Monday, May 5, 2008

Anger Holes

I was just on the phone with a customer service rep. One of those people you call and have to rattle off a 10-digit account number, a phone number, address, cock size, and last 4 of your social to “for confirmation” that I am who I was claiming to be. The call didn’t go too well since I was complaining to them about my service, and instead of listening to what I was trying to say they were very good at parroting obscure lines from their EULA back to me. While I was right about what I was saying, the whole situation was completely my fault as I did something a few weeks ago that led to today’s problem.

The customer service and what happened to cause it isn’t really important though. The big problem here is that it made me angry. I was in a blind, seething rage. My face and upper body turned red from the blood pumping so hard (I was literally “seeing red”); my hands and voice were shaking with anger; I even started sweating and could feel the heat pouring off my face. All over a situation that wasn’t really important to begin with and in the end, was my fault and not the poor customer service person unlucky enough to answer my call.

I’ve always had a bad temper though; it runs in the family. My brother and sister have bad ones too, and both my parents’ tempers are legendary. One of the few images that I can clearly recall from growing up is of my father hurling a skateboard out a 2nd floor window because he was mad at us kids. It’s among the scariest (and saddest) memories of my childhood. Yet here I am 25 years later doing the same thing…losing my temper at the drop of a hat over piddling little things. I didn’t toss anything out the window, but I probably would have if I’d thought of it.

It’s not something I’m proud of and I know I’m as much to blame as any genetic inclination that may factor into the deal. I’ve never been good at dealing with my emotions. As a child I felt everything acutely. Emotions were physical presences for me, they came from my core and I could feel them pulsing inside as they bubbled to the surface. But as I got older and and my emotions started getting stronger, I ran from what I was feeling. Instead of dealing with it and allowing myself to grow through the pain and disillusionment, I locked my emotions away and began isolating myself from everyone and everything around me. I put up my shields and built my barriers, then quietly found a nice dark corner and settled in. I’ve been doing it for so long that there are times when I don’t know if I can feel anything anymore. Not much seems like it’s really happening; whole weeks go by with me on auto-pilot just going through the motions.

But every now and then that all-powerful rage comes blasting through my defenses. And while I know it’s not a good thing to have all that anger bottled up inside or have it explode out of me like it did earlier on the phone…maybe, just maybe, the hole it blew through my walls will stay open this time and some of my other emotions will come out. Perhaps I should tear down a few of them this time and move a little closer. It would be nice to feel something real again.

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