Content warning: I’m angry. If anger scares you or upsets you, you might want to back away and come back another day.
I. I didn’t mean to leave you hanging like I did in my last post, but I needed to spend some time with my own thoughts and feels about whatever the heck was going on with me in response to the sudden lack of boozy buffer. Boredom was *not* something I expected to experience in response to going clear, but that’s what came up. Boredom. An intense awareness of the “rinse, repeat” quality of this moment in time. A hankering for something – a craving, really. But not for wine. Not for any kind of altered state, actually, unless you can call “engaged” or “connected” an altered state.
II. It took a while, but here I am. Engaged. Connected. Into everything. Curious. Open. Awake. Alive. Alcohol-Free for 60 days, too, which feels like a bit of a minor miracle given *waves at all of this*, but here we are.
Here comes the anger in t-minus 3….2……1…..
III. A lot happened around and to me over the course of the last almost two years, and most of it was no bueno. I *did* manage to navigate it and I *have* gotten over most of it if by “gotten over it” we mean “I have raged and cried and grieved and pondered myself into a puddle of spent and also receptive goo”.
The thing I most grappled with was the idea that bad things happen to bad people and if bad things are happening to me, I must therefore be bad. This is not an uncommon bit of unconscious content, I know. I am not alone in grappling with this. Even though I am potently and poignantly aware of how the overculture conditions us to believe that we are, in fact, completely in control of what happens to us what with the way it pushes The Law of Attraction and the whole “thoughts become things” thing that gets shoved down our throats on the regular, my newfound sobriety uncovered a stinking pile of this conditioning hiding out in my deepest innards. I had, thankfully, disconnected from most of the purveyors of this kind of horseshit by the time I uncovered it within myself, but there were some holdovers. Some second-guessing. Some doubts about my choices. Some guilt about the INFJ door slam that I have been unashamedly employing thanks to an ever-increasing sense of self-loyalty.
IV. My therapist and I have talked about the same relationships for years. They came up in every session. It felt very much like my own personal soap opera. “This week on as Effy’s World Turns.” The one that did the very thing I asked her not to do and then kept doing it, but in secret. The one that made sure I knew about what was happening in secret because they got off on my upset over it. The one that took full advantage of my fawn trauma response and “The Bank of Effy” while talking shit about me to anyone who would listen. The one who would pick me up and then shelve me like I was some kind of doll. The one who enjoyed the lavish, devoted experience I offer my lovers, but did not offer much of anything in return except a wicked case of cognitive dissonance, broken promises, and words that did not align with actions. The one that told me my son was sick because KARMA – that I’d allowed him to be abused in a past life in order to keep a husband happy. The same one that told me that if I broke up with a guy that was causing me real harm, I was doomed to be in pain for the rest of my life because TWIN FLAMES. The same one who acted like she didn’t like me (or anyone else, frankly) very much, but kept me around because – why? I made her feel better about herself?
Humans baffle me.
And that’s just in the last two years.
And so, fuck them. Fuck all of them.
And since I know how humans work, and since I know very well that at least some of them are reading this:
May you be happy. May you be healed. May you be loved.
But far from me, you fucking dumpster fire.
V. Do I sound like a victim?
Maybe I do, but I’m okay with that because while the overculture wants us all to shut up about it and put on our positive panties and accept that if these bad things happen to us it’s OUR FAULT and we are ENTIRELY TO BLAME and COMPLETELY IN CONTROL of everything that goes wrong while encouraging us to GUSH ABOUT HOW BLESSED AND GRATEFUL WE ARE when things go right, something inside of me – something that’s been sitting in weekly therapy for almost nine years now is ready to fight the overculture on that.
When did “victim” become a dirty word? When did we equate saying what happened to us with “playing the victim card”? When did pretending we’re untouchable, unflappable, indomitable, bulletproof, beyond being harmed become the requirement for being acceptable?
VI. I’ve been harmed, and the sole responsibility for healing that harm is on me, I know, but I am *pissed off* that so much of my psychic energy has to be spent in healing wounds that I *did not inflict upon myself*.
Y’all, I am in therapy *because of people who refuse to go to therapy*. I’m in therapy because of my encounters with those who will not touch their own unconscious content with a ten-foot pole, but instead, project it all onto the nearest available scapegoat, and how did I become the nearest available scapegoat?
I was raised to be one.
And I’m fucking angry over it.
And you know what?
It’s about fucking time.
VII. I live in a world where *waves at all of the above* is completely unacceptable. I am supposed to show up in the world with a smile and a twinkle in my eye and paint under my nails and delight and joy and inspiration and gratitude. I am supposed to take the hits as they keep on coming and assert that it’s all okay because “HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE” with a forgiving, tender smile on my unphased face. I’m supposed to forgive. I’m supposed to keep my dirty laundry to myself and I’m supposed to be professional and polished and I’m supposed to whitewash everything and I’m supposed to make sure that I do not get my stuff all over everybody else *at all costs* including my own survival.
Right? I mean, isn’t that what we’re told to do? Isn’t that what’s modeled for us? Don’t we get labeled “too much” if we do otherwise?
I mean, for fuck sakes, even the Dalai Lama is out there telling everyone that anger is poison, and when a very wise council of humans suggested to him that this might be a spiritual bypass (because it *was* a spiritual bypass) he didn’t address it. He just left his toxic positivity hang out there for all to see without any accountability to anyone for how poisonous *repressed & denied* anger is when expressed anger is actually *healthy and human and necessary*.
VIII. One of the people I mentioned above told me that I was scary because I get angry, and it was at that point in our relationship that I should have ended it, because I *do* get angry. I get angry when I’m lied to. I get angry when I am betrayed. I get angry about injustice, betrayal, disloyalty, passive aggression, malice, other people’s projections, and other forms of fuckery. And I have learned to say “I’m angry”. I’ve learned to say “Don’t do that to me.” or “This is my boundary” or “What you are offering me in this moment is not what I need.” and the people who can’t handle that, who think that makes me “scary” or “too much” are, frankly, not enough for me.
I wish those people all the luck in finding someone who is less.
Because I’m not it.
I’m all of me.
Angry me included.
IX. And it’s not like I get angry over stupid shit, because I don’t. In fact, it’s been brought to my attention by qualified professionals that I don’t get angry *enough*. I have to go through a lot of inner work before the anger even begins to arise. I have to sift and sort and tell the story to a willing, objective ear over and over again for a long time, to get the experience witnessed by someone who can be *angry on my behalf* before I can even begin to access my own anger.
So if I’ve told you I’m angry?
You can bet I worked to get there, and that I value you enough to tell you, and that it comes at an enormous personal energetic cost to me to tell you in the first place, so if you reject me or criticize me for being angry? If my anger is too much for you? If your response to my anger is to talk shit about me or abandon me?
And if I’ve slammed the door on our relationship, it’s because I told you until I was blue in the face what I needed from you and what my boundaries were and you didn’t listen or didn’t care, so again.
X. Sixty days today, and I’m fucking angry, and I am glorying in it because I have every reason and right to be angry, and my rage, which hid out under a blanket of booze for a decade, has risen up. It is here. It is honest. It is holy, and if you can’t sit with me in my anger, you don’t fucking deserve me.
Photo of a very angry kitteh for tax.