Anger is an emotion I rarely express.
It isn’t something I grew up around and when I did hear it, it scared me. As a child, a stern voice or furrowed brow was more than sufficient to express discontent with what I had done. Little was needed to remedy my behavior beyond the vague notion that my discretion had been noted.
I was a sensitive kid who would have wilted like a quickly dried out flower if I had been faced with volatile anger or loud voices.
And, I’m still a sensitive adult. An empath. Only recently am I starting to own this. To see the role this has played in my life, my parenting, my loving, my friendships, my partnerships and my health.
Anger is the outward expression of an intense feeling. It’s bold and it’s pointed. An arrow that screams as it is released. Explodes on it’s target. Intentional or not. It is wholly masculine and it’s energy heated.
I live in the feminine. Fully. It’s where I’m most comfortable and secure. The embrace, the circle that pulls inward and the nurturing.
The left that holds the bowl in deep embrace while the right lunges forward in masculine drive.
I pull it in. Always. I take the energy, the weight, the frustration, the anger and bring it in tight. I hold it in my center and let it spread and settle. It becomes my burden, fully and completely. It is controlled. It is unreleased and sheltered from view.
And, it’s incredibly heavy.
A weight deeper than the deepest ocean’s water.
And, the lid is precariously set on top.
I take the anger, the emotional vomit that is unhinged and wild and pull in sadness and disappointment and wrap and stir it with reflection, caring and overthinking.
When Pepper was born, she creatively threatened my long held patterns. She unceremoniously and deliberately poked and prodded the carefully placed lid.
I was anxious each morning as I anticipated what the day would hold.
I was flummoxed that she wouldn’t do what she was asked without umpteen reminders and at least one argument.
I was frustrated at her outbursts and seemingly endless tantrums.
I was fearful of the uncontrolled maelstrom that was physical and manic and terrifyingly big.
And, all this had the potential to become anger. In the scheme of things, the spectrum of reactivity, my reactions were relatively tame. Pretty uneventful. But, incredibly scary to me. A feeling I’d never had. A primal urge to scream and thrash and wail. Sounds all too familiar to my emotionally unregulated Pepper. A place, a state I never wanted to be in. So it would come out like the boiling pot’s lid pop of unexpected puff of steam. Then an inevitable settling atop a rumbling, rolling heated mess.
I lived that way of emotional control, an inward pull to keep it in and make it all mine for almost 37 years. I lived that way of parenting for a long time. Eight and half years.
The methods are no longer a facade that appears to be serving me. They’re suffocating me.
And only with diligent self care and a growing awareness for the process that’s gotten me here can I begin to release. I will always be me; the incredibly sensitive empath who takes on the weight of others. Who overthinks the minutiae of life. Who cares fully and deeply.
But, I am learning the benefits of outward expression and timed release. And, tears. So many cathartic crying sobs that shake my body loose and rattle the burden. And, breath. My need to keep inhaling and exhaling. Awareness of my tendency to hold it in and a conscious regulator to break that cycle. And, yoga. A series of stretching that bring all this together and uncoil the tightness and taut strings.
An emotion that isn’t to be feared or released with pointed destruction aimed at those around me. But, a primal release that sends it out. The big, the scary, the all consuming. And, gives its energy to something other than me.