anger.

the intensity of it overwhelms me.

the frequency of it embarrasses me.

the specific, virulent scenes of verbal tongue-lashings that play out in my mind shock me.

why, oh why, am i so angry?

somehow anger has become my default emotion.  usually it stays inside me, spiraling and swirling in neon emotions.  sometimes it escapes and i shudder at the damaged emotions it leaves in its wake.  i’ve notice it enough to realize something needs to be done about it.  i avoid conflict at all costs, so anger is like an unwanted guest that just won’t go away.  slowly i’ve started to trace the triggers, and here is what i’ve discovered so far:

i am angry because i feel abandoned.

i feel abandoned when: a) i’m overwhelmed or b) i’ve worked especially hard to plan ahead, prepare, or anticipate, and something outside my control swoops in and undercuts all my work (embarrassment and shame come to play here too – why didn’t anyone tell me?  did everyone else know except for me?).

when i feel overwhelmed or embarrassed/ashamed, my reaction is to blame someone else for the current status of the situation.  the cup of juice just spilled and leah is crying and there are 100 people in line for dinner and my shirt is being pulled down my chest by a frantic 2 year old who can’t find the green pebble that she brought from the playground?  well, it’s YOUR fault that it’s this way, so don’t mind the stream of f-bombs and expletives that are exploding in my brain at you right now.

anger.

i was observing this cycle play through my mind the other night, trying to find some sort of key or entrance or hidden glitch that would give me more insight.  unlock me from the madness and start to breathe freedom.

like a gentle gasp of breath, i saw it.

high school.  boyfriend.  not just boyfriend, but best friend.  he cheated on me with a younger girl.  let her do things to him that no girl her age should ever do with a boy.  THEY ALL KNEW.  every single one of my friends.

and no one told me.

no one.

to the point where i was asking them what they thought of us as a couple, that one summer sleepover, and still no one said a thing.

until someone, finally, had enough compassion to say it.  weeks later.

he never even full came out and told me.  had to be forced by others to finally confess that anything at all happened.

only one person asked how i was.  the entire time.

and those friends?  completely abandoned me.  took his side.  and left me – the one who didn’t know what was wrong, didn’t know anything – all by myself, bearing a punishment of rejection and solitude for a sin i didn’t even commit.

so that anger i feel?  the explosion that flattens me with its intensity and force and poison?

that anger is rooted there – the words i was never able to say.  the emotions i was never able to feel.  the WRONGNESS of the whole situation that, for some reason, i skipped over and dusted aside and pushed down and simply kept moving past.

alone.

i would sit in church, in a row all by myself, watching my former group of friends from across the room.  so happy.  so together.  wondering what id did to be here and they ended up there when i did nothing wrong.

still processing all of it…sharing my rawness with my husband and he is o so loving.

it’s a deep root to dig.

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