Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I'd say it comes out of nowhere.  But I don't think that's true.  I think it lurks and broods, breeds and festers, biding its time, waiting like an poisonous shadow, a giant spider, a vicious blackness.

And then it stirs.  It boils. It seethes.  It explodes.  Anger.  Vitriol.  Violence.  Rage.  I want to scream, shout,  swear. I shake with the containing of it. I feel the ice burn of the tears behind my eyelids.  My fists clench with the effort.  All I want is to hurt.  To smash the china, to hear the shriek as it hits the stone floors.  To hurt myself.  To dig my fingernails in. To force my hands through glass. 

I leave. I walk away lest the girls see me like this.  I hide.  And then the tears come.  Shaking, heaving, retching.  I hate myself. I hate feeling like this.  I quake as the storm passes, subsides and calms.

And I am left trembling.  Hungover and afraid.  For days I live in hidden fear. If you saw me, you would not know, but inside I am subdued.  I am anxious.  I worry about the tiniest things.  I cry easily, silently, hurting my ribs with the strain of holding in the noise, because I am still ashamed.  I am afraid to go out, to put myself out there, to write or think or say anything.  I do not want to be touched.

And then it is gone.  And I am back. 

And I am back.  I really am.  But I am frightened.  This happened once, about six months ago, and I had never felt anything like it before, and I did not control it. I screamed and swore and terrified myself and my family.  But it passed, and I wept, and I put it down to stress and unhappiness and exhaustion.  And then, last week, it was back.  Not once, but twice.   Each episode lasting less than fifteen minutes, but leaving me shaken for days after.  And I am not stressed, and I am not unhappy, and I have no reason to be as exhausted as I feel.

So I am afraid.  What is it?  Why do I react like this when I do not even know what I am reacting to?  I am not an angry person.  I do not hate, I do not hurt.  I do not want to be someone who hurts.  Or hates.  I want to be as I seem, as I try to convince myself that I am.  As someone whose emotions are under control.   Who is in control.  Who feels without being seen to feel.

So I move on. I carry on.  I bury the fear.  And I write this post, so that I can look the rage in the face, stare it down, show it that its power has passed. So that I can prove to myself that I will not be judged for feeling like this.  So that I can admit that I have felt this and I have moved on.

And in moving on, I hope.  I hope that this time, it really has passed.  That it will not be back.  That I will be that person.

And that I will never have to write another post like this again.


  1. One of the things I love most about your blog is your honesty and courage. I felt like I was going through the rage with you as I read. I've been through similar feelings, and still don't know where such emotions suddenly come from. I hope that it helped to write this post. Sending a second hug. x

  2. Saw your comment on MWA's blog and had to click over. Honest venting like this is probably just want you need. Pent up frustration makes me snap so I think getting it off your chest as you've done will hopefully help put it to bed. Here's another hug!

  3. I've heard it's better out than in....obviously as long as you don't hurt yourself. I felt so enraged the other day I beat the hell out of my pillows and screamed into them...but it wasn't enough. I'm sorry it worries you so much. Take care. xx

  4. This is not the first time you have written a post with such searing honesty that has made me wonder (just a bit) if you are inside my head. I was in this place you describe so well earlier today, it wasn't pleasant, my knuckles bear my teeth marks and that's about all I'd be willing to publicly admit. I sometimes think I'm a complete freak, that all the people around me are as calm and controlled and consistent as they appear. I wonder what they see when they look at me and I doubt very much it's the crazy lady biting her knuckles. 13 years ago I got so scared I went to see my GP and he recommended Evening Primrose Oil - twat.

  5. "And I am not stressed, and I am not unhappy, and I have no reason to be as exhausted as I feel."

    What the ****? You've just moved from one end of the country to another. Actually, you've moved to another country. Moving house is acknowledged as one of the most stressful things you can do. You're working on changing your identity totally from working woman to stay at home mum. You've got three children at particularly exhausting ages. You're having to hold life together for them, as much as yourself.

    AND you didn't get to go to Cyber Mummy.

    Don't be so hard on yourself.

    It's in no way surprising that you are tossed on a storm of uncontrollable emotion. It's only surprising that you can articulate it so well and so openly and honestly. Wow.

    So much better to be like this. All raw and furying. Otherwise you'd end up being like me. All controlled and repressed. That only leads to bad places... I'm a great believer in asking for help though (and you've blogged about it, which is one way of doing so). Why not see someone you can talk to? Counsellor/acupuncturist/homeopath/reflexologist/massage therapist... Don't think it matters too much. Just good to get yourself some regular fixed time when you can think about yourself, your body, your soul. Because you haven't got your usual friends around you, at the moment, and it will take time to make new ones.

  6. I think hormones have a big play in this. MrsW's Dr may have been a twat but perhap he was just barking up the wrong species of tree. I become someone I don't recognise or want to be but it's like watching a car crash in slow motion, I can't stop it. and then the shame and exhaustion. Exercise has helped me some, I take primrose oil, B6, magnesium and zinc and sometime Agnus castus. All of which have helped in different ways but still when that demon stirs its unshakeable. I keep a spreadsheet of mood and control mapped to monthly cycle and it helps me understand me which helps me control me!!! *hugs* for you xxx

  7. Snap! as in me too, and also "don't come near me or I'll bite your head off" snap. So sorry you are feeling like this, everyone is different and manages their feelings in different ways, but when we feel we lose control... it's awful. You have had some great advice in the comments already left, (acupuncture works for me, and a body balance class). I just want to add another hug, and I hope you realise how you are strong you are writing this post xx

  8. Hello Plan B -
    I ditto that I love your honesty. We all have dark, uncontrollable moments that manifest themselves - as others have said above - in different ways. Big Daddy and I both have horrid tempers and have had months now with no explosions, but we've had to make changes in order to change the way we deal with things. There's no way I ever want our girls seeing an explosion when I may in the past have thrown a plate across the room! It's not easy with the huge weight that we multiple mums have to bear (just that bit worse than having one at a time), let alone moving to the other side of the country and starting over. We are looking to move...and are nervous about finding a new area 20 mins down the road, but not hundreds of miles away! To find some inner peace (man!) I do yoga and meditation, and have just got back to swimming. I honestly don't think I would survive without the first two. Separately, thank you for your great comments on my new blog - you can find my response back at dummiesndoghairs (took me a while to go back there and find your comments!) x

  9. This is such a powerful post, Plan B. So honest and true. I wrote the other day about being 'jam in a pan' - it takes me a while to climb the sides, but when I boil over I really do. I've had one or two instances a bit similar to the ones you describe.

    I echo what everyone above has said - especially Iota. You have moved - very, very stressful, you have changed from working to stay at home, you have three kids. It's like when someone's working flat out and they manage to stay well but then as soon as they go on holiday they come down with something - you have been under enormous pressure and it's coming out in this rage. I hope you this facing it down has helped.
    Much love to you.

  10. Hey, found you via Mwa's blog, understanding all that you felt, as I have felt like that too in the past, so much so that I thought I was going mad, I wasn't, it is a natural part of being a feeling, passionate woman.

  11. Hi, just found your blog via BMB and so pleased I did. I really feel for you. I agree with all of the above, especially Iota. It sounds like you have a lovely life but very different from what it was and we need to give ourselves time to adjust. Although I've been on maternity leave for a while this is my first month as an official stay at home mum (or jobless bum according to Mr U) and I was a lawyer too. Although its a stressful job I think it also allows us to use up a lot of energy... Mr U carefully watches what he says now to avoid me going into legalese rant mode! I hope you feel better x

  12. Wow, what a post. And you know from all the other comments that you are not alone. Not a freak.
    I, too, am in control. Too in control. I am keeping things bubbling along just under the surface. Keeping things together by the skin of my teeth. And then one small thing comes along and it pushes the heat up by half a degree, and BOOM!
    Less control, lower perfection = more flexibility, more ability to cope with what life throws at you.
    That's what i have had to learn.


  13. Thank you all so much for fantastically supportive posts. I'm sorry I didn't reply to them all earlier but we were away this weekend, and so although I read them all and was touched by them all, actually replying is only happening now. In a, you will be pleased to hear, still calm and collected mood...

    Mwa - thank you. It was needed and appreciated.

    Susanna - thank you as always (and for the two links) xxx

    Chic Mama - pillows don't give enough resistance... a friend of mine told me that in her darkest teenage days, her stepfather bought her some china from oxfam for just these occasions. I am seriously tempted by that idea... china helps.

    Mrs W - Not in your head (if I were, I'd take better pictures) but very glad to know I'm not alone. Hope your knuckles have healed and the need to destroy them has passed. Think too (mostly after reading all these comments) that all those calm people are probably feeling just like us....

    Iota - Well, when you put it like that.... Honestly, and I know it seems stupid, I'd sort of forgotten about all that stuff. It really hasn't felt stressful, and so I think I haven't really registered that on some level it must be. Thank you for reminding me, and for encouraging me to take time. I know I need to. Must do so.

    Suzanne - thank you. Exercise is definitely on my to do list... acupuncture I've always been a bit of a wimp about, but might be worth investigating if I feel explosion again. I think a lot of it is about finding time to just be me....

    Kelloggsville - I hadn't really thought about hormones. They've been drug controlled/induced for so long that you forget. But you may well be right. Have started to keep a note again...

    Zookeeper - interesting that you think exercise helps. I've been wondering about that. Having been a bit of a runner in the past I find myself drawn to it again... just got to find ten minutes to fit it in...

    Sandi - "feeling, passionate woman". I like that. Much more than "psycho" which is what it felt like...

    Deer Baby - Jam in a pan is a really good image. Thank you. That's exactly it....Although I'm more like milk. I bubble away so as you don't really notice it and then suddenly rush over the sides. Less climbing, more exploding.

    Monkey Mummy - B would get more than legalese if he called me a bum!!! Thank you for coming over too, delighted you're here! Sorry you got the full force me, and not the cheery jolly me for your first visit...

    Marketing to milk - thank you. As you say, not a freak... but it is exactly that. I think we hang on to the control, like so many controlling camels, until the one little straw comes along... I'm impressed you've learned how to let go of the control. I will have to work at it. Have you any hints and tips...

    And a public thank you too, to Mad Mummy at the Mad House, who didn't comment, but sent me an email that meant a huge amount. Thank you.

  14. oops. Missed Tanya - sorry! and thank you. A special welcome to my blog thank you too. Honest venting did help though, you're right. As Iota says, it's like talking to someone, and that helps too. All the lovely comments and new followers really helped as well, so thank you again for that.

  15. Hello, after reading your post and the comments here, the one thing I want to say has been said a million times....don't be so hard on yourself, be kinder to yourself.
    The other thing I would say is don't be scared. Look at the support and love you have around you, take it easier, quit thinking you "should" or "shouldn't" behave in a certain way.
    Show me a mum who hasn't had rage build up in her and I'll show you a flying pig! :)
    I heard a vicar once on the radio telling Terry Wogan she had yelled her head off at her daughter that very morning.
    She wasn't proud of herself.
    But we are all human. Forgive me but if you ever contemplate writing something like this again, I hope you will go for it. There's no perfect, ideal parent, we're all just trying the best we can. Sometimes it gets a bit much. Much love to you. xx

  16. You've had such a huge amount going on in your life recently that I'm not surorised you felt such a dark rage boiling over I can only say that I've taken St John's Wort for 10 years now (since my Mum died) and I don't knoiw if it's that which has kept me reasonably level headed, or the HRT, but I've been able to handle the deaths of both my parents, my parents in law,2 close uncles, and 4 house moves without the deep, dark boiling up rages, more the gently frying bacon which spits occasionally then curls up in peaceful submission once cooled down.

  17. Diney - I've thought about it, but it doesn't combine with lots of hormonal contraceptives, so I've always shied away... maybe I should reconsider.

    I can't believe you've got through all that (with or without the St John's Wort) though, you are amazing....

  18. and Linda - can't really reply to that one other than to say thank you. It means an awful lot.

  19. I've been were you are and it feels much better to get it out than leaving inside to fester x

  20. Like many others have said, it is better to let it out than to keep it all bottled up inside of you.

    And never be ashamed to cry. I have a friend who said she needs a good cry every so often and then she feels much better. Sometimes emotions are beyond our control and it is better to learn how to deal with them than to fight against them xx

  21. New Mummy - you are so right, and to be honest (famous last words) it's been much easier since I wrote that post. It will get harder again, I know it will, but for the moment, we're ok....

    Clareybabble - like New Mummy, that's right. And you're right too about the crying. B has a knack of knowing when I need a cry, and although there's nothing so offputting as someone saying "have a good cry", it does help.

    As do more lovely comments. Thank you all so much.

  22. I know it's a little while since you posted this, but I really wanted to thank you massively for doing so!
    I too get ragey, exploding out of nowhere. I've always been really embarrassed to admit it, I applaud your honesty and courage in posting about it. I think the smashing plates from oxfam sounds genius!! :)
    thank you x


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