Anger is not an emotion I am familiar with. I stuffed it down for so many years it gave up and stopped bubbling to the surface. Today it erupted like a volcano.
As a child I was not allowed to express anger. Mom taught me that anger was “unladylike” and Dad considered it disrespectful. No one modeled healthy anger management in my household. I saw the extremes of raging and denial/suppression.
In my marriage I was afraid to express anger. My ex-husband was a very big guy who could get his own good rage going, usually directed at me, and my returning anger was like pouring gas on an already raging fire so I learned quickly that anger wasn’t a safe emotion to express. I usually channeled my own rage into cleaning!
Six years ago I left that oppressive-suppressive-depressive marriage and I gave myself permission to express what I feel. I embarked on a mission of honesty and transparency. I wanted to be totally honest and expressive about every emotion I felt with everyone I was in relationship with…most of all myself.
For two years I lived with my cat and dabbled in internet dating neither looking for nor encouraging a long-term relationship. I had just ended one of those and I was in no hurry to dive into those deep waters again. But then…
I have been living with G for four years. We have a good relationship based on a long history (we grew up together) and many similar beliefs and lifestyle choices. We also have magical chemistry, not only sexual but we “get each other”, we respect one another and we laugh at the same things and make each other laugh. We call our relationship “Fragil Majik.” G is an intense personality, and I know I am my own strong flavor, so live and let live is my motto, as best I can. I consider myself a compassionate person. I do my best to appreciate every person’s unique situation and since I don’t walk in their shoes, who am I to judge? But then…
I have some strong opinions and beliefs about the human body, the effect of diet and our health. Natural healing has been my profession for twenty years and I was a student of nutrition and natural healing modalities for ten years before I became a professional. I use food like medicine to treat myself when I am not feeling as well as I would like. I am far from perfect but I am a strong, healthy 60+ woman, and I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that the natural therapies I employ work on myself and others.
G has some health issues. Without going into detail I will say they are long-standing (some since childhood) and have been exacerbated by his lifestyle which does not put health as a priority. I believe that some of the diet modifications and therapies I use would be helpful for him. For four years I have been sharing with him what I have learned from study, from clients, from fellow therapists and naturopaths. It falls on deaf ears. I’m not sure why. Perhaps he doesn’t believe the information is true. Perhaps he has resistance to changing his lifestyle. Perhaps he is triggered by the way I present the information. I don’t know.
This morning something snapped in me. When he did several things that were all contrary for his condition and the alternative healthy choices were all simple and easy I lost it! I told him his behavior was selfish because I live with the consequences of his ill-health. More than that, I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would knowingly, intentionally do that! It just made me crazy! I erupted like a volcano. So much energy came pouring out of me. It felt good in a strange way. I said my words to him and then I took off walking fast around the property, crying, cursing, venting…erupting. It lasted about five minutes and then I got a strong, full feeling in my gut. I got very calm and worked hard outside for the rest of the day letting my thoughts move through me, noticing the chain of events that led up to the eruption. It makes some sense to me now.
I don’t feel angry toward him anymore. My compassion has returned. My patience with the situation? I’m not sure…the volcano may still be simmering.