Where My Road Rage Comes From
by Arin Mikailian
I'm normally a calm person. I know that might sound a little cliché, but it's true. That is until I get behind the wheel of my car. I never figured out why, but I find myself taking all of the anger I suppress while I'm not driving and exerting it as I take to the road. And that leads to numerous outbursts involving profanity, which disappoints my mother, but not my grandmother because she doesn't speak English.
Many things trigger road rage for me. Either it's someone in front me who's going 20 miles below the speed limit, not signaling when they want to make a left turn or signaling to make a left turn as they pull into an intersection, not giving me enough time to change into the right lane. But what's get me the most is the all-American classic. Traffic.
I live in L.A. so traffic here is as bad as it could get. I just can't stand it when I take one route one day that's open and clear and the next day is backed up for miles. Even shortcuts let me down because you never know when there's going to be unnecessary road construction. Getting fired from my job wouldn't make me as mad. I'm not afraid to admit that I scream often, yell, to the point where my throat grows sore. One time, I wanted to press down on my horn so much I dislocated my thumb. But I haven't done anything about my road rage and I haven't heard of any other people, like my dad, do anything to help themselves. Maybe it's a serious disorder, maybe it's not. But I think I know where it roots from.
I, like many Americans have a lot to worry about during my hectic 9-5 days. All the challenges and obstacles I face every day, I think that driving is the icing on the cake. Anything that goes awry on my drive just kills me on the inside, because it just delays everything or puts me in a worse mood before I have to face my daily obstacles. Because I have no control over traffic or slow drivers, I feel as though I'm being dealt and unfair hand although I do my best at everything else I put my time into.
It's almost like a bee stinger that you can never pull out no matter what you do. I always come up with alternate routes, but then again there's those days that for some reason, the route ends up being backed up. It's a fight I'll never win, but at least I'm willing to talk about. This isn't the first place I've talked about it and hopefully, I've started to feel a little better because of my willingness to be open about my road rage.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Thanks for this contribution. It is a look inside the mind of someone with serious road rage issues, and I agree talking (or writing) about it might help. You might also think about doing some other things to help yourself as well, so that the problem doesn't get worse.