, too" The Rage's answer was that they were somehow jeopordizing the lives of my kids, even though they were in school and don't take the bus anyway. As I crept through the tiny town where I live that is packed with about 500% of the people it's designed for, some teenage freak in a civic that sounds like a constant fart when its driving cut me off in traffic. This is where the "control" comes in on my part, and why I haven't been enrolled in Anger Management classes. Had I not had control, I'd be in jail for vehicular homicide right now.

The list goes on. The reason I'm bringing this up is that The Rage has ruined many a weekend, when I haven't been able to realize what is going on and I generally become an asshole for the whole 48 hours.

It's driving me, slowly, out of my mind.

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