Owning the Anger

The thing about being angry means that you’re knowingly or unknowingly mean. As I re-read my first post on this subject, I remembered all the ways I was mean and hurtful.

Things that I’d forgotten came rushing back. Let me tell you, seeing yourself as a selfish, mean and bossy girl isn’t pleasant. I’m ashamed of those moments in time, even if I am aware that they aren’t who I am now.

In those moments when I was bossing, or yelling, or fighting or punching I was trying to shake off the hurt. I see that now. Then? I just wanted someone else to feel as badly as I did about myself.

I took it out on people, lockers and in one very memorable moment, a piano music stand. The longer I went without an outburst the bigger the outburst was and I had no one to explain to me what it was about.

There wasn’t much training or assistance for adoptees and their families back then in the 70s and 80s. We all did the best we could with what we have. My family wasn’t really big on therapy either. I knew I needed something, but I wasn’t sure what it was, so I would hold it in until I burst.

I’m sorry for the people, and very often friends and family who were caught in the cross-fire. You know this of course, but it wasn’t about you. You were just there when my inability to control what was inside erupted. I’m sorry. I was angry because I was wounded and I didn’t have the words for that.

I’m seeing a connection now – in the world that’s here today – all the anger and flailing and name calling and side-picking – it’s all a result of wounding and pain.

When we make another person wrong we’re lashing out at our inability to “right” ourselves. In the moment of the outburst it seems that it relieves the pressure and the pain, but until we figure out where we’re wounded and how to heal it, we’re going to keep blowing up.

Today I’m reminding myself to be kinder and gentler and even more generous to those who are simply trying to right themselves. It’s not about me, it’s their stuff.


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