I have always considered myself a patient man, with an endless reserve of patience and restraint. Now I am beginning to question that belief. I feel my frustration and aggravation building and am afraid I will lose control. My brain won’t stop, and it’s getting harder to drown out with loud music and distractions.

I miss my violent youth when I could take the anger and frustration out on people who hurt me, now that is simply not an option. The other day I had a dream about an old bully, who as an adult is now an abusive alcoholic. In the dream I was back home and ran into him by chance; I proceeded to beat him to pulp just on principle. I woke up feeling good, having enjoyed the violence and leaving him in a broken heap.

As a young man I was able to fight back against bullies and let the darker more violent side of myself out to play; as an adult that kind of behavior would land me in jail. Instead I withdraw further into myself, but I am running out of places to hide. I haven’t let myself lose my temper in years; my kids have never actually seen me completely lose my shit. My OCD made me fixate on the little irritations that come with raising toddlers. It was for them that I began getting therapy, to help control my frustration and anger. Now it is taking less and less to make me angry, and I am afraid of telling even the people closest to me what is going on in my head.

It isn’t just anger that is building; it’s every emotion I’ve been bottling up for years. Anger, sadness, loneliness; all the things I keep to myself rather than burden others. I know these things are there simmering just under the surface, so I keep a tight rein on them. I never fully let myself relax for fear of what might happen. My need to protect the people I care about supersedes my need to express the things I feel. I am constantly afraid that if I tell people what I feel that they’ll think I’m dangerous or insane and abandon me. Maybe I am dangerous or insane; it’s getting harder and harder to tell. It’s only because nobody knows me here that I can even speak about things, but even here I worry that someone will figure out who I am and know the monster I am capable of being. Occasionally, I just have to unburden my own mind…

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