My super power showed up the first time, well, the first time I recognized it, in high school. I had my mom’s car and I was designated driver that night. I was both nervous and proud. My friends were all filing out of the school gym one after the other after one evening dance while I sat in the car, waiting with a huge grin plastered on my face. Independence in form of a driver’s license for a teen is euphoric and I remember it well.
I had heard a loud thunk and a gut wrenching crack from the roof of the car and as my friends were all piling in, one of them mentioned that T (I won’t write his full name for sake of further embarrassment on his part, even 20+ years later) was playing Teen Wolf , jumping from car to car. (check out trailer to see what I mean). I knew he had done some damage and I felt this power inside of me jolt into action. It swirled and whirled around me like a shadowy fog. As I moved through the generic motions of engaging with my friends while they all giggling and chatted, excited for the after party, I seemed to have drifted into a state of calm detachment.
I do not remember much after that but according to the very descriptive quips in my yearbook that year and some recounts from people who saw it all unfold, I was invincible. I had backed up the car very quickly and watched as T, a 6 foot 200 lb hockey player, rolled down onto the hood then fall to the grass. I do remember stopping to see if he was harmed, he was laughing, so I left. I guess I calmly proceeded to abide by all street laws as I drove with great patience to the party. 😉
Apparently, as the story goes, I had dropped my friends off without a word and drove straight back to the school. I then, according to witnesses, about a 100 of them, proceeded to peel T and another boy apart from the current skirmish they were in, hit T hard, twice, in the face, once with each fist, then calmly got back into my car and drove back to the party. After that it was a blur of toilet plungers, teenage boys doing their best to put their, not so honed, car skills from mechanics 101 class into play, some tears, lots of beer, pizza and finally, a nice friend offering to drive to where my parents happened to be camping that night. Damage was obviously done and they needed to be told.
Nothing much came from that episode as I, being a skinny girl at the time, barely reaching T`s chest in height, the police dropped his charges of assault with great hilarity and his family paid for damages. My high school reputation was secured.
Second time. My friend’s car was stuck in the snow, in a bad way. Unseasonably heavy rain and thick snow all through the night had caused havoc in the parking lot of our apartment and he was my ride. We were both going to be late for work and at the time I felt losing my job to be the worst kind of hell. We all lived precariously from cheque to cheque, barely making ends meet as most single people do with demanding social lifestyles. I was panicked. We pushed and shoved and revved, kicked and sanded, there was no budging. I was almost in tears.
It began again, it starts at my feet you know, and it rolls its way up like thunder clouds moving across the prairies. YouTube storm
I become eerily calm on the inside, my heart slows to an almost dead beat but the adrenalin flows through my system, hot, like lightning. Again, without much memory, I am told I waited for the cue to push and with a very loud ROAR – which, shockingly, came from my own mouth, I pushed that damn car. I pushed it so hard and so fast that the tires literally popped up and out of the ice blocks they had been cemented in. My friend lost his traction and fell hard on the ice but I kept on pushing, over ice blocks and three foot snow piles. It was out; I got in. My friend never said a word all the way to work.
The third time was a hard one. My husband and I had gone tobogganing with our two young girls. We had just gotten to the hill, coined ‘the sugar bowl’ for its shape and had only gotten few runs in when the girls decided that, instead of climbing the hill we just left them on, they ran to a far hill. There were trees there and I remember thinking and asking another person, why there would be trees in the ‘sugar bowl’ where 1000’s of kids go tobogganing every winter? I watched as my five-year old got onto her sled. We tried yelling to be careful but they were too far away.
In a flash her small body had whizzed down the hill at mock speed only to be SMACKED into a tree falling limp in a heap beneath it. The sound was deafening. She had gone feet first on her stomach, thank the Gods, and had straddled the tree, her small body had been whipped up backward, the back of her head hitting the trunk with a sickening thud.
When the thunderous clouds came it was instant this time. The time it took for me to get from the top of the hill where I stood on to the bottom of that one where she lay limp as a rag doll was less than a millisecond. My husband recalls that he could not understand how I had gotten to her so fast. I flew. I remember falling to my knees and sliding, gently slipping my hand through thick ice and snow under her head in one fluid motion. I did not want her to feel the cold nor could I move her head or neck for fear of doing more damage. She was in terrible shock.
It would take almost 8 hours before we knew the extent of her injuries. She had snapped the large leg bone in half but her neck and spine was the biggest concern. The X-rays for her spine and brain scans took so long I remember, and all the while the Medevac helicopter waited, on the roof of the hospital, with her name on it.
Super powers come with serious physical consequences.
The incident with the boy at school… When that friend of mine came with me to explain to my dad what had happened, not failing to mention the ‘cool part’ where I clocked the guy but good, twice, my dad laughed, I began to cry. That was when my body began to swell, my knuckles poofed up to twice their normal size, my neck, shoulders, lower back and knees all felt as if I had been hit by a truck. It was excruciating.
The car pushing incident… I was sent home from work after vomiting from the physical pain I was in. They thought I had the flu.
With my daughter… When all was said and done, at 2am that morning, while she rested peacefully, sweetly snoring and intact, sporting two internal rods in her leg bone and a half cast, I was admitted as well. Quickly carted to emergency three floors down in a wheel chair and given the largest pain pills by the cutest doctor I had ever seen.
These are moments I cannot forget even though I do not remember the details as my own. I was told it was called black rage and that it was not uncommon. I don’t think rage describes it at all, but I am not a scientist. What is does tell me though is the story about who I am – my strengths or my weaknesses perhaps? At one time I feared this part of me but I don’t any longer and it has really opened my eyes to what our bodies can do and the reasoning we have such a wide vast of emotions as humans on this planet.
My black rage or ‘super power’ is a widely documented phenomenon. The everyday anger, temper or aggression we often come across in our lives, however, is far more complex, in my opinion.
“Anger is a ubiquitous clinical phenomenon and plays a significant role in everyday life.”
Did you know our primary six passions include sadness, happiness, fear, surprise, disgust and anger. These emotions have been largely studied by many fields including psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, medicine, history, sociology, and even computer science in order to get a better understanding about them. It is rare, according to studies, that such emotions ever become volatile, especially in children. It is simply an emotion that must be expressed and respected at the moment. To me, it’s even rarer still to be able to express any emotion, including anger, in any respectful manner without offending due to our current lack of understanding of the natural human passions.
I took it upon myself to read up about anger, since I have been so readily accused of it. It has become my mission to find out anything I can about it. Since I do live and express at least one or more of the six passions on a daily basis without offending, I’m unsure why all of a sudden anger has been singled out.
I truly believe with all of my heart that a ‘normal’ anger episode (of which lies the fine grey line) or an expression of one of our six passions is not only beneficial to human health; it is also a necessary emotion. Anger not only assists us in our fight or flight system, it also serves as a defence mechanism. Without it we would be emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally open for all kinds of attacks on our person.
Unfortunately, our society has become polluted with drugs of choice turning people into zombies or depressively ill. We have lost our tolerance for our natural human emotions and have since discarded all communication and ability to function with them or around them.
I can get angry and it is often for good reason. I yell and if really riled I get condescending – an old tactic used in war time to get battle worn soldiers angered enough to keep fighting. At that point it usually is my mission to aggravate my transgressor, to make the battle fair I suppose or to get even one spark of emotion to assure me that he/she is actually human. Usually my anger has been set on simmer for a while and can be provoked by the slightest infraction or violation. It never lasts long and if allowed to stomp my feet and argue for a moment it quickly resolves itself and I can once again converse calmly. But, if my natural need to be angry is quickly criticized or belittled or even perceived as intimidating in that moment, it gets worse.
I have witnessed this type of violation in the work place and to women who are abused. It seems, in my opinion, that those who find themselves superior (or think they are) do not respect the passions in another and use them instead to greedily profit their higher positioning, sometimes in very demoralizing ways. In my studies I have read many stories of abused passions and it truly is sad how humans have taken something so natural and turned it into something so beastly.
My father was what some people would refer to as an angry man. He was loud and quick to temper, he was argumentative, judgemental and sometimes could be quite bigoted. BUT! If he found you lost, naked or broken on the street he would not hesitate, no matter who you were, to try to fix you, give you the shirt from his back and guide you to where you need to go. As a child I was never afraid of my dad. To this day I’m still not afraid. More so afraid of disappointing than fearing any of his brash wraths, besides, his anger is usually short-lived anyway. No harm no foul. I love him unconditionally for I know that I am capable to see what lies beneath and what his soul and his heart truly is. Which is love.
I love both my super power and my six passions. Yet, I’m finding, in order to live in this dumbed down, labelled world, I need to find a way around them. It’s unnatural and frustrating to fake your way through your emotions day after day and frankly it’s no wonder we live in such a dis-eased world. We seem to be adapting on how to express them in a way that does not offend those who do not have the wisdom to understand them, which seems utterly backward to me. This, to me, has become the true phenomenon.
The Five Agreements: Miguel Ruiz.
- BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
- DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
- DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
- ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are tired as opposed to well rested. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
- BE SKEPTICAL, BUT LEARN TO LISTEN
Don’t believe yourself or anybody else. Use the power of doubt to question everything you hear: Is it really the truth? Listen to the intent behind the words, and you will understand the real message.
Biological Factors in Family Violence Glenn Weisfeld and Donald M. Aytch http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mfr/4919087.0002.103?rgn=main;view=fulltext