This week, Recovering a Sense of Power, the key takeaway for me was about Anger. It also included sections/questions about childhood and a section on criticism, both of which, are sore points and prone to inciting hurt and rage (especially the former), so the theme for me seemed to run through this entire chapter.
Whilst most Brits bite down on their anger because they don’t perceive it as being a ‘nice’ thing to express, I have no such problem; indeed historically I have had to curb and temper mine else it overspills into counter productive reactions that, long term, benefit no one, least of all myself.
My Anger is like an big, fierce, slightly menacing friend who intimidates everyone else, whom I can’t help but love and value because know what’s in her heart, appreciate her loyalty and know that she only wants to protect me from those who would bully, intimidate, and take advantage of my vulnerability. So whilst I wish she was a little more subtle sometimes, I could never totally eradicate her from my life, because she has saved it and me on more than one occasion.
There was a time when being ‘Ms Don’t Fuck With Me’ seemed to serve me pretty well as very few people did, everyone knew where they stood, and for the most part, no one got hurt. But, in hindsight, it takes a very special kind of person to be friends with the formidable, most men were either intimidated or ‘ambulance chasing dogs’ (i.e. only there for the ‘challenge’), and unsurprisingly not everyone wants to employ a kick ass bitch.
I did mellow over the years, but, more recently, as the ridiculous levels of responsibility of my job started to weigh heavy, and my boss started to bully me (being fully aware of my illness) my health deteriorated, I became less confident, visibly vulnerable and obvious prey to those in power. And whilst my Anger was suppressed by drugs and fear, she hadn’t completely disappeared; she had only gone to ground, and there in the dark, she seethed and boiled with resentment at her incarceration, she festered and grew, and the day she saw me being pushed too far, she broke free from her shackles, and because I was too beaten and tired to care about the consequences, I let her pounce on my enemies, seize them by throat and even when it seemed to me that the only choice was to concede defeat, she, bless her heart, would not give up the fight, and hung on until not only were they bloodied and defeated, but still fearful to this day.
This terrible, relentless form of justice left more casualties than the enemy; I myself was exhausted, wounded, and am still recovering, and whilst I do not regret what came to pass, I am now aware that I could have handled the situation long before it got so out of hand.
I could have walked away and found a better life for myself.
Certain things such as injustice, cruelty, cheating and people who take advantage of others will always enrage me, but if I’ve learned nothing else from the last 50 years it is that I need to channel my passion effectively, find the middle ground between ‘kick ass bitch’ and ‘whipped dog’, choose my battles wisely and address things honorably and swiftly first before taking things to the next level.
There will always be some things that need to be handed over to righteous Anger to solve (with the help of her sisters Power and Tenacity, also very good friends of mine), and my battle with my ex employers was one of them. But as there is no obvious threat on the horizon, I think as a token of my love and appreciation, she can take a well deserved holiday (at a nice relaxing yoga retreat perhaps 😉 ) and I’ll give her a call if and when I need her.
After all, that’s what friends are for.