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Archive for November, 2010

Emotion: Anger.

I think at the age of nine, I knew more anger than a nine-year-old should know. I mean, you have your average nine-year-old anger, with the temper tantrums and the “mommy this” or “daddy that.” Then there was me, and I was pissed at the world.

I think once upon a time before I was seven I used to be happy. I can’t be too sure because I’ve forgotten most of what my life was before that age, but it paints a pretty enough picture in my brain. Then there was all this stuff that happened with my family, and that I can’t recall entirely either. But I remember lots of yelling and crying and packing up of bags and moving out into a new house and new school. So I played the part of the angsty seven-year-old school bully with the family issues and no friends to speak of. So I’d punch someone or get in trouble for threatening someone, then get sent home and whacked with my own ruler by my mom, who I’m sure I got half of this trait from.

And I know my dad was that way, too, when he was around, because (and you might have read this story already) I remember him yelling at my mom and making her cry until I got out of the car and kicked him and he pushed me to the ground. [Run-on sentence for the win. I have no patience for grammar today, anyway.]

And that’s how I lived out most of those days, and I’m sure by the end of it all, the people who I called “friends” easily accepted the fact that I would not be going with them to middle school.

Middle school was a slightly different picture, emphasis on “slightly.” I was still “the tough girl on the block,” the one few would mess with, and I hung out with the outcasts, tried sports, and did whatever I felt like. But apparently I was also smart, and I’ll never understand how that quality popped out of me. So I was a lot of different things. But I wasn’t really a bully to anyone but those who I called my “friends,” and I guess they stuck around because I also protected them. I was the defender, justified in every way for the way I was because they’d be hopeless without me. And I’d go home and get into a tussle with my mom and almost get thrown out of the house until my grandma intervened. Once, I almost choked out someone who I was “friends” with, and I feel like I’m using quotes a lot for that word. But I think that’s okay when you realized you kind of tried to kill someone who you called that. I explained how I was suspended for three days to my mom, and apparently she was okay with it. And I think now that was because I sat her down and for possibly the first time in my life acted like an adult and talked to her about it.

So I and this person I got into a fight with ended up in what we called anger management and bonded in those three days of watching your typical anti-drugs/bullying/violence videos and reviewing them and taking tests and what have you. People frequently commented on how we seemed to be friends despite the fact that we got into a physical fight. And they told us that was strike one, and on strike two, we’d end up being expelled, and being expelled meant no future.

High school rolled around quickly, and I wanted to let go. I knew that anger had ruled most of my life, and I hated myself for it. I knew good people. I saw good people. Who were happy and smiled and had friends, but I knew none of that. So I wanted to change, to let go, to start over. And it was hard, because most of the people coming into high school with me were people who knew me when I was just a couple of years younger and a lot less in control of myself. But I’d learned a bit and wanted something out of life now, to be rich or famous or something like that and pursued it eagerly. So I proved to people that I wasn’t the person I used to be, and I made friends and smiled more.

But things, well, high school drama happened, and I messed up. Had a friend turn his back on me, lost others to the shame of knowing me, and cried a lot. Then one day, something set me off like a firework, and that was the day I knew true hatred, which I’ll talk about another time. So I was fed up and decided to let myself go, and yelled and screamed and threw empty threats around of wanting to fight, then realized who I was becoming [again] and went away and cried more and then I knew despair.

It’s hard to understand anger. I think when you let yourself fall into it like I did, it’s like being a bull. All you see is red (not literally), and you go out to pick a fight. Every muscle in your body is tense, waiting to land that first blow or scream those first words. And I don’t think I’ve have deeper tunnel vision than I did then, not even when I’ve been on the verge of passing out from exhaustion or dehydration. Because anger has a target, and when you give in like that, you only see the target. And maybe I wasn’t fully invested in that anger, because I didn’t take it over the edge. I didn’t throw the punch that I had ready to go in my clenched fists. So some modicum of sense still existed in me. I was still able to remind myself that I’d be expelled, and being expelled meant to college, and that meant no future.

So the deal with that has mended itself over the years over cooling off and graduating and drinking (a lot), and now I sit here and wonder if things could end up that way again. I see my life heading down the same road, losing friends, but for different reasons. Feeling lost, alone, sad (other topics to be considered on a later date) — and I’m afraid.

It’s been a long time, I think, since I last felt pure rage, because I’ve learned to tuck that part of me away into somewhere deep. But it’s not something I haven’t known, though it is something I hope I’ll never know again. I hope I never threaten a friend again, now that I understand a lot more about friendship than I did in those days. I hope I never lay angry hands on my child some day in the far future when he or she makes a bad choice. I hope I’m never so mad again that I look up into the sky and tell God that I hate him for doing this to me, for making me the way I am, but

I wouldn’t be afraid if it were impossible, right?

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Emotion: Introduction.

Since blog series are the in thing to do these days, I was inspired to create one. Not by all of the other blog series, but by a piece of thought in my own head.

Most people who know me can pinpoint with great ease that I’m a highly emotional person. It’s the basis for 99% of everything I do/think. The other 1% probably pertains to school. I’m rather apathetic about school.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have an off switch. I definitely do, and I’ve flipped it and held it off for about a year and a half before. That was a long time ago, when things were hard, and I was young(er). And so a lot of things recently have reminded me of that time. Such as flipping off that switch again. Buying a bottle of Tylenol (because my head is killing me). Thinking about what life would’ve been like if I hadn’t made it this far.

And I’m glad and feel very blessed for it, this life that I found after searching for so long. Back in that time, I came out of my ditch and thought to myself, When I’m older, I’ll be thinking about how little I know now. And it hasn’t been nearly as long as I thought until I realized that.

But yes, emotions. I’ve run through what I’m sure is 97% of the spectrum, which can be condensed in a couple handfuls of more general categories. So I’ll write about those. How many there will be, I’m not sure. I won’t make guarantees on how long I’ll take to write it or that I’ll have one each day. I’ll just write when I see fit and what I want to write about.

And that’s how I’ll begin. Maybe by writing this, I’ll find that on switch somewhere in the dark.

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Thy will be done.

When did I forget?

That Your plans for me are greater than I could imagine.
That You chased me down and welcomed me home.
That You intercede in our lives.
That Your grace and mercy are everlasting.
That You love me.

Foolish, crazy, broken me. Even when I’m tired of myself, You never stop chasing after me in that same way.

So what happens now? I always ask, but I never really find out until everything turns out the way it is. And I always get a little bit nervous not knowing, and I’ll always wonder, What if everything goes wrong? But I’m learning to roll with the punches. I’m learning to trust You with my life. I’m learning that everything I hope for and more will come in due time.

Besides, I like being surprised.

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