It has taken me a lot of pain and anger to pen down this article. Yes, anger. That’s a word I have come to hate and loathe in my life. Today, as I face the world, I know that my article will establish something I dread, something I have always been scared to admit – that I have anger management issues. Several sessions with a friend studying Clinical Psychology have helped me come to terms with it.
As a child, I was always very short-tempered. I always attributed this trait to my mother, because I thought what I experienced was hereditary. My anger subjugated me to violence, with my mother hitting me whenever I got angry at her. I don’t know why, but whenever I got upset, I felt a surge in me, something that was beyond my control. I felt I was being consumed by something, and I had to fight it. That surge came out as my anger.
I didn’t want to get angry, I didn’t want to answer back, and I didn’t want to say mean things. But I did.
When I was 9, I broke my brother’s arm because I was angry at him. That day, I made a resolution that I will change. But somehow that demon inside me kept popping up.
As I grew into an adolescent, I began hating myself, and that reflected externally too. I was initially viewed as an arrogant person, then as an aggressive girl. And as society makes us believe, aggression, especially in girls, isn’t the best thing to showcase. My eyes well up as I recollect my past.
It may seem that I am on a rant. But I want others to know what I went through, what I am still going through as I curl under the bedsheets and cry at night. I never wanted to be aggressive, to appear arrogant. I wanted friends and a normal life. But I couldn’t.
As I crossed my teenage years, the problem became more severe. Gradually, my father realised that hitting me wasn’t the answer, the problem lay deeper that was consuming me, making me lose my sanity.
To be honest, I know I wasn’t insane, I know I didn’t suffer from a health issue. My father found the ‘best’ solution for me – he took me to a rishi who gave me rudraksha to calm me down. My mother, as she tied the band around my neck, told me that the rock would take my anger inside it, and rid me of it.
How easy is it for us to believe such things, without giving it a rational thought?
No rudraksha, Ayurveda or homeopathy is the answer for managing anger. I suffered from a psychological problem, and I needed someone to talk to me about it. No one lent me an ear. In fact, every little characteristic of mine began to be attributed to my anger. When I went through a hormonal change and my hair started falling, my mother used to tell me, “Oh look, it’s because you are short-tempered that all your hair is falling off as punishment.”
I do know this much that parents may have parenting skills and beliefs that some things they say may ‘change’ their kids for the better, but every instance and mention to my anger problem really hurt.
The worst phase of my life began when I started college and then went on to do my Masters. There were days when I was happy, days when I was furious. I lost my temper for little things. I wanted things to be done my way. I became a detestable person. And I detested myself too. I myself didn’t know how I would react at the next second.
People who met me used to say, “She is a nice person, but she is extremely moody.” Others just avoided me.
It hurt me a lot. I have never wanted anyone to hate me. I myself hate no one. I love every person who has come into my life, but there have been many that I drove away. Just because of my anger.
When I began my Masters, I befriended two people who took a liking to each other. I couldn’t tolerate it. Even if one of them came to talk to the other and forgot to say hi to me, it made me angry. I used to pass taunts to make them feel that they are at ‘fault’.
You might say I have ego issues, and I am a bad person. But I am being honest. Little things annoyed me, things I didn’t want to be angry about. I tried my best to control myself, but this anger inside of me consumes me, every single day.
Whenever I used to pick up the phone to talk to my mother, she used to tell me that my anger will ruin my life.
My boyfriend began to be pitied by people. He was asked, ‘how do you tolerate her?’ He was the only person who did understand me, but at times even he would burst out and tell me, “I thought you were a chilled out person. I don’t know how long I can take this.”
Two of my closest friends couldn’t make it for my birthday one year, because of work commitments. The anger in me spoke as I called them and abused them for not being able to make it. The abuse was so severe that they refused to meet me again out of fear that I would impose my wrath on them again.
There came a point when I started believing that I am the worst person in the world. That I didn’t deserve friends or a family. When I started working, the work pressure made my anger burst out even more. I knew I couldn’t get angry at my colleagues. My anger used to surge, I tried controlling it, but the tears wouldn’t stop flowing because my head hurt so bad. I became cynical.
I have contemplated suicide, yes. I have thought of ridding the world of such a terrible person like me.
But I want my story to be out there. I want people to know that I am not abnormal, people like me aren’t abnormal.
I want to seek psychiatric help, but I am scared. I feel as if people will judge me. The fear of judgement makes me stay within a cocoon, confined. I am scared to tell people. I know they will look at me, point and say, ‘see, that’s the girl who gets angry at the drop of a hat!’
I hope that someday, someone who has faced the inner demon inside of them can connect with my story.