Join Date: Jul 2010
Extreme Rage Case
I am new here, and I have a problem. Sorry, this one is going to get a little long, so get ready for a decently entertaining wall of text. (Hey, writing is therapy, so grab a glass of your favorite beverage and relax for a pretty wild read. :P)
Last Saturday I was out with some friends from a singles group I was a part of, and I got into a fight with someone who was a close friend before but he had started antagonizing me constantly over the last several weeks, and I'm not sure that I entirely understand all the reasons why, but I do know the way I reacted in rage was not right in any long stretch and I am starting to do some self-help research in anger management (currently reading "Anger Management for Dummies", I'm about 100 pages in).
In the days prior to Saturday I had tried to ignore my friend's gay jokes and other insults at me, that didn't really work... I tried calling him out and letting him know that his behaviors are showing off his insecurities (and a bit of homophobia), that didn't really work... I tried letting him know that if there is a problem I'd be willing to work it out, that didn't really work either... On Friday, we ended our friendship, on Saturday, it turned to violence.
We were close friends before this, I was the only person who showed up to support him in an acting audition he did and I was happy to be there supporting him, I took him out for drinks and paid on my tab one night when he said he needed to talk and I came to find he was stressed with his money situation and was about to get evicted from his apartment, I didn't even mind all that much that he was calling me several times a day to talk about his dating drama and all of his other life problems. I knew he was on some rough times, and I tried to be a good friend.
He started becoming very demanding of me though, asking me on a moment's notice to show up at karaoke or some other event coordinated by people outside of the group, some of which he was trying to date. If I showed up late, because I have other things in my life that need attention, he'd get angry with me.
I have been dealing with my own life stresses as well. I haven't been in a relationship for several months now, and the last one I was in ended pretty badly I found out that I was being cheated on with not one but four guys, so I got away, went through the whole drama of not answering the calls, etc. The relationship before that was a 7 year one, and I was unhappy towards the end of it after having to deal with a crisis of her's day in and day out, and I eventually kind of just shut her out and started turning towards video game addiction until the relationship ended (her and I are friends today, but we went through some drama with the breakup). I've also been between jobs for a while now after a contract I was working on ended and I am starting a new full-time job soon, but finding the motivation to get up and go do things is kind of tough sometimes when you're not in a regular schedule. All of this I tried to communicate to him, but it didn't seem to matter in the end result.
Gradually more and more he started insulting me every time he'd see me, sometimes I'd joke back, but usually I'm not the type to make direct insults. I'd stop getting invites to places, and even when I did he couldn't contain the insults. So Thursday night I'd have enough, I told him he needed to stop he's the one looking bad by going out of his way to insult me. At that point, everything turned to high school drama. He proceeds to tell me that I'm the one who looked bad for calling him out, and then told me that several people from the group hated me because I smoke. He gave out some names and I talked to said individuals, because I knew them well enough to know that they're not the kind of people who have strong judgmental opinions about things. They replied telling me that this was kind of the first they'd ever heard of anything like that and they didn't care anyway, even kind of laughed saying wow you guys have some drama, so I knew he was lying.
Now, the reason that this is all important bears a little explanation. I never fit in during high school and was picked on and people tried to fight me all the time, I was in a fraternity in college for a while but wasn't really as engaged with it as my brother was, and after that I was in a 7 year relationship with someone who discouraged me from going out and hanging with or making new friends, she'd get jealous if I did anything on my own which wasn't healthy. So in comes this singles group that I joined, and now after some time it felt like I'd finally found somewhere that I could maybe fit in, I was happier than I think I'd ever been, and now... what once was a friend had now become a threat in my mind.
So he calls me up on Friday night after I'd talked to some people, and tells me he would appreciate it if I'd keep things like that between him and I. Well, remember 4 b/f's girl? Yeah, isolation was kind of her tactic as well. So I raged on him and told him what I thought about him, that he was a fat gay drama queen (not that I have any real problem with gay guys, I mean we're all just people, but the guy frankly acts more effeminate than I do, and usually I'm just joking around when I do, some people from the group even think he has a thing for me which may have very well been the case) and I hung up the phone in his face and unfriended him on ********.
Then Saturday night rolls around, I'm having a good time at the event, we're all drinking and dancing. He shows up towards the end of the night. One of my friends told me later she could see my change in mood almost immediately... I became the aggressor, and he became my prey. Just to be an ***, he started dancing with this girl I'd been trying to date for a few weeks and he knew I was. Now, let me disclaim here, she was dancing with other guys that night, I didn't care, and I could tell, quite obviously, she wasn't into him. This was personal though, and in a drunken stupor I was on the attack. I told him to move, he said no, I pushed him and he curled up scared to fight, then a rage that I can hardly explain came over me. I started choking him to get a grip, and a beer bottle was right by me and accessible, I smashed the bottle right over his head, then laughed uncontrollably at him while he had a completely bewildered look on his face for a few seconds before leaving with everyone else having about the most puzzled and dumbfounded look you could imagine. He received some minor cuts, he went to the clinic yesterday and got checked out and is fine. I've never done anything like this, and I apologized to him later, but now he is scared of me, and has good reason to be, I would be scared of someone who did that to me, and I'm afraid the emotional damage I've done to him is going to last a long time and I did not want that, I mean, I could have freakin' killed him and that's been running in my mind since then, but at the time... maybe I did want this to happen, maybe I felt helpless to control the situation and felt doomed to do anything but express my innermost contempt for what was taking place that I felt was out of my control.
Obviously, the end result is that I'll lose several friendships over this, the thing I was trying to avoid in the first place. I'm backing off from the group entirely and I'm cutting out the drinking that I did with them a lot of nights. I also feel now that I'm not ready to date again until I get a handle on this deep rage that has now been opened like pandora's box. In thinking all of this over it's made me try to delve into the deeper root cause b/c I consider myself a self-aware person and 99.999% of the time I'm nice to people and usually very reserved. Growing up my brother and I fought constantly, and he was always the aggressor. One day in college I happened to be working out at the time and he'd gained a lot of weight. He tried to start a fight and I bowed up to him ready to go and he backed down, he's never bothered me again. In high school 10 guys jumped me for thinking I was gay and I had to fight to not get hospitalized, I beat one of them senseless and the others backed down, and I didn't get bothered my entire senior year. Fighting has become like a system of reward, you win and you assert dominance or at least a middle ground of respect, which is not the right way to think, and obviously wasn't the right way to think on Saturday, but it's what I've become conditioned to in my life when put on the defensive and I hope to learn better coping strategies and ways to tackle situations like this in the future without lashing out in uncontrollable rage that seems to others quite obviously like it came out of nowhere. Many people say just ignore it and don't let it affect your world, but that's a hard thing to do when you know that attacks are directed at you on a personal level (isn't a healthy part of anger management NOT bottling up your anger?), there must be better strategies out there and that's why I'm here. This quite possibly explains as well why I usually don't get too close to people, which is also not healthy. I need a healthier way to get this rage out of my system.
I called up the 7 year ex afterward and we went for coffee and started talking all of this out, she knows all the stuff I've been through in my life. I started looking into anger management proactively on my own and I feel I'm making a breakthrough in my life but I've got a long ways to go.
Sorry for the long read, so without further adieu, let the analysis begin!
(P.S. Raging Raven is one of the bosses from Metal Gear Solid 4, famous for the line, "SHOW ME YOUR RAGE!!!" (...even though, she's the one attacking the whole time...) Thought it was kind of appropriate here. :P)
Last edited by RagingRaven; 07-19-2010 at 11:42 AM.