Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Picking Fights… With Myself – Self Causing Anger

Today I want to talk about a phenomena that I’ve been catching myself at a lot lately. I make myself angry. A lot. I create scenarios in my mind. I play them out. Create dialogue. Create conversations with people. These conversations inevitably turn into arguments. Fights. I begin to argue with myself. Work myself up into a rage. Not just a rage. A pure boiling, seething, seeing red rage-tastic cauldron of emotion where I’m ready to tear down walls and can bring myself to tears.

Not out loud mind you. This usually all takes place in my mind where no one else can hear it or even knows it’s going on. I’ll pick fights with strangers. I’ll pick fights with loved ones. My exes. My currents significant other. Whomever. Sometimes it starts off as a way to work out a strategy or a way to work my way through something, a fear or a situation, but then it takes on a life of its own… .and I get legitimately, actually, really, truly ANGRY!

It’s been out of control lately.

It’s bad. Because sometimes this will happen and then it translates to being actually angry at that person. This part right here: Is not fair. I try very hard to catch myself at this so I don’t project this unfair anger at that person. I can’t say this hasn’t slipped on the rare occasion, and I’m sure it was wildly confusing when it did happen (though typically for me I remove myself from people altogether when I'm in these kinds of moods. I prefer no one see me like this)

. Though possibly a helpful explanation for a Loved One wondering why we were angry at them for no reason.

It’s especially hard when I’m having an actual fight and the fight continues in my head, even after the actual exchange of words has ceased happening.

I notice this happens more and more when there’s a breakdown of communication happening. If I can’t talk to the actual person that I need to I get frustrated. I need to talk so I do. If there not available to talk in person, I talk in my mind. Usually it wouldn’t be a bad idea to think about what you want to say in a conversation ahead of time to get your thoughts straight, but my emotions intertwine with the scenario and take over until they run away with it all.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Hear me out.

Sure your first impulse will be to say these run away scenarios are bad. Of course anything that creates such destructive emotions would be bad. But! If you can imagine the worst case scenario and how you would handle it, or the resulting outcome you can also prepare for it, and see if that’s something you’d be able to live with. Without actually having to experience it. Without actually having to put someone else through that pain. It can help you figure out a better way to handle it before you actually get to that point. So maybe there’s a silver lining there.

I won’t lie. These mental meanderings of mine can get pretty viscous. Wrath is definitely my deadly sin. I’ve learning to keep that shit in check though and channel all of that constructively though. I’ve never actually had one of them play out the way they go down in my mind. After calming down the mental maelstrom and taking a big ::deep breath:: maybe with a healthy glass of wine they don’t play out that way.

They are wildly distracting though. And the source of some major mood swings. These aren’t anything new. Just more prominent currently.

Does anyone else do this? 


  1. oh yes, i do that a lot. It's quite refreshing actually to hear it from someone else. It's very annoying and it can bring my mood down no end. Like you, I always keep it inside but sometimes the ruminations just go on and on. I can get angry at people just because I've had these thoughts and arguments in my head but I will never show it and it can be quite exhausting. I understand the silver lining you're looking for here, and you have a point, but does it work that way? I mean, I usually play out purely hypothetical scenarios. Isn't that then only a liability because the worst case will never happen anyway? What I did find to be helpful is reconnect in person with the other and experience in truth what is really going on. It helps to calm any extra emotions.

  2. This article appears in perfect timing for me ... I've been in many internal fightings and continuous anger lately... it's becoming unbearable

  3. Yes, all the time. It makes my head hurt at times. Midori

  4. Meditate, read a book, go do something active to be in the moment. Talk to your SO, that's what he is there for. Or keep it bottled up inside, push him away, make him hate you, and then pull him back a few months later to continue the cycle. Cheers!

    1. All good advice. Try putting your observations into drawings, poetry or song lyrics, too. Four chords, brutal honesty and a marketable image could make you millions, attract lots of admirers and keep you very, very busy. Anything goes in the arts these days! Try to dissociate by seeing the funny side of the rows in your head, no matter how serious they are getting. You may be right and you may be wrong, but there is always some comedy gold in there. Maybe pick up a Sarah Silverman DVD. Just turn that negative energy into something more empowering. At least you are prepared for various scenarios, just like you say! You go, girl :> !

    2. Or go cut yourself. I heard that helps too.

    3. And yes that last statement was callous of me. Stop playing a victim and start developing healthy coping mechanisms for your angry, sadness, frusturations, etc etc etc rather than using your goto defensive mechanisms.

    4. Not playing a victim at all thanks. Jerk. Confronting my anger and dealing with it myself instead of taking it out on other people is actually healthy. It's at least much healthier than self-harm and picking fights with people.

    5. No, talking about your anger with your SO is healthy. Acting out your anger verbally or physically not so much. I read that you are going to drop him... didn't see that coming. I wouldn't be surprised if he is completely dumbfounded at what happened.

      Don't even think about being friends with him. It'll hurt him more in the long run. Plus you'll continue to push him away anyways till he gets pissed off and then you'll paint him black.

      In the meantime yah I agree with you. You should totally seduce your therapist.


  5. I bet this happens a lot, more than you might think... I consider myself 'mildly' BPD, and I definitely engage in this, to the point of clenching teeth and wanting to throw things. 'Pretend' back-and-forths, what-if scenarios that will probably never happen, the whole nine yards.

    You're definitely not alone here.

  6. Totally not alone, I've spent many many hours doing this, ive found taking risks with the people I am fairly close to works, I ask them, tell them my fear & see what happens. I am not always brave enough to do it in person but texting helps too. I am finding a combo of velafaxine & building my self worth have dramatically reduced these obsessive & upsetting ruminations. I hope you can find a way forward with this too. Good luck haven xxx

  7. anon, you silly boy. there are healthier ways to deal with your breakup with a bpd ex than writing bitter and cruel comments to strangers on the internet. you can do better.

    re this entry- totally do this. ill spend hours getting furious about things people have done to me and creating scenarios in which we have full-blown fights, or ill even just imagine people i know wronging me in various ways. will work myself up so hard i often cry. its very confusing. i didnt know anyone else did this. thought i was crazy. hooray!

  8. Yep. Me too. The mindfulness skills in DBT help me. Sometimes it's soothing to remind myself that things I'm thinking about aren't really happening.

  9. You know what? I am a borderline since I remember. The point here is that we, the borderlines are able to recognize our personality, which I think is exceptional... The other people non-borderline they can't be brave enough to say they have the same issues we do have. I am so proud of my different personality and I hate people that think we are the abnormal, they are the ones that don't have the capacity we have and they are the different ones.

  10. that anonymous knew Haven, didn't he? that's a bit hateful for an average reader and for someone who advises meditation... you'd have to have read a lot from this blog, and why would you do it if you didn't understand anything...

    i've found out that writing helps a lot. no one's ever going to listen as much as an empty page.

    keep posting, Haven. sometimes it really helps.

  11. I am so mind-blown to hear that I am not the only one who does this. All my life, I have referred to "this" as "living in my head". I thought it was a form of dissociation. A social worker recently suggested to me that I sounded BPD, I found your blog, and I have been sitting here, enthralled, finally realizing I am not alone. Thank you so much for making me feel understood, it is an invaluable gift. Anyway, back to the ruminations. My mind is VERY strong, and the fights I get into in my head are very poisonous. I will be absorbed into a fight with ALL of my energy, just like I would pursue anything else, to the point where I am like... stuck. I will try so hard to break the cycle, break my concentration from my thoughts, that often I will end up just staring or banging my head against the wall or something. Typically, the only control I can have over my mind is using substances (atleast this is what I have seen so far/what I have been telling myself?? I'm such a manipulative trickster, I even have myself fooled most of the time). Anyway, using substances obviously doesnt actually give me control over my mind, but it "breaks up" the spiraling poison. How do you guys manage this? Lately, when I notice I'm doing this, sometimes I get so frustrated that I end up litterally yelling "STOP" at myself, outloud. LOL! clearly not well equipped in healthy coping mechanisms yet.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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