MS Sans Serif –
It was Sunday. The pastor had just finished his sermon. The band was still playing. With the drums and guitars blaring as the singers wailing it was difficult to hear anything. The German and my sister proceeded downstairs for the fellowship luncheon. My family seperated into two vehicles. We weren’t staying for the lunch. Having figured that everybody else was downstairs, my father and I proceeded downstairs. They were in the line, getting some food on their plates. One third of my family was already headed home, one third would not eat, and one third was about to eat where we would not be staying. Believing that he had conveyed the message “get your food and take it with you when you come out to the car.” Dad proceeded to go to the vehicle. I was a few steps behind. I just knew things were about to get worse. Some minutes later my sister appeared from the building. She hadn’t gotten much, but she had eaten it before she came out to meet us. The fighting began and the gloves were off.
When it was apparent that the German would not arrive soon, I took it upon myself to enter the church and retrieve him. I said something to the effect of “I’ve a very impatient father waiting on you.” I don’t know if the fighting had continued in my absence, but once we were all there and all on the way home it was time for round two. The particulars are forgettable, but the jabs are not. Upping the volume, her right hook was “You’re as bad as you’re father.” Dad responded with “I’m ten times better than your grandfather.” Silence. Five minutes of it. Then like a 1-2 punch he dropped the dynomite of “If they don’t up your hours, I’d appreciate you getting another job so you can get out on your own.” My sister finished with “Ok, You’ve won, now drop it dad.” Not letting the last words be hers, Dad said something, I forget. Dad sped home. My Sister went to her room, turned up the music, locked the door, and choked herself until she passed out. (This I did not learn until Monday.) Ahh, Sundays.
As for me, I talked to ther German outside some time later. It seems nobody else I know has to put up with similar episodes of fighting. I grew up walking on eggshells around my sister. She can fight at the drop of a pin or a hat, whichever makes her mad. She gets irrational about it. Even awhile afterward if you try to say something one way she’ll percieve it the worst way possible and get mad again. Now were this just one fight it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. This is an off an on thing over years. It just seems like nobody else ever wins. That’s just not humanly possible. She tried once to get rid of it, at a christian tele-cast. I hung back to keep an eye asking myself “Is she really going to stop being angry? Will it go away?” The answer as it turned out is no and no. The thing of it is, she doesn’t know what it’s like for us when she gets angry and stays angry. It just strikes me that this anger is not normal. It’s more like, well:
Main Entry: raging
Date: 15th century
1 : causing great pain or distress
2 : violent, wild
3 : extraordinary, tremendous
It’s half-way into Monday. There’s been an uncomfortable silence. We didn’t know if she was still mad. I’d tried to make some small conversation. Having read her xanga entry I knew that she felt ignored. I seemed to think that she was making herself inaccessible. I told her that the communication lines were open if she wanted to talk. She talked alright. In short order I was a hypocrite who didn’t involve myself into her fight or stand up for her I walked away as some cursing escaped her lips. I knew from her tone that her thinking was different from her usual rational self.
Like any concerned sister, I took to the internet and found this: What Rage Looks Like –
Screaming, physical expressions of anger, violence or threats of violence, sulking, manipulation, emotional blackmail, silent smoldering, and anger used to punish.
After twenty-plus years I made the diagnosis quickly. I’d seen it all in some form or another. In the last fight it was screaming, sulking, emotional blackmail, and silent smoldering. The site told me that the rage was a result of shame. It also gives her power. So I’m thinking that all those episodes, the time she got herself so worked up in her anger that she couldn’t breathe, and that deep anger that she doesn’t deal with are all apart of her rageaholism that she doesn’t even know she has. Don’t get me wrong, my sister is a stand-up girl, a survivor to the core, but there is the five percent of the time where a hat drops or a pin drops and things get troublesome from there.
So what is the source? That site says: Ragers were typically shamed or punished by their caretakers for expressing emotion when they were young; i.e.: “Be a man and don’t cry”, “Nice girls don’t get angry” or “I’ll give you something to cry about.”
I delved deep to see if it was a possibility. My Dad’s dad was difficult. It took me five years to find one good memory of him. My dad put up with him all his life. My dad did his best not to be like his dad. He was successful in most areas, but the emotional scar left behind by his dad took its toll. What he couldn’t express he couldn’t show his daughters to express. So one daughter got mad, really mad and addicted to madness. The other grew up to paralyze when in the proximity of fighting. I know not why we aren’t both rageaholics, just one is enough, I would think. My dad is inexcusable, he’s never had a sense of when not to say the wrong thing. If there’s a wrong thing to be said, he’ll probably say it. My sister is not innocent. She knows that dad has this thing about respect so she’ll get disrepectful toward him. That’s when he starts saying things that he shouldn’t.
I’m not saying that by being a rageaholic that you’re always mad. From what I understand, being mad changes the chemical make-up of the brain and it is not the anger that you’ve become addicted to, but that chemical make-up that can only be satisfied when you’re angry. Don’t think that it is a weakness. It’s not too different than it is with mom and her depression, only it is simply a different form. Perhaps it explains why you appear to be a whole other person in your anger.
We’ve got to deal with this. That scar has done its harm, let’s not pass in down in that family pride of ours. The stigma of “getting help” is going to be alot less worse than the pain of a total breakdown. I’ve had enough of fighting, haven’t you? I don’t hear the words or reasons behind them. I hear the tones, the bombs, the snipe-ing, and the verbal attacks. Sister, we have seen you through twenty-plus years of it. We’ll support you, that’s what family does. We’re no t.v. family and we might make reality television families look like ameteurs with our fighting. We can change things when we recognize that a change is needed and help is required for a change. Let’s pacify the rage and enjoy a true and lasting tranquility. Here’s the thing though, there can be peace, but you have to want it for yourself. You have to want to stop being angry. You’re going to need help that we can’t provide. As long as I’ve know you, I don’t remember you accepting any help like this. For your own sake and your own health, please do want help. Please do accept help. We can’t change things unless you want it and accept it. So it’s all up to you.