You are angry. So angry. For so long you have used your anger to shield you from emotions that make you feel weak but it hasn’t served you as well as you’d like to think. In many ways it has hindered your growth.
You think that if you are angry nothing will hurt you and that makes you strong. You think if you rage inside instead of cry outside that is makes the pain, sadness or perceived slight disappear but it is just not true. Your anger has divorced you from your emotions and true self and has left emotional wounds to fester. You can’t picture your life without anger, so in turn, you can’t picture your life the way that you want as you don’t really want to be angry.
Your choice is not anger and strength versus other emotions and weakness. Emotions aren’t black and white like that, they come in many different hues and intensities. You have been living in the shadow of your anger, bitterness and resentment and you have to learn to embrace the light with the dark. They are two sides of the same coin.
Even when things are going well you find something to be angry about. You mistrust other emotions, especially happiness. You have never experienced contentment so the fleeting nature of your happiness makes you apprehensive for the inevitable fall from the high and the anger that you usually cloak yourself in. Your fear of losing what makes you happy makes you discount the importance of the fleeting glimpse and revert back to being angry, apprehensive and guilty.
What are you so angry about? Why do you use your anger like a shield?
You have watched your parents live as predominantly angry people for years. You have seen how their anger taints their relationship and leaves bitterness in place of affection. Although you your parents love each other deeply they have allowed their misunderstandings, bitterness and disillusionment break down their relationship with each other and themselves. You know that they also love you unconditionally, nurtured you and gave a great moral compass, but they also gave you the not so positive trait of using anger to deal with stress. “If it is not one thing, it is another” or “When it rains it pours.” How often have you heard these and similar complaints issued from your mother’s mouth? She has been unable to offer you support, hope or advice throughout this ordeal because she has resigned herself to being angry and is caught in the ‘woe is me’ mentality. She always has the worst problems and pain and constantly anticipates the, what she considers, inevitability of more hardships. Hers is an anger based in resentment.
The anger you learned from your father is a harder kind. It is based in the years of hard work he has endured without respite. His anger has hopelessness and bitterness at its heart. For as long as you can remember your father has over-worked himself to provide for the family. It is from him that you learned selflessness and work ethic, but both are fused with hopelessness. “No matter how hard I work I never get ahead.” While your parents have struggled forever and you learned to be angry at the unfairness you have witnessed and experienced, it doesn’t have to be your path. You can recognize your anger and work towards experiencing the other emotions that you sorely miss.
There is so much you are angry about and you have to allow yourself to experience all that anger before you can begin to learn new ways of tackling stress and problems. There will always be bumps in the path you need to learn how to deal with them and all the emotions that come with them, not just anger.
What else are you angry about?
You are angry that school was so hard for you. You had to work a lot and scrounge to get by, even more so than you scrounge now. But what made you so angry was that you had to fight to get by and so many others seemed to coast through so easily. But you don’t really know how ‘easy’ it was for others. Everyone walks their own path with their own burdens to bear.
You are angry that you have ‘wasted’ two years of your life to this back injury. You are angry that you have worked so hard in physio with no results. That you had major surgery and then worked really hard in physio again only to remain in severe and chronic pain. You are frustrated that so much time has passed and you have nothing to show for it. You are angry that you have had to deal with the last two years and no one has given you a break. You have to fight with workman’s compensation regularly just to get what you rightly deserve and there is the constant stress of fluctuating paychecks and threats of being cut off. You are angry that your spine is not healing and there is still a shadow of uncertainty in your future. There is lots to be angry about, but how much have you learned about yourself? How much are you still learning and willing to learn about yourself?
How much have you learned about your relationship with ‘the boy’? You are angry with him, so angry. You feel like he is taking you for granted and using your generosity against you. And maybe he is. You give too much. In so many ways you give too much. He takes too much as well, but you have to offer it first in order for him to take it. He will keep taking as long as you give, so set some boundaries. With all you give your resentment has made you hold back a large, and perhaps the best, part of you; your vulnerable, passionate and upbeat side is obscured in your anger. (I know you can’t find that part right now, but it is there.) You know you need to start keeping more for yourself and that makes you feel guilty. In turn you give more. You are angry at what he is not doing and you don’t express it in part because you feel guilty that you are not doing more.
What more can you do? Really, why are you so hard on yourself? Why do you still have unrealistic expectations that only fuel your anger further? You have the right to be angry, things have been hard for you, especially lately, but it doesn’t have to be your only emotion. You don’t have to exude anger all. the. time. Feel it and then let it go. Don’t let your anger fester. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for doing what is best for you, he is not looking out for what is best for you so you have to.
You are not where you thought you would, or should, be by now. It makes you so angry that you have fought for so long and still, you haven’t accomplished as much as you’d like. But you have never been able to define what you want or where you want to be. No wonder you are disappointed with where you are when you are so unhappy here but cannot say where you would be happy. You are directionless.
Maybe you are made with who you are. The circumstances make everything harder and although your perception that you haven’t been treated fairly adds to the intensity of your negative self-image, it is not just your circumstances. You are mad at who you are right n ow. You are disappointed in yourself for being depressed and not helping your self. You feel weak because you could have it a lot worse than it is now, but you can’t maintain a positive attitude. You are angry that you can schedule your whole day and then so easily you just don’t do anything. You feel so stuck.
Isn’t it time to let all this anger go? You need to find a way to forgive yourself and those around you. You need to find a way to love yourself and care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, the way you care for others. While your anger hasn’t been as outwardly destructive as anger can be, it has been incredibly destructive to your sense and view of yourself.
It is time to care for you. To make decisions and plans revolving around you. There is part of you that feels like you can’t be happy or complete by yourself. But that is backwards. You have to be happy and complete within yourself before you can bring those qualities into your relationship. Love from your partner will never replace self-love and no matter how much love you are given, it will never be enough if you don’t love yourself.
S., you deserve to love yourself. You deserve to feel loved and desired by your partner. You deserve to feel free to express yourself and all of your emotions. There is nothing wrong with you that makes you unlovable. There is nothing you have done to deserve the rejection and stress that has characterized your relationship. Being injured is not your fault, not healing quickly is not your fault. Let all your anger go. You have shielded yourself for years behind your anger but now it is time to move on, reveal your true self and learn to love her.
You are a strong woman, S. You can take care of yourself and you can fulfill your own dreams. Never forget the strength that is at your core, you own this trait, it is not a result of your anger. Let go of the things that are not working.