Heavy Metal (Trigger Warning)

I am considering changing my blog title to Trigger Warning, seriously. Might save me some time debating on if my words could cause someone else pain. I know that this pain can be beneficial and not everything I write is a knife through the heart. Still, I am bothered again.

I realized today that I still am struggling with the expression of anger without referencing violence. Quite honestly, I don’t know how. I have gotten to the point where I won’t actually raise my hand and make a stabbing motion anymore but it is there, in the words I use and in the words i manage to not. At every turn anger is equated with violence.

I think this is contributing to an issue that I am having with someone, but I can’t talk about that as we’re working on it. None the less, I am finding this depth of anger is not something that I can seem to satiate. I have tried everything, and yet the only thing that brings me peace right now is to crank the metal. It can be any band Dimmu Borgir, At Vance, Black Sabbath, Nightwish… most of my metal is more symphonic than heavy. When I reach for the gut busting ear gouging metal, I know I am reaching critical mass. Today, I did so.

I use music in the place of drugs, I think. I listen to a lot of classical and folk music because it mellows me out. I listen to metal when angry because it helps me burn off the anger. Yet what I visualize with each song is also very different. With Walking In the Air by Celtic Woman, I imagine myself dancing in the stars, there is no one but me despite the lyrics implicating another person (or Snowman). Instead I am merely awhirl in the stars, freed to be nothing but what I see as my inner core. Sometimes I take the cats out for a twirl too.

With metal, it is always violence. I am a warrior with at least one sword, never a sheild. I take blows but deliver them with more force. My gleaming blades reflect light into the dark abyss of whatever hell this place is. I see my enemy mostly as shadows and it takes more than just speed to survive. I will dance the dance of death, and blood will fall.

Right now, probably because I am hungry against my will, I want to make that dance real. I want to take the sword off my wall and play with it, to tease it, to whisper promises of blood. I won’t. I am not actually a danger to others, I am just so angry that this seems like what a reasonable person does with anger. I have no conception of how to handle my anger in a constructive way. I guess at this a lot.

What I do instead of stabbing someone between the rips to pierce their lung and watch them drown slowly, and yes a slow death seems way more fun right now, varies. The fact that a part of me derives pleasure from the imagery that my anger carries also bothers me. These are the things that I learned weren’t normal in the mental hospitals. Those places are where I get the information to formulate a guess on how to handle my wrath from.

“Why did you punch Eric?”
“He touched my fork.”
“Okay did you ask him to not do that?”
and I punched the therapist.

That’s how my brain sees anger. You just hit someone and are done. Except that actually hitting or stabbing doesn’t make me feel anything but worse. I feel guilt for their pain and or near death experience. I feel guilt because I am capable of such things, and I feel broken because I could not surmount it. These feelings are especially potent because I have been taught how to kill you in ways that won’t show. I know how to do damage. When I give in to that anger, I do damage. I haven’t since I was 17. I don’t consider punching someone who won’t back off and is hurting me as an attack of anger, as usually I don’t feel THIS kind of anger. Instead I see that as self defense. I only hit them once, and I made SURE it wasn’t somewhere that was a vital area and could do permanent damage.

I wonder too if my choice to only hit someone when I actually am rather calm is “off”. I know hitting is bad and it is my last resort but why? What makes it wrong? Do I have those guilt feelings when I do hurt someone with my anger because it is wrong or because I was told it is wrong?

I think I have them because the act of violence especially out of the idea that hurting someone will bring me pleasure is one of the things I see as a supreme wrong. If hurting someone was a good thing, and I mean hurting them for real not the consensual acts of BDSM, then BDSM would be vanilla sex, pets would be tortured because that’s what they are there for, and humanity is even further into the abyss than I realized. Good thing that most people see hurting someone as bad. Stabbing is assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to cause harm. Then there’s attempted murder. Bricks, sticks, and stones also count as weapons in this case too.

So when you are taught that you really should stab someone to death because they pissed you off what guesses can be made on how to really handle anger?

1. Take a breath and say something, don’t yell it if you can help it but say, “This job was not done properly, please try again and if you need help or more directions ask me.” or “I am not okay with your choice of date, I don’t feel comfortable with you trying to coerce me into going somewhere that makes me feel unsafe.” It feels cheesy to me. It feels like something from therapy. That’s where I got it so this makes sense. I modified their methods though, they wanted me to be so passive that I apologized for being angry. Sometimes I do because my father and mother made it clear my anger meant I was very very VERY bad. Not just a little naughty but the worst of the worst.

2. When the above does not work, it’s okay to wait and write down the angry words, then come back to the person, hand them a note with the words that aren’t hurtful and are to the point and explain you can’t say them right now. Some people read this as a passive aggressive gesture, and it may very well be for some people but when the slightest challenge to my expected patterns can put me into a state where I cannot function or panic when I must, such as fire or hunger etc, then this is different. This is a tool for communication. Therapists may not agree with me, but this plays in to why I am not succeeding in finding one. If they aren’t willing to work with me because of my disabilities or think outside the DSM, they aren’t going to be able to work with me. You work with me not ON me and we’re good. That one word makes a difference.

3. Tell them to fuck off. Yes, this is one of my methods of handling my anger. I know it isn’t super positive, it borders on the edge of not okay land. If it comes down to stabbing you in the eye and telling you that you can go fuck yourself with a razorblade, you can go fuck yourself with a razorblade.

That’s about it. Counting to ten makes me angry. The act itself causes anger so it doesn’t work when I am at the point of snapping. I have objects that I use to visualize containers for my anger too. If something else carries the burden of not stabbing the dumbass, then it helps. I am told that this is also unhealthy. I don’t agree.

I know my mother tried to help me find outlets for my anger. I rarely think of the good things she does, and today my anger may be related to my brother’s birthday (old now haha) but i don’t think so. I think it is the other things. In fact, I think with the current events I cannot talk about in a public space occuring, anyone would be this angry. My mother once told me something that I think turned out to be wise after all. I thought she was just pandering to me at the time. I was 9 or 10, and I thought I knew everything. Then again I also nearly killed someone over a sandwhich. “A parent can only teach you the skills they have.” I think she is wrong but also right. She cannot know everything but she can still find resources for you to learn with. Then again, I think my mother was actually trying to do so. She just had no idea that a mental hospital is a jail where they torture you and rape you. The other things I am angry with her for aren’t excused or gone of course but on this, I think she had a point. If she responds to anger by shutting down and this is unacceptable to me, and the only other people I have seen angry stab someone to death or other things on that same level, what am I going to think my options are?

So I am cranking my metal, not enough to bother the neighbors though, and I am trying to ride out the wave. After all, the villains in my imagination all wear the faces of my abusers, if I contain the anger until it passes without hurting anyone else or even myself (anger isn’t harmful if channeled properly) then I am actually stabbing them in a way. They want me to suffer, and instead I am obtaining pleasure from imagining a scythe in their viscera, their eyeballs bleeding, and their screams as I hack them to pieces.

This is my dark side, the side I fear most. It is the side of me I try to pretend isn’t there but it haunts my everyword. Maybe it is time I stopped pretending that if I ignore it then it will go away? Maybe I have been working towards this point for a while and didn’t realize the top of this mountain meant facing the mirror image of myself made of hate, rage, and nazi sentiments. This next step in my life won’t be pretty but if I don’t take this plunge I stagnate. Besides, I get to imagine really cool swords, who doesn’t like awesome swords? Raise your hand?


  1. Yeah…It confuses me too. My wife and I stopped spanking our daughter. We were raised that way, and it wasn’t abuse, or at least not very rigorous abuse, and so we started raising our daughter that way. But it…it started to creep me out. The biggest thing I believe in parenting wise is leading by example. I thought about my daughter’s future boyfriend telling her…

    “I’m not hitting you because I’m angry but because you have to consquences for breaking the rules I made for you.”

    So we quit spanking her.

    And now, I have to question my feelings about it being OK to hit people when they do ‘wrong’. I never realized it was a problem until I stepped out of the circle of abuse. When I stopped punishing my kid by hitting her…all the sudden I had a lot of questions about my motivation to do other things.

  2. What you describe is why I am against spanking. I had permission once during baby sitting, and only did as a last resort the once. I caught the kid trying to set himself on fire. I quit that evening. I also had that same sort of vision. If hitting is okay as punishment, which is how abuse is portrayed it is so much harder to step out of it. I know that people stand by spanking and say there is no alternative but I am glad you found one. This comment helped me a lot today. You made me smile and I appreciate that. I suspect we both will ask similar questions and are which is why we found one another on the great big internet and talk about these things. I think that skewed perspective about right and wrong that comes with abuse also makes it harder to escape the cycle.

  3. Oddly enough, this post made me laugh as well.

    “Why did you punch Eric?”
    “He touched my fork.”
    “Okay did you ask him to not do that?”
    and I punched the therapist.

    I..it..I…just…it’s the inside of my head as seen by another person.

  4. This is something that I have dealt with a little too. I’ve been known to throw things across the room when I am mad at an object (though it’s really not good for phones and mp3 players to be thrown like that) and slam my fist onto the nearest flat surface when I am really angry at a person. But like rageomatic says, once you learn to break the cycle of hitting another person, you begin to question a lot more….

    It isn’t easy, but I firmly believe that you will figure it out, Kat. I wish I could just tell you, but I don’t even know if I know myself. Either way, I think you’re already a step ahead of your upbringing just by questioning your own impulses.

  5. Also, claiming your anger as your own seems to be an important step. I remember talking to my father a few years ago, when his most recent wife was breaking up with him because he had hit her (he’s more of a progressive abuser, demanding more and more until he finally, years later, feels justified in hitting to get his way). He kept telling me that the anger wasn’t his, it was his father’s. He didn’t understand that it may have come from his father originally but he had made it his the moment he first beat a woman. But that refusal to take responsibility for his own actions means that he’ll never actually deal with the fact that he is an abuser.

    Not saying that you’re an abuser!! But that the fact that you don’t try to lay the blame for your homocidal impulses on anyone else (and recognize that they are wrong) is something that you should actually be proud of, as much as you can be, because it means that you are far less likely to lash out.

  6. No worries I didn’t take your words as meaning I am an abuser, but as a child raised in abuse I had great potential to become one. The rest of my comment turned into a giant post.

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