I am a happy person. I smile a lot. I wear brightly coloured, quirky clothes. I say positive things to people and I have a gentle demeanour. I make jokes to put others at ease. I see the bright side of life.

So it took a very long time for me to realise just what an angry person I really am. Deep down I feel bubbling lava of rage which I am either constantly ignoring or controlling. Sometimes I am able to forget it is there. But it never truly goes away. It hides somewhere in the caves of my inner self, in slumber until it gets provoked and awakened.

I am angry all the time. Something somewhere is always disappointing me. I am often very disappointed in myself. And in the world we live in.

I used to call it ‘irritation’. I used to say that no, I am not an angry person, I am just easily irritated. But that’s how it starts. Little things irritating you day after day without relent. Little things that are getting under your skin that you see no sign of changing or getting better in spite of one’s best efforts, one’s skill in diplomacy or trying to simply ‘not let it bother you’. It could be a situation. But mostly it will be another person. And then you start seeing that person as nothing but the thing that irritates you about him or her and you begin to fantasize about all their plans going bust or perhaps public humiliation most deserved after their offensive behaviour.

And BANG. That is what anger is. It is radioactive smog that blurs your vision and changes your sensibilities. It makes you stop seeing anything good in others or in different circumstances. It swells in your chest and consumes you. You stop being you and instead you are just angry. Paradoxically it is like a fuel that exhausts you. When you are taken over by it, you feel energised, strong and almost powerful. But when the outward rage passes and you gain back some rationality, all you really feel is sad and alone and empty. And often very, very misunderstood.

I am a very big fan of Marvel comics and the movies. I think the two angriest characters would have to be most obviously the incredible Hulk and maybe slightly less obviously Loki, the god of mischief from Thor. Loki has a lot of latent anger, being abandoned and adopted, told rather late in life of his true parentage and his brother being the golden boy. And even though he does revel in chaos, sometimes his rage does fuel him to do good things. In the second movie, Thor breaks Loki out of prison and relies on him to save the day and at a point Loki says something like if you can’t trust me, trust my rage. As for the Hulk, when he gets angry, he turns into a violent and destructive green monster and when he finally calms down he is basically spent. The interesting thing is that when the Hulk as Bruce Banner is questioned on what’s his secret, he says that nothing really needs to make him angry to trigger the Hulk because he is angry all the time.

Incompetence makes me angry.

Ignorance.

Deliberate stupidity.

People in power who are not worthy.

Bad people who receive good things.

People who do not think before they speak.

The unfairness of everything.

Cruelty.

Acceptance of mediocrity.

Religious fundamentalism.

Dishonesty.

Corruption.

These are some of the things that make my blood boil. It makes me scream inside. Inside I am constantly screaming. It is piercing and it rings in my ears. Inside I am jumping up and down and throwing things. Inside I am a green monster with purple trousers smashing things.

That being said, my anger at how unfair life is makes me want to be a better person and makes me want to do good things. Because in life it is important to know who you want to be, however it is just as important to know who you don’t want to be. And I do not want to be a surly, angry and unproductive person. So if I have these negative feelings, the least I can do is try to wrangle out a positive outcome.

So yes, I admit that I am an angry person. And I doubt that it will ever just go away. But I can control it and for the most part I do. And I never succumb to it and let it change me. That is one way in which the Hulk and myself differ:

He may smash.

But nothing will smash me.

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