Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hello, My Name Is Anger

I'm angry. I should have known. The shortness, the depression, the feeling of being overwhelmed. The impatience with everyone, including strangers.

When the happy salesman came to my door this week, he rang the doorbell and then did an enthusiastic drum cadence with his knuckles as well. The dogs began barking, and the baby monitor hissed out the sounds of a just then napping baby rustling in his crib. I bolted to the front door and opened it just enough to stick my head out and snap, "I've got a sleeping baby in here. I don't care what you are selling." He jumped all four steps down from my stoop with his apology left hanging in a speech bubble that dripped with shame.

He didn't deserve that from me.

Someone attacked a friend of mine yesterday on a blog. Granted, I am a fiercely loyal friend, but it made me far more angry than it should have. I ached for her and wished that I could take on that other woman face to face. The things that ran through my head to say to her were cruel and hurtful. Very hurtful. I didn't say them, but I dwelled on them.

I told Girl this morning that I was feeling mean. She suggested that what I was feeling was really anger. She is so right.

I don't handle anger well. I have pushed it so far down into the places I never reach that when I do feel it, I don't recognize it. Anger doesn't wear disguises; I just don't know it. It stands quietly in front of me, waiting on me to give it the right name tag. I hand it, "Hello, my name is MEAN," or "HURT" or "SAD," and it patiently places each new tag on top of the other one, but answers to none of those names.

When I think about expressing anger, it frightens me. If I say that I'm angry that my parents and my brother's family get to celebrate everyday together, be it Valentine's Day or a talent show, I'm scared I will be misunderstood. It worries me that by feeling a jealous anger, they will think I'm angry at them. Which I'm not. Right beside the jealous anger sits gratitude that they have that time together. They make odd bedfellows, but there they are.

I just wish that I had that time with them too. And stepping back, I don't know if that emotion is anger or not. That one may be sadness. It's hard to tell.

Plus, expressing anger opens up a vulnerability. Back in September when I shut my blog down for awhile, I kept hearing, "Don't let her know you are angry. Don't let her think she got to you." I get that. I get that for some people, knowing you've made another person angry is some sort of victory. But that's not my problem. Was I angry that someone used my blog to violate my husband and try to ruin our first night out since the baby was born? Of course I was. Anger was an appropriate response, but I didn't show it because for some reason I thought that would make me weak.

I don't think anger wants anything from me. I don't think it expects me to dance with it, write songs about it, or paint with it. I think it just wants me to give it the right name tag. I start today.

I'm angry that I lost two more babies. In a row.
I'm angry at loss.

I'm angry that the best my doctor had to offer was, "It happens."
I'm angry at helplessness.

I'm angry that my parents can't come to see us and that I can't get to see them often enough.
I'm angry at disease.

I'm angry at the adults in Lovely's life who don't see her as her own person. Who make decisions for her based on their own desires and bitterness.
I'm angry at selfishness.

I don't live in the anger, but I have been living around it. Skirting it. Giving it all the wrong names. In that, I have given it stayability. I don't want that. Giving it all the wrong names lets it seep out into my everyday life and stain the relationships I have worked so hard to polish.

I name you, Anger, and I give you notice. You are only a feeling. You will not rule my life.