I have spent my whole life appeasing someone else’s anger, no not someone else’s, a man’s anger. While at the same time I was trying to sublimate my own.
Growing up, I had to appease my father’s anger. He’d come home in a rage, ready to lash out at someone. He’d use anyone or anything as an excuse. Even the slightest noise would set him off into a violent, physically abusive rage.
We learned the hard way to clean before he arrived home. The clinking of us cleaning dishes, the dryer spinning, the washing machine. The vacuum cleaner was one of the worst.
And when he drank, which he did every day after work, he was worse. All of us learned to tiptoe around him. Trying to be silent.
When I moved out at 17, I stayed with a relative for about a year. He too began to show his anger to me. I never dated, I never talked back the entire time. And he still called me a whore regularly. His anger at his own life was seeping out and was directed towards me. I got away from him as soon as I could.
The next man I lived with was JC. Our relationship was a war zone. I was constantly struggling to keep my independence and freedom. And his frustration at not succeeding in controlling me started out as emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. But it didn’t take long to get to physical.
Then I was with AT. That was honestly, the worst relationship I’ve ever been in. We never fought because he refused to allow me to voice my issues. I could never relax around him. He made me feel unwelcome and undesirable in every way possible.
I was single for a long time after that. But then AB came along. I thought he was different. But he was insidiously manipulative and belittling. I left before things got too physical. But I had opened up to him just enough for him to threaten me with things that wounded and disturbed me to my core.
Now I am staying with friends. And one of them is angrier than anyone I have ever met. He is triggering me so hard and I have nowhere else to go right now. I can’t wait to get away from him.
I am so tired of doing this. I am tired of putting men and their needs before my own.
I’m tired of worrying about someone else’s anger. I have my own anger to deal with. I’m tired of appeasing everyone else. Why don’t I get to be appeased? Because I don’t take my anger out on others? Because I try to be respectful and kind to others? Because I am only awful and abusive towards myself.
I think that is what bothered me so much about my work meeting today. I wasn’t upset over not getting the resolution I wanted. I was upset that one of my male co-workers got exactly what he wanted, and he still wasn’t happy with it. And everyone in the room had to suddenly drop everything to appease him so he wouldn’t throw a temper tantrum.
I am so done with this. I am tired of people (always men in my experience) that are sprinklers of anger and negativity. It’s not healthy for anyone to be around, but even less so for me.
I don’t want to do this anymore.