I was hesitant to share this even anonymously because much of it is quite embarrassing. However, I came to realize just through writing this that a big part of my anger is related to shame. And since shame thrives on secrecy, I thought I might be able to relieve it somewhat through sharing this. I have a difficult time knowing exactly what it is that makes me angry. I remember being 19 or 20 years old and having dreams every night that seemed fueled by pure rage. Rage without context. Rage at everything and everyone who has ever existed. I desired that my rage would be felt by the entire world. I wanted the whole world to drown in it. At the time I was angry about a lot of things, but the most personal and most embarrassing was my inability to get any girl on planet earth to be attracted to me. I was furious with myself for my shortcomings as a man. To me, attractiveness to the opposite sex was the primary attribute that defined a man’s worth. Real men got laid, real men had girlfriends. I didn’t. I wasn’t a real man. I would never be able to like or accept myself unless I could get girls to be interested in me. I turned my attention toward all the things I perceived as defective about myself - I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m awkward, I’m gutless. The only thing more unbearable than my feelings of inadequacy was the SHAME that I had the feelings in the first place. I felt terribly angry not only at myself, but at all the women who ignored me and all the men they were interested in other than me. I recognized how silly and childish it was to be angry at others for my own insecurities, and I was even angrier at myself for feeling that anger. I reveled in my own self-loathing. I would mentally list off all the things I hated about myself. I would even play out fantasies in which I would stand in front of a group of my peers, people I wanted to like and respect me, and I would recite to them everything that was pathetic about me. I would play out this fantasy every night as I tried to fall asleep. Private self torture and humiliation was a ritual. I abused myself psychologically the way a parent might abuse a child. My rage was and still is fueled by shame. The only difference is that the shame is of a more nuanced variety these days. I’m no longer solely fixated on my inadequacy in the eyes of women. Now I’m ashamed of my inability to take care of myself, to earn a living, to function as an adult. However, the foil that allows me to feel these things even more strongly is still the hypothetical woman who would and could never love me. What adult woman worth a damn could possibly accept and love someone like me? One of the most poignant illustrations of my shame is my constant tendency to lie about myself to appear more impressive in the eyes of someone else - anyone else. This lying knows no bounds, extending to even the most trivial matters. If I did 12 pull-ups at the gym, I would tell you I did 15. If I slept with 3 women in the last 5 years, I would tell you it was 20. If I graduated with a 3.1 GPA, I would tell you it was a 3.6. It did not matter how trivial the matter or how inconsequential the human interaction. I would lie to the stranger sitting next to me on the bus just as quickly as I would lie to a girl at the bar, or my best friend. I had to resist the urge to lie at the beginning of this paragraph, even though I’m ostensibly writing this only to myself. Right now I have no job and am currently living with my mother. She feeds me, washes my clothes and pays my bills. I am entirely dependent on her, and I HATE myself for it. I hate how lucky I am not to have to worry about finances, running errands or taking care of anyone else. What’s really unfair though is how angry I am at her. Maybe this is because it’s more psychologically bearable to be angry at someone else than to be angry at myself. And since she is the only person who really knows anything about me, part of me hates her for it. Of course, none of this takes into account the rage that I surely have on an unconscious level. Even though I can’t observe this rage directly, it is certainly worth noting that my conscious rage leads to pressure, which leads to unconscious rage, which leads to TMS.