I grew up with a pretty mean guy for a father. Thanks to my therapist, I have come to realize that "abusive" does not necessarily mean "illegal," and while his conduct was never the second, it was definitely the first. I'm certain many people grew up in far worse situations, but he still screwed me up, and I still get the bill.
The bill comes in many forms, but one is that I'm very prone to anger, and really nasty anger at that. I'm wondering how I can either express or repress this.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (45 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am a very, very angry man. Through effort (and therapy), I have become the sort of person who can keep his cool in most situations, but sometimes, things just get to me. This happens most often in situations when people don't hear or respect me. When this happens, I can get livid, although when there will be even mild consequences, I can hide or defer it until nobody else is around.
I live alone, and in the past, I took advantage of this to go off on loud rants at my father, or whoever I'm angry with about past wrongs, to nobody in my apartment. Unfortunately, the walls here can't be that thick, because once my neighbor heard me and called the police. Have you ever done a little impromptu therapy session at home and had a dozen police officers show up afterwards? I have! And I don't live in the greatest neighborhood; I can't imagine what the guy must have told them.
Anyway, the imaginary ranting helped a bit, but what I really want is a place where I am THE MAN IN CHARGE, with no exceptions. I want to force people to obey me or to go along with me, whether by will, prestige and position, or simple physical violence. I want to be the decisively dominant person in the situation, who can remove all choice from people except to do what he says. Also, I want to administer severe consequences to those who do not--I want to be the guy who beats the shit out of someone for getting out of line, and the guy everyone pays attention to after that.
This isn't a sex thing at all--in retrospect, that reads remarkably like some post from a really pathetic Gorean personal ad on a BDSM site, but I'm not even on that level. It's more that I got pushed around by bullies a lot as a kid, and now it's my fucking turn to run the show and say "to hell with everyone else."
Therefore: Is there anywhere in or near San Francisco I could go to get this kind of experience with as little pretending as possible? (This last proviso is why punching a pillow, counting to ten, praying, or that sort of thing won't work--I feel ridiculous enough afterwards as it is.) Alternatively, is there a reasonable way for me to stop wanting this?
Also: Recommending meditation seemed to be a standard answer as I was reading past AskMes about anger, but I have to ask: how does this work, and why? I've tried meditation before, albeit not on a devoted basis. While I did feel a little calmer immediately after, it wasn't any calmer than I would have felt had I sat in a quiet room and read something pleasant for a while or the like. To be frank, I felt like the guy in the joke who said "I went on a 30-day diet . . . and lost 30 days." I'm pretty stupid, obviously, but I'm not so stupid that I'll schedule time to sit in a darkened room without a very good idea that it's going to help me and why it will do so. And I'm not nearly stupid enough that I'd believe nobody could provide such an idea.
Throwaway gmail: yeahimadick.