Sunday, February 4, 2018

Anger


 "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools" 
Ecclesiastes 7:9



I was talking to someone Saturday morning and the subject of anger came up.  Thinking about the topic during the conversation, I had the realization that I've only really been angry enough at another adult, such that I've actually yelled at them, twice in my lifetime.  That, by the way, was incorrect, as a few hours later I remembered a third time.

Granted, I have no yardstick by which to measure whether or not the above is actually a good, healthy, normal thing.  Maybe it is; maybe it's gloriously unhealthy.  I just don't know.  I do know that it's at least normal for me.

Two of the three situations involved family members.

The first of these circumstances involved my (late) Mom, who said something to one or more of my daughters that, at the time, resembled far too closely the verbal guilting she would use on her own children growing up.  I don't recall specifically what she said or what I said in return to her, I just know that I was incredibly angry.  My daughters had their own challenges growing up...as did we all...which didn't need to be compounded by a someone who, in all actuality, didn't invest much of her time into building relationships with others, her grandchildren included.  In a rare event of sorts, a few days after my outburst, my Mom did go out of her way to explain that I misunderstood what she said, or some other kind of verbal gymnastics that I have long since forgotten.  It was a very rare sort of walk-back for my Mom.

Another time involved my late brother Chris.  The details here are unimportant, but suffice to say that it was mostly wrapped up in my frustrations over his behavior.  And money.  I think I did end up apologizing to him afterward.  In hindsight, that was a stupid thing...the yelling part...not unlike trying to push your cat:  It doesn't work and you just end up pissing yourself off far more than actually motivating the cat.

The third time?  That's a bit of a touchy subject for me.  What I'll say is this: I spoke the truth as I felt it, but I regret the impact it may have had.  Alas, there isn't a rewind button in life.

Speaking of regret, in all three instances, I don't regret being angry.  And I don't regret raising my voice either.  My feelings at those times were genuine, and to have not been angry would have been something of a fraud on my part.  What's more difficult for me is the fact that I may have hurt these three individuals.  That was not my intent...it was never about "hurting" someone as punishment for "hurting" me.  It was more along the lines of a feeling, namely anger, that I'm just not well equipped to manage when taken to something of an extreme.

As I've probably noted in other postings, growing up my Mom was in something of a perpetual state of anger.  At her children for various infractions.  At her job.  At her absent husband.  At men in general.  At the world at large.  Given her circumstances, some of that wasn't all that misplaced.  However, for whatever reason I just never caught that...or it never caught me.  I'll call myself lucky in that regard.   





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