I wrote about “Technical/Emotional Difficulties once before. Here is a quick except and link.
Remember back in the day when you would sometimes turn to a TV channel and instead of a program there would be a message “Experiencing Technical Difficulties, please stand by.”
What if you clicked on a favorite blog and there was a message that said, “Experiencing Emotional Difficulties, please stand by.”
Today I’m experiencing a different sort of emotional/technical difficulties. Read on. . .
Expressing anger is a form of public littering. Willard Gaylin
For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. Marcus Aurelius
These are great quotes about anger, right? Or wrong? I would suggest, both. They do certainly apply to some forms of anger and some situations, but not all. There are times when anger is appropriate. That is what I am struggling to learn.
If you doubt that anger can be appropriate imagine you are walking down the street and see a couple kids bullying another kids. Are you going to smile and say, “kids will be kids”, or will you get a bit angry and step in. I hope the latter.
One day I admitted to my therapist what I would like to do to my abuser, a couple violent scenarios that I rarely even admit to myself. After telling him, I said, “Isn’t that horrible?” I fully expected judgment and lecture (not, I hasten to add because he has ever judged or lectured me, but my own expectations from society/church.)
He just looked at me kindly and said, “Leslie, that’s not horrible. You aren’t actually going to do it. It is very normal to feel this anger. What is horrible is that you have had to keep it inside all these years.”
I said, “Could you tell me that one more time?”
What a relief to be told that my anger not only does not make me a terrible person, but it’s understandable. I’m still working on accepting those words.
Some of you may be asking, “What about forgiveness?” I hope I am mistaken, but I often feel that people want to say to me, “If you would just forgive, you would feel so much better.” It makes me want to breath fire. Forgiveness takes time and it is not a magic bullet to remove the pain. Here are the words of one of my church leaders, she’s a wise woman if you have a different faith.
“. . .do not try to rush or short circuit the forgiveness process, but continue to work towards it as you can. Wendy Ulrich, a psychologist in private practice, talks about the need to balance both justice and mercy during the process of coming to forgiveness. She writes, “The principle of justice requires an honest appraisal of our current systems and the realities of our pain. To forgive prematurely can close doors to the important realities that pain can open.”
Cheiko Okasaki Healing From Sexual Abuse
I think that most people would agree with my therapist, at least I hope so, but what about my other anger (the anger that is not directed to my abuser). Because I have years of pent up anger and pain inside, it affects the way I view other things. You’ve heard of rose-colored glasses, well I have very dark glasses. Very simple things can light my fuse.
This is where the Technical/emotional difficulty comes in as far as blogging. I am often angry lately and when I think about writing, I want to write about that anger. But I don’t dare for two reasons. One, someone might be hurt by it and I never want to hurt someone else just to make myself feel better…that is what abusers do, not me. Second, because I’m afraid people won’t understand and will judge me for being angry over seemingly “little” things. They aren’t little things. They are things that trigger pockets of pain for me.
For a long time, I was hurting and sad and I wrote about that. Now, I’m hurting and angry. I can’t blog about that, but that doesn’t stop me from writing about it. I’ve simply moved to fiction. Through writing short stories, I can illustrate pain, anger, and best of all, I get to kill the bad guys.
I like that.