People always told me that I had an anger problem. They said that my face always looked like it was in a bad mood, because I was. There was nothing to be happy about, everyone around me was just, too much. And it got me anxious, which led to my anger problems. Not once in my life have I ever felt calm. I was either angry, frustrated, or irritated. My dad told me that it's the reason why I can't hold a proper relationship, romantic or platonic.
When I was eleven, a girl confessed to me behind the school underneath a playground slide. I had never seen her before, but she did look pretty, I thought. Her black hair was tied neatly in a yellow ribbon with tiny rhinestones peppering it's side. Her eyes matched her hair, and her pale skin didn't have a blister, bruise, or bloch anywhere. The long dress she wore was a crisp blue with a tint of white grasping the bottom. Needless to say, she was pretty.
"I really like you, do you want to go out?"
I could hear the words just fine, clearly. But it still sounded foreign to me, like what she was saying didn't make any sense. My eleven year old mind was trying really hard to process what in gods name she was saying. And when I finally figured it out, it still didn't make any sense. A few minutes had passed and I still hadn't answered her, and my face had turned from somewhat calm, to completely disgusted. She saw this and, of course, got irritated with me.
"Hello? Are you going to answer?" She said impatiently. The girl waved her hand in front of my face mockingly, as if she were testing my awareness.
On instinct, I slapped her hand away, I had already been trying very hard to answer her properly, and a hand in my face was not something that was helping me, it just irritated me more. Of course, I didn't mean to slap her, again, it was just an instinct.
Her face scrunched up into a deep frown, and turned red from I don't really know what. It could have been embarrassment, anger, or even flusteredness. In my mind, I knew the right thing to do was apologize, but it didn't exactly come out the way I wanted.
"What? What do you want me to say? That was an awful question." I said in an irritated tone. My face and mouth weren't portraying what I was actually thinking, but I couldn't do anything about it, my whole aura just screamed anger.
"Fine whatever, you're not even cute." She replied stiffly. I could tell, she was definitely embarrassed now. Her eyes were glossed over, anticipation of tears flooding her cheeks written all over them.
My mom signed me up for anger management classes at a really young age. It didn't work. In fact, it just made me angrier. We would do these exercises, where we needed to breath in and out for ten minutes in order to 'release our struggles'. But I didn't have any struggles, there was nothing in my life that really prevented me from doing anything, so I didn't have anything to release. So I just thought of this as a waste of my time, and I hated it.
One time, a kid in the same grade as me told me that I had perma-frown. It was true, obviously, but it still didn't feel good being told that by someone who had a forehead bigger then their ego.
I ended up punching him in the face, and broke his glasses, and nose as a result. My parents, along with his parents, were not the happiest, to say the least. Mom had to pay close to two hundred dollars to pay for the glasses alone, and around four hundred for his nose. And I, well I only walked off with a suspension.
My anger only increased after that, it got to a point where people only needed to glance at me for me to be completely and utterly pissed off. In my eyes, everyone just said and did way too much. They would smile and laugh for no reason whatsoever, and I could not understand for the life of me why. Their emotione gave me anxiety, and I hated feeling that way, so I took it out on whoever was closest.
I was seventeen now, and nothing had changed, I still had that undenying, burning, anger inside of me. And I still thought everyone was so annoying, and so unnecessarily enthusiastic. Well, except one, but they're gone now, so they didn't count.
Sometimes, when I'm alone, I can listen to the quietest things you wouldn't normally hear when you're around people. The sound of an inconsistent creak in your house, the slight blowing of the wind against the window, or the water pipe in the wall flooding through. When I heard sounds like these, I remembered that I was in complete solitude. It felt nice for a few moments, but then, as always, something would happen to break the solitude I was in. Like a passing car, or a tweeting fucking bird. Just, annoying, too much.
So when I was at school it felt like I could hear and feel nothing and everything at the same time. So many voices talking at once, while so many people seemed inaudible. But right now, all I could focus on was one thing.
In class, I had to pee, really, really badly. I was trying to hold it till passing period, but I just couldn't. With only three minutes left of class, I was going to go, one way, or another.
"And that just about sums up the information of the class trip." I hadn't listened to a word the teacher was saying, the liquid filling up my bladder prevented me from hearing him.
Eventually, I didn't even bother raising my hand, he was going to take to long to answer. So, I got up and rushed out of the classroom. The teacher's loud and booming voice echoed throughout the hallway, calling my name; "Jude! Jude!", He cried, trying to get my attention. But I would not and could not listen to him, and just relied on my feet to carry me to the bathroom stalls.
On the way, I bumbed into a boy by accident, but I didn't bother apologizing. He should have seen me coming, it wasn't my fault.
Once I reached the bathroom, I was relieved to see that it was empty, and somewhat clean. I was finally able to relieve myself, and I was doing just that. But in the middle of it, the sound of footsteps behind me caught my attention.
It was a boy, who looked about a year younger than me, with a flustered look on his face. His eyes would dash left and right, down and up, constantly blinking. Eventually, we made eye contact, and he maintained it for a good four seconds before I broke the silence, getting annoyed with him.
"Take a picture while you're at it, it'll last longer." I spit at him. What the hell was he looking at?
"S-sorry, it's just, you're using the only one that works." He remarked nervously.
I looked around at the other urinals, and saw that they were all out of use, in other words, broken. I looked back at him, still standing there bashfully.
"You think I care? Use a fucking stall, drill bit." He gave me a look of confusion and fear. I hated whenever people looked at me like that, like they didn't know what I was saying, or I sounded stupid to them. "Look, do you want me to piss on you? Just get the hell outta here!" I yelled.
He scurried out of the bathroom with a grumble under his breath. I rolled my eyes and zipped up my jeans. No matter how little, or how big the problem was, my temper could explode in a matter of seconds. My parents told me that if I didn't get it under control, I would start to get health problems, like constant headaches or heart burns. My grandfather apperantly had the same problem, and ended up dying from a heart attack. Ever since that happened, my mom would constantly nag me about doing my breathing or something like that. Of course, I didn't want to die from anger, but what the hell was I supposed to do about it? Go back to those useless management classes? No way, no sir.
At lunch, I had a couple of people I sat with, but I couldn't be bothered to remember their names, so I gave them nicknames. The blonde with the blue eyes was Doll, the guy with the glasses and a mole was Smarts, the guy with the tight jeans and a ponytail was Horse, and some others I haven't named yet.
I stabbed my knife and fork into my burger sloppily, creating a mess of ketchup spattering on my tray. I scowled at my messy plate while smacking my lips as I ate. It was an understatement to say that I was a pig while I ate, but I didn't care, as long as the food reached my mouth, everything was fine for me.
I wasn't paying attention to what anyone was saying until I heard my name being called. "What about you, Jude?"
I continued to smack my lips with food in my mouth as I replied with an annoyed, "What?"
"Are you going on the class trip?" Doll asked, neatly folding his napkin on his lap. I saw this and rolled my eyes; "This isn't a restaurant." I thought to myself.
"What class trip? What the hell are you talking about?" I swallowed the glob of meat down my throat after asking.
"The trip to Okinawa. Everyone's talking about it, apperantly the seniors are really pissed that we get to go and they don't this year." He said, plugging a steamed baby carrot into his mouth. The way he ate was also irritating me, like he was some high class douchebag with a stick up his ass.
"Hell if I know, the trip's probably thousands of dollars or somethin' like that." I said, looking down once again at my messy plate. Even the plate was starting to piss me off, the nerve of it, to have such a organised mess. I began to pick apart at my burger, and rubbed it all over the splattered ketchup and mustard. It looked like a disarray of a famous painting, but in a better way.
"Actually, it's an all expenses payed trip. All you have to do is sign a form and-"
"Ugh, would you stop nibbling on your food and just fucking eat it?!" I yelled at Smarts. He had been sitting next to me the whole time, taking tiny bites of his hot dog. I actually wasn't paying attention to him until a couple of seconds ago, but I could still see him in my peripheral vision, and that was enough.
He stopped his hand instantly from going towards his mouth, and put down his hot dog with a frown. His food was barely touched, and it was nearing the end of lunch time. I didn't understand what he was so sad about.
Horse bit his lip, preparing to say something. "He just got his braces in this morning, they're pretty sore, so he didn't want to put too much strain on them." He explained, trying to get me to understand. And I did understand now, but it still irritated the hell out of me.
"Fine, whatever! Do what you want, but I'm leaving!" I yelled at all of them, throwing my tray into the garbage with a little more force then I initially intended. Ketchup was spit on my shoes from the impact. I gritted my teeth in frustration while walking off stiffly.
As I was walking out of the lunch room, I again was bumped into by a boy. My mood had already dropped to an extremely low level, and this constant physical contact was not helping me whatsoever. I heard the boy apologize, but I didn't turn around, and just flipped him off, whoever he was.
My shoes could be heard clearly in the empty hallways, and sometimes I would purposefully slide my shoes across the floor so that they would make an annoying squeeking sound. The floor was so annoyingly clean, as if it were mocking me. I pushed the thought away though, not wanting to get me more upset than I already was.
I then got to thinking about the trip Doll was talking about. Where was it to again? I think it was some kind of island. Well, whatever it was, it didn't matter. I wasn't going to go, I didn't feel like it. Besides, those kinds of trips were meant for stuck up losers who didn't have anything better to do.
"You're going." My mom said whilst she was stirring the pot of macaroni.
"What? Why?!" I yelled, slamming my fists on the table. There was no way I was going to go to some island out of the country, it was a total waste of time.
"Because it's free and you could use some fresh air." She replied, slapping my hands with her cheesy spoon, telling me not to slam the table.
"Fresh air from what, the United States? Mom, I could be doing better things then going on some trip that will literally mean nothing to me for the rest of my life." I explained, glaring holes into her back side.
"You don't know that! Trips like these will give you the chance to learn more about yourself!" She exclaimed, placing a plate of macaroni and cheese in front of me. I looked down at the steaming food with dismay, suddenly not feeling very hungry. "And besides, it's Neil and I's anniversary the weekend you leave, so we would get some alone time, away from, you know, you." She chuckled, while sitting down with her own plate of food.
I shoved a mouthful of food in my mouth and mumbled, "There's no way in hell that I'm going."
She threw the spoon in my direction, and it hit dead on my shirt, smothering hot cheese on my chest. I quickly tried to wipe it off with my bare hand, but just ended up burning myself. "Mom! What the actual fuck?!"
She scowled at me while point a knife towards my face, "You're going, and that's final." She said in a serious tone, looking me dead in the eyes.
I gulped at her intenseness, and didn't say anything else, simply continuing to eat my food. If anything, she needed come fresh air. I definitely got my anger from her side of the family, she was just as angry as me, she was just better at hiding it.
And that's how I ended up going on my so called, 'life changing trip'. What I didn't know was that, it was life changing, and I would soon learned to regret not taking those anger management classes.