I have experienced murderous rage. I have experienced rage the likes of which I don’t remember ever having felt, except maybe in childhood. Rage is taking the place of terror. Rage is more real than terror. Terror is dissociation. Rage is extreme affect.

I have felt enraged as a consequence of being slighted, cut off, dismissed. The normal moments of slight we all experience — painfully, to be sure — have sent me into almost unbearable tailspins of rage.

This rage feels like it’s made of the same ingredients as the terror, plus or minus a couple of essential ones. The added elements change the whole flavor of the experience. The missing elements also changes the flavor: and yet, there is some consistency, some deep similarity.

They are both extreme mental states. They are both so big that I don’t know what to do with them. Their intense force can be tolerated only with medication.

Five years of therapy and I have aged more than in the previous 20 years combined. Please tell me it’s been worth it. So much pain. So much pain. 

But now the rage has suddenly dropped and it’s left in its wake a terrible depression.

This morning I slept late. When I woke up I saw the day was beautiful and breezy. We hadn’t taken the dogs out last night so I went from bed straight into clothes straight into the street with my two beautiful, loving, amazing dogs. The depression was so thick I  poured anxious sweat. The depression was like hopelessness in the shape of a big fat lump in my throat. The depression was like there is no place I can be, nothing I can do, there is nothing there is nothing there is nothing. I called M. and she was able to come. I chose the most expensive, tastiest restaurant in the neighborhood and we ate outside, in the unbelievable weather. Delicious food. When she took me home the depression had mostly lifted.

How long will this pain last? It it worth it?

How many times, as a child, I experienced a rage so intolerable I’d have welcome death? How many times, as a child, this rage was followed by crushing depression? How much, how often, as a child, did I want to die?