Friday, March 12, 2010

Controlling Rage While Destitute

The following is a modification of an email I wrote to a friend this morning. I am writing it to this blog since readers may be wondering why, in addition to Daphne who has had her own problems, I have gone silent...

A loner, asocial and an introvert, rarely have I told others what I'm trying to deal with. The deeper the issues go and the more troubling to me, the less likely I am to do so. The most recent exception was Kiltie. But, well, Kiltie is Kiltie. She's not me....

I've a rage that has been with me for as long as I can remember. It built up over the first 14 years of my life and never went away. I've managed it by subsuming it under a calm veneer and, sometimes, with happy moments. Most of my life that layer of calm has been thick enough to prevent the rage from breaking through and affecting my day-to-day reality.

My young husband saw the rage often during the early years of our marriage, and he helped me control it. When the rage came on, he'd hold me tight to him, even as I was hitting him with my fists or trying to knife myself in the belly where the rage roiled; and screaming 'til my voice went raw. I'd be in a blind, red rage, completely beyond my control to stop. He'd just hold me tight to him, rubbing my back, speaking softly, soothingly. I'd quieten, feel comforted and be ever so grateful for his care. Holding me tight, giving comfort that I'd deny myself, was the best treatment he could give. How that young man, barely turned 21, could have had such wisdom, I don't know.

When the children came, I became concerned about how my rages would affect them. My own childhood had been filled with screaming - not a day passed without it - and I didn't want that environment for my own offspring. So I learned to subsume my emotions and with them the rage, below a veneer of calm acceptance, as I was required to do as a child.

I fooled even the best of them. A longtime close friend, a woman who'd seen through so many people, told me she'd sought my friendship because of my calm demeanour. My response was to laugh out loud, a rare occurrence. What people perceive as placidity is iron control. I invest a lot of energy maintaining the illusion.

Over the past several months, my layer of calm has thinned and I've been very concerned about it. If I had children still at home, I'd seek counselling immediately and request medication.

I know I'm capable of cruelty. That's what's scaring me and I've been trying to deal with it. I love my babies, the cats, and I'd never want to hurt them. However, the rage has come too close and too often lately. Each time I have to quell it, I fear I may not be successful next time. This scares the hell out of me.


- I've withdrawn from all contact with people, largely because withdrawal means less likelihood of triggers.
- I've been trying to cope with my straitened circumstances which, I think, are a HUGE contributing factor. Knowing this is my worst year and in six months things will have improved slightly hasn't helped. I'm struggling big-time with the constant and increased deprivation; the constant reminder of it everywhere around me; and with waiting and waiting and waiting to get subsidized housing that will allow me to stay with Kiltie and Brodie.
- I've been dealing with Kiltie. She is better, although there have been periods of vomiting still. Not like before, but it's still a concern to me. Yesterday and today, she's back to her usual self. Not knowing the cause of her on-again, off-again lethargy and vomiting has kept me unsettled. Stability is crucial to my ability to maintain calm; as it may be crucial to Kiltie's health. Perhaps her problems are due to the tension she feels in her home.
- Yesterday I spotted a sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for St. John's Wort (SJW). I bought 120 caplets for $11.49, plus tax.

About the last, three or four years ago during the time I was doing the first WISE project, I took SJW for a few months. Started with the typical dosage, three capsules per day. Turned out that was way too much for me. My car-enabled friend Ronnie, when she next came by for a trip for shopping, laughed merrily at me as I sat slumped jelly-like in her car seat and my words slurred. Given I'm highly sensitive to medications, caffeine, and so on, I should have known better than to take the regularly dose! I reduced it to two capsules and that was better, but one capsule per day was best. I wanted only to normalize to my usual control of the rage, nothing more.


Barbara Anne said...

Crystal, you are an amazing being. I wish I could help or find something soothing to say but they're only more of those words that fall so short of the mark of a society that cares for those that are exceptionally challenged. Financial worries and emotional storms have been a constant in my life as well which is why I can relate so well and feel such compassion at present. People are reaching a breaking point, rapidly these days, and I pray we collectively get our shit in a pile and respond to what's happening in our world of policy makers and the systems that we collectively rely on. I just want to encourage you to continue to write when you can and share what is going on for you. It's important and your brilliance and eloquence are a gift. Thank you.

Chrystal Ocean said...

Thank you for reading this blog and for your encouragement.

Daphne and I appreciate it when readers leave comments. Unfortunately, so few do. It's as though our voices get sucked into a giant black hole.

Kim said...

No, we read. I check in every day, although sometimes I don't have any words to comfort you. I write nasty letters, to the editor, to politicians, on blogs and facebook groups, trying my best to encourage the best instincts in people. I get depressed too Chystal, I think it's a disease of the intelligent and compassionate of us. Happy spring girlfriend, you are not alone.

Deb said...

Chrystal, I'm reading this months after it was written, but it's heart-rending. Even though I just discovered your blog, I felt an immediate kinship. I find it hard to be with others too, though I wear the mask. You can feel your rage without acting on it. Sending positive vibes your way.

Chrystal Ocean said...

Deb, thank you for your positive thoughts.

With the passage of time, I ran out of SJW - it did do the job I required of it for the four months I was on it.

Have not had any SJW for about ten days and the edgy feeling is returning. I don't want to feel this way and keep looking for more deals. The regular price of SJW is too high for my budget to afford, so I am hoping and waiting - again. Damn.