Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog it Out Four - Anger

Anger has always been the most difficult emotion for me to express. 
Don’t blame me; it’s filial.  Grandpa used to beat grandma.  My father grew up watching that and swore to himself that he would never.  He kept his promise and became passive-aggressive.  He spent my childhood brooding silently, a lump in a lounge chair, the angry God who slept beneath the volcano.  He didn’t use fists, but he did use his voice.  He has a tone that can wither flowers, destroy sunshine, and make you feel like you’ve never been worthy of love and never will be.  
I have that tone.  It’s taken me decades to understand where it comes from, and get rid of it.  I also have the same problem my dad has expressing anger.  I feel like the world will come apart if I do.
As we all know, depression is anger turned inward.  I might have some residual depression to work out from my divorce, but what I really am is angry.  
I have every right to be angry.  She pulled away, she did the cheating, she looked around at our life and decided to destroy it.  I had a peaceful heart once, but now I don’t.  She destroyed that, too.
I hate her for that.  I hate her for it, and I’m allowed to, dammit.  I am allowed to hate my ex-wife for breaking my heart.  
When I told my uncle Dom about the upcoming nuptials, he asked if I was going to tell Andi.  He might as well have asked if I was planning on running a marathon.  I can’t say running one is an awful idea, but it’s just never occurred to me that it’s something I might do. 
“Do you think I should?” I asked.
“Oh, I can’t answer that,” he said.
I thought about it.  I saw the logic (and we’ve all seen that movie); I’d rather you hear it from me than someone else.  But the truth is, I don’t care where or if she hears about my marriage.  Like my life, it has nothing to do with her.  That’s the beauty of divorce.  If I don’t want to consider her feelings, I don’t have to.  At all.  
If I ruin my relationship with Becky because of my ex, because of my broken heart, because of my anger and hatred... well, I can try hating my ex for destroying two marriages, but I doubt the lie would last.  
If I don’t work these feelings out, they will poison what Becky and I have.   

But I’ll have no one to blame except myself.


  1. I remember a comment 'conversation' way back on Sweet where I described how I compartmentalised these feelings and only took them out to examine them and try and put them into ever smaller compartments until eventually I don't need to look at them any more. It's taken the best part of twenty years and I'd forgotten these feelings until you reminded me here.

    I hope you can do the same. There's no point in holding people you love up to the mistakes made by others and saying 'I knew you'd do that' when they make a similar faux pas. It belittles them and you - and your better than that....

  2. "There's no point in holding people you love up to the mistakes made by others and saying 'I knew you'd do that' when they make a similar faux pas."

    Good aim with that observation. It's part of my problem, the repetition of it all. I fell in love with Becky hard and it was unlike anything I'd ever felt. Certainly parenting is whole new world as well.

    But the little things. The shouted "instructions" while driving things, the cooking critique things, the picking a movie things, it's all fondly familiar. And wearying.

    Going through it again is telling myself this time things will be different. Sometimes I know it's worth it, other times I think, "Why bother?"

    "Why bother" is no way to live, and it's not me.

    Stacy also suggested that once, to imagine my problems as a ball I could set aside and take out at leisure. I think in this case my ball was Uncle Fester. I've named my pain, and he's so much easier to deal with now.