I was an angry kid. Like, pissed off at everyone for everything. In grade school I beat up the boys and from the ages eleven through thirteen I refused to smile. In fact, there isn’t a picture of me smiling during that time period. I hated my home life, my gangly legs, my parents and pretty much everything else.
At thirteen, I discovered Pink Floyd and slit my wrists in my bedroom. Looking back, it was an unheard cry for help. The boy I liked said, “you didn’t do it right.” My family swept it under the proverbial carpet. My angry cries remained unheard.
At fourteen, I still hated myself, but in the summer of 1987, things were finally looking up for me. I was filling out, getting attention from boys and finally finding myself (yeah right). I started smoking pot, skipping school and conveying my messages of hate to my high school chums.
Anger became a good friend. It blanketed my fears, worries and insecurity. I hid behind anger like an unblemished mask never realizing how it destroyed me. Married at sixteen, I learned from my then mother-in-law and her mother, that anger was normal. These two women were angry about everything. They taught me passive-aggressive behavior and oh how I loved that!
I became an expert at passive-aggressive behavior as I “made people pay” for the “unjusts” they caused me. But I noticed something.
My scowled face, harsh words and bitter mannerisms fell on myself while everyone went on with their days, blind to my rage. How could they not feel my rage? No one gave a damn about my anger. No one stopped me from self-sabotaging, self-harming with drugs, alcohol and promiscuity.
In fact, I scowled so much in my younger years, I have a permanent frown line between my eyebrows. People ask me “why are you mad?” or “what’s wrong?” or say, “you always look mad.” It’s annoying, but some things cannot be helped.
These days, I’m not angry… really. I just have a stark reminder printed on my face of the anger I felt for so long. These days, I give it to God.
What do you do with your anger?