I feel like most of my blogs posts lately start out as twitter rants or threads about what I’m feeling. Today’s is no different. While watching the most recent episode of Coroner on CBC something the main character said near the end of the episode caught me off guard. To most I bet it wouldn’t have done much. It (as always) was a great piece of dialogue, but for me, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I wanted to start off by asking you, my reader a question. Have you ever been watching a movie, commercial or episode of TV and felt like the writers made the characters say exactly what you were saying, thinking or even have felt? Ever hear one of your most guarded secrets Being said out loud by a character looked around to see if someone was catching on to you? Something that you have lived or are living? It’s an odd feeling no? It can be something so little, so minor but it’s impact is so real and anything but small. It’s something that happens to me a lot. I don’t know why that is but it happened again. Only this time it was a secret.
I can’t and won’t recap the whole episode but I will provide the dialogue which prompted this post. I could keep silent about this. Writing this post is scary for me. As I type my anxiety is telling me NO, don’t post this. No one needed to know, but since I can’t afford or find a psychiatrist this blog will have to be a stand in.
Jenny: “you know sometimes I um…have this uncontrollable well of anger.. inside me and um… and it really scares me…”
I remember when I was watching this, I was a little struck, also a little excited. Ever since I was a kid I’ve lived with that uncontrollable well. I always joked that I was slow to anger but once there, BOOM! But now as I think on it I’m not so sure that’s the case. I don’t think I was/am slow to anger, I thin I am subconsciously trying to seal the well shut and keeping it that way. For the most part I’ve succeeded but there have been a few times I haven’t. You will forgive me for keeping those incidents to myself. They are not something I’m proud of but none of them broke a law.
I wish I knew better words and imagery I could evoke to help you all understand. I know most people will just assume I’m talking about your mundane anger outburst. I can assure you that what I’m describing isn’t “normal” anger like you feel when your spouse, sibling, parent, co-worker, etc. does something wrong. The anger that I can experience outside of the traditional anger is deeper (which is why calling it a well is apt) harder to control if you let it spark. I don’t see red or anything like that. I guess it’s almost like a panic attack, comes out of something otherwise normal and threatens to burst forward and ruin everything in that moment. I’ve sometimes described it to myself as needing a physical representation for my anger. Needing to snap pencils, punch a wall, scream… that sort of thing.
For me because I’ve lived with it for so long, I can feel it, I can see it spark feel a change in body chemistry and know that I have to back off. I know what could happen if I didn’t catch it. It’s not pretty, it’s damn scary.
This part of me is something I’ve kept secret, for a long time I told no one. Only in the past year did I open up to my sister and our core group of friends about it. I’m not sure how it got brought up but I was discussing my asthma and how one of the treatment options my doctors have mentioned is prednisone. This medication has a known issue where because it’s a serious and strong steroid it can cause aggression. I told my sister and friends that I would rather be short of breath all the time than take that. I have a tight hold on my anger, if I took prednisone I’m afraid that the control would be ripped away and I would do something I can’t take back.
We’ve all seen those cases in the news where the perp says they “lost control”. Most people will shake their heads and blame them for not holding control. I’ve never done that, I’ve immediately understood. I can imagine what it feels like to have that control and I know the consequences of losing that control is catastrophic. My sister has maintained that she can’t fathom the need to punch a wall. That’s she has never been that angry before. Yet when I dip in to that well I do know what it’s like.
Don’t get me wrong the consequences are valid and just. Losing that control doesn’t absolve you of responsibility. This well is most likely something one is born with. But I could be wrong on that.
I guess I’m opening up on this blog post because Again I can’t afford a psychiatrist so this is my therapy. Just hoping I’m not alone, and if you can see yourself in these words, you are also not alone. Even if you don’t tell anyone just know it’s ok to feel this way. But know your limits, know and learn to feel the spark, be cautious. Ask for help if you feel like you are losing that control.