LUMBERTON – Unleashing his deepest rage by destroying everything in sight is a good thing at a new venture in downtown Lumberton.
Robeson County’s first rage room, Gimme A Break, recently opened at 412 N. Chestnut St. and provides guests with an outlet for the stress, frustration and rage that has built up in them. Operated by partners Elizabeth Sexton and Serene Hardin, the business opened earlier this month and has already had an impact on those who have entered.
The idea to open the business arose when Sexton and Hardin were looking for something fun and unique to do in Myrtle Beach, SC, and found a room of rage.
âWe were looking for something different to do and you always go to the movies or go to dinner – the same things over and over again – and that was something different,â Sexton said. “It sounded very therapeutic, and it was.”
A rage room, also known as a smash room or anger room, is a safe space where people can vent their rage by destroying items in the room.
The idea of ââbringing a rage room back to Robeson County came to fruition and spawned the two-story, 5,000-square-foot business now in downtown Lumberton. With packages like Fed Up, Provoked, BYOS (Bring Your Own Stuff), Tantrum, and Moody, there’s something for all ages. Groups of up to 20 people are allowed.
When customers enter Gimme A Break, they enter a lobby. Before the crash begins, participants wear protective gear including a helmet, goggles and coveralls.
Small children aged 3-9 can be left in a safe room with mud, foam balls and even an inflatable bat.
âSmall children can’t really get into these halls of destruction because they can hurt themselves. There are only things for them to do while their parents are there for 10, 20, 30 minutes – probably mad at the kids, “Sexton joked.
Lower down is a room filled with breakable objects like glass and ceramic bottles that participants can use to throw them against the wall. Across the hall is a room with a wall filled with hammers and bats for smashing items, mostly household appliances, into unrecognizable blobs.
Graffiti covers the walls and objects bearing words like school, anxiety, stress, racism and death are available for people to throw their frustrations at a target.
âI didn’t know people were so angry. I mean, I know people are angry here, but I didn’t realize it was, like, as far as it is, “Sexton said. âThe devices that we put in the room, in my mind, I thought it would last a few weeks, a few sessions. At each session, they are demolished. They are unrecognizable.
The upstairs part of the business is dedicated to a black light painting room, for people who don’t want to mess things up, but want a more creative version.
âYou can get canvases and T-shirts and throw them (paint) on the walls, on the ceiling, on top of each other. It doesn’t matter, âSexton said. “It’s a good time, I feel, for the whole family.”
Having a rage room is something that strikes you near Sexton, who after working in law enforcement for over a decade and losing a loved one to suicide, understands firsthand what can be the result when someone has no Release.
Displayed in the company is a photo of Sexton’s late brother-in-law, who committed suicide.
âWe’ve always talked about how there has to be something. There has to be a place for people to go, âSexton said. “If there had been something else for him to do somewhere else where he could have relieved what he had in mind, it might not have happened.” “
In her work, she sees the age of criminal activity getting younger and younger.
âIt’s not just rabies. It’s not just stress. People have no outlet at all, âSexton said. “They have nothing to do, they have nowhere to go, so they just end up doing drugs or in gangs or they end up in jail or cause all kinds of trouble, so we wanted to bring something like that here. for them.
The positive feedback from the rage room has already returned from the hundreds of customers who have passed through the doors.
The first group of clients included six women, including one who had a daughter who died in a car accident.
“One of them wrote ‘death’ on a mug and they threw it against a wall, and we kept it because it shows us the kinds of things people deal with, the kinds of things. that they brought here to let off steam, âSexton said.
The woman’s family said it helped.
âIt might not have been a lot and it doesn’t take away the heartache, but it does give you some kind of outlet to relieve the pressure,â Sexton said.
A week later, another family brought in their 10-year-old boy, who had behavioral problems.
âThey all took turns with him and they posted on our Facebook page that they could tell the different just when they got home, how much easier he was to deal with, how he felt like he was freeing himself enough to try to calm down, “Sexton said. “They’re talking about bringing it back every month so it doesn’t happen again until that point.”
Sexton and Hardin marketed their services to the Robeson County Department of Social Services and the Guardian ad Litem program to smuggle the children.
âThese kids have it tough,â Sexton said.
For more pricing information, visit Gimme A Break’s website www.gimmeabreakrr.com or call 910-674-0073.
Tomeka Sinclair can be contacted at [emailÂ protected] or 910-416-5865.