I’ll Jekyll YOUR Hyde.

So this happened.So the other night the passenger window of my car was shot; I was riding passenger. Who or why are still unknowns chalked up to a bad neighborhood, but that doesn’t negate an unsolicited hour of midnight police company. I handled the entire situation with the kind of grownup aplomb that comes with being annoyed one’s window will have to be fixed immediately. That came, of course, after the initial shock which follows a sudden explosion beside one’s ear. When the arriving officer pulled a pellet instead of a bullet from beside my seat, the shock turned instantly into peeve. Not that a pellet gun couldn’t have done damage — were my window not to have stopped it I probably would’ve been struck in the neck or head. That would’ve sucked and might have, were it a perfect storm, killed me. We left the scene, got milkshakes and went home where I slept without [more] incident [than usual]; the following day our insurance had someone come to our home and replace the window.

Situations like that help convince me that no, it is not normal for me to suddenly burst into tears because the macaroni won’t boil fast enough, or to find myself in an explosive and unshakable rage over some thought about a past event I’ve long laid to rest or about the can opener being hard to use. dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-1941-mgmThese are things that might be annoying or contain a flicker of emotional memory but which do not warrant the kind of severity my reactions bring. When in a seemingly blind rage I feel like I’ve been placed in a corner and am made to helplessly watch my heart race and my blood pressure rise. I am myself and calm, saying softly to whatever poltergeist has entered an ear  this doesn’t need to be happening. That I am still myself and can try to exert control over the heat in my chest by not giving in to an emotion for which I hadn’t asked suggests that maybe this is not a “natural” personality change.

Google has only returned results on emotional lability with “crying and laughing” as the primary exhibitions. I do not know if anger applies, but I’m sure it exists under the umbrella of  “mood swings.” This is not my anger, I think while breathing steam. This is not my sadness, I reassure myself while sobbing over the kitchen counter. Having emerged from many situations where my life was threatened and having lived through what I believed was the end of my life… well, come on. I have worked specifically, knowing what some of those situations could have begotten, and really, really hard for most of my adult life to be as emotionally stable as possible. Anxiety is still a large and constant part of my life (we’re working on that) but rage? That’s never been part of any of my equations.

I don't want to live here.

I don’t want to live here.

Has anyone else experienced unremitting anger? How do you deal with this? I have an audiobook of the Dalai Lama’s “Art of Happiness” and new breathing techniques. I have the ataractic voice talking me off whatever ledge comes up suddenly from the sea. It still happens and I want to continue trying to master this symptom. A degree in Falling Awesomely would be mine after almost two decades of hard work; an imaginary certificate for these spontaneous, hot-blooded symptoms will be mine as well.

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