I was never an angry person.
Angry people were just annoying. They made stressful situations worse by blowing up, people walk on eggshells around them, and there's a red-ish, black-ish cloud that follows them everywhere. Though you can't SEE it, you can FEEL it. Angry people were to be avoided whenever possible.
For some reason, as a child I had taken an emotion and morphed it into a personality type. If someone had anger, they WERE anger.
And I wasn't. because anger was not good, and I wanted more than anything to be good.
Here I sit, watching the afternoon wind down into evening... the wind blowing outside, a crochet blanket over my lap. My joints hurt. They hurt A LOT. They always hurt. I never thought I'd grow up and sit in a recliner IN PAIN at 30 years old.
The Good Doctors run tests. They're really good at ordering and reading them, and I appreciate it. In all the blood pokes, the x-rays, the scans and nasty pre-procedure drinks, they have found that my body
is totally a-okay.
Well, mostly. There is one word that keeps popping up:
Your stomach shows inflammation.
Your joints show inflammation.
Your tonsils were highly inflamed.
Your vocal chords are swollen and inflamed.
Your stomach is inflamed.
It's like a bad rap song.
To put it plainly: my body is attacking itself. I have spent hours scouring my brain, the internet and books and the minds of people who have dealt with health crud.
It could be a chronic infection, a hormonal imbalance.
But you know what it actually is? Do you?
Of course I was never angry because I didn't allow it. I shoved down every emotion that I didn't approve of... anger was at the top of the list.
After I got over the shock and shame surrounding this:
Anger is a natural emotion that needs to be released in a healthy way, and I have anger.
I decided to punch a pillow in the face. I spent some time comparing punching bags on Amazon. Part of me thought I should spend some time in the middle of nowhere with breakable things and fire, but the other part of me talked me out of it.
I'm embracing the process, and hey. There's progress.
Yesterday, Danny did something that made me so mad. SO. MAD. Two years ago in a similar situation, I would have shoved the anger down and patted myself on the back for my ability to not say and do unsavory things.
Then I would move comfortably into victimization.
Which always, always morphs right into resentment.
My cycle was predictable, and (I thought) rationalized. Other folks would side with me, surely.
But I'm tired of that ride. I want to get off.
So last evening, I did. I finished making dinner and then left. I went to the dirt road behind my house. It's become a sort of haven for me -a chapel of sorts.
It hurt to run. My joints ached, my lungs burned.
I didn't stop.
I talked to God, did I use words? I don't know. What poured out of me had words in it, I know... but I conveyed my message primarily with emotion -with ANGER.
Danny hadn't listened to me -that was the problem. I had talked and he hadn't HEARD me. Working recovery has taught me something very sacred: my voice is a gift from God.
I've spent years silencing myself, trying my very best to reign my voice in. I had longed my entire life -desperately -to be quiet, never knowing how. I punished myself for things I said, for using my voice too much, too loudly. The scars on my shoulders remind me...
In my youth, my unbridled voice was an irritant.
The does she ever stop? kind. I knew it, and I didn't know how to stop it. In moved shame, in moved self-judgement.
I lived that way for twenty years.
And as my tired, weary feet hit that dirt, I spit anger from every pore. God sent me answers, He spoke calmly. I didn't.
Just when my body was giving out, I could see in my mind's eye: a little, hurting girl.
I wasn't mad, not really. I wasn't angry. I was treacherously hurt.
I turned to the little ditch bank. I've spent lots of time on that little ditch bank. It has held my prayers, my tears, my meditations.
All around me were trees -rare beauties in the high desert. I ripped at the dead limbs, stomped, ripped, tore, twisted. Once I had a thick sturdy branch in my hands, I took to the tree.
Beat, beat, beat. Curse, curse, curse.
To feel unheard is so incredibly painful for me. It sucks for everyone, but apparently for me? It touches a really hot wire. Really, really hot.
I grabbed a thick piece of wood and threw it against the tree, it broke in two. I didn't stop.
Throw, throw, throw.
The tree didn't bow up. It didn't puff up. It didn't get defensive or cry. It wasn't a victim.
What's more: it didn't shield itself. If I didn't know better, I'd say it welcomed the lashing.
It took it all. I landed blow after blow, word after word. My hands were on fire.
That tree was God for me in that moment... taking my pain, my anger, my sorrow, my hurt. I caused the tree anguish, and it did not flinch.
It only accepted, calmly blowing in the evening breeze.
Out of breath and suddenly aware of just how much my hands hurt, I turned away from the tree.
That's when I saw it.
Was it there before? I didn't remember...
It was the perfect walking stick. Just the right height, just the perfect taper, perfectly worn, adorned with some beautiful fire damage.
I loved it.
It was as if God fashioned it for me in that moment. I picked it up, turning it over in my raw hands.
After all that -the outburst, the tears, the anger... God literally sent me support.
I picked up my phone for some more God-sent support, and then I walked back home.
The anger was gone.
It had successfully moved out of me and into the tree. God took my anger, I surrendered my pain and hurt to him.
Did Danny REALLY cause me pain? A little. He tripped a short in me though.
Was my anger his fault?
My anger is just mine.
And I have it.
Anger is a firey, hot thing. And after years of pretending I didn't have it, it's no wonder my entire body is ON FIRE INSIDE.
I can't afford the slightest bit of increased inflammation, so I accept anger. I let it move through and out.
Anger from last night moved out, but hurt from 15 years ago moved out as well.
Recovery has taught me the sacredness of my voice. I've allowed it to be shamed, I have judged it and hated it.
Now is the time for amends. Now is the time to treasure it, to be upset when people I love don't hear it, to stand up for it, to have it's back, and to give it to God... to do with it what He will.
Render under God that which is God's.
My voice, my anger.
He supports me in my sincerity, in my TRIES.