Or any other super hero or mutant for that matter. I wish I could say that Wonder Woman is who I identify with, or even better, Jean Grey. But no, it is not meant to be. I am The Hulk. I don’t turn green and ginormous, but when I feel anger, jealousy, inadequacy, self-doubt, when I compare myself to other women whom I feel are more successful, prettier, a “better catch,” smarter…the list goes on, I physically begin to feel shaky and quaky, and I have the thought that I could crush a cement block without any effort. I have yet to try that though…
Friday I was home with just the cats, having a girls night in since my husband was about 2 hours away at an overnight retreat for the homebuilders board to which he was recently selected. I am so proud of him and I hope I support him in a way that he feels loved and special and admired. His intelligence and the way his mind works amazes me and he is so organized. While my mind is scattered and disorganized, Van’s is quick and smart and he is able to think on his feet and give a presentation at a moment’s notice. It’s truly amazing.
Back to Friday. I began to obsess over who my husband was with which led to comparing myself with these lovely, professional ladies. Because of my mental illnesses I work part-time and I tend to get very down on myself about that. I think of the women at the retreat and they seem so much more successful than I. They work full-time, they work in my husband’s industry, and they have a lot to talk about and many things in common. And they are all so lovely. I then begin to feel like 10-year old Brooke who was tall and gangly, wishing she were 5’0 to 5’5, cute like a little chipmunk. Yes, I always thought the cute popular girls in school looked like cute little chipmunks. Cute little noses, pretty eyes, smaller faces, and of course they were about 5 inches shorter. I felt like a total weirdo, 5’8′ at age 10, messed up teeth and just a mess.
So I feel 10 years old again and I’m comparing away when suddenly I just feel a wave of anger wash over me. I start to shake and I’m not sure whether to break something or cry. I honestly felt like The Hulk. No words were available, just growly sounds. I posted something on facebook about it and a few people laughed, which is fine – it makes me happy to make people laugh, but the anger I feel thanks to my insecurities is amplified by my mental illnesses. But I try so hard to keep this all a secret. In my mind, if I am not near to being perfect, then why even?
I hate feeling the anger. I hate feeling mad at Van when he has done nothing wrong. I hate myself at these moments and it is so hard to come down from these fits of rage. Luckily the most I have done when feeling this way is mouth off a bit to someone, but it could be much worse.
I see my therapist on Thursday and I am so happy! I need to talk to her about this and figure out ways to cope. My cats help, and so does talking to my mom. Watching favorite tv shows helps as does playing with my makeup and reorganizing it is soothing. One I come down completely from the ugly high, books are another safe place to find comfort.
Does anyone else deal with anger/irritability irritability problems, or feelings of comparison?
I feel like sharing just a bit more. The illnesses I am talking about that amplify negative emotions would be my PTSD. The other one is complicated. We (my mental health team and me) haven’t figured out my main diagnosis. We’ve decided it could be Bipolar I Disorder with Psychotic Features -or- Schizoaffective Disorder. Who knows and is it important? Same meds, same treatment, but I am one of those people who likes to have a clear definition of what is happening in my brain. Sometimes I like having a label. But a label given to me by a doctor who cares and who wants to work with me and understands that sometimes just knowing makes all the difference.
If you made it this far, thank you. I hope you have a brilliant day.