I have learned however, that being calm all the time is not as healthy as it looks. “The anger must be going somewhere”- I have been told numerous times.
“Okay”, I respond, “So where is it?”
“I would be glad to have it and get to know that part of me…umm can you just tell me where it is”
Ahah! When I ask that question I am usually met with a long silence. My therapist cannot find the anger and rage which she swears is buried inside me. I am the one who has to find it within myself, and then I am the one who gets to deal with it.
“How can you not feel rage towards all the people who have hurt you?”
That’s a great question.
The answer has been late in coming. Ten years of therapy, and I am just beginning to understand what people mean when they say they are angry. I can feel it for only a moment, and then it is gone- but that moment is long enough. The discomfort is enormous, and I feel as though were I to feel the feeling for longer than a minute, it would surely overwhelm and debilitate me.
I suppose you could surmise that I am quite afraid of the rage which is nestling so deep inside myself.
I have become envious of those who have the ability to express their anger in a healthy manner. My husband is not one of those people- well he is one of those who expresses anger, but not in a healthy way.
He uses his rage to intimidate and abuse.
He uses it against anyone he doesn’t like or anyone he wants to control.
He yells at the top of his voice, and his face turns red and his blue eyes become dark with rage and fury. He clenches his fists but for the most part he manages to control his hands from throwing objects [at me].
His wrath emerges in cycles. A few weeks of sweet calm, to be followed by days of frenzied anger. The interesting part for me, has always been the senseless reasons he finds to get angry about.
One child might have read a secular book- [Tom Sawyer or a detective mystery is considered a mighty sin] Or sometimes dinner is not ready on time, or it would be something as stupid as a frown on my face.
It could be anything and nothing that could set him off.
I think- I hope that I have learned that his outbursts have nothing to do with anything I have done or not done.
It is difficult to internalize, because I have spent so very many years believing; “If only I would be prettier, skinnier, smarter , better……and on and on- he wouldn’t get so angry”.
I have read much literature about the cycles of domestic abuse. I have read personal accounts and I have read text books. But somehow I never related it to myself. I needed people from the outside to convince me that I was living in an abusive marriage and that I did not have to accept the abuse.
It took me years to gather the courage and strength to tell him that I would no longer tolerate his behavior.
I have said it to his face a few times during the past few months, and the saying of the words has caused me to feel not only empowered but like a human being of worth.
Tomorrow we are meeting in order to negotiate a settlement. I have been feeling very depressed every time I think about the meeting. I feel victimized all over again, because I know that not only does he not have my best interest at heart, but he is so full of rage towards me, because I dared stand up to him. Now he wants to cause me pain and suffering all over again, and that scares and intimidates me.
Somehow somewhere I must summon up from deep within the anger that nestles so calmly inside my heart.
I think if I feel some ire or indignation it will help me feel less like a victim and more like a woman who is strong and feels her own self worth.