My Handle on Anger

I don’t like feeling angry. It is an emotion that I have suppressed for most of my life. It sounds as though I think it has no value. It does. Problem is, I am unfamiliar with how to manage it.

I’m reminded of a scene from the Honeymooners. Ralph and Alice are arguing, as usual, about their finances. Ralph accuses Alice of not being able to handle money. Her brilliant reply:

“Of course I don’t, I’ve never had any practice!”

Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling about anger. Once released, though, it inwardly consumes me. Watching a Dirty Harry movie used to do the trick. I’d grit my teeth right along with Clint Eastwood as he squeezed the trigger. That “punk” was the embodiment of all the wrongs I had felt.

As a woman, my days are filled with tiny sacrifices. Martyrdom is not what this is about. I am very happy to create happiness and contentment, when I am able, but those little sacrifices serve as gasoline on my fire once anger comes out to play. It’s not important to list every single sacrifice. All you need to know is every single decision has a “pecking order” and I’m always last on the list. I KNOW…I don’t need to put myself there.

I care for kids…demanding little angels who are good reasons for some of my sacrifice. Believe me, I have a favorite comment for those who demand too much, too soon. “Do I look like I’m busy?” The problem with that statement is all too clear when I try to relax. “You don’t look busy now?” is what I will be reminded. And, the demand, although not granted every time, still rests on my shoulders as a demand.

Still, that alone does not anger me. But, with the daily demands ever fresh, my family comes home. Not only do I mange kids, I am command central for the family. “Any messages or phone calls?” “Where’s my blue jacket?” “When’s supper?” …you get the picture.

By day’s end, I have a goal, a picture in my head, of me with a book on my couch. I hang on to that picture. The phone may ring…the dog needs to go out and in and out…I may finally sit down and feel sweet release only to notice I have misplaced my glasses OR that the kids have found a unique place for them. All this, I assure you, I can handle.

Then, my husband turns on the TV. He skips from one political propaganda station to the next. A commercial for the ASPCA comes on. I try not to listen but I cannot completely tune it all out. NOW, I’m angry!

It wasn’t one single event but the sum total.

I guess the part that is so sad is that I don’t show it. But lately, there is so much buried that there’s no room for more. I won’t ever take it out on the kids or dog. I’m tempted to take the batteries out of the TV remote though.

I feel better now. Just from the release of my anger in writing. I don’t like to feel angry. I am a very tolerant person. But, if you feel the need to cross me, there’s a poignant question you should ask yourself:

Do you feel lucky PUNK?

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8 thoughts on “My Handle on Anger

  1. As a fellow day care provider and command central for my home, I hear ya and feel exactly what you’re saying! I think we have those days sometimes…

  2. I used to ‘go with the flow’ knowing that at some point I would be able to do what I wanted to do. But that time seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Photographic projects are getting a back seat. The thing that drives down the slippery slope quicker than anything at the moment is the stuff that turns up from who knows which child’s bedroom just after the machine has been turned on, dishwasher/washing machine. And the don’t even have the common to scrape/rinse/stack. ‘Where’s my shirt!’, ‘Is tea ready’ – or worse, ‘I won’t be here for tea’ 5 minutes before it’s put on a plate……….

  3. I’m glad you’ve shared this, Susan. Anger can be very difficult to deal with. I suggest an angry walk – usually half way through or at least by the end of it, you will feel much better. Another thing I’ve tried in the past is writing an angry letter then ripping it up, burning it. It can be quite a cathartic process, helps to get it out of your system. Hope you’re feeling much better. šŸ™‚

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