The Corner of Anxiety

I cannot in all honesty name and shame, that maybe because I don’t know who the idiot was that came hurtling down the road in his four by four. I won’t cast aspersions on his physique and the correlation between him and his obvious vehicle buying compensations. I will say that even the look on my dog’s face was one of amazement, as he wheel spun his monster of a truck at high speed almost taking me and the dog off our feet as he executed a five-point turn. The idiot then pulled up, blocking a driveway and went into the shop on the corner.

I’m learning to control my temper. Ok it’s an ongoing process that has a long way to go, so saying that I had to stop and take a long deep breath and think about the safety of my dog before I went in and dragged him physically out of the shop, is an understatement. I can rev my blood pressure and anxiety levels to extraordinary heights at the drop of an idiot and still survive. Surely, I should be praised for my ability to blow my top and have a heart that can take the punishment on a daily basis.

But it was Monday, and this happened before 9am. Not an ideal way to start the week. Not an ideal way to start a day and neither is it an ideal way to live my life. This happened last Monday and so this week I have endeavoured to do something about my predicament. Having a raging temper and my father’s anxiety. Yes, I have it seems, not inherited my mentally challenging outlook on life from my mother, but from dad, that ill-tempered, misogynistic, hard-nosed, grumpy old man. So it seems I have turned out to be just like him.

Whenever dad had a nit to pick, he would shake, but in the late 70’s, early 80’s, men didn’t have mental health problems and older men never had anxiety. It was just his temper. He would get that angry that he would shake and you ran and hid, and if it was you he was angry with, you prayed. It seems I am just the same.

I am my father’s daughter. More than that, I have come to appreciate that my father may not have known how to deal with the effects of the anxiety he suffered and that I was at the time, too young to understand it myself.

It doesn’t excuse idiots. My anxiety driven temper is triggered by all sorts of idiots, the man in his car, who was lucky he only got away with a shake of my head and a tut when he emerged with his paper. If only he knew how close he came to getting the sharp end of my tongue. The teenager who has no respect, the husband that leaves wet towels on the bed. They are all so lucky that I suggest they try the lottery.

I was going to go into the psychobabble that I am working on but I’ve decided against it. I have found that my thoughts are not actually my mood, they are only thoughts, and if you got inside my head you would need full Teflon coated armour and a Vulcan telepathic barrier to survive.

This morning the idiot in the four by four was parked outside the shop, on the corner, as in on the corner, at an angle, and I was getting worked up for a, “What a bloody idiot, shake down,” when I realised that I was actually in a good mood. The thoughts I was having, ( and this is real deep psychologics stuff here folks) the thoughts were just that and if I just didn’t take any notice of them, they would go away.
Now at this point, you are expecting me to say that the calm fell over me and the CBT worked it’s magic and I am now cured. I was just thinking the same thing as the shop owner came out and started to scream at the man in Hindi, and then proceeded to add in the middle of his rants,” you’re barred,” another rant in Hindi, “you’re bad parking,” another rant. I fed off his anger and felt my blood pressure rise. I saw the shop owner start to shake and he reminded me of my father. I felt the shakes creeping through my chest and my heart rate rise.

“Bloody Idiot.” I added to the melee.

The man shot me a look and his face suddenly changed to shock, as he climbed into his car and sped off.

I went into the shop to see if the shop keeper was ok, he was muttering under his breath, every other word being, well unrepeatable. Looking up he smiled. “You scared him off,” he said with amazed glee.

“What me?” I added.

“I would run away if you gave me that look, trust me.” The shopkeeper laughed.

It seems my children are right, I am intimidating and maybe a little bit of anxiety and temper isn’t such a bad thing.

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