This afternoon I will be asked to think back to my earliest memories and find anger. Then I will watch all of the images flash through my mind until the trip down memory lane becomes one static image. At that point, I will begin processing anger. This could take a while.
My default method of handling emotions is to keep that shit in the vault. Pretend whatever happened didn’t happen. I forget certain people even exist until something or someone reminds me. Then I promptly forget again. This is something one side of my family is famous for and I inherited that ability to the point where it’s as natural as breathing.
It doesn’t take a licensed professional to see how that operating mode can backfire and feelings can manifest themselves in unexpected ways. You know…like anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, insomnia, etc. Several years ago, I had a dream I literally choked to death a person I had excommunicated from my life. And that was years after the fact. I guess I wasn’t over it.
So back to anger. Anger is kind of like sunshine in the desert. I can easily go inside and turn up the A/C but sometimes it’s nice to sit outside and just soak it all in. Sometimes, anger is the one thing that reminds me I’m still alive. It’s kind of like the chronic pain in my back and neck; I’ve dealt with it for so long that most days I forget it’s even there. Then the humidity spikes and all of a sudden, I feel every injury I’ve ever had.
There is extreme humidity in today’s forecast. I don’t want to think about the things that make me angry. I don’t want to think about losing my temper. I don’t want my dogs to wonder WTF happened when I get home from my appointment. I’m a river; I go with the flow. I’m a tree; I bend.