Good evening my beautiful readers! I hope that you all are doing well and I pray that you all enjoyed “Oh No, It is a Toxic Sludge Monster!”
LET’S GET INTO IT
Tonight, I watched the season finale of Little Fires Everywhere, which is an excellent series on Hulu, but please beware of triggering situations that are depicted in the series. I will not give away too much details, because I do want you all to enjoy it for yourself, but as I watched the finale with my parents during this quarantine, it was very triggering. Pearl, the daughter of one of the lead characters in the show, was having a back-and-forth with her mother about her family background. It was painful to watch them argue with each other, and I must admit it was triggering for me. I debated whether or not I should share this with the world, since I am a very private person, but if my goal is to be more comfortable in my own skin, I MUST BE COMFORTABLE SPEAKING ON MY UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS. My pre-teen and teen years were very hard. Not only going through physical changes: height, acne, facial & body hair, etc., but I was also going through internal changes. I began to notice how much I wanted to fit in, people please and desperately make friends. I gave my all and if it wasn’t enough for the person, I took my rage and frustration out on people who loved me the most. Whether it was my mother, father, brother, aunts and other family members, I released my pent-up frustrations onto them. I felt unworthy and unappreciated by others, so in a way, I believed that my family would absorb the hurt and pain that I was feeling. However, I did not realize that I was hurting them in the process. I have said things that I can never take back. I have yelled, cursed and threw things to make the hurt go away. I have begged to be free of anger, because it ravages throughout my entire body. It makes me feel so ugly as a person. I remember getting into an argument with my mother (over something silly), but I believe that I got so angry because I felt used up and abused. I had been stood up, given money for love and acceptance but did not receive either and I felt so insignificant in this world. I usually can be calm, but those angry feelings that I had bottled up were released as pure rage. I felt so ashamed of myself. I believed that I had regressed to past behaviors that no longer serve me and in all actuality, they never did. When I blew up, got the last word, threw something or became explosive, nothing got better. No one could understand what I was feeling. All you could see were the physical damages and aftermath of the situation. You could not see the hurt, the disappointment or sadness, because I did not have the emotional intelligence and emotional management skills. I am so sorry to all of my family and friends that I have been short-tempered with. I do not want to dwell on past mistakes, but I do not want to act out of rage anymore. I want to be free of holding onto pain. I just want to be free of worrying and feelings of inadequacy. I also want to say when things hurt me and not bottle it up anymore. I hope that through my truth-telling, I can help you with your healing. I am right here with you, every step of the way.
STEP ONE: WHAT ARE YOUR TRIGGERS?
Do you get mad when you do not get enough sleep? Do you get “hangry” (hunger which causes frustration)? Do you get mad when people talk about your looks? Do you get mad when people talk about your clothes? Your weight? Your hair? Your skin? Your personal life? Your relationships? Your goals? Your dreams? If any of those or more apply to you, then you made it through the first step: recognizing what triggers your anger. Noticing what causes certain feelings is very helpful to you as a person because you are able to strategize against possible obstacles.
Noah’s KNOWN Triggers (LOL, who knows if there are more):
- Broken promises
- Inconsistency in communication
- Violation of personal space
- Feelings of powerlessness
- Labeling, shaming, blaming
- Lack of control
- Feeling misunderstood
- Getting lost
- Rumors or gossip
Those examples above are a few personal triggers that cause feelings of anger within myself. I am learning to not solve everything with yelling and getting the last word. I always thought that was the way to handle situations. I am trying to undo those false beliefs.
STEP TWO: IS YOUR ANGER THE FRIEND OR THE ENEMY?
Anger can be a helpful emotion to cause positive change and social justice. So, check in with your inner being to see if the situation requires passion. If you see a person being mistreated or their rights being violated, it is acceptable to feel angry and choose to stand up for them. However, if the anger is causing feelings of distress and discord, this is when it can be harmful to you and those around you. You do not wish to harm others, so please check in with how you are feeling. I will be doing my best to not lose a fuse and be more calm.
STEP THREE: PEEP THE WARNING SIGNS
Is your heart beating faster than normal? Palms sweating? Biting lip? Teeth grinding? Balled up fists? Body posture tense? Does your face feel warm? These can be signs that you are feeling angry. Take those signs as mental notes that you may need to step outside, unclench your fists and jaw, release the tension in your body and move around a bit.
STEP FOUR: GET OUT OF THERE
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WIN THE ARGUMENT! (For so long, I believed that I had to win so the person could understand my feelings) Give yourself a break so that you can get some fresh air and think clearly, not out of anger. Take a walk, journal, distract yourself with a video game, movie, TV show or call a friend, who can calm you down and ask about how their day is going.
STEP FIVE: THOUGHT SWITCH
Rumination – a deep or considered thought about something.
The negative situation does not deserve your investigation skills LOL. Trust me I have been there and I have dissected and analyzed body language, facial expressions, words that have been uttered, etc. and it only causes needless suffering. Please spare yourself the energy and the time. Change the channel from ruminating over negative experiences and switch to something else. What is for dinner? What is your plans after the pandemic ends? What are you excited to watch on Hulu? Put on a song that you enjoy. Give yourself a break from the endless thoughts.
STEP SIX: ANGER IS A SECONDARY EMOTION
Ask yourself, were you hurt during the course of your week? Did your cancelled plans upset you? Were you unable to see a friend, family member or loved one? Did a family member pass away? Do you wish your relationships were better? Do you feel stuck in the house because of the pandemic? Were you disappointed in a friend or yourself? Whatever that feeling is beneath the anger, find out what you are really feeling. It wasn’t until I watched Kati Morton on YouTube, that I learned that anger is a secondary emotion. It hides the guilt. It hides the shame. It hides the depression. It hides the anxiety. It hides the pain. As a man who has struggled with his sexuality, I have used anger to conceal a lot of my true feelings. Shame was a common emotion that I felt in my younger years because I did not believe that I would go to Heaven for feeling how I have felt. It was not trendy to be gay and it still has stigma within society, but I love what Kristen Chenoweth’s grandmother said about homosexuality and God. “I read the bible like I eat fish. I take the meat that serves me well, but I don’t choke on a bone”. I wish that I heard that sooner man because God loves us all. So, shame is what I hid for a long time, along with depression, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety and distress.
STEP SEVEN: MAYBE IT IS TIME FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP
Sidebar: There is an online website, which I should utilize more, called Therapy-Assistance Online (TAO), which can help with emotions and cognitive behavior during this pandemic, so please check it out.
If you are struggling consistently with intense anger, it may be time to seek professional help. You are not in this alone and you deserve the best of the best. Whether it is cognitive behavioral therapy, mental supplements or medication. Whatever you need to foster positive mental health. I have been to therapy before and it has helped me deal with so much in my life. You are your worst critic because from an outside perspective, you are a human being who has flaws and imperfections, but are just as flawed as the rest of the world. So, please do not beat yourself up. Your personal wellness matters.
STEP EIGHT: BE PATIENT
Forming habits did not take a day, so neither will unlearning those habits. If you are a yeller, practice taking deep breaths. If you are a thrower, get some fresh air and step out of the room. If you are an insulter, swallow your pride and walk away. (I KNOW THIS IS A HARD ONE, but trust me it will spare you feelings of regret). Even if you cannot do these things in action, it is okay. Take it day by day, but have faith that you will get it right and the things that bother you now, will no longer bother you in the future.
I hope that you have been able to take something away from this post that helps your life for the better. You are loved. You are needed. You are wanted. You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are strong. I love you. God bless you!