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When Anger Rules Your Day!

The Incredible Hulk Within Us

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Anger! It is such a difficult feeling to deal with. And right now, I am dealing with a great amount of anger.

At my age in life, I began to understand some things that I either laughed about or taken very lightly. One of them is this feeling of anger. It is a very powerful emotion that has gotten me in trouble in the past. As I grew older, I found that I am also having great difficulty in keeping it in check. There have been times that I have gotten so angry that I have literally punched holes in walls, threw objects across a room and even taken myself to an isolated place just to scream at the top of my lungs. Dr. Bruce Banner has nothing on me.

As a child, I have gotten into a few fistfights. Some I have won and some I have lost. Most of them involved opening my big mouth only to follow it up with my hands. In other words, my big mouth wrote a check that my body was unable to cash. As I grew older, I learned from a colleague at a university that we attended together that I needed to judge my anger in stages and try to use it as my guide. He told me that in Stage One, I should try to talk to a person by being calm and using my manners. At Stage Two, I should still be calm and NOT use my manners. During this stage, it lets my target now that I am getting angrier and the lack of my courtesy words should be a clue. At Stage Three, he told me that I should not speak whatsoever. Again, this serves as a signal to my target that I am ready for battle mode and that the smart target should either apologize or get ready for a battle of the ages. 

For the most part, this system has worked well for me. It has never failed me. I have used it with students of mine, family members and even others who know me well and the kind of rage that I carry within. Still, anger walks alongside me every day.

There are times that I get angry, but the system would not apply. Yesterday, before I wrote this article, I was driving home from work. It was a very cold February afternoon, but I was in no rush to get home. Why? Because there would not be anyone there. There never is. That is why February is a tough month for me. The ONLY good thing about this month is that it is my brother's and my birth month. It is also our Mom's birth month, but that is overshadowed by her death. Our sister died on February 3rd, which is, coincidentally, the same calendar date in which Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens died in a horrific plane crash in 1959. When it comes to the deaths of my parents and baby sister due to cancer—cigarettes in all three cases—I place the entire blame on my Dad's "friend," a guy who used to take my Dad to various gin joints where they drank and smoked their lives away. As a result, Dad and Mom would smoke and drink from time to time. My sister just tried cigarettes. In the end, the tobacco caught up to them at various stages of their lives and killed them. Now, I am left to visit their graves. Where does the anger come in? When I stand at their graves, I end up crying my eyes out.  As I walk away, I walk away with clenched fists because I want to find this "friend" of my Dad and just pummel the idiot into the ground. The only problem is that the idiot died before my parents died. What a coward he was.

So, I am left with anger issues. No, I don't want to pick up a gun and shoot someone. No, I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to deal with the anger in a positive fashion. In the same university, I learned that Dr. Sigmund Freud wrote that one must learn to transfer anger into something positive. To be honest, I am doing that right now. You are reading it. Yes, I transfer my anger to my writing ability. It is better than taking it out on someone. I am still angry. The only difference is that I am with a computer and not with a correction officer at the nearest jail.

I once studied judo. I love the sport. To me, it is very relaxing and scientifically enjoyable. It allowed me to take the stress in my body and use it in a good way. It is so enjoyable to take someone who is your own size and weight and heave their body mass across a mat in the dojo. I did this for a few years until I suffered a slight hip injury as a result of a bike accident, but I am still an avid fan of judo. So, I weighed the possibility of also studying karate so that I could add it to my arsenal. With my anger, I would simply get a few non-living objects and take out my anger on them. Nobody would get hurt and my anger issues would be resolved until the next opportunity to have someone test my patience.

Freud is right. One needs to find an activity in order to vent. In my past, I have engaged in other activities such as music, writing, bike racing, and baseball/softball. Has it done me any good? I guess so. If nothing else, they have allowed me to develop new talents. Have they wiped out my anger issues? Not much, but they also kept me from going to jail, too.

In most cases, I find that the only thing that works for ME is to peacefully confront the individual/offender. Not that I said PEACEFULLY. That can be difficult at times, but it is necessary. Hopefully, I will try to remember that in the near future in my lifespan.

Well, that is all I have to say. Now, if you don't mind, I need to go clothes shopping. It seems (No, not seams!) that my clothes have this huge rip in them when I get very angry.

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