A public expression of madness

As we were getting ready to leave work today, the new girl stated that she is scared of me. I frighten her is what she said “…I don’t ever wanna get on your bad side… what I’m saying is I don’t ever want to get in a fight with you”.

angry woman

 

I am absolutely destroyed by this observation, simply because its not the first time I’ve heard it. My aggression has frightened friends, family members, co-workers. Even an innocent stranger, bank clerk or cashier is not immune to the force of my rage. I live in a small suburb and am slowly running out of places I can shop in. I’m too ashamed of my behaviour to return to those places that have born witness to previous outbursts. ‘Cos believe me, they’ll remember me, and probably call Security.

It comes out of N-O-W-H-E-R-E. There is no build-up of irritation. Snap your fingers – that’s how quick it is. Something flips, and I become someone I don’t recognise. My medications have affected my ability to find/remember words, to express myself fluently. But in my aggressive state, words fly out of my mouth with agility and speed.

 

Present in the moment, is a separate part of me shocked and wondering what the hell just happened? Logically going “WTF Pieces! What’s happening, how are you talking so fast, stop being so nasty, turn around, walk away before its too late, runnnnnn, runnnnnn Pieces, run! But its always too late.

temperA heavy weight of shame follows an outburst of rage. I have verbally assaulted and abused someone. Nothing, even bipolar, justifies my vile behaviour. My meds have systematically been increased over the years in an attempt to quell the public expression of madness. I don’t experience the rage as often as I used to, but… it’s still there… lurking in the dark, waiting …..

And set loose it was today, apparently. A work colleague and I had a brief exchange. And now I have frightened the new girl. On more than one occasion I’ve been called into the manager’s office to address my “unacceptable behaviour”. And now I’m worried sick about tomorrow. I’m constantly worried about loosing my job. Honestly, the safest thing for me at work is to just not talk.

Does anyone else have difficulty with this symptom? I’d love to hear from you….

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19 comments

  1. I’m on a string of meds that keep me from snapping so fast…. but if I get angry enough…. all hell breaks loose. I even threatened to beat up a woman while I was at a Broadway show in my town. (and her friend). I lost it. I was so angry at her “I’m better than you” attitude ….. I just went off. Scared the hell out of her and everyone that witnessed it. Sometimes I get so angry I will cry. Just cry. Recently I told someone I was bipolar and now they will not talk to me. I have also lost a lot of friends that I have known since the 1980’s ….. after I came out of “the mental illness” closet. I’m the same person I was then…. People need to understand that we don’t freak out on purpose. None the less, people are afraid of what they don’t understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your input. It’s good to know I’m not alone – that there are other bipolars exploding with rage at inappropriate times and places. I’m sorry your friends have dropped you now that they know about your illness. I have also experienced painful rejection. As difficult as it might be to brush it off, I try to remind myself that I have no control over other people’s reactions or their ignorance. I find it incredibly hard to do because I was a people-pleaser. But rejection is rejection and we feel everything so deeply. And as you rightly say, people are scared of what they don’t understand. Thank you for sharing

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have problems with rage but most of it is directed to people I know and am close to, unfortunately, because I can’t avoid these people, no matter how hard I try. I was just telling a friend today that my rage, especially recently, is a really big problem and I’m starting back with a counsellor next week. I’ll let you know what I learn. Pinky promise 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha. Thank you dahling. As a child I wanted to be an actress actually. One can pretend, not so? And I figured it out. I had my rating on PG not G so for those whose blog rating is G (most people) I become a generic avatar.

        I changed my rating to G (which isn’t actually accurate considering all the cussing I do etc). I love when problems can actually be solved.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Ohmygod! I’m so relieved that other bipolars have difficulty with rage. One of the reasons I live in such solitude is because I’m so ashamed of my behaviour. I’d love to hear what you learn from your counsellor. Should be very interesting…..

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear you about the shame and embarrassment. Not easy walking around like a bubbling geyser ready to spew scalding water all about. Hard to be THAT person who’s so impatient and irritable. I get it. And I will definitely let you know 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I know it’s not entirely the same and must be far worse for you but I thought I would offer my input anyhow. My ADHD is getting increasingly aggressive in the sense that snapping/yelling at people has become somewhat a habit. Either that or I cry at them – and either way it’s extremely uncomfortable for the person on the receiving end! I say unpleasant, spiteful things and wonder how on earth such awful things could come out of my mouth! I think ADHD is almost like a milder version of bipolar in some respects – they share many symptoms and inexplicable anger is one of them unfortunately! Great post xo

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t know if it’s BP or PTSD that makes me snap at someone in an instant. I used to be horrible on the phone to anyone I had to deal with (phone bill, customer service), but since I worked in a call centre for six years, the tables kind of turned and I was on the other side of anger. Now I control myself, cuz I know how the other person feels.

    As for colleagues, just to keep my job….I seethe inside and go cry in the washroom. Not the best way to handle it, I know. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, Cherished. I appreciate the recognition of anger in an instant. I relate to the call centre – I used to be in telesales *cringe* so I always try to be polite. As for work, like you, I try to keep myself contained, but sometimes it just kind of happens.

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  5. Oh I think we all can relate to this. Thanks for being so honest and talking about how a lot of us suffer. I think the rage and depression is the worst part about it. Our rage just does so much damage. I have gotten better with media, mindfulness and shit loads of therapy, but I still regress. The damage I have caused in the past has been a scar to many. It’s hard to fix what damage we do, but it’s part of our illness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your response, Kim. I’m so glad you mentioned the damage that’s caused. For me, that’s why its such a shameful thing. My ex-husband used to tell me “by the time you’re saying sorry, its already too late”. Granted he is an alcoholic so that comment has its own context, but the premise is correct, in anger I say or do things that damage people and sometimes ‘sorry’ just doesn’t fix it. Having said that, it is a very real symptom of bipolar and the one I find most taxing. Because it happens so suddenly, I have to be extra extra vigilant of my environment and myself. Thanks again for your response. It definitely makes me feel less….. abnormal

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you blahpolar for the nomination for Mental Health Blog. It is especially sweet coming from you because I admire you a lot. Your beautiful talent for writing and your genius at research and creating meme’s. What can I say, when I grow up, I want to be yoooooooou ;->

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  6. Thank you for your honesty. I’ve terrified my son with my rage. It kills me. But for me to get a proper handle on it, I must be honest with myself, as you are here. You’ve taken the first step. I wish you the best as you take the next. What it is exactly, honestly, I’m not sure. For me, it’s an ongoing process. If I’m too rageful, I go to therapy to talk about it and to my psychiatrist to tweak my meds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah you’re welcome Kitt. I know! That look on their face just haunts me afterwards. What I’ve found useful is to train your brain “DO NOT OPEN YOUR MOUTH” If I say it often enough to myself, sometimes……I can contain it. With the people at work, I DON’T OPEN MY MOUTH unless its to say “YES”. Initially I say yes and then come back later with a more composed version of what I would have said. Also at work, I do emails, not phone calls. This is all quite tiring – concentrate, control, don’t get caught off guard. But I still have my job 🙂 Good luck with your process

      Liked by 1 person

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