One of the most negative results I see from my own PTSD is anger. I have to monitor it closely, because, like my father before me, I can lose my temper quickly and woe be to anyone in the immediate vicinity if I do! The problem is, I don’t want to be remembered as the person most likely to go off on you, or the spoiled brat who wants everything her way. I’d like to be thought of as more mature than that.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve learned to control my temper and now I realize that I have a responsibility to control myself. Some of my friends will tell me others “make” them lose their temper. That’s a lie they tell themselves to justify striking out in anger.
The fact is that no one “makes” me, or anyone else, feel anything. I am the only one responsible for my feelings and for how I react to things. I’ve found that it is a choice to “allow” myself to go off on others or to control my temper.
As an adult, controlling my temper is desirable. Having watched my father hurt everyone in sight when he lost control, I understand the devastating effect it can have on those around you. I don’t want to do that to my family, friends or even my pets. I’d much rather be known as the person who may has strong opinions, but who allows others to voice other opinions too.
Controlling my anger means recognizing when I’m losing control and stopping it before it gets away from me. It takes a strong hand and a lot of effort to control myself, but it is certainly the more mature way of reacting and, more importantly, it’s how I want others to see me. It’s who I want to be. I don’t want to be the baby who throws a tantrum every time she doesn’t get her own way. I want to be the adult who is above that.
I hope that you will take a look at your own way of dealing with anger. Do others cringe when they see you coming? PTSD can be devastating enough without letting it ruin the lives of those around you too. Please, rein in your temper. If you can’t, get help in learning how, because if you don’t, those you love most will pay the price.