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Am I Angry?
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"This is the feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word." - T. S. Eliot

With the beginning of the new year, I jump back into working on my Fourth Step which is taking a fearless and moral inventory of myself. The section I am working with now is dealing with anger.

In reflecting on the word, I discovered the acronym:

A - Anger
N - Never
G - Gives
E - Equal
R - Rights

Growing up in an alcoholic home was scary for me. My mother was angry all the time at me it seemed and my father, if he was angry, never showed it.

Of course, maybe Dad hid his anger with his drinking.

Mother, on the other hand, was angry over everything. She was angry with her thoughts words and deeds. Most of which was dealt towards me. Nothing I did, said or thought was appropriate and I would be punished for it or told I was wrong, it didn't exist, or I didn't know what I was speaking or thinking. Therefore, I learned early just to keep myself closed up.

I do remember a time being angry at mother. I stood across the street waiting for the bus to pick me up for school. As I stood there, I was cussing up a storm of every cuss word I knew. Then I learned mother could lip read as she stood in the doorway and told me to stop cussing. Okay, memo to self: When cussing out mother, turn my back to the blueberry field.

I remember being angry when told of my parents' divorce. I just knew that Dad was leaving because of her. It was all her fault. (Little did I know until I experienced divorce in my own life.

I remember being angry when I finally had had enough of my mother bad-mouthing my Dad. I was in my late 20s. It was Thanksgiving time and the boyfriend of the moment was with me at her home.

About an hour into the time spent there, mother began talking about how bad Dad was. Now, I grew up hearing what an SOB he was and never said a thing because I was afraid of what she would do to me. But on this day, I was filled with righteous rage. I blew up.

I told her to stop speaking of Dad this way in my presence, if she could not say anything nice to not talk about Dad at all. Oooh, I was sooo angry. I walked outside to cool down. I calmed down and went back inside only to become angry again as mother and I went at it again and back outside I went.

I wanted to go home but the boyfriend talked me into staying because of all the preparation my mother had put into preparing dinner. I did not care nor did I want to sit at a table with her. Not wanting ill tidings with the boyfriend, I agreed to have dinner but when it was finished I wanted to be taken home. He agreed.

After that I didn't speak to mother for some time. I deeply resented her in appropriate discussion of Dad whether he was a SOB or not.

I went off and on to therapy during all of this but it was not until I came to California and was in therapy did I learn that the depression I was suffering was due to anger. Actually, anger was just a part of my depression.

I have trouble remembering a lot of my childhood because of the treatment I received from both of my parents but primarily my mother.

I have to give thanks for finding the Al-Anon program for giving me the tools to deal with my feelings of anger and of getting my anger out in the open and feeling the feelings.

It is a scary process but so worth it not to be burdened by the past.

Tomorrow I will write some more about the times of feeling angry.

Till then . . .

mz. em

Currently reading:
-- "Queen of the Sylphs" - L. J. McDonald
-- "Living, Loving & Learning" - Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.
-- "The Daily Book of Art/356 readings that teach, inspire & entertain" - day 89

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