Anger is a strange thing. Those who are angry are often not even aware of how they sound to others. At times anger came upon me unawares when something hurtful happened and I tried to express what I thought and how I felt. In almost all cases it was when I felt unjustly treated. My pastor told me I should get anger management before I even realized it was a problem. A friend was kind and told me the truth, that when I was angry it sounded like an attack. Today – four years later – I’m starting to see why others kept their distance. Telling my story with the help of old blog posts and journals is helping me understand.

I think to myself: I had always thought I was a good person, a gentle person, obediently following God’s will. So why did all this happen to me?

In April of 2015, I became angrier than I ever had been before, or probably ever will be again. The most painful thing that ever happened to me was my exclusion from a study group that I badly needed and had my heart set on. Although I had bursts of anger before this, probably starting back in 2014, this event marked the beginning of something that affected my mental health in a big way. Memories of this event, as well as others, returned often, bringing me to suicidal states.

Remarks from my journals in 2015:

  • June – “I haven’t always angered so easily. This is something new”
  • August – “Why do I express anger instead of tears when I’m unjustly treated?”
  • September – My husband says I never used to get so angry. “You’re changing.”
  • September – A friend said, “I’ve never seen you like this before.”
  • September – “I can no longer be quiet and get hurt when I feel I’m unjustly treated. I can no longer just sit back and take it.”
  • October – Admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of features of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Reason for the diagnosis – feelings of rejection and anger. This diagnosis is being contested.
  • December – “I can’t control my response when someone casts a bad light on me or says something that isn’t true. I don’t know what’s coming out of my mouth.”

But I was not the only person in this story. There were one or two others. I found their angry attitudes towards me puzzling because I didn’t know where they came from. I felt hurt. Like a child, punished for being bad though I had always thought I was good. Where did their kindness go? What did I do wrong? Did they know what they were doing to me?

Were they – like me – not aware of how angry they sounded?