Monday Dare: I need protection. From myself.

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or find out more about its origin.

This week: Anger management

My number one desire in life is to be less of a hoarder. I also want my daughter to grow up to be a profoundly happy person. I hope that even on the days she is feeling blue, she is surrounded by a shitload of people who appreciate her inner-core and help her to see that this too shall pass. But that’s a hope I have for someone else. I really want to focus on me right now, so yes, my number one desire in life is to stop amassing mounds of useless junk.

I’m guilty of hoarding objects. My animal pencil topper collection is pretty intense. The entire collection is housed in an airtight see-through container because most of them have a distinct yet subtle scent, and every time I open the lid, I am greeted with a cornucopia of fruity goodness. It’s very appealing to me.

But more than my collections of pencil toppers and rap lyric t-shirts and metallic tinsel, the “thing” that occupies the most amount of space in my life is the dirty pile of anger I have stacked, one rage-filled thought after another, in the middle place where my heart should be.

I’m just angry as fuck.

It’s hard to recall anything I learned in high school which is understandable because I wasn’t really paying attention, but I do remember learning in biology that 60% of the human body is comprised of water. This confuses me, because if I had to guesstimate, I’d say that anger makes up roughly 81% of who I am. Apparently, every drop of liquid coursing through my body (plus a few organs) has a high level of fuck you, motherfucker.

I’ve been amassing rage like it’s currency.

I no longer trust myself. Sometimes, I call Harv to ask if I “should” be angry about something because I’m guilty of overreacting to small offenses, and maybe even worse than that, I don’t react at all in some situations where I should voice concern and disapproval.

Over the weekend, a random dude pinched my cheek. Now that I’m thinking about it, I feel a little embarrassed. I must look like the kind of person you can cheek pinch. Would anyone dare take a chunk of Ludacris’s face meat between their thumb and pointer finger? I DON’T THINK SO. This man didn’t think I was participating enough in the group conversation and pinched my cheek. I stood up because I wanted to gain better leverage and force before I smashed my hand into his temple.

My cousin stepped in and stood just inches away from my face before telling me to leave immediately. Which I did. Because I was enraged and because I felt such an overwhelming desire to be physically confrontational and because I didn’t trust myself.

Violence is never, ever the answer. Never. Ever. Ever. I’m ashamed and riddled with guilt that my thoughts could even venture into that territory. Yet, I am still seething.

I’ve resisted going back into therapy because I’m afraid that once all of my anger is gone, there will just be an expansive hole. I could, of course, fill it with other things like arrogance or laziness. Laziness is the front runner right now because I already have a lot of experience with it, and it just seems to come naturally.

I’m enrolling in an anger management class this week. I want to be a better example for my daughter. Also, I want to stay out of jail.

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image via Meme Machine

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  • Trophy Wife

    Babe – I would be fucking livid if some random dude came and pinched me on my cheeks WTF dude? It’s not even cool when my grandfather used to do that to me!

    I have also attended anger management classes – I had a temper so bad that my neighbors used to call the police every time my bf and I fought. Those classes was the best thing I’ve ever done.

    Proud of you.


    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      When the cops come, I know that relationship is pretty much done.

      Pretty sad that I had to use that as the judging standard for how my relationships were faring.

  • FearlessFibro

    Anger Management class is full of court-appointed nutjobs, so it should make you feel pretty good about yourself.

    Or, so I hear. ;)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Oh man, this is totally what I am hoping for. I thought I was a total fuck-up until I went to rehab, and then I was all, “OMG, I’m still one of the saner ones!” Not sure how much that actually says about me, but it did give me some comfort back then.

  • JessC

    6 or so years ago I was in a similar situation. Ragin’ mad and in serious danger of doing something irreparable. Thich Nhat Hanh and Spike Gillespie got me through. I will admit that the kinder, gentler me sometimes feels…less me. But beats making bail.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      My proudest accomplishment is never having been to jail. I feel like I should knock on wood right now.

  • @realgtaylor

    I used to get angry a lot, but it’s been years now since I’ve been *really* angry. I think I found a way to turn off/water down almost all my emotions. Which I wouldn’t recommend since it makes life more boring and tedious. I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you though! In the meantime, remember that if you hit them in the back of the head it’s just battery, not assault *and* battery.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I fight the urge to create chaos in my life just because it’s settled into tedium. A boring life isn’t so bad sometimes.

      Also, thank you for this most excellent tip. Back of the head it is.

  • Bea Delgado

    I still carry a lot of anger, mostly related to bull shit stress that people bring on me. I’ve been holding on to a lot of anger, rage, frustration, and everything else that you can imagine. I’m not saying resort to violence, but I took up boxing just to punch something and get my anger out. Since legally I can’t knock someone on their ass, you know that whole police thing just doesn’t suit me very well. It has helped curb the anger a lot more, cause imagine beating the shit out of someone while using a punching bag. I get to hit something and soothe some part of my soul. So I hope you find something that will bring that to you as well.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I once tried to take a kickboxing class to relieve tension and the bag thing came back and hit me in the face. The instructor said I didn’t have it set to the right height but I was in such a rage that I didn’t hear her. Oops.

  • kimchi_mom

    Just like they teach in pre-K, keep your hands and feet to yourself. I would also be livid if a random dude touched my face.

    People used to tell me that as Koreans, a quick temper is in our genetic makeup. But I’ve learned and accepted that it’s just me.

    When I was younger, my temper was not controlled and looking back I was very lucky. But like you, sometimes I feel like I overreact to insignificant shit and go silent when I SHOULD say or do something.

    I’m definitely more conscientious now and try to keep myself in check if I feel myself getting riled up. But believe you-me, I definitely have my off days….that’s what wine is for, right? ;-)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      The mere mention of the word wine makes me salivate. Oh yes, that always helps me. Perhaps too much. Which is why, starting a while back, I stopped keeping alcohol in the house.

      I use the Korean temper crutch all the time. Also, I use the Asian lady driver crutch. If an excuse is out there, I will take it and roll with it. I’m working on not doing that so much. Not easy.

      Here’s to us acting accordingly.

  • kimchi_mom

    Oh, and I find getting a good night’s sleep helps….as I write this at 2 a.m….

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Last week, I slept at a reasonable hour and although I was still unproductive as hell, I was not a horrible witch.

  • Shelley Wong

    Excuse me. I don’t have the same anger issues you’re dealing with but I would still be screaming mad if some “random dude pinched my cheek”! Seriously, what makes a man think he can reach out and touch someone else’s body? You wouldn’t let him do it to your daughter, would you? That might be a good way to judge your feelings of anger. Imagine the situation was happening to her and then see how you feel – if it’s wrong for her, then it’s wrong for you!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I have been using this gauge over the past few weeks, and I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made. Thank you.

  • Brittany Rae

    I would totally be in jail. Has that dude never heard of personal space…. my bubble is a good happy 4 ft radius. Maybe 2.5 for close friends or family. Ugh. He totally would have had a broken nose for sure.

    My dad offered to pay for an anger management course for me a few years back. I didnt take him up on his offer. I mean come on I have to be able to defend myself if I ger kidnapped. That or my mouth will get me into trouble with said kidnapper and they will drop me off on the next block.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      If we’re talking about a kidnapping scenario, then I think you and I are both set. In fact, I’m going to be so bold as to say that the offenders will never kidnap again.

  • Corinna

    I agree that hitting that guy was not the answer, but he was totally out of line for touching you! I have never had someone touch me that way and do not know how I would react….

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank you for making me feel like less of a degenerate asshole.

  • Miss Britt

    Next time, I say you pinch his cheeks back.

    In fact, maybe you can find out where this dude works, drop by for a visit on your way to anger management class, and pinch his cheeks. Then walk out like a gangster.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I like the way you think.

  • Sammie Mack

    Oh my goodness, pinch your cheek? Obviously that would make anyone livid. However, shake it off as being too fucking adorable. AND I have a solution to your anger management that is, well, not exactly anger management. You live in LA, right? You should try Pound! It’s a workout class that uses drumsticks. You basically get to beat the shit out of the floor while listening to music (they even have rap songs). I think you might like that as a supplement.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Rap music + pounding shit. Is that what Heaven looks like?

  • unitedstatesofbecky

    If some asshat just pinched my cheek, my head would explode.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress


      Also, I’m obsessing over where those grimy little hands have been. Ew.

  • Erin_MommyontheSpot

    It takes guts to change. A lot of guts not only because of the work, but who you will become afterwards. Kinda like remodeling – you know that new paint could be great but, wonder if it is not.

    Your instincts are directiong you in a positive direction. Trust them. Trust yourself.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I am bad at change. Even when it’s something like paint, I usually have to paint over a few “mistake choices” before I find the right one. And in life, I usually have to take a few wrong turns before I hit my stride.

  • Mariah McMasters

    Whoa, pinching your cheek? You might have some anger issues, but I would say you were justified in that situation.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Because of the anger issues, I can never tell if I’m justified or not. So, your thumbs up makes me feel less crazy. ;)

  • RollerScrapper

    I feel that it is my duty to warn you that if you hoard those erasers in a clear plastic container, in approximately 30 years from their purchase they will form some sort of weird acid that will melt them to the plastic container and actually melt the plastic. How do I know this? I too was an eraser hoarder as a child and just found my eraser “collection” when I cleaned out my childhood room. It was tragic.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I would be HORRIFIED if I found my prized collection in this condition. If I could reach through the screen and give you a hug right now, I would. Because that is totally hug worthy.

  • Wendy Wilson

    i’ve had not one but two people tell me today that they ‘didn’t mean to upset me.’ clearly, i must sound like i’m about to flipping freak out on their asses and, in truth, i am; i guess i just didn’t think it was that obvious.
    thanks for this post. i’ve been a fan since hearing you read at VOTY in new york last year and i kick myself for not coming by more. while you work on the anger stuff maybe i’ll just bury mine and try to make a point of reading about your diligent work more often, hm? :)

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I am very bad at concealing Anger Face, Surprise Face, Happy Face, Sad Face, Confused Face…Those are the only emotions I can think of right now, but I think that pretty much covers it. I am obvious too which does not work well in card games and also, the game of life.

      Thank you so much for the kindness. VOTY was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life.

  • Marcy Magiera

    I so, so get the 81% anger thing. Tempering it with humor sometimes helps…

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I need to learn how to be funny then.

  • Lauren

    I would CUT any mother fucker who pinched my cheek, let me tell you.

    Having said that … you would never be an expansive hole without the anger, my friend. Not possible. I will say this though; anger management classes will help you in the heat of the moment, but they’ll never get to the root of the problem(s). If you’re okay with that, go for it.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I want to get to the root. Not right now, since that sounds like it would be a lot of work and I am very lazy, but someday. when I have the courage and patience for it.

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