I often catch myself saying that Monster Man's symptoms appeared out of nowhere - that one day he was a normal, happy-go-lucky boy and then suddenly he was filled with tics, anxiety, etc. Looking back, though, I realize that the rage started much earlier than his other symptoms did.
Somewhere between the ages of two and three, Monster Man developed a temper that went far beyond the terrible twos, no matter how much I tried to pass it off as just that. I remember him being about two and a half and getting extremely upset about not getting his way. He went to the end table by the coach and flipped the table over with one large yank on one of the legs. The lamp, picture frames, etc that were on top of the end table went flying.
Another time, when he was almost three, he through a fit in a parking lot that resulted in me holding him tightly while sitting on a grassy median, trying desperately to get him to calm down. I finally managed to get him inside the car, sitting in my lap until he calmed down (at which point I put him in his car seat so we could head home). I didn't want him running in front of a car, something he'd almost done in the process of our struggles. As I closed the car door, an off-duty police officer knocked on the car window asking if he could help me, stating he'd watched me struggling for over 45 minutes. Just seeing the officer finally helped to calm him down, and we were able to get him in his car seat and ready to leave.
Still another time, a few months after his third birthday, I remember sitting with him in my lap, trying to get him to stay quiet at an event at his sister's school. When I told him he needed to calm down, he suddenly got so angry that he turned around and tried to choke me. It didn't take long for me to get him under control, but you could still see that look in his eyes that he gets to this day with his rage episodes. Once he calmed down, he was back to snuggling with me and telling me how much he loves me.
It always amazes me that he can be so loving one minute and so angry the next. He reminds me of Jekyll and Hyde, suddenly changing from good to bad and then back to good, usually without any warning.