I Have Learnt That My Anger Is Okay.
I watch my 11-year-old as she shouts and screams at me.
Her anger mirrors my own, and we just end up getting louder, neither one of us able to quieten down enough to really hear the other. I can look back on the scene later and see that I am the adult, I should be the one capable of calming both of us down, but while I’m in the middle of the situation, I find it impossible.
The difficult part for me is that I know exactly how she feels. I was the same at her age, at every age in fact. I know how it feels to have my body fill with rage, adrenaline flood through my body and not have a clue how to get rid of it. Wanting and physically needing to shout it out, hit something, kick out, scream, anything to get rid of that anger.
I still get like that at times despite all the meditation, the healing and happiness I’ve found. It’s like there is some wild part of me that forever refuses to be tamed.
I was never told that this is okay. I was made to feel ashamed, like there was something wrong with me. I came to believe I was strange for getting angry like that, that I was different and I should hide it when I felt that way. I felt I shouldn’t express it when that red cloud overtook me.
I thought it made me ugly, less likable. I didn’t think it was how God wanted me to behave as a child, and as I got older, I thought this can’t be good for my soul. I was so wrong.
There have been times in my life that have been unhappy. During these times, I have been easy to irritate, and that could quickly turn into rage.
Those periods, I can see now, were not me and my appalling personality. The anger I felt was frustration at my unhappiness, my perceived inability to do anything about it, and that terrible feeling of being stuck and helpless.
Once I found my happiness, these frequent periods of blood-boiling madness stopped.
I do still get mad, at situations, at things out of my control, and sometimes just at life. I’m passionate about things, and so it comes with the territory, but it doesn’t happen often and usually not over something trivial.
When I find myself being rubbed the wrong way, I look for ways to take myself out of the situation so it doesn’t escalate. I can reason with myself in the early stages, tell myself that in the big scheme of things this won’t matter and to just let it go.
But then there are those other days where I somehow find myself going from 1 to 10 and wondering later how I got there. Where one wrong look towards me will make me want to claw someone’s eyes from their face. The days when I have to swear, because screaming Fuck in my loudest voice is the only way I can get the furious anger out of my body.
It’s only energy, you see, it just needs somewhere to go so it can dissipate into something less tumultuous. Sometimes that means I have to cry and bang my fists on the bed.
To someone who doesn’t tend to feel anger or strong negative emotions, this may sound unhealthy, but for me it would be more damaging to hold all this inside. You should not hold all that negative energy inside your body where it can eventually mutate into something physical.
With a lot of hard work, I have learnt to let things go, to not hold grudges, to forgive what once upon a time I thought I couldn’t, but that doesn’t mean I no longer need to let of steam every now and again when things build up. I have also learnt that my anger is okay, as long as I’m not hurting anyone with my words and as long as it isn’t there to hide any unhappiness.
I want my 11-year-old daughter, and my 11-year-old self, to know that it is okay to be wild, to shout and scream, to get pissed off. That it is right to let it out, that I would never want her to keep any of that corrosive energy inside her little body. I want her to know that before, during and after her blow-ups, I love her exactly the same. I will be there for her and never think any differently of her.
Some people weren’t born to be tame, we are those people.
Natalie Donohoe is an advocate for happiness and joy. She firmly believes that is what we came to this planet at this time to experience. She wants to inspire others to find out what happiness means to them, through her story. Natalie loves her life, and wants others to experience the same fulfillment. She believes we are all love! You can follow her on Twitter or her blog, or alternatively see more of her writing here.