Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 172 of 365: The Irrational Rage Button

Like a proper Irish person, I have a horrible temper. If I really think about it, I probably have the worst temper out of the majority of people that I know.

A lot of people would hear that news, scratch their heads, and go, "She has a temper?" For crying out loud, my grandparents-in-law call me gatita (little kitten). And that's because most people don't ever see my temper. Like a proper Irish woman, a lot of my temper is either brought about by my own actions, or internalized, where it can fester ("into mental illness", as Marge Simpson once said).

I'd say I could count the number of people who have witnessed the full brunt of my temper and still have a few digits left over to proclaim peace (ironically).

It's a skewed type of rage. Asshole swerves around me on the highway and nearly causes an accident? My go-to reaction is to call him a douchecanoe, laugh at the fact that "douchecanoe" is quite possibly the best insult ever, and go on with my life. Stub my toe when I'm trying to get somewhere? RAGE.

Truth to be told, it's not even a temper. It's more like an irrational rage button that gets pressed at seemingly innocuous times. I can listen to Boehner tell America why his little tantrum with the government shutdown was "for the country's best interests," and be frustrated. I can have my earbuds in, walk past something that catches the cord, have my earbuds pop out of my ears, and I will see red.

In fact, if you want a sure-fire way of pressing my rage button, figure out a way to pop my earbuds out of my ears when I least expect it.

If that doesn't point out the skewed nature of my temper, I don't know what will. Family member doing something shitty? Well, that sucks. Music that flows like magic through tiny wires and into my ears no longer in my ears? DEATH TO EVERYTHING.

If I get right down to it, my irrational rage button and my OCD button are pretty much side by side. While I don't have full-out OCD, I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and one of those tendencies is an extreme inability to handle a change in plans. Any plans. I could be writing an email, have someone come up to me to talk to me, and only half-listen as I continue to type (because dammit this is an email and I planned on finishing it and fucking a this will get done). My husband has this same inability, and we find solace in the fact that we're not the only crazy ones out there who genuinely need a moment to recalibrate our brains when even the tiniest change takes place.

And that's what's happening when I stub my toe while walking, or have my earbuds pop out of my ears. I have a plan, albeit a small one: walk from point A to point B, listen to the music in my earbuds. A disruption of that, especially a disruption that I could've avoided, jars my OCD side, which causes the irrational rage button to be hit with a fevered intensity.

I've been trying to find ways around the irrational rage. Usually this involves a lot of yoga breathing. Which works ... unless another Unplanned Thing happens immediately after. Then I'm essentially looking at the situation, going, "No! I did that thing with my breath to not be mad! This can't happen in immediate conjunction with the first Unplanned Thing! HULK SMASH!"

Oh well. Baby steps.

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