Anger regulation does not come naturally to me. It is hard to predict what will make me angry. It is such an automatic reaction, flaring in an instant from an all too familiar chain of neurons, a well trodden path for the balls of thought to roll down upon swiftly and smoothly, before I even realize it.
Out of civility, of chivalry, of courtesy and consideration, I absorb it inside. My manner becomes slightly quieter, slightly distracted, slightly less thoughtful. There is a sharpness that edges in to my voice. It’s subtle, and hard to pick up by those not used to my regular degree of quietude, distraction, and thoughtlessness. The pressure builds, until it can be held no more, and then bursts outside, in a moment of wild abandon.
It is quick, and sudden, and shocking. A clap of lightning utters a mean, hurtful thing while something very breakable is flung across the room on its final flight. And then there is silence — stoic, calm, unbreakable silence. And no amount of screaming, or weeping, or reason, or kindness will get through. As the shock resonates outwards, so does it inwards. It takes a while for my faculties to return.
Upon recovery, the first sensation is powerlessness, followed closely by guilt. Guilt, for having been powerless against the rising anger. For not having directed it towards a worthy goal, but to have succumbed to it so easily. For hurting those I love, not unintentionally or by accident or in the revelation of a great truth, no: deliberately and with full intent to hurt, in an act of directed vengeance for the way I felt, which was not their fault, and often not even in their control or awareness.
It is always the ones I love that are hurt the most by my anger. You only ever get angry at those you love, as they say in India. Those that deserve it the least. But this is the price for loving me.
Also read this poem on Anger.