parenting an angry kidMy poor mother.  I don’t know how she did it.  I won’t say I was a violent kid, but I had a serious unknown short circuit.  When I would get angry over something minor or major (usually minor though, sad to say), I would get this bolt of lightening through my skull and lash out like the Incredible Hulk.

Looking back I feel bad about some of the violence I inflicted on my family.  I think back and there were times I would lash out over practically nothing.  I wanted to do my laundry and would freak if my mom was kind enough to do it for me.  God forbid if someone moved or touched my things. God FORBID!

One time it was bad.  It was my turn to practice the piano and I was anxious (like all bipolar II people) ’cause I had a lesson in an hour and didn’t practice enough that week to get by without my teacher making my life hell, so I told my sister it was MY turn to practice and to MOVE.

“Ask me nicely.”

“No, move.”

And she wouldn’t move.  I pushed her slightly, and she pushed back, and the Hulk appeared.

ROARRRR!  I went full force and tossed her and she blasted through a glass window.  Her hand split open and blood poured out.  I immediately got on my bike and ran away.  Ran away meaning road around the block and decided to hide on the side of the house ’cause I didn’t know WHAT was going to happen.  I had such a bad history of outrageous moments that I knew my number was up.

Now, I know that siblings fight and sometimes people get badly hurt, but over not getting the piano to practice?  After that my parents came down hard on me and I was not to lay a finger on my sisters again.  I was twelve years old at the time and that was the end of that.  I knew I had a problem that was beyond anger management. This was different.  This was unimaginable irritability that could peak at any stupid given time.  That was when I learned to talk to myself through those moments.

Recently the Hulk reappeared, and I was checked on why I take meds, and what bipolar II irritability can do and more importantly, what I feel like.

My pill cutter doesn’t really work so when I have to take half of a pill I bite it.  I was tired of taking all my meds and found myself biting less than half and the Hulk reappeared.  I would take my shoes off and the right one would fall to the left side when the right one should be on the right side and the left one should be on the left.  It sounds ridiculous, but man, the physical shudder of anger that shook my body was unexplainable.  If I dropped a pen or something, BOOM!  Fire like lightening would explode in my brain and I would have to acknowledge it, take a breath and talk to myself — literally:

“Erica, it is only a pen, chill.  It’s gonna be okay.”

And I would pick it up and put it down and unwind.

Those Hulk moments made me go back to biting off the full half ’cause it wasn’t worth the torture.  It wasn’t fair for my family to be at a loss sometimes on how to manage my outbursts over mundane things, and bless my poor mother to this day for dealing with me.

I asked my mom recently what I was like as a kid and she said as a baby I never slept and she really had a hard time handling me.  Yeah, I would too if my daughter threw a fit for doing her laundry.

The Hulk!

Incredible Hulk photo by Abi Skipp, available under a Creative Commons attribution license