Poor Impulse Control related to Road Rage: Have I Gone Mad?

2017-10-16 22.17.07

Was I wrong for getting out of the car and posturing at a man, screaming in the middle of some peaceful neighborhood? Can I justify myself? Or have I become one of my patients?

Let’s start off by saying that I’ve been in his shoes. I sure as hell know what it’s like. I can get extremely irritated by another person driving, just as much as the next guy. Mind you, it’s been like two weeks now. I’ve been thinking this whole time, on how to justify myself, which is why I haven’t posted more recently. 

So, the story goes like this… I was driving home from Walmart, running errands, etc. I was driving simply, easy, with no hurry in the world. As I steadily approached a yellow light, in a left turning lane, I get aggressively honked at by some Jack in a truck behind me. 

Getting through the light, as we were making the turn, we gave each other that “What the f**k stare?” He swerved into my lane, with proper intention to run me off the road. And as we approached another light, he proceeded to give me the universal “F you” sign, aka the finger, and continued to make a right turn. Meanwhile, I whipped the car around in the middle of the intersection and followed him down the street. Needless to say, from all the crap I’ve been through over that weekend (getting my car towed, arguing with myself and the world), I was furious.

We both stopped our vehicles, with me being the first one to get out. I was lit. I felt my face turn red, with veins about to explode out of my skull. I began screaming things like “What is your problem?! Driving like a maniac?! You have me f**king confused for someone else!” Of course, curse words weren’t used lightly. The man was well aware of my agitation. There I was, in the middle of some peaceful neighborhood, going from 0 to 60, cursing up a storm, posturing at some random guy. But, he drove off. 

Is he the man for leaving the scene? Do I get to feel all macho, since he fled like a kitten? Is the joke on me or him? I mean for real though. Who the heck does this guy think he is?

For the love of God people, we ALL have places to be. Just because you’re in a rush, doesn’t mean you have to take it out on people. Perhaps, you’re the one who has to work on your time management skills. I swear, every since I got to California, my road rage has exponentially increased. People here can be a**holes. No joke. It’s annoying. Get off your high horse. You’re not that important. I am truly at a lost for words.   

I swear, I could rant on for hours. But, trust me. Not only am I venting, I promise that I’ve been thinking on some way to tie it into my blog post. Stay with me here. 

First of all, I strongly believe we all scare easily, because of the legal nature of our society. Of course, the law is there to protect and serve others. But, the frustration stills stands, without justice. For someone having the nerve for being an uncivilized jacka** on the road and giving me the finger, why should I be the one to stay silent and turn the other way? For being that like, why did the guy leave? Did he think I was someone who wouldn’t have gotten out of the car and step up to the plate? I mean was he surprised that my voiced projected across the whole neighborhood? And if I were to physically assault someone, would they be surprised that I did? Press charges all you want. I was so heated at that very moment. Not even thinking about the consequences set upon me, if I were to continue with physical action. Lose everything, thrown in jail, etc. Again, where’s the justice for his recklessness? Who the heck does this guy think he is? Better yet, who the heck does this guy think I am? Am I wrong?

Maybe, I needed to be placed on a 5150 for danger to others? I know, that’s a bold statement. But, the truth is… WE ARE ALL MAD. 

Now in his point of view, he was obviously quick to jump on the finger wagon, using his horn, etc. Hell, I’ve been there. We ALL have. Reflecting on it now, I can see mirror images of myself. Everyone on these roads out here are savages! And yet, what if I had a gun? A weapon of some kind? What if he had a gun? What if I was some random acutely psychotic patient, with those demands for self harm and/or harm to others? In the end, we don’t know each other’s story, we don’t know each others background, we can’t all just be quick on the gun to be confrontational. There’s some virtue in first knowing your opponent. 

Now I’m just ranting…anyway. 

I’ve spent a while, this last week, trying to justify my actions that day. Perhaps I am losing control? Maybe, I just need to grow up? But, what does that really entail? Being able to back down all the time? Scowl away in the opposite direction, every time, hoping that one day the “miraculous karma” floats towards his way. I mean… if you believe that sort of thing. Perhaps, I’m just arrogant. But, I wasn’t raised to be unconfident. I wasn’t raised not to fight throughout life. It’s the very basic instinct that we all possess as humans, in order to thrive.  

Last week was no different. I was constantly pressed on thinking about how to tie in my post. I ran 3 codes that week. All of which escalated, turning combative and then ultimately needing seclusion and restraints. Maybe it was me?     

I don’t know. I digress. #peoplesuck.

You see, in psych nursing, we are all trained to constantly assess for triggering factors. Triggering factors, meaning things that may cause someone to lose control, escalate, and really just lose a grip on coping/channeling those stressors. Anything that may delineate anyone from forward progressive therapeutic care. It could be a simple phone call, a simple gesture, a simple touch. And by identifying these factors, it would help us be able to destimulate/deescalate a potential code situation. 

In the milieu/environment, it can be so simple to remove the more tangible stimuli. For example, turning off a light, removing a piece of paper off the ground, getting the patient a pbj instead of mac and cheese, decreasing noises around the patient…you get the point. But, the funny thing is, most of the time (in my experiences) typical triggering factors all come from the very simple interaction between people… how we treat one another, how we acknowledge and talk to one another…

Regardless of our freedoms, I believe we as a society have truly lost our sense of value, mannerisms, decorum, morality, etc. I believe that we all have our heads so far up our a**es, lost in the imaginary social divide of personal gain, where we all have forgotten how to treat one another, live with one another, respect one another, be in peace with one another. And you wonder why we’re all going mad?

I don’t know. Perhaps, I’m just one of those people who care/giving 2 f**ks, letting it all get to me.

Currently, I’m reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life,” by Mark Mason. And though I haven’t completed it yet, it’s quite a great read, thus far. I’ll leave you here with a little passage…perhaps it’ll shed some light on impulse control and stress management or something. #foodforthought

There is a subtle art to not giving a fuck. And though the concept may sound ridiculous and I may sound like an asshole, what I’m talking about here is essentially learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively—how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values. This is incredibly difficult. It takes a lifetime of practice and discipline to achieve. And you will regularly fail. But it is perhaps the most worthy struggle one can undertake in one’s life. It is perhaps the only struggle in one’s life.

Because when you give too many fucks—when you give a fuck about everyone and everything—you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the fucking way you want it to be. This is a sickness. And it will eat you alive. You will see every adversity as an injustice, every challenge as a failure, every inconvenience as a personal slight, every disagreement as a betrayal. You will be confined to your own petty, skull-sized hell, burning with entitlement and bluster, running circles around your very own personal Feedback Loop from Hell, in constant motion yet arriving nowhere.



Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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