Temper Tantrums of the 30s Kind

I cried myself to sleep last night. I’ve cried twice this morning, too. What was once a regular occurrence is now scarce, and its reemergence startling and unwelcome. You see, I take tablets every day to stop me from crying, sobbing, wailing at the difficulty with which I find myself navigating my life. I need them to stem the tears and the temper tantrums.

I’ve run out of them. The tablets, I mean. Apparently I have not quite run out of tears. This is a common theme because as well as being saddled with the eye rolling burden of anxiety and depression, I’m also absolutely shit at organising myself.

While I wait for my rushed prescription (shout out to the understanding receptionist) I am flapping, floundering, and feeling frazzled. It seems that as a grown up (on paper at any rate) I haven’t developed much more than my 3 year old.

I find myself crying when I’m tired, can’t express my feelings, or can’t even pinpoint any particular emotion. This morning I wrecked my hallway in a temper. Idiotic behaviour, not least because it is me who has to pick it all up.

Not so long ago I threw an ironing board across the room because I lost my temper over a shitty thing that a friend did that’s not worth losing any sleep over.

Charting the history of my temper tantrums through my 20s there were slammed doors, thrown ashtrays, smashed plates and more. The word ‘tantrum’ in fact tends to trivialise it. There was assault, there was criminal damage. There was erratic and at times dangerous driving. There was shameful displays of anger in the street.

Sometimes, like right now, I wince when I recall these past flashes of anger. I can almost feel the satisfaction of completely letting go, followed by the fruitlessness of my actions reaping absolutely fuck all reward. Of being arrested, of being hit back – harder, of tidying up my own hallway.

As I examine my own behaviour, I think about the lengths I go to to conceal it from my child. Now in my 30s and a great deal more mellow (or medicated) I am able to fight back tears in front of him, I always mind my language, and I certainly wouldn’t lash out at anyone or anything (not even an ironing board) in his presence.

It is obvious that to do any of those things would be to set the wrong example, to send mixed messages, to confuse and to frighten him. Deep down I know that no matter how much I feel the urge, temper tantrums are probably also the actions that would attract social services intervention.

So clearly I can quell these urges. Clearly I can choose between right and wrong. Clearly I am more emotionally developed than a toddler. Which means I can help myself when I feel the anger rise inside myself.

For now, I need the security blanket of my tablets back. I need some time alone. I need to write this blog and run the gauntlet of people judging me – or hopefully finding someone else who can relate. I need to tidy up this hallway before my son comes home.



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