When The Beast Breaks Free

I write this with tears in my eyes.

I have talked before about my anger issues. As a child and a teenager I was angry all the time. I didn’t know why I was angry. I just was. Even worse, I didn’t even know I was angry. I wasn’t aware that anger was burning deep inside me, killing me from the inside out.

I didn’t get into fights. I didn’t hit anyone. But I was much too stern and I kept everyone at arm’s length. The smallest of things was enough to set me off and I’d yell an angry retort and stomp away to go simmer in my room.

Being a gifted child didn’t help either. To me, everybody was utterly stupid and I looked at pretty much everyone with contempt. It is quite normal for everybody to see themselves as the norm. I didn’t think of myself as gifted. I saw myself as having a “normal” intelligence. So, if I was a regular, average kid , then everybody else had to be stupid because, how else do you explain the fact that they don’t understand things as easily and as quick as you do? Math class was the worse. I was always angry during those. I couldn’t understand how my classmates didn’t understand such basic concepts. It took me a while to realize I was smarter than the rest. It probably didn’t happen until 6th grade, when the nuns started to assign students to me for tutoring. I don’t know how we all survived that. The poor other kids, because I didn’t hit them for being slow and I, because I managed to not hit anyone and not call anyone names. My charges were terrified of me, but they improved. And the more they improved, the more the nuns would assigned more girls to be tutored by me. By ninth grade, girls were coming to me out of their own volition and I helped them all. I started to get an inkling on how to control The Beast, whatever it was. How to keep it at bay.

I was angry in my 20s too, although less. My health problems really kicked in at that time and I guess I was too busy being in pain and ill that I didn’t have the mind to be angry that much. Besides, I now had two delightful, brilliant kids and that helped, believe it or not. My kids taught me patience. They taught me fun. They taught me happiness.

That’s when I realized that that thing I felt, that pain deep in my chest, The Beast, was anger. I also started to realize what it was doing to me and to others. And with that, came sadness and shame. A profound understanding that anger never solves anything. That it never brings anything good.  That only brings hurt to everyone involved.

That’s when I committed myself to actively thwart the anger. To beat the Beast. I didn’t want to be angry anymore. I didn’t want to hurt and I didn’t want anyone else to hurt because of it.

And so the war started. The war between The Beast and I.

However, it wasn’t too long before I realized I couldn’t really kill the Beast. All I could do was to keep it chained in the deepness of my being. Something weird happened then. I became frozen inside. I suppose that my mind decided it was the only way to control The Beast. The side effect of that was two-fold: 1. I could get angry on the outside anymore, and 2. I was directing all the anger inward, causing myself great emotional pain.

But on the outside, my 30s brought many victories. The Beast was less and less seen. I was getting more and more successful at keeping it contained. That’s also when I moved to Canada so loving it here so much might’ve been that extra help I needed. I don’t know. But I did get better and better at it. Nevertheless, my therapist would often comment about my inability to get angry and how that wasn’t really a good thing as we do need to express our feelings instead of burying them inside. And besides, he said, sometimes it is OK to be angry. That there is such thing as healthy anger. I haven’t managed to do that just  yet.

I had an epiphany of sorts while watching The Avengers. There is this scene where Dr. Banner finally explains to the rest of the team what his secret is:

Yep, that’s me. And as Dr. Banner would tell you, it is always ugly when The Beast surfaces.

Today was one of those days.

And now I lay here in bed, feeling very sad for the hurt it caused.

16 thoughts on “When The Beast Breaks Free

  1. the_artist says:

    Hi – Just wanted to drop in and say, Breathe deep and rest…each day is new. Rather than click “like” I wanted to just say the actual words I hope you feel better and don’t beat yourself up… Your sincere words reflect great levels of reflection and that is to be admired.

  2. Cate Reddell says:

    Anger is so confusing. After years of therapy trying to learn how to be angry, I was told not to be angry. How is that meant to make sense? I’m still trying to work it out for myself. But what I do know is that it sucks when that anger hurts. I’m sorry that happened and hope that tomorrow you can find a way through. <3

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      I know, right???!!!

      My therapist always said it was not a good thing I couldn’t get angry. But I really hate getting angry. I don’t like it. I truly feel like the hulk, even though I don’t scream, I don’t hit wall and I don’t break things.

  3. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    Tolerating the shortcomings and intellectually void behavior of others isn’t easy, even if one isn’t necessarily gifted. Humans are resilient creatures, and if any damage was done it could very well be that in your sadness you’re overstating that damage.

    Not to say I think we should let anger reach its worst conclusions, but people are potentially more tough-skinned than you think.

    Don’t be hard on yourself, SSG. You’re a tremendously kind and loving woman and you mean well in everything you do.

    Much love, my soulmate.

  4. No Blog Intended says:

    Very honest story – but I wouldn’t feel too bad for becoming angry. I believe it’s as you say not good to turn it inside all the time. And it’s probably not nice to see… But as long as you are able to aplogize, it ùight still be all okay.

    (Hugs)

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      Thank you for the hugs and for your comment. I don’t scream, I don’t hit walls, I don’t break things. I sound very calm too. But I feel bad for the poor person that is the recipient of my anger.

      Yeah, good thing I don’t have a problem apologizing when I know I’m at fault.

      How’s school? you must be getting close to the end of the year, no?

      • No Blog Intended says:

        The end is planned for June, so now I’m working really hard since we got a shit load of work… But you know, I try not to whine about it to everyone, since there are also good moments :). Thanks for asking by the way, I really appreciate that!

  5. Rose says:

    I had a similar journey with anger. And now? Now when I get angry, I say angry things, and I don’t think it’s helpful but at the same time it might be better than holding it all in? I don’t know. I’m hoping to figure it out as I go along. I hope you do, too!

  6. ntexas99 says:

    In my own experience, when the anger surfaces, it is invariably disproportionate to the issue at hand, and is more likely a pressure relief valve that has inexplicably exploded because the underlying truth has been suppressed far too long. I can’t even begin to count the number of times my verbal explosions have impacted my loved ones, only to leave me feeling regretful. When we lose control, in any way, it helps us underline our brokenness.

    These days, I try to switch my focus to how I can repair the damage done. First, I take ownership, and secondly, I try to uncover the underlying truth that was being ignored that allowed the anger to boil up to the surface. We all know we can’t go back and undo our mistakes, but what we can do is vow to do better, and we can reach out towards one another with compassion and truth.

    Sorry it’s been a rough day for you.

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      Indeed. It is precisely the disproportionate character of the outburst that I find so overwhelming. The simplest issue even if grants for me to be annoyed, elicits this ridiculous anger…

      I do take ownership as soon as I am able to think again. I suppose that helps. But then I just feel SO bad for losing it :(

      Oh well, all we can do is try our best, right?

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