My grandmother loves to tell a story about a road trip my grandpa, grandma, brother, and myself took when I was around 3. The story goes that being the 2 kids under 3 that we were, we were growing pretty restless being in the car, and in true Arianna fashion I was doing something to let everyone know how unhappy I was, so my grandma turned around from the front seat and says in fun “Arianna are you happy?” and my response was “I no happy!” Which for me was a typical response to most things. I can remember from a very young age that I was not happy—with life, family, daily activities, nothing. I was angry too, I remember taking it out of my siblings, my mom, my cousins, anyone that pissed me off. There are a lot of variables to an unhappy child, mine was my family. My mom, how she explains it, got postpartum immediately after having me and didn’t know what to do with me, so I bounced around between her and my grandparents. By the time she “bonded” with me, I was 9 months old and she was already pregnant with my brother(different father). I believe a lot of my anger stems from that, feeling abandoned, not having a mother, and just not be properly nurtured as a baby. My anger started young and grew as I got older and problems became much harder. As I have written about in pervious posts, I have had a lot of abuse and heartache in my life, which has all manifested itself into rage, deep, deep in my heart.
Who wants to walk along someone who only walks with rage?
The angry little girl that lives inside of me shows herself in all sorts of ways. She pushes aways at new friendships, she confronts every minor unpleasantry. She finds reasons why people don’t like her so she can avoid making new bonds, and she finds comfort in yelling and arguing with the people she cares for most, and most importantly, the little girl inside is completely frightened by the world around her. I am quick to temper, quick to find any wrong-doing, quick to yell, and even quicker to withdraw from a relationship. I am always on my toes and ready to fight. I didn’t realize my anger was completely running the show until I started noticing that when I did feel that I was trying or making an effort to “get along,” people were still keeping their distance. My anger walked with, talked with me, hugged with me, everything I did there was anger lurking behind, and that pushed people away. Not realizing it was the hostility that emanated from my every move that was causing people to stay back, when I wanted them to be close, made me feel like it was something about me that people didn’t like. Usually out-ruling anger as the problem, I would assume it was the way I looked, how I was dressed, or that I wasn’t interesting enough for anyone to want to be friends with me. I would start to almost cease and think there had to be something about me that wasn’t right, something about me was not operating the way a normal person should. When the problem was simple: I was walking everyday with my sadness, grief, and heartache that presented itself to the outside world as rage. Who wants to walk along someone who only walks with rage?
I know myself that when you have been through a lot, and did not have the opportunity or safe place to talk about how you were feeling, or to express your sadness in a healthy way, it turns into a rage, a rage you want everyone to see and hear. You want everyone to know how angry you are, and you want everyone to know and to acknowledge the wrong that has been done. But the thing is.. people don’t know, and they can’t know by looking at you. If we experience a bad first impression with someone usually we don’t try to go back and learn more, and for someone like me, that can make me feel rejected which fuels my anger more. (Most times anger is a build up of other emotions: sadness, heartbreak, rejection, fear.)
Everyone does not need to know how angry I am.
People are people and that we can’t expect everyone to just know. Nobody knows what someones whole life story is by just looking at them. Let go, and open up. It’s not you, it’s what you are allowing to hold you back. You are letting the angry child that lives inside to hold you back and make you feel inadequate, when the truth is, because of what you have been through, if you allow the space for it, you could move mountains. It’s hard look at your anger as a problem when it has kept you safe(or what you saw as safety) your whole life. I am still learning, I will revisit this and rewrite this story probably 100 more times before I finally figure it out, but right now I am starting off with recognizing it. I am recognizing that it is a problem, and my anger does not make me whole, my anger does not define who I am as a person, and I don’t need to be angry with the world and everyone it. Most importantly: Everyone does not need to know how angry I am.