Friday, July 30, 2010

Anatomy of Anger

The Webster's Dictionary defines anger as 'a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a   wrong; wrath; ire.' What that basically means is that someone or something pisses you off and you blow your top (in varying degrees). But Webster's got it wrong! Anger, if you really think about it, is not really a feeling, a feeling of strong displeasure yes, but it is not the actual feeling. Anger is ultimately a reaction to a strong feeling, almost always, of displeasure. What sets people apart is their perception of that negative feeling, and perhaps the degree with which they display their reaction.

The manifestation of anger is the final point of no return, where the perceived displeasure is so overwhelming that the person under the influence (of anger) expresses those emotions externally, be it to a person or a situation, and it's never a pretty sight. Anger in any form, expressed or bottled up, is never contained to only the intended victim, it's aggressive spread is far reaching. 

So, what's that got to do with me? I'm the coolest person you'll ever meet (exponentially exaggeratedly speaking). But what I am is a very angry person, bottled up in a body that can't do anything about it, well, except scream at people and things that rub me the wrong way. Lately, however, I've noticed that the rubbing doesn't even have to be the wrong way! It doesn't take me too long to be emotionally embroiled into a situation that invariably results in the Mount Vesuvius type explosion. The situation on the other hand doesn't have to be proportional to the explosive display. No, it could be as trivial as I can't find my shoe, and WHAM!! the neighbors are treated to decibel levels even the construction company next door can't match.

I've always been a temper challenged person, always voicing my verbose opinions with a passionate fervor that few could match. Tears of conviction streaming down my cheeks, my stance poised to delivery precise lethal damage to whom so ever dare challenge, and my voice pitched to break glass if the need ever arose. That was teenage. Now, the tears have dried up, the stance is deadlier and sometimes used, and the voice hoarse from broken glass, but the anger is still there, growing, as if fed by an invisible force I can't seem to run away from or fight. 

The worse part is, half the time I don't know why I'm so angry! I start out with very innocent intentions, entering every situation or conversation with a clean slate. Keeping my mind open for something new that may come my way, to absorb, to learn. Most benign situations pass off without incidence, but the ones that involve people who bring out the (what was it that Webster's said?) strong feeling of displeasure, more often than not feel the intensity of the wrath. Many a times the people to face the onslaught of emotional upheaval are either innocent (mostly due to their age(s)), or weren't even involved. To make matters worse, I know I'm wrong in subjecting said person(s) to my disturbed mind, and end up feeling angrier, making a possibly controllable situation totally lost. It's this ability to screw up incessantly, the feeling of some deep rooted insecurity, inadequacy, low self-esteem, or just plain stupidity that drives me over the edge. It would be absolutely legit if this was because of someone else, but all these feeling dwell inside me, making it a bitter pill to swallow.

My math has been less than passable since I can remember, but if I were to calculate the ratio of situations (volatile or non-volatile) to outbursts (warranted or not), it would be 2:1.5. That's a 75% strike rate (again according to my math), which, as per many, well known neurologists, cardiologists, psychoanalysts, is already 4 1/2 feet into my grave. 
According to (here again I must confess limited knowledge) many beauty magazines frowning and anger (which leads to frowning) adds years to the face by creating unseemly lines on the face, making one look 45, as opposed to the desired 26 (real age unknown). 
If I were to ask my family and friends what they thought of my temper tantrums, they'd probably vote to put me on some strong medications. But to myself, I feel scary, not in the Freddy Cougar way, but more in the Chucky way, where i'm supposed to be a positive influence on those around me, am supposed to be fun, nice, bestower of love; but turn out to be a demon who has no clue why the hell she's being mean, horrible and angry (although in a cute body). I feel ugly, knowing full well that every time I yell, or get even slightly angry, my face contorts to resemble a shriveled prune. But worst of all I see, feel the hurt in the people I get angry with, the sometimes irreversible damage I cause, and hate myself for it.

I don't want to be angry all the time! That's not who I am, that's not who I'm meant to be. I wish I could say I've tried and exhausted all remedial methods, but I'd be lying. I thought of yoga, but the slow pace ticks me off even more. Karate helps a bit, but only to put a violent edge to the anger. I think I'm looking for something. What? I'm not sure, but not getting it, or achieving it leaves me in an uncontrollable flux. I do know this, I'd better reign in my barking dog, before I put myself down an ugly, aged, miscalculated fool!