this was my piece that i submitted for scholastic.
When the first wave of fury hits, it gives no warning. Like a bullet going through a tissue. It feels like a burning white hot heat that tears through my veins, the warm lava that boils in my throat, begs to be released in some form of emotion. It’s what causes my fingernails to dig into my skin, imprinting half-moon crescents; like tattoos. When I want to break every bone in my body and the smallest, little things irritate me.
First, it’s the overwhelming anger, which seems to be like fire boiling in your blood, and then as the anger goes, and you’re left sitting there, no ounce of strength left, you just want to cry. That’s when you know you’ve messed up.
I have been in that place so many times, that every single scream that erupts from my mouth and every single pain that I have inflicted on myself, becomes burned in my head like a brand. The place seems to be like an endless void, constantly filling me with thoughts that warn me not to step out of line or there will be consequences. But every time that I cross the line, and I face the consequences, I never learn.
Like a never ending cycle.
All situations end like a rhymes. People say that history doesn’t repeat, but surely, they do rhyme, right?
There had been many times that I have felt the fear, and the uselessness rising in my throat, and thoughts that I made up in my own head that I wasn’t good enough, weighing me down uncomfortably. When my anger just bubbles in my throat, begging for release, I let it out.
My frustration causes most of my stress, and sometimes I feel like clawing my hair from my head, or inflicting some sort of pain on myself. I scream things that are half true to my parents, damaging them verbally the way that they have done so to me. I do have this little part of awareness about what I’m saying but I do choose to ignore it too caught up in my emotions to even think.
I remember last year, when I was in 7th grade, I had an anxiety attack at school. The memory still haunts me today. I don’t know why I keep this memory close by. It isn’t anything special. It’s not like it was my first time having an anxiety attack at school, and it wasn’t my last either. I just hold it close because I felt my heart rate pick up as it seemed like I couldn’t even breathe when I had it.
I remember that my throat was clogged up and hot streams of tears were running down my face and sliding uncomfortably down my neck. The need for air was so desperate. I tried to calm down by taking deep breaths, but it felt as if no air was going into my body. All I could do was hug my legs, and even though I was in the biggest stall in the bathroom, I felt like the walls would close around me in a second.
I remember that when I finally stood up, I had to lean up against the stall door so that I wouldn’t fall down. With shaking legs and trembling lips, I stumbled to the sink, where I looked at my reflection in the mirror.
I thought to myself: “I’m fine, you’re fine.” And I even imagined one of my friend’s whispering it to me while rubbing my back, which she usually does when I feel down and am crying.
I remember trying to cover up the fact that I had just been crying. You could see it, with my bloodshot eyes and the leftover tear marks. How my hair was a mess from having my fingers run through it and slightly pull at. I also remember the bathroom door being open and the light from the hallway coming, as a teacher stepped into the bathroom and asked me if I was alright. I only nodded my head, because my throat was dry from the tears and I felt that if I spoke again, I would break down crying. I remember following her out of the bathroom and the amazing feeling of not being locked inside a stall even though that’s where I put myself.
The cause of that all was because I couldn’t understand a single thing that was going on, so my thoughts went into panic mode, which caused my mind to shut down anything logical. The frustration was seeping into my skin, and although try as I might, I couldn’t get it out. This frustration also happens when I feel like something’s not perfect. And when you’re a perfectionist, it makes something hard to finish without pointing out every single flaw, until it’s exactly right.
I think back to another time when my frustration got ahead of me. I was looking down on my art project, and I was able to recognize that something was off about it. Maybe because it was the fact that I wasn’t close to being done, but every single thing felt wrong to me, and I absolutely hated it. My mom kept insisting that it was fine, and my sister told me that it was better than hers (which was a Saint Bernard). I don’t understand, but I was so angry that I threw the two boxes of pastels off the table, making different colors fly at the edge of my vision. Realizing that I may have broken some, and the fear of getting punished for what I’ve done, I dart to the door, and seem to almost fly down the stairs. Shoving my feet into my gym shoes and yanking a green coat from the coat hanger, I opened the door.
When I slammed the door shut behind me, I stepped down the stairs and walked to the edge of my driveway, each step feeling like a thousand weights were paced on my legs. I now felt another emotion:
At first, I didn’t know where to go, and I couldn’t go to my friend’s house because I didn’t want to burden her with my problems. So when I took the first, real breath in some time, I decided to go to the park. I’ve been to the park before to clear my mind, to clear out and wash away all my thoughts, and begin the process of regretting and forgetting.
I thought of if my mom was mad at me, how I regret flinging pastels that were already broken into more ruin. But for some part of it, my mind was absolutely blank, as I only focused on the cement in front of me, and began to distract myself. In my head, I try to hide away what I have done, so that I can maybe fall for that lie that I told myself. Although, I get pulled back into reality like a spaceship being pulled back down after its jets failed to thrust, hitting the ground hard. I do try to live in the moment, and not think about the consequences later for my actions.
Sometimes there are moments like these which cause all logic to fall out of my head, and to have only emotion shine through. I learned the hard way that only following by your emotions is dangerous. Moments like these are what I hate the most, but I always try to find some sort of reason to cope with these actions of mine. But when I do cross the line, get a burst of anger, and then regret it right after, I never seem to learn from my mistakes, even though I know the outcome of what’s happening,.
And all this anger, all this regret, it has caused me to hate. To blame. To hate myself, and try to blame others around me when I am the one at fault. When it is all me. This anxiety; this fear, it impacts me everyday as I try to control the heaving feeling in my heart or shove down the anger into my gut. I lie to myself and tell myself I have gotten better, But in reality, it is just a lie to reassure not only the other people around me, but myself and I am not better.
This anger I have been feeling ever since I was little, and I still have no idea where it came from. Maybe it’s from something that happened early on in my childhood. I know that my parents all have short tempers, no matter how hard they try to deny it. My dad definitely had one when he was little, and he told me a few times that something just suddenly clicked in his mind that he couldn’t behave like that anymore. I have never felt that click in my brain, that little voice inside my head to stop, and to think it through.
I have found one escape from it, and it helps calm me down.
Instrumental music or some sort of soothing music. Sometimes even happy. Music like this helps me savor in the feeling of being able to breath again. It is like white noise in the background, and soothes me into a dream-like trance, that makes all my worries go away for a short amount of time. It lets my tears settle until they only seem like memories, and how my throat opens up and allows me to breath. The only problem is that my parents now and then don’t let me listen to music that makes me feel euphoric. They used to make me sit down and become even more frustrated that I sometimes drag my fingernails down my face, leaving scratches. Luckily, my parents trust that I know how to take care of myself more and prevent these problems. When I can’t get outside to breathe, I change to the course of helping my mind breathe, and that is where music came in to help.
In the near future, I hope I can hear that click in my head, feel that breath of fresh air, and be able to control the raging hot that fills my blood and causes bursts of anger. Maybe then, I will be able to live my life without dragging myself down with invisible chains. Maybe then, I’ll be free, and be able to control it.