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Feel Angry

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I have been thinking about my anger lately. I once compared it to a giant knotted ball of string. It’s all twisted up inside of me. The beginning is hidden, the ending is hidden. At first it seemed impossible to unravel.

At first it was impossible to unravel. I was impatiently pulling and only making things worse. The best way to unknot a ball of string is to be patient, deliberate, slow. You have to loosen things up and work from different angles until it starts to make sense.

Is my analogy getting too thin? I’ll stop.

I’ve been working on and thinking about my anger for a long time. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to lose it. I’m still not really sure.

But I can’t keep hanging on to it. I have to at least lessen it. I’ll probably never be truly free from it. But I can try.

I always had this idea that my life would be fair. I know that sounds childish. Life isn’t fair. We all know that.

But I thought it would be balanced. Or at least have a point.

I thought, if I had this terrible childhood, I would at least have good friends. But I don’t have good friends.

I thought, if I had bad friends, I would at least have good boyfriends. But I didn’t have good boyfriends. In fact, my relationships have been worse than my childhood.

I thought, if I had abusive boyfriends, I would at least have mental and emotional health. But I don’t have emotional health. And who can blame me with my childhood and my relationships?

And I thought, if I had a terrible childhood, bad friends, abusive boyfriends, and poor mental and emotional health, I would at least have physical health. But I don’t have that either.

I’m not saying I am ungrateful for the things I do have. Because I am not. I know I have some great things in my life. And I do appreciate them.

But it isn’t fucking fair!

I guess, I thought… I don’t know… that the universe owed me… something. Which is stupid and immature and entitled. And it makes me feel angry.

I mean, who am I to expect anything from the universe. I am insignificant to the universe. It doesn’t even know I exist. My co-workers and family hardly know I exist.

And the thing is, if I believed there was a point to it all, it might make me feel better. If I thought there was some meaning or purpose to what I have gone through. But I don’t. And it makes me feel angry.

And the more I go through therapy and work through these issues. The more I can see my parents in a sympathetic light. The more I can see what impelled me to date the men I dated. The more I understand myself and my life. And it makes me feel angry.

But none of that makes me feel better. And it also doesn’t help with this feeling I have that I deserve something good in my life. That I deserve good things and people.

And I just realized that the longer I go without good things happening, the more unsure I am that I do deserve it. And the more afraid I am that my life is always going to be like this. And it makes me feel angry.

And I am so tired of my life being what it was. I am so scared to keep making the same mistakes. I am so afraid I’m never going to learn my lesson. And it makes me feel angry.

I have cried harder than I think I have ever cried in my life while writing this. This is what I am afraid to talk about. I am afraid that this makes me a whiny, selfish entitled jerk. And maybe I am.

But it feels so good to say. So good to get it out. I just re-read this piece, immediately after typing it, for typos, and actually am now laughing. It sounds so silly and immature. But I guess admitting it will help me to get over it.

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Meaning

I am starting to realize that not only do we give our own lives meaning, we give everything in them meaning. Every experience we have is meaningful or not meaningful because we say so (or think so).

All of our experiences can only ever mean what we say they mean.

I was thinking about feelings and emotions. I know I may think about those things differently than some other people. But I realized that my emotions don’t obligate me to act on them. I may not be able to control how I feel, but I can control how I behave about how I feel.

But it isn’t only my feelings. It’s everything. I feel like I’m not explaining this properly, but I don’t really know how to. It reminds me of this quote that I always liked:

‘I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.’
-Mark Twain

I’m not saying my troubles never happened. Because they definitely did. What I am trying (clumsily) to say is that my entire life’s experiences have been filtered through my own brain.

My perspective has colored everything that has ever happened in my life. They are inextricably linked. I can separate the two because there is no separation. My life experiences make me who I am and who I am interprets my life experiences. I like the symmetry of that.

I can also choose how I interpret the things that happen to me. Up till now I have been so busy comparing people to other people. Like, If AT did something to me, and AB did something similar, then AT and AB are the same type of person. And that just isn’t true. I don’t actually even know what either of their motives were. I have to stop assuming I do. It infuriates me when other people do this to me, and yet I am supremely guilty of it too.

I think, what I mean and am trying to say, is that I can choose which things from my past have meaning and which ones don’t. Which experiences will define me and which will eventually disappear into meaninglessness.

And that means I am not a wound looking for a cause. I am not damaged beyond repair. And I don’t have to continue to identify myself as anything I don’t want to.

This realization is kind of scary and powerful. I didn’t expect to be in charge of my own life in the way I am describing right now. But I am.

Feeling my feelings

While talking to a friend I mentioned how good I am at controlling my emotions. He responded that I needed to be careful with that because joy is an emotion too. (I know. He is scarily perceptive.)

I did already know that I was doing that. I am already aware that I haven’t been allowing myself to feel much of anything. Pretty much for my entire life.

It’s why I’ve felt nothing but anger and sadness because those were the two most overwhelming emotions in my life. Emotions are dangerous to have in abusive situations. Especially anger, which is why I think I still have so much of it.

But it’s also why I’ve never loved anyone before. I’ve never allowed myself to feel that emotion. I’m terrified of it. But again, it’s all things I knew.

But yesterday, I realized it may also be why I’ve never felt sexual desire for someone the way I think I should. The way I KNOW I should. And the way I know I am capable of.

The last two people I had sex with was because I actually wanted to. Not just because I was willing to. That makes all the difference. And I never want to go back to the way I was.

In some ways I am afraid to let my emotions out. But I also know I don’t want to keep everything locked inside anymore either.

I want to know how I am feeling when I feel it. I want to feel angry or upset when I am upset. And I want to be able to recognize it when it happens.