Hi, I’m Shane and I am an angerolic.
Yes, you heard right. I have a problem with anger, and I’ve been in denial about this for far too long. Much like a drug addict, thinking it’s all under control, but then reality tells a different story. It’s all fine here, nothing to see here, please move along or else watch it. 😊
On the outside, you’ll see a positive, happy, and fit family man with a wife and two kids, while on the inside there is a simmering pot of rage, ready to boil over when triggered.
I get we cannot control everything that happens to us, we only control how we react, yet my reactions (I feel) are out of step with my persona.
Anger, is it all Bad?
A quick search on Google revealed four types of anger, which are:
Justifiable Anger- like moral outage of the injustices of the world like poverty, human rights, and out-of-touch politicians.
Annoyance Anger- when someone cuts in front of you in traffic or they forget to wipe their sweat off the gym equipment.
Aggressive Anger- where one person attempts to exercise dominance, intimidation, manipulation, or control over another.
Temper Tantrums- outbursts of anger when a persons selfish wants and needs (terrible twos anybody) are not satisfied, no matter how unreasonable or inappropriate. (1)
Now, my temper tantrums are a thing of the past but my simmering pot of rage I referred to is my aggressive anger. It’s a problem for me and those around me.
This is Not an Excuse but……
Breaking news. I wasn’t a perfect child and I gave my parents plenty of reasons to punish me. And punished I was with wooden spoons, bamboo sticks and leather belts.
Hopefully, we know better than to punish kids like this now, so I don’t blame my parents when it comes to my childhood misdeeds.
But my father often displayed unprovoked aggressive anger towards my mum, myself and my brothers and sisters. These were usually triggered by the cleanliness of the house, dinner or whatever else was one his mind.
It was loud, aggressive, and laced with expletives.
As a young impressible kid, I couldn’t help but take it on board, thinking this was the way to solve things. I don’t remember acting out as a child (which was a long time ago so I could be wrong) but as an adult, it’s a different story.
Again, this is not an excuse for my behavior, but most experts agree anger is a learned behavior, assuming it’s not caused by mental illness. A family can teach a child how to express feelings such as being happy, sad, scared, and even angry. (2)
Growing up, we take cues from our parents whether we like it or not. Although I don’t blame my father, I do realize this is a learnt behavior I need to control .
Besides minor anger outbursts in the past 18 months, I’ve had 3 major meltdowns which have had serious repercussions. The first two pushed me towards therapy because it almost caused a divorce and drove a huge wedge between me and my son.
The therapy is helping to get to the root causes of my anger. My therapist calls me out on my crap, gives me tools to deal with life and we’ve been going into my childhood to see why I act the way I do. It’s been really eye-opening stuff and I thought it was helping until the 3rd incident recently.
It was pure blind rage and my pot overflowed. My son was acting out towards his mother at home and his behavior continued when we went to church. His behavior was embarrassing, and I wouldn’t stand for it.
I dragged him out at church and proceeded to cuss him in the parking lot until a church member told me in uncertain terms this wasn’t okay and reported me. And rightly so. In hindsight, I’m extremely embarrassed and ashamed of my behavior.
What I thought was under control wasn’t.
When my rage and anger are in full effect, it is blinding, and uncontrollable and I see nothing but red. After this incident, I realize my issues still exist which I will continue to work through in therapy, reading, and mediation.
Why Talk About My Anger?
Admitting this to the world is scary, I’m not going to lie. But I feel this is an important issue, particularly with men. Aggressive anger is destructive when left unchecked. It’s my hope by reading this if you have an issue with aggressive anger or anything else please find someone to talk to.
It doesn’t have to be a therapist but talking to an objective nonjudgmental listening friend will help. Because nothing much gets solved by keeping it inside, away from prying eyes. When you stuff your issues down, they’re bound to pop up when you least expect them. Like in a church parking lot.
This was difficult for me to write and difficult to admit I still have a problem. It’s my hope if you have internal issues festering that you talk to someone about it
We cannot go through this life alone and we all need help. Especially me. I’m still a work in progress. If you need someone to talk to here is a good place to start.