Stories in my head

This is a contemplative (read: depressing) post, so feel free to skip if you don’t want to witness shameless navel gazing.

After a long time, I lost my temper this morning.  The trigger was a reminder to a life-altering event that happened in my life two years ago.  I had believed that I was completely over it, but it seems I am not.  I did not even realise that I was disturbed by the trigger until a very minor domestic infraction, something that I would have ignored otherwise or perhaps even laughed about, broke me down completely.  And as is usual during the rare times that I lose my temper, the waterworks started (in front of others, gasp !) and wouldn’t stop for many minutes.

The aftereffect is that I feel like I stepped on crap.  First because I don’t like losing my temper – I can’t make sense of it, second because I thought I was making some progress with my meditation, but I could not control my temper when it mattered.  Third because, why the heck do I cry when I get angry?  People scream, sulk, get rude, make gestures, get violent when they are angry.  Who cries?  Well, I do, but that was a rhetoric.  The net result is that I feel like I am standing in the middle of a congregation of humanity, butt naked.  And knee deep in crap.

Anger and fear are, IMHO, the worst emotions we are blessed with.  Not the instinctive anger/fear, because of which, we are not yet extinct, but the kind of anger and fear that are created by the stories of the mind.  I am pretty sure the chemical principles behind the two kinds of anger (instinctive versus mind-stories) are different – I suspect the first involves adrenalin and the second, cortisol.  But I am being pedantic.  I have been trying to breathe my day through, but it has been hard, and the stories keep building in my head.  And the dam is not fully secure as well; the waterworks could restart anytime again, at the stories my brain is trying to kill me with.

The minor straw that broke me is yet to be fixed. But in the big picture, I need to figure out how to let the two-year-old-life-changing-event go.

Everyone else seem to lead such easy lives within their heads.  Why is mine so complicated?

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Stories in my head

  1. Carol

    I think you’re too hard on yourself – yes, anger is an ugly emotion, but it is also human. And things that happen in our lives sometimes cling much longer than we’d like, but they are also part of who we are and who we become. If your anger was misplaced, apologize sincerely, then move on.

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    1. Gobblefunkist Post author

      If I felt so bad by crying in anger, think of what I would have been had I yelled ! I’d be catatonic 🙂
      No, my anger was not misplaced. I got my point across once I was calmer.
      Yes, Things cling on. I had forgotten it and was taken by surprise when it hit after nearly a year of freedom from the feeling.

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  2. Hangaku Gozen

    I agree with Carol, you are being too hard on yourself. I think Asian women in general are taught that showing anger is a bad thing—it’s unattractive! it turns you into a harpy! But because of that, my mother was never taught how to deal with her emotions in a constructive way. She would suppress it but act unhappy for the rest of the day, or explode, sometimes violently, then cry and scream about how it was the other person’s fault that she was upset. Because of my mother, anger frightened me for a long time; it wasn’t until I learned how to channel it and talk about it that I realized it could be useful. It’s telling you about what you dislike, or what you think is wrong. Knowing how to handle it takes a lot of practice—I’m still working at it, but I am grateful now for my anger and what it teaches me.

    Anyway, losing your temper doesn’t make you a bad person. Apologize if you must, then examine what upset you.

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    1. Gobblefunkist Post author

      I agree with you on being taught that anger is a bad thing. On the rare times that I do show out my anger (usually justified) at my father, his response always is “you used to be such a good person, what happened to you?”. Gets me riled even more 🙂

      But, I don’t know about other Asians, but I feel Indians (especially of the sect I belong to) have a nasty temper, and I feel like I can’t add to it. Yeah, mental, I know.

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  3. SS

    LG,

    Unfortunately legitimate anger is not available as a freedom of expression to all anywhere in the world. In our culture the good Indian girls/boys are conditioned not to get upset or angry with anything. They are conditioned to deal with anything and everything. I think that is why when we get really angry we break down into tears – we feel like we failed to handle the situation justly and failed everyone’s expectation of us.

    You have the right to get angry when there is a need for it. Don’t worry about it. I know many manipulative women (like kids I suppose) who use tears as a weapon for self-pity and to get things done. Sometimes I wonder are they really the practical and smart ones…I wish I knew how to turn on the water works on an as needed basis. This is to make you feel better okay 🙂

    SS

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    1. Gobblefunkist Post author

      Reading your comment makes me wonder – I am doing the exact same mistake with my daughter. Whenever my kid shows her displeasure or anger, I chide her with the classic “not yet a sapling, so much anger already (மொளச்சி மூணு எல விடல…அதுக்குள்ள என்ன கோவம் வேண்டியிருக்கு)”.
      Thanks for making me aware of this, SS.

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  4. suchi9

    Sorry to hear about this but I have also battled for years, not just with anger but with actual flaming red hot RAGE. I can go for many calm
    months thinking I am riding that tiger and one day suddenly the tiger is totally riding me……People say daily meditation helps. I have found that not being provoked works best for me 🙂

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