Anger is my nemesis. It’s my Mr. Hyde. It’s a hateful and mean-spirited poison. The almost uncontrollable kind of anger that spews up from my guts and out of my mouth until I’ve decimated everyone and everything around me.
I don’t know if it’s the root or the bud of all the negative thoughts that swirl in my head, but it’s in there. Always a part of me.
I swallow it down. I don’t let it out. I breathe and regroup and start over. We go outside and play in the sunshine. One of them snuggles into me and my pulse slows and I’m comforted by their innocence being so close.
Other times the repression just makes it worse. And then it does come out and after the moment has passed I begin to worry.
Have I ruined them? These people that I love? Have I ruined them with my anger?
On the good days, I smile. I carry on as if nothing were the matter at all. As if the thoughts weren’t spinning in my head and I weren’t replaying every moment of my anger over and over on an endless loop, examining and analyzing to find the point where it all went bad. I wonder how much effect the bad days have. The worry eats away at me and then I’m angry because I can’t stop worrying about whether or not I’ve caused some great and irreparable damage.
Then I see it in the boy in front of me, my anger reflected back. I see it when he’s frustrated with his sister because she’s taken a toy. I see it when he’s mad because he can’t find his shoes. I see it when he’s frustrated that I’m frustrated that we’re running late because he won’t just do what I’m asking him to do and my frustration fuels his frustration and one or both of us is on the verge of exploding.
When I see that anger reflected, I know we’ve reached critical mass. Threat Level Orange.
I vow to do better. This time I’m actually successful.
I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine –
And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.