The flea that feels like a shark

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Moxie890

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The flea that feels like a shark
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:16:45 PM »
I have the rage flea and it feels like a shark. Most of the time I can breathe through the impulse to rage and I don't act on it. Sometimes I repeat a mantra to myself like "calm words and gentle hands" over and over. Every once and a while I slip up, and it makes me feel so ashamed.

To those of you that can relate, what strategies do you use to overcome the rage flea?

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11JB68

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 04:31:23 PM »
I get that flea too. Though I haven't identified it as a flea, but rather as a real feeling in response to what I perceive as verbal abuse/circular arguing etc. by uOCPDh.
I do have good impulse control. For me, the feeling is one thing. And I can acknowledge that I have an impulse (mine is in the form of wanting to throw something at uOCPDh) and that I'm able to control the impulse.
Maintaining medium chill and not JADEing has helped me. I also know that if I do feel that I won't be able to control the impulse that I may need to leave the room.

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Sidney37

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 05:35:52 PM »
I have this flea, too.  You arenít alone.  Iíve realized in the past few months that I wasnít allowed to express any emotion around my FOO.   I was shamed for crying, laughing (jokes and funny movies are stupid :stars:), smiling too much (that embarrassed her), or feeling angry.  But the only way to make her verbal abuse stop was to rage, because then I got grounded to my room and she left me alone while she sulked.  So my coping for making stress go away was to throw whatever was in my hand in the floor, yell or slam a door.  Now I just yell.  I hate it.

Now that I recognize, Iím really trying hard  to use words to express my feelings.  It wasnít safe do that as a child or I would be mocked, shamed or told I shouldnít feel what I was feeling. 

Iíd, too, like to know what others do to handle the rage flea.  I feel it welling up as soon as my boundaries are violated, when my emotions are invalidated or Iím accused of saying something that I never said. Yesterday I felt it and squeezed my fists closed as hard as I could while breathing.  Iím not sure it will always work.

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Moxie890

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 06:20:11 PM »
Thanks for the responses!

Walking away helps me sometimes too.

I see my rage as a flea because I learned it from my uNBPDm. She was like a land mine and would easily go off at the slightest misstep. My impulse to rage doesn't necessarily come only when I am being mistreated. It can come during frustrating, but healthy interactions. For example, when a child misbehaves or my schedule conflicts with DH's schedule. My mom regularly raged if I misbehaved as a child and if she didn't get her way. I am struggling with the rage feeling like a reflex. Like I said before, I don't usually act on it, but the feelings can get very intense. If I do blow up and yell, I feel so guilty and ashamed. I have taken the first steps of acknowledging that rage behavior is wrong, and for the most part replacing it with appropriate behavior. I am looking for ways to turn down the volume on these feeling, and stop them from feeling like a reflex.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 08:06:58 PM »
I so needed this post today. I've been trying to rid myself of this flea for a while now, and I've been doing well for months. But last night I totally lost my temper. It was short-lived, but then I fell into a deep hole of shame and defeat. It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.

Breathing definitely helps. If I can catch myself, it usually only takes 3-4 deep breaths before I can shake it off. Also, having sort of an "internal dialogue" with myself where I talk out what I'm angry about and why helps, too.

The biggest break-through for me was reading this article: https://happyyouhappyfamily.com/angry-mother/
I don't have kids, but I did the bracelet thing anyway, and it really, really worked. In fact, I think after last night, I might go back to wearing my "reminder" bracelets. Besides the visual and tactile reminder the bracelets gave me, having something proactive to do after a rage episode helped keep me out of the shame/regret/guilt cycle. I could hold myself accountable without beating myself up about it and feeling even worse.

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athene1399

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 11:05:44 AM »
Quote
my schedule conflicts with DH's schedule.
This gets me too and I have no idea why. I think it's because I feel pressured to do what SO wants, since I wasn't allowed to ever have a say as a child. I second everyone's advice on here. It's all stuff I work on doing to manage the intense emotions. And being self-compassionate. We aren't perfect. We will get emotional over seeming small things, and that's okay. We just have to work on  expressing the emotions in healthy ways.  :) Someone mentioned to me on another thread when you feel angry over something to visualize yourself swept away by a river, then visualize swimming to shore and getting out. I wanted to work on getting something, like a bracelet or stone, or hold when I feel like that to help bring me back to my breath and the moment (to help stay mindful). I'll have to check out Cat's article on this. :)

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Moxie890

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 03:07:27 PM »
Oh my gosh Cat, that article is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

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Fiasco

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 07:18:14 PM »
Hoping my technique doesnít make me sound too ridiculous but I have found I canít stop myself from instantly rage shouting sometimes, especially when I get hurt. I was afraid I was frightening my children. So what I do now is I continue yelling after my intial curse word something descriptive so everyone knows they donít need to be worried or concerned by my yelling. For example yesterday I knocked a glass jar candle onto my foot and after I shouted a bad word I yelled ďIím fine I dropped a candle on my foot and it hurts and I donít like it!Ē

Or if I find myself being unreasonable upset about something stupid and I have the urge to shout I will yell something like ďIím out of coffee and this makes me unreasonably angry and maybe I should stop yelling and go buy some!Ē

I donít know, it works for me 😂

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 08:41:53 PM »
Moxie890, you are so welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful!

Fiasco, your solution gave me a chuckle. I love it.

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P&K

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 03:22:55 AM »
To all who posted here, I needed this. Itís going much better for me these days and Iím noticing so much more healthy behaviours becoming my ďnormalĒ
I absolutely recognize the shame and anxiety that often followed those moments and it kept me awake at night. It helped me to read things like the article Cat of the canals shared. Audible self talk when alone to remind myself I wasnít the reaction I had and I could make better choices. Naming my feeling in that moment took work but it really helped me step back and be same confident and calm adult  I am when not triggered.
My sincerest thanks to you all for opening up and helping remind me we arenít alone. :yourock:

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Sidney37

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 09:31:10 AM »
Fiasco.  I love it. I might try this myself as a way to verbalize what Iím angry about. 

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athene1399

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2019, 10:07:14 AM »
Fiasco, this is fantastic! I can just picture myself yelling, "I get unreasonably angry when people don't change the toilet paper when it runs out! I should change it instead of yelling!"  :rofl: As funny as it is, I think that would really help with my angry outbursts, too. it will help me to voice why I am upset. I can't really do this at work, but maybe picturing me doing it and then everyone's reactions would make me feel less angry.

This has been a very helpful thread. :)

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Fiasco

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 05:41:05 PM »
It does help! And I'm dying laughing picturing us all yelling long sentences this weekend.

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Moxie890

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2019, 12:51:06 AM »
I am usually in a serious mood when I check this forum, but now I am smiling  :laugh:
Ya'll crack me up!

I am glad this has been a helpful thread. You all have some great ideas, thanks for sharing!

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2019, 02:17:21 AM »
I worked out a variant of the same thing, after watching, of all things, the Top Gear Polar Special.

Jeremy Clarkson was trying to pound a tent pole into the snow pack, and cursing and yelling up a storm.  James May astutely noted, "You can't build a tent by shouting at it."   :thumbup:

From that point on, I began to think, "Will yelling at the problem actually SOLVE it?"

Usually the answer is no, it won't - but fixing the problem *will.*  :yes:

I'm about 95% better than I was, but I still have my moments, especially when it comes to the cats, usually when Braddles is picking on Desmond, but even that's gotten better.

I keep it LOW key - it doesn't exacerbate the situation and actually can de-escalate it if I *calmly* say or even sing-song, "He doesn't liiiiiiiiiike that..." - and *kindly* shoo Braddles away with my mad Jazz Hands skills.  ;D

I've also got the combatants on CBD oil, and it's *really* made a big difference.

However...if I get into a situation where I really need to let it out, I'll yell in a long sentence.   :rofl:

 :hug:

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all4peace

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2019, 09:47:06 AM »
For me, fully processing, digesting, raging and then grieving the losses of childhood was the only way I finally let go of the volcano of anger that lived inside of me, that took so much energy to keep down as much as possible.

Also, going back and healing my inner child through inner-child work. And now working very consistently on self-care every.single.day.

My best to you!

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gcj07a

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Re: The flea that feels like a shark
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2019, 12:07:38 PM »
Oh man do I have that flea! I also learned it from my uBPm. I find it strikes most when I am parenting my young kids (1, 3, and 4). My impulse control is pretty good, and walking away or asking DW or MIL (who lives with us because my FIL is uNP) for help has been very beneficial. I've also learned a lot from the idea that anger is a secondary emotion, and that most of the time my rage is covering for fear or rejection (both of which underlie my uBPm's actions). Prayer, meditation, and mindfulness has helped me over the years as well.
"How often have I lain beneath the rain, on a strange roof, thinking of home?" -William Faulkner