“Unaddressed anger is the glue that keeps the Aggressive Mask stuck in place, starting very early and lasting, in many cases, for decades. There is research on this, and it testifies to how much young boys, in particular, are soaked in anger. For many of them, anger is the only emotion that is “acceptable” to express.” – Lewis Howes
Blueprints, right? I mean anger is taught. No way in hell it’s genetics…thats just the genetic make-up of a human being. Men develop an insurmountable amount of anger over years – I’m one of them. I’m not sure when it started developing, but late 2003 – 2004, I was enraged. When I played video games, I would cry when I lost because I thought the game was “cheating.” My mom would scream at me and tell me to stop playing the game. Of course this is a story I told in my podcast before, but this is the aggression and crazy amount of anger that I suffered from during my sophomore year of high school.
It wasn’t until I joined Track and Field when it changed. Again, if I had joined football, I would’ve been talked about in this part of Lewis Howes book.
Ashley Burch, who’s a writer said “when an emotion sneaks in for a male character [in video games], by and large, it is anger. And any sort of grief is very, very underplayed and never actually discussed or processed. Kids end up really looking up to this character. And what they end up idolizing is someone who cannot express themselves emotionally, cannot be honest or open with anyone around them.”
I’ve had the privilege of not having such a tumultuous childhood involving physical abuse both inside and outside the home. However, I must tell a story that no one actually knows about.
Back in 1997, my father took full custody from my mother and we hopped from one side of Las Vegas to another. During that time, his second girlfriend, named Kim, had a song and daughter named Brandon and Emily. This was a family of three from Missouri (a small town in the middle of nowhere). I didn’t make anything of the pair initially, but then things started happening. I can’t remember exactly where, but let’s just say it was in the second apartment we lived in. Brandon would shout, “n*****” at me. When this happened, I would beat the bricks out of him (lol – but it’s funny – a little). He would come up with blood coming from his nose and his mom would scream, “what happened to you?!”
“Arsenio punched me.”
I then said, “you called me a N*****!”
The mother couldn’t defend her son for using such a degrading word.
These were the times when my brother wasn’t around because of his constant anger issues, which he probably got from my mother at the time because of all household issues. So, I would have to fight my way. I was bullied a couple days until I retaliated the 3rd day. This was the day, and only day when I hit another human bring outside of sibling rivalries. The bully, by the name of Richard, was shoving me forward and backward — and out of impulse — I swung my arm right across the top of his nose, breaking it.
That was 1998. Fast-forward it to 2001, my friend Billy, who’s still my best friend today, came to a huge disagreement while playing basketball. In the moment, he began flailing his arms at my face. I stepped back a few times and grabbed his shirt, swinging him all over the floor before his mother came out and yelled, “I’m gonna kick yal’s asses!”
How did I remain composed? Billy, who would constantly call me poor over the course of a year, deserved a pair of hands to be laid upon his face. I never had the courage to do it. Maybe because when I was younger, I saw my mother and father put knives in each other’s faces. I was never a violent individual – even going back to the Brandon days.
On the other hand and with great respect, I feel my brother wasn’t the lucky one. I truly believe that my brother ended up getting a piece of the “90’s” mother and father in him. I recently talked to my sister and she says they never speak to him because he’s always angry. He’s demanding. Everything is always right to him….and this is why the relationship between him and I sailed a long time ago. That anger has lead to destructive habits which he engages in everyday. The fact that I believe he’s a compulsive gambler, betting on superficial sports games to make ends meet, is a very valid point. When “little brother” tries inviting him into another world, he becomes angry, gets defensive, combative, and belligerent.
I played sports (Track & Field); but my brother, on the other hand, never played sports. Could this be the reason why there’s a lot of animosity?