I am a bubbly personality; affable with a ready smile and sense of humour. I also contain a tumult of anger. It has propelled me forward, gifted me bravado and energy and made me a determined woman. Here are examples of the situations I am still angry about:
- Spending months at a time recuperating from operations to rebuild me after I was almost killed as a teen.
- Seeing my attacker walk free after spending minimal time incarcerated.
- Enduring a mighty battle with endometriosis and infertility, resulting in numerous IVF attempts.
- Being cheated out of money I had earned.
- Being dismissed, ridiculed and treated with contempt as an adult.
- Watching those I love suffer at other’s hands.
- Watching as people I love fall ill, some dying.
There are so many events in each of our lives to be angry about. We need to decide how we are going to use that anger. If we are not careful, it can cause us to collapse with exhaustion. It can make us depressed. We can decide that it is all too unfair, so why bother? I can tell you, that it wasn’t butterflies and positivity that got me walking again after months of rehabilitation. It wasn’t affirmations that gave me the courage to face my attacker in court. It was unadulterated rage. I had been treated cruelly and it wasn’t just. I have channelled my anger many times to try and rectify that unfairness. Sometimes it has worked, and sometimes it hasn’t.
Here is what I did with the residue:
- I put on some music and decluttered my home, my wardrobe; my life. I kept only that which would lift me up. The rest was dumped into bags and donated.
- I cut my hair off and dyed it purple. It was my way of defining a line between the past where the villain’s had their claws in my life, and the post-apocalyptic world I reigned in now.
- I went shopping. I bought a new wardrobe, with clothes befitting a new image and way of being.
- I walked. I put on comfortable shoes and went walking for kilometres each day. I sometimes went with friends, though often by myself. I worked things out on my walks, and my anger drained from the soles of my feet into the earth, to be reabsorbed as positive energy.
- I moved my body whenever I could. Whenever the person’s face hit my mind, and I relived the injustice, I would march on the spot, hit a pillow or lift weights.
- I drank herb tea and made my home a sanctuary, full of pillows, blankets, and other accoutrements which would make it a safe and comforting place.
I learnt not to drink alcohol when I was processing my rage. The liver is pronounced the home of anger in Eastern Medicine, and imbibing was akin to throwing petrol on the flames. Alcohol is best left for happy times with beloved companions.
I learnt not to try and escape from my anger. Rather, I had to feel it. I had to utilize it so it could propel me into the future I craved, far away from those who did their best to destroy me with their words and actions.
Here I am, light years away from my enemies, and yet the anger still propels me forward. It makes me brave, and I have little tolerance for injustice in any form. I stand here with a new image, after walking several kilometres, brushing my violet hair and smiling. I am now a lioness rather than a lamb. It is a mighty energy, and must be handled with care.