I’ve been thinking a bit about anger. Namely, about my own anger, and about other people’s anger. It always surprises me when people express their anger at the things that happened to me. It seems at times as though the people who love me are angrier than I am. And yet there are times when I’m furious.
My anger oscillates. There are times when I almost want to weep for the person who hurt me so badly, who is so twisted out of shape that he must twist the most life-giving relationships into ones of pain and intimidation. At the end of a life, I will be able to say that my soul remains intact. Scarred, and still a bit bruised, maybe, but intact. I am not sure that the man who so damaged me will be able to say that. A lot of the time, I feel sad about that.
This, though, gives way at times to such rage. I want to throw something at him. I want to hit him in the back of the head with something both heavy and hard. I want him to feel the pain he’s caused, not only the pain of blows and bruises which fade, but the pain I still feel when one of my closest, most trusted friends moves his hand too fast and I flinch. The pain I still feel when I wake in sweat-soaked terror, or when flashbacks jerk me from my daily life. The pain of being someone’s victim, in so many ways and for so long.
I’m getting to know that anger. I’m getting to trust it. I’m getting to see that it won’t overwhelm me, it won’t make me into a bad person, or a twisted person, or a person who is no longer in touch with the gentle, beautiful parts of herself. This anger is clean, and healthy, and will keep me safe. This anger is being a guide, is transforming itself into something friendly, and helpful, and protective, and even nurturing.
Ok, maybe not the hitting in the back of the head with something both heavy and hard. I should probably not do that. But I think the throwing something at him would be ok. My aim’s so bad he’d probably be quite safe anyway.