Hair Trigger

As cool, calm, and collected as some might be, it’s irrefutable that everyone has their breaking point. The point where the animalistic side of a person comes out. Whether it’s a glance, a perceived slight from a friend, acquaintance, or complete stranger, once the offended feels attacked, it’s time to strap in and ride or get absolutely rolled over. Words hit harder and they sting, as they’re propelled by pure, raw emotion. All sense of caring, all restraint, all logic falls by the wayside. Sometimes it’s justified. Occasionally, it’ll blow up much larger than it should have. It’s true, unfettered anger that comes spewing out of our mouths, leaving us snarling, growling, and waiting to sink our teeth into our prey, like a wolf on a lonely rabbit.

It’s a white knuckle, carnal, pedal to the floor type ride of the most basic, unfiltered rage. For some, it’s like pulling teeth to elicit that type of aggression. Once the sights are on the target, it’s time to ruthlessly lash out verbally (in my case), in an act of carnage that can be absolutely regrettable and, at times, downright horrifying. Normally, I’m cool as the other side of the pillow, but certain things have worn on me over the years and they rub the rawest nerve I have, much as tinfoil on braces or cold water on sensitive teeth would. A thousand times over.

Restraint clearly has never been a strong character trait of mine and selecting my words while tiptoeing on eggshells is just outta the question. Some respect the side of me that isn’t gonna get comfortable biting my tongue. Others tend to get that feeling and test my limits. My problem, aside from the initial reaction, is the aftereffects of the exchange thereafter. The most normal, basic human emotions are irreversibly affected by the sheer placement of the words’ infrared beam. People say personal, sworn to silence, take to the grave type of secrets. They play on what they feel will hurt their target in some of the most sensitive ways imaginable.

But my laundry list of things that I need to work on far exceeds those minimal, insignificant things that make my blood boil. They’re insignificant to others, but the polar opposite to me. In reality, there are many more extremely infuriating, saddening, and life-threatening things out there that I lose sight of when I inevitably get irritated to the point that I lose all control of myself and allow my blood pressure to spike. Words hurt – they’ll cut you right down to the bone, regardless if you say you have thick skin. If worded just right, the blade of so many syllables will break you down. I’ve spoken and saved, I’ve spoken and lost, I’ve spoken and hurt. The beauty and ugliness of truth is that it can allow you to see things from a different perspective. I’ve always been a work in progress, but progress is why we keep working.

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