It's the deep seated anger connected to self loathing. And for many rational reasons in my life right now, it's reached a rage point. For whatever reason, lots of things are just falling short of my own expectations. It's that phase where I'm not doing well at my job, not doing well at taking care of family needs that normally would go smoothly. Under a lot of criticism for volunteer roles. Not doing the activities that would normally relieve stress because my time is not my own at the moment.
Before the flood of normal responses comes, I'm sharing this on an emotional level (not a logical one). I get the basics. I set my own expectations and that of others shouldn't play as deep a role. It's stress, and relaxation techniques should be employed. That you have to focus on what you control and not what others control. But just because our minds know logically what should be done, it doesn't remove the fact that the emotion still exists. It's very real, and it ain't pretty.
Yes, I've had plenty of conversations with my BW. And she is amazing, doing her best to talk me off the ledge and help me through this phase. So no, this isn't about going wayward. It's not a wayward trigger (though at another stage in my life it clearly was). It's not going to send me down a self destructive path. This post is simply about putting in written word (or trying to) the swirl of emotions going on when you beat yourself up internally for the fact that at certain times life sucks and people around you are flaming ___holes.
Will I work through it? Yup. Will a better upswing phase of life happen? Uh huh. But for this moment in time...today...the rage inside is winning. And it's taking all my energy not to project that anger on others. Especially those I love and cherish most.
So what is setting this stuff off, specifically?
I'm see a couple of different things in your post: self loathing, and anger against others. I wonder if there is a correlation there?
I know I have gone through stages of negative self talk, and when it goes as far as self-loathing, others can pick up on it, whether it is something you are doing explicitly or not. Some people who pick up on it will have a tendency to "join in", if you know what I mean. Then one can end up having resentment towards those people.
It is a vicious cycle. I don't know if that is similar to what you are going through or not. If so, it is really similar to Karpman's Drama Triangle. You might want to try googling that.
More than anything, I just wanted to let you know I can relate on some levels of what you are saying, and that you have been heard.
Do I think there is a connection between internal self loathing and external projection of anger? Yes, I can see that. In this case, it would be an interesting thought to consider the same person playing the role of persecutor and victim simultaneously.
So what's driving this? Well, it could be last night's full moon. IT could be a bottoming out of a biorhythmic cycle. Whatever it is, it's been the perfect storm of frustration. My work is office work which involves thought leadership. To succeed, you need focused blocks of time to get things done. But in the last few weeks, every day seems to be interrupted by "a series of unfortunate events". It might be a sick child that needs to be picked up from school. It might be a phone call from someone at work to put out a fire. IT might be a knock at the door with a delivery that requires a signature. It hasn't been one thing, but a string of things.
Now pile on lack of sleep. We have an older dog who (for reasons I won't get into here) takes up half the bed. So I end up contorting myself, and wound up pulling my back. Combine that with the dog's habit of needing to go out around 2 AM every day, and the pain and lack of sleep have been a physical drain.
Next we'll take my volunteer roles. I serve on a Board of Education, as the leader of a booster organization, leading a summer camp conference, a church based environmental campaign, etc. They are all getting fragments of time from me, and so none are getting enough to move things forward. And yes, I've gone the route in the past of saying no to things because they are too demanding. This combination just all happened to stack up with heavy needs in the same 60 day time frame.
How about on the home front? I've been forgetting about appointments and obligations we've committed to as a family. I typically do more than I used to as far as making meals, doing laundry, etc. (I work from home, so these things can be arranged into the schedule). In the past, my BW has indicated that she receives Acts of Service as her love language. These things tend to make me happy because I know they are making her happy. But they just aren't getting done right now. Lots of scrambling for frozen foods and pushing piles around the house form one place to another are happening right now. My BW has a job which requires a lot from her between New Year's and the end of June, so her work hours have been long leaving me to make sure kids are fed, they get to their activities, etc.
Oh, and let's add all those end of year concerts, awards banquets, and this year a college graduation and the calendar is shot. So what has been set aside? Those activities which tend to help me maintain balance. I sing in a chorus, but haven't made more than 1/2 of a rehearsal since mid February. I love hiking, yet have not gone on a single hike in 2014 to date. Looking ahead, it doesn't look favorable at least through mid August for free time. I also have not done any outdoor work on our property including replacing a mailbox post that was taken out during our challenging winter, getting our garden started, clearing bittersweet that's choking off trees on the property, etc.
Do I know this is all about stress? Yes. Do I know it's a phase, and things will eventually have to settle down? Sure. But it doesn't make the frustration, anger and rawness of emotion less as it happens.
I think it is important to take some time out for yourself whenever you can, even if it is to meditate briefly, go for a walk, or just have a few moments of silence in a quiet room.
There have been a few times in my life where my schedule has gotten so busy, that I'll just put my phone and computer on hold and go into the bathroom for a few. Not that I had to go or anything, that just seemed to be the only way for me to get a few minutes of serenity.
Is your schedule going to relent a bit once the school year closes out?
I think I get what you are saying. Of course because I am a WH I too deal with a great deal of self loathing and anger....and for the most part its constant. Now since DDay I have been trying to put everyone and everything ahead of myself (i have been very selfish in the past). So I try so hard to do all these things and do them at such a high level and those are probably unreal expectations, ones that are probably mostly self imposed. I then start to get stressed out that I don't think I am doing a good job or that i must not be trying hard enough. In the end my own frustration with myself feeds my guilt, self loathing and anger even more. Sometimes it just crushes me and I find a place to be alone and just cry because I am so angry at it all. Then I suck it up go back out there and try hard again to make myself feel better and sometimes it works for a little bit but eventually it comes back around. In the end its all me, just me that I am so angry with its me that I hate so much and I can get away from him. If this is kind of what you are going through it hard as hell. Wish I knew how to end the cycle but I don't yet. I have some luck with trying to just focus on little pieces of time and not look to far ahead, seems to make it more manageable at least in my head anyway.
Not entirely. We have four girls, so life in chaos is pretty much the norm here. Some things "should" back off. I serve on a school board and those meetings should calm down for the summer. But last year we had a mob of angry athletics parents with issues about our fields, so we ended up with nearly weekly special meetings all summer. I'm leading a summer camp conference so there's planning and running that (haven't really even gotten started yet). There's the pile of yard work that's backed up this Spring that I haven't gotten to. So while I could step away, it's a good bet there will be both physical and verbal reminders of what I haven't accomplished.
I hear you both on the stress relief breaks. And I do try to take them. As I said I have taken to love hiking, and if I can sneak in a 30 or 40 minute walk I try. The weather where I am hasn't exactly cooperated on that front - winter seems to hang on forever. Beginning to think we're a set for Game of Thrones! And the time is rough too. Lost what would have been a 45 minute lunch break yesterday to a call related to school issues.
I think the schedule has to ease up and my emotional cycle needs to bounce back in order to get out of the rut. I know it will happen. It always does. Just sucks while you're in the "gut it out" stage.
The weather where I am hasn't exactly cooperated on that front - winter seems to hang on forever.
What are your thoughts on Seasonal Affective Disorder?
I hear you about winter hanging on forever. It was snowing here just a couple of days ago. Ned Stark would be happy.
Hopefully you'll be able to get a bit of a reprieve task-wise and weather-wise, and get out to enjoy some sun for a bit.
A big positive is you coming out here to talk about this stuff.
Hopefully you will get some time to charge up somewhere in the upcoming weekend.
What are your thoughts on Seasonal Affective Disorder?
I'm pretty confident I have SAD. It's been tough the last couple of years to get a handle on my own physiology. I dropped 100 lbs., which took care of issues I had with high blood pressure, cholesterol and sleep apnea. I've gone through phases where I've worked with my MD on working on the seratonin levels. But this stint seems really tied to the stress of current events more than it does the time of year. Besides, I usually am an optimist. So part of me is convinced longer days and warmer temps are coming. Just a bit too slowly.
I should note that at one time my job had me traveling about 75%. That's when she started taking bed space, and my BW actually liked it then because she felt a little safer with the dog right by her side. Just left me the odd man out...