At the conference the other weekend one of the speakers discussed rage attacks, which is the term for sudden, out-of-control, explosive outbursts that happen without warning. Rage attacks are associated with Tourettes in some people. I’ve seen them described as the release of tension that’s been building up, and they’re usually followed by feelings of remorse.
When I was a child my behaviour could be wildly unpredictable and explosive. I would enter what my dad described as a black hole and I would become angry and distressed. This sometimes included lashing out at other people or breaking things. My parents’ house still bears some of the scars of these episodes. I didn’t feel in control when they happened and I can remember knowing what was happening but not being able to find a way out. I would feel horrible and very guilty afterwards.
I grew out of this and I’m generally calm and level-headed these days. Even so I sometimes find it difficult to manage extremes of emotion because my tics, and my frustration with them, intensify at these times. It’s a feeling that’s reminiscent of how I felt as a child.
Leftwing Idiot hadn’t heard about these rage attacks until the other weekend. But since then he’s been enjoying asking me if I’m about to have a rage attack whenever I show the slightest hint of frustration.