The finish line is in sight. I’ve been winning the whole race. Then, like an incarnation of the goddess of bullshit, Mario Kart’s infamous blue shell swoops down and blows me up a few meters short of the line. Three guys fly passed me, and I come fourth.
Suddenly, it’s like I just swallowed a shot of nitroglycerin. Shaken, not stirred.
“F*CK YOU!” I scream at the TV. The injustice burns so hot that I swear I’m about to fart a solar flare. I, Maximusaurus, just got screwed by a plastic box. The smug little bastard of a thing sits next to the TV acting all innocent and shit. The cheating son of a bitch.
For as long as I remember, I’ve been prone to these sudden rage attacks. I should stress I’m not a violent person. At least, not towards people. For example, if I stub my toe on a couch, I’ll kick the bloody thing in a futile gesture of vengeance.
When other people are around, I try hard to suppress this and avoid my usual high-decibel profanities, but it’s surprisingly difficult. Like a panic attack, it seems to circumvent the thinking part of my brain and just happen reflexively. I frequently embarrass myself by losing my temper at inanimate objects or getting grumpy when I lose at games. Many of those reading this will have experienced this, and to those I am deeply sorry!
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I learned that these almost autonomic episodes of “blind rage” can be common in people with autism. Granted, most of the material I’ve found concerns its occurrence in children, but it could well be a juvenile holdover that I have carried into adulthood.
It’s resemblance to a panic attack is actually kind of encouraging though, because those I have learned to manage through a variety of techniques. My first thought was to carry around a syringe of morphine and shoot up on it like an epi-pen at the first sight of rage, but that could get a little expensive. (Among other things) My next thought was giving up video games, but by this point I’m pretty sure I’m biologically dependent and withdrawal would be fatal.
My current plan is to try to use the same calming techniques I do with panic attacks when the rage strikes; slow diaphragm breathing, meditation, etc. Fingers crossed… and fragile objects placed out of arm’s reach.