When I was a freshman in college, I went to the hometown of a friend to hang out with his local friends and smash old televisions with baseball bats. A great time was had by all, and as I was smashing a rotary telephone with the bat, I heard one of the guys say "That's one angry girl". 

I guess you could say I've always had anger problems. That little story up there? One of my proudest and finest moments. 

Why? Because I WAS an angry girl. Furious! Full of rage! Always have been. You'd never know it, I've never thrown a punch in my life, I'd rather off myself than harm a child or animal, I can't even yell because of my shredded vocal chords. To look at me, you'd never know the anger that is at a constant simmer inside me. I rarely talk about it, even to my shrink, which strikes me as a little odd, I mean, I talk about my depression all the time, hell I never shut up about being crazy, but I don't talk about my anger. Maybe that's why it has manifested itself in the way it has. 

I've always been a self-abuser. I've got eating disorders. I'm a cutter. I'm a boozer. I hurt myself when I am angry, or sad, or confused, instead of lashing out, I lash in. It's always been like that. I've always been one angry girl. And I've always punished myself, and no one else.

But what to do now? I don't drink anymore, I haven't cut in years, my eating disorders are on a somewhat even keel, things are good in the self-injury department. So what the hell do I do with all this anger? I'm on my fistfuls of meds that keep me from harming myself, keep my logic in control, keep my emotions in check, but none of those lovely little pills does a damn thing to make the anger go away. 

I'm one angry girl, and I have no outlet anymore. I can't even sing, which sounds silly, but I used to get a lot of frustration out through singing. Nope, wrecked that, can't use that outlet anymore. Can't cut, I'm covered in enough scars already, and one of my meds dulls my compulsions, so common sense can stop me before i reach for a blade. Can't purge, it bloats my face. Can't starve, it gives me acid reflux. Can't drink, they'll send me back to rehab. Nope, all my outlets are gone. Not that they were healthy outlets by any stretch of the imagination, but they were MY coping skills. What the hell do I do now?

"Take a self-defense class!" "Punch a pillow!" "Talk it out!" "Write it out!" Well I can't afford a self-defense class, and punching a pillow is pretty effing unsatisfying. Talking leads to embarrassment and crying, which makes me even angrier, and writing it out? I guess I'm trying that out right now. It's okay. I'd much rather be smashing all my plates or pulverizing my coffee table with a baseball bat. But we can't always get what we want, as a wise man once said.

The drag about having a public blog that everyone knows is "you" from your Facebook friends to your dad to your neighbors, is that I can't say mean and hurtful things without consequence. Not that I want to say mean and hurtful things, but man, sometimes I'd love to scream into the wind and have the words carried away into nothingness, without repercussions, and the closest I can get to that is writing, and writing, as Jen says in The Dark Crystal, is "words that stay." 

My words stay, and that's a responsibility. Just like cleaning up the debris after those 18 year old kids smashed the shit out of old electronics back in 1995, we have a responsibility to clean up the mess we make with our words. And I can't handle that responsibility, so I keep my big, stupid, cowardly mouth shut, and my finger always hovering over the "delete" key. I can't scream, I can't hurt – myself or others, I can only write, and censor, and censor, and censor, and goddammit, sometimes that just isn't satisfying enough. 

So I seethe. And I write on Facebook that I want to smash my apartment to pieces with a baseball bat, and my old friend from college reminds me of the day I was confirmed as an "angry girl" and I'm PROUD of that, and we have a nostalgic laugh and the rage fades for a little while, until the next wave hits. And around and around we go. 

I'm one angry girl. It's just who I am. 

Me, 1995.  


Rage — 25 Comments

  1. You just reminded me of a line from the Sopranos’ shrink Dr. Melfi: “Depression is rage turned inward.” Based on this entry, sounds like it fits you perfectly.
    Since you used to love singing but can’t now, what about taking up an instrument? Music could still be an outlet for you, just in a different way. I don’t know, maybe the drums. It’s all about hitting things with sticks on purpose, right?

  2. I can really relate to this. Last week someone (one of my teachers, actually) asked me how I usually cope with anxiety. Hmmm….I’ve stopped drinking, cutting, purging, and restricting….Unfortunately, I haven’t really found healthy, effective coping skills to replace the self-destructive ones I relied on for so long. I’ve still got all that anxiety, but now I have to sit with it and trust that it WILL pass (eventually). But there are days when I really, really would love to use one of my tried and true quick fixes.

  3. I know exactly how you feel about the public blog thing.. I found out my ex is reading mine to “keep up on the kids” (why he can’t just CALL THEM is beyond me?).. so I can’t put anything there which could escalate into a war, as much as I want to vent. Cuz BOY do I have stories I could tell. *sigh* And yeah my folks read it too so I can’t be explicit, or any type of sex-related stuff without being weirded out. Bleah.

  4. I have a suggestion from my angry girl days. Make a ton of ice. Hurl it – with great force – into your bathtub. Makes a lot of noise, sounds and feels like breaking glass and no clean up! And, if possible, mention the anger to your shrinky. Anger is the flip side of depression. Take care of you.

  5. Can you go to a junk yard with a sledgehammer and just beat the shit out of stuff? No clean up. It’s already junk. AND you get to wield a sledgehammer. pure rage-y adrenaline bliss. *sigh*

  6. Oh, darlin’. Amen. It’s taken me until this year (my 33rd, my Jesus Year) to get in touch with my anger (y’all, it sounds lame, but it’s fucking cathartic.) It was always there, but I always called it something different. Now, I’m so mad, I constantly want to fuck shit up in real time, and there’s no outlet for me. Plate throwing? TV smashing? Goddamn, I am so there. We should start a franchise operation. You Buy It, You Break It?

  7. I know a couple of people addicted to rage-ahol who turned the running to run out the frustration and anger route.
    I’m not a runner myself, so I FULLY UNDERSTAND if you are not, but WORD ON THE STREET: running is good for anger management.
    Also: Roller Girls/Roller Derby. You would be a KICKASS roller girl. And they get to knock the shit out of each other and wear knee pads plus be badass and cute besides.

  8. Oh, that is an amazing idea. I should suggest this to my partner, for next time she needs to throw something. Lamictal has made that a rarity, thankfully (for her more than me, I think).

  9. My anger issues used to be far worse, but they still crop up from time to time. Vigorous exercise or playing the drums tend to be my outlets these days. I have been know, on occasion, to let out a primal scream or two. Finding a place to do that is a little more difficult, but the reward is worth the effort. Sometimes just taking a walk around the block will be enough to recenter myself. All of these things release endorphins into your system, which should help calm you down. Honestly, some kind of regular exercise/activity like the above is good for depression. It helps the body produce the chemicals your brain needs naturally, rather than just relying on your pill regimen.
    Mess around and experiment with a few different outlets. There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. Hopefully you can find something that works and makes you happy. That’s all that’s really important.

  10. I can so relate. Angry and frustrated with no outlet. When I was younger my father had a bar and I would fill my pickup truck with empty bottles to take them to recycling. Smashing cases and cases of bottles into recycling dumpsters would satisfy my anger for a while. The sound of shattering glass and the physical exertion filled a need.
    Now I’m living in a country where everything comes in plastic bottles. Damn bottles bounce. It’s just not the same.

  11. I often feel a rage I cannot explain nor express so I bottle it up. I honestly don’t know where it goes but I somehow manage to minimize the damage when it does come out. I just hope it doesn’t get worse and become a problem.

  12. Well, I think that anger can be a very healthy thing. It can be a motivator to change the things that frustrate us. I admit that I have to yell and scream sometimes, but I think that is better than turning it inward. I agree with all of the posts above that discuss physical activity as an outlet. Even a brisk walk can do the trick sometimes, especially if it is really cold outside. Having anger is fine, it is what you choose to do with it that makes all the difference.

  13. Do the cats help with the rage? Not that you take it out on them! Rather, I mean, does having the responsibility to care for a living creature help distract yourself from the rage. I’ve wondered that about myself. I’m not as angry now that I have kids.
    Good luck, and I hope you can get some sleep this week.

  14. I’m all for going to the gym. I struggle with depression as well and all I know is that it’s really hard to be mad after an hour of throwing weights around and some additional cardio. Boring, but true.

  15. I might the only person in the world who believes this, but I don’t think venting anger (or expressing it) helps… which is different than saying its existence should be suppressed or denied… From my own experience, feeding it by venting or expressing it violently (not by hitting people, but maybe throwing stuff or venting in writing) seems to reinforce it and makes me feel truly ill (physically and psychically) and regretful later…
    The only thing that helps (for me) is distraction… usually by cleaning (only time I do it) and walking… (smoking cigarettes used to help, but I quit many years ago… I think it was really just the deep breaths that helped… not necessarily the nicotine…)

  16. I have terrible rage issues I’d never blog about, cheers to your bravery!
    I run. It’s the only thing that works for me. (I know, cigs + running don’t mix)
    Doesn’t always work either. Last Friday, I almost destroyed a beloved 22 year friendship losing patience with someone I know isn’t mentally healthy right now.
    At least you are aware of it & trying to work with it. To never stop trying is all we can do.

  17. Miss B, are you me? Have you been peeking in my brain? Because I constantly feel full of impotent rage. I think too part of my issue with expressing it is that, as women, we’re socialized to not be angry, or at least not show it. It’s not NICE. I’m fighting that socialization myself, and have resolved today at my shrink appointment to tell her how much anger is bubbling under the surface. Hang in there, B. if you want them.

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