Sunday, August 2, 2009

What is a rage like?

What a rage is like.**Graphic post, read with discretion**

People have told me the people I hurt, the animals I killed and the general rampant destruction was a choice. I can tell you right now, from a R.A.D. perspective, there is no choosing involved. When a rage begins, the loss of control is a complex and the victim of a rage collapses into a darkness that I can only describe as one thing.
The abandonment of self.

The total lack of physical and mental control. It's a dark corner of your mind and your body that you literally have no control over. The only thing that you feel in a rage is a searing, white hot anger that has come from no where but you know it's been there the entire time, ready to bubble up again.

The only thing you want to do in an R.A.D. rage is kill and destroy. There is no choice, and nothing else matters. It's a deep and very profound experience that grips your mind and your body and that very lack of control makes it almost impossible to understand to the laymen or a parent who's house has just been burned down by an angry child.

The rages continued for me until something was dead, something was burned down or I was emotionally and or physically exhausted. There was no stopping me and anyone that did try to stop me would end up dead or in the hospital at the very least.
Rages differ from anger fits in that you can control and regulate your responses to outside or internal stimuli. With rages you cannot regulate that, and there is no magical switch. At least there wasn't one for me.

One particular incident that stands out with me, when I heard the neck snap of an animal that I threw against a wall, the anger only got worse. Not because I just killed again, but because I couldn't control what was happening. I couldn't stop my own hands from destroying whatever I saw.

In a rage, I could feel, I could understand and I could see what I was doing, but there was no way to regulate my actions. The anger came over me like a tidal wave and I was drowning in anger. When I would have rages I would stop thinking, my survival mechanics stopped.
The entire world stood still. It was only me and the anger, with no where to go. I was trapped in a hellish room and there was no door. I simply had to ride through the anger.

For those that don't understand, let's put a perspective to the actual event.
We all watch movies. We go to the theatre. We see a scary movie. We can see whats happening, we can hear and emotionalize, but we are out of control. We are along for the ride. That's exactly what a rage is like.

What is important (And I am not a professional) is finding the triggers that cause those rages. When I was a child, any time I perceived a loss the rages would instantly begin. When my sister left for Greece, I killed her cat. When I lost a girlfriend (Huge issue) I literally ripped my parents house apart from the ceilings to the carpet. Literally. Everything in the house was destroyed. Glasses broken, shelves tipped over, animals dead something burning.

Once the anger passed, I was usually clutching a dead animal or watching something burn. As soon as the rage passed, just like a tornado was in shock as I witnessed the destruction that I myself caused. This of course, only made it worse. I remember being 12 years old and crying myself to sleep, shocked that another animal was dead. I knew in my rages that animal was going to do but I didn't want to kill it. I wanted to die and I couldn't. I was in hell.

As much as i LOVED the violence, I detested it. I clung to it as a way to expression my emotion. Those of us that understand the expression of violence and why it plays such a huge role in a rage. We are fascinated with gore, with death and blood. It is no wonder that this fascination floods over when we rage. It's our best mechanic. It's a love/hate relationship. I can promise all R.A.D. parents these rages aren't ABOUT YOU. It's simply survival mechanic that unfortunately results in terrible loss of life, property and the abandonment of self.

I write this not to shock, and not to offend but educate. I am sharing this part of my life with the R.A.D. community so they may have a better look inside a rage and how they came to be with me. Perhaps, if we look deeper into the triggers of rage and the perceived/actualized loss model there will be less lives ruined by a R.A.D. rage.



Mama Caguama said...

Thank you Michael for helping me see this from "the inside".

Wondering if you've read any of Heather Forbes books - starting with Beyond Consequenses, Logic and Control? In it she explains (in a way simple folk like me can understand ;) just what happens in the brain during a rage or a fear state. When I first read it I had the "Ah Ha!! I'm not crazy." reaction. I go back to read it often to remind myself of the complete disconnect that can happen.

marythemom said...

Hey Mike,

I know when my kids go into a rage they drop into fight, flight or freeze mode and everything is instinctual. They have no control over what happens, and usually don't seem to remember what happened, and even less the longer we wait to talk about it.

I had a form of seizures as a child, during which I would rage out of control for hours. For me it was a total blackout. I remembered nothing at all of what happened. For me (and one of my cousins) these started in infancy so I know it's not related to RAD, but I wondered if you remember what happens during the rages.

Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing.

Mary in TX
I'm an online mentor at:

Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(13)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear(16) 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."