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As a child, I threw world class tantrums. Tantrums the likes of which nobody had ever seen, and have never been seen since. Tantrums that people did not believe could exist when they were described, until they saw them first-hand. And I'm not just saying that on hearsay--I actually remember doing it. Which implies I must have done it to a later age than most kids, I guess. But I vividly remember not only the kicking and screaming and crying and wailing, but, most importanly, I remember why I did it.

There was just too much to deal with. There were too many choices. I couldn't have everything I wanted. I was too short to reach things, too small to carry things, and had verbal skills too limited to make what I really needed to clear. I didn't understand everything. I didn't know everything. It was frustrating, and sometimes the only solution seemed to be to kick and scream and punch out and wail until I was too tired to care about any of it anymore.

Not much has changed, y'all.

I may have the social skills to avoid tantrums now (at least in public), but I still feel the same conflation of frustrating circumstances that led to tantrums in my younger self. Life is incredibly overwhelming, I can't reach everything I try to get my arms or my head around, I can't do everything I think I should be able to do, and I still don't have the smarts or the language skills to ask the questions I need to ask and make the decisions I need to make.

And I still react for the same reasons I did then--fear and frustration. And in much the same way, by lashing out in rash, impulsive spurts, thinking that if I just kick and scream long enough, or just make enough changes to myself, or just buy enough stuff, or just eat enough, then the fear and confusion and frustration will go away. Or I'll make myself tired enought that I stop caring. But exhausted and bruised is no way to make major life decisions.


Every word of that post could have been written by me, Grace. It's not something I particularly like about myself, but something I've come to accept as a tendency I have. Everyone has a different way of handling stress and dealing with difficult decisions. I spend a great deal of my life trying to calm myself down, but at the same time, it's my propensity for histrionics that's part of my energy. People with big energy use it in all sorts of ways. I suppose the trick is to channel it into productiveness, although how on earth one does this is not something I have figured out yet!

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April 2012

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