Anger as a Battle Cry

Lately I’ve had a lot of people talk to me about anger.  Anger is fear turned outward. Anger is dangerous.  Anger is hurt.  One friend said to me, just a month into this disaster, “Still in the anger stage, huh?” after I referred to X as a fucker in conversation. 

All of this makes me feel like people think anger isn’t a real feeling. It’s a mask.  It’s a cover.  It’s less than.  It’s dangerous.  But the truth is, anger has gotten me through some really tough moments.  Just today, I was feeling very sad, reliving the days of his leaving, the things he said, the ways he justified his abandonment with contradicting excuses that left me feeling like I was really the problem.  The way he left me without a family of my own. I began to reread the email explanation he sent me after he left.  It was so painful to read I began sobbing uncontrollably.  He hurt me so much.  He betrayed me.  He lied and lied to me for years.  It was so intense, I began to pace back and forth.  I walked to the bedroom, sobbing.  I fell to my knees and cried.  I wailed and then screamed.  Hunched over, I screamed some more and pounded my fists on the floor.  I felt this jolt through me, like electricity.  Then I stood up.

Before the screaming, I felt like I would feel the intensity of this sadness and hurt so acutely for the rest of eternity.  After screaming, I felt release.  I got up, went to my laptop, and began writing him a letter.  It was the angriest letter I’ve written him since he left, and I’ve written quite a few.  (I don’t send them.  They are for me.)  I couldn’t type fast enough.  I pretend told him exactly what I thought of him, how horrible he was, how horribly he had treated me, and how disgusting it is that he left me for another woman.  And when I was done, I felt better.  I actually felt better.

I think it’s true that anger is hurt or fear turned outward.  I was feeling hurt and fear before I got angry.  I was feeling it so intensely I was in physical pain.  But anger was my battle cry.  It was the way I turned things around and fought back.  The way I got myself back up.  I don’t believe this anger is unhealthy or dangerous.  It got me through a very difficult moment.  While I’m sure that anger can be dangerous if it’s the default emotion or the armor used to not feel anything else, in my case, I believe my anger is justified and healthy.  It’s part of the complex web of emotions I feel.  And it is sometimes a tool to get me through the most painful moments of my days. 

2 thoughts on “Anger as a Battle Cry

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  1. Kate! Love your processing on my “paper”! That’s so good! This is why I say you’re doing better than you realize. You are able to actually go through the process and feel everything and not put it aside. Not put yourself aside. That’s very powerful. Anger is healthiest when you can express it just as you did! Great job! You are taking good care of you! I’m proud of you friend! Love you much, I know this has been so incredibly hard but the silver lining is you get to see just how amazing you really are.

    Liked by 1 person

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