“Flying off the handle”


I’ve had trouble with emotion regulation off and on since a brain injury from a car accident. I work to manage my mind, avoid triggering situations, avoid sugar, alcohol and caffeine…. all the things. It happens less and less, though I’m bothered by past actions that resulted from episodes. I was remembering one of them tonight and talking to my husband about how I just couldn’t figure out why it happened and my husband said, “you’re a person who flies off the handle. That’s why it happened. Why do you fight that explanation?”

I don’t want to think about myself as someone who “flies off the handle”, especially just randomly. I asked my husband why he doesn’t just take the kids and run and he said, “there’s terrible things happening in the world. You’re not one of them. I just accept that about you. You don’t beat the children, they’re not in danger. I don’t enjoy it, but I’m not worried about it.”

I may not be causing serious physical harm to anyone, but I don’t think it’s good to lose control and say hurtful things to people and make snap decisions I wish I hadn’t.

I do get so frustrated with myself. And maybe if I did just accept that occasionally these things might happen and say I’m doing the best I can, that could stop some of the beating myself up, but then I feel I’m just giving up, copping out, giving myself an excuse to be awful and also have to accept that something is wrong with my brain. I want to believe I can rewire it and regulate my in the moment reactions.

Just looking for some perspective here.