Anger

Anger came up in therapy this week. My therapist asked me about my father’s anger and at first I struggled to come up with situations where my father’s anger got out of control. The only situation I could think of when I was five and he was driving erratically, so much so that my Mom had us get on the floor of the backseat of the car… I don’t remember my father in the situation but I do remember the level of fear in my Mom.

Then it all came back to me at once, all the times my father acted like a belligerent fool.  I think the most frightened I was of my father was when I was in eighth grade. My father left my Mom for another woman. They say that when someone leaves a spouse with children that they don’t leave the children, that is a lie. He left us all for broke. My Mom didn’t work outside of the home, that is how my father wanted it. So when he left he took his money and left her with all the bills including a house payment. My Mama was forced to get a job to try to pay the bills.

Of course she was going to change the locks, that is only natural… Well my father did not like that a bit. He wanted all of his stuff. I still remember the times he would come to the house. I am not sure if my Mom had told us to go to our room every time but all my memories of him coming to the house were with me in my bedroom.

I can remember the fear I felt as I hid underneath my pillow and blanket. I can remember praying that my father wouldn’t knock the door down. I can remember hoping that he would just go away. I can also remember him screaming and swearing at the top of his lungs. I also quite remember him threatening my Mother’s life. He was so loud and mean, I swear he was going to break down the door. Thankfully he never did.

Those incidents forever changed me. After that point I became horribly fearful of my father. My father was very much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… One minute he was nice as can be and the next he was fuming mad out of control. I learned very quickly to walk on egg shells when ever I was around him.

I can remember during the separation being forced to talk to him and the therapist. I can remember the anger in his voice. I also remember not wanting to be there.

From then on my views of my father had changed, as I knew who my father really was. He wasn’t going to fool me any longer. When my Mom let him back in the house months later I was devastated and so frightened… So much so that I couldn’t handle my feelings and tore my room apart in anger.

The next year my father tried to throw his weight and power around the house. He tried to control us all. One incident involved with him shoving me in my room (I am not sure what caused it) and me running away from home. I may not remember what caused him to shove me but I do remember the fear I felt.

When I ran away I didn’t go far. I didn’t know where to go at first. I sat underneath the big oak tree in our back wooded area as the snow began to fall. I remember my Mom yelling for me, begging me to come home. I was too scared. After I couldn’t stand the cold any longer I walked about a mile to a classmates house and called my best friend, who had his sister come pick me up.

That night I spent the night at his house I felt so safe. I didn’t want to go back to that house with my father still there but I didn’t have a choice.

The next few years I tried to stay away from the house as much as I could. I also noticed a difference in my personality. Prior to my father leaving my Mom, I was a happy child. I loved school and my friends. After that, everything changed… and so did I.

No one at school knew what had happened and I made sure of that. I was embarrassed. I started to push everyone away. I went from being popular, to unpopular. I went from being President of the Student Council of Middle School to being a nobody in High School. I am not even sure how I passed my sophomore year of High School.

There are only two other incidents that I can remember where my father was out of control with his anger.

The only other memory I have of him during my childhood rated at the top of the most scared I have ever been. My sister and I were in the living room. It was a Saturday night. My parents were both in their bedroom with the door closed. I can remember hearing this loud shrill noise coming from my mother.

I knew something was wrong and quickly dialed 911. This was even before I saw anyone come out of the bedroom. I didn’t need to see anything to know danger existed at the hands of my father. My Mom came out of the bedroom in tears. I don’t quite know what exactly happened other than my father shoved my Mom… After that my father left. I was so relieved. I found out later that my father had checked himself into the mental hospital.

911 never came…

Again my father came back…

The only other time I can remember was when I was an adult when I stood up for my Mom, which my father did not appreciate at all. He shoved me for the final time. The other time my father shoved me I ran and hide… but not this time. This time I shoved him back. Well I actually did more than shove. I picked him up like a rag doll and tossed him across the room. I can remember him falling into the filing cabinet and then onto the floor. I proceeded to get on top of him. I can remember wanting to squish his head.

This time 911 did come and my father did his best to play the victim by saying he had a heart condition (which he didn’t) and said he was afraid to be around me with his guns. My sister, Mom and I ended up leaving the house. I didn’t ever go back.

I was also no longer afraid of my father. It was also the only time I have ever been in a fight. I am not sure if that is something to be proud of! 🙂

I know that coming out wasn’t a good memory either. I was told often I was going to hell, among many other hateful things.

My father was also known for his religious views. Whenever he would start talking about them to others they would run fast and far. He was very cult like in his religious beliefs. It was all do as I say and not as I do. Early on, even before I came out for being gay, he instilled a deep fear of God and the end of the world. So much that I had this reocurring nightmare of the end of the world, where Jesus would call the names of those who got to go to heaven. MY NAME WAS NEVER CALLED!

I know that my parents fought often. I can remember instances where we would be headed into town and my parents would get into an argument, which usually meant heading back home…

Other than that, I can’t recall other times. It is almost like I have blocked out much of my childhood.

Anger scares me… frightens me deeply. I hide from it usually. I run from confrontation. To this day whenever someone gets mad at me, it feels like the end of the world… especially if it is someone I love…

My therapist asked me to show my anger towards God for taking my Mother and I couldn’t… I won’t lie I am very angry at my Mama dying but I struggle with letting it out. I want to yell at the top of my lungs but nothing comes out.

There has been only a few times in my life where I felt like my anger has been out of control. One of those situations was when I first started dealing with the sexual abuse. I can remember saying my abusers name over and over in a fit of rage, in which I ended up being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts.

The few times I have been angry like that I never did anything with it, as in with my actions but it still frightens me to think about. I guess my biggest fear is that I will be just like my father. Maybe that is what stops me from being angry because it reminds me of my father.

When it comes to fight or flight. I almost always choose flight… Unless I am pushed to a point where I have to fight. You can only take so much before you stand up for yourself or others. That is what happened in my last relationship. My ex-boyfriend told me about his temper early on but I didn’t listen. I never thought I could do anything to warrant him losing his cool. I will admit I was not perfect but I didn’t deserve getting threatened.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get myself in a situation where I would be in an almost abusive relationship. Someone who I got in a relationship with someone just like my father. I didn’t leave because the fear of being alone. I was willing to put up with getting hurt over that fear.

Again I found myself having to walk on egg shells. The first time was on Thanksgiving when I was inches away from being stabbed in my thigh with a fork. This all over how I reacted to my ex thinking he got a virus on my laptop… After that incident I learned what not to do to make him angry. I can remember when we would fight and being able to see his rage boil. I can remember him lunging towards me like he was going to going to hit me. I can remember thinking don’t make him mad, please settle down…

I didn’t feel I could leave so I froze…

The last straw was when he came at me with a big, thick stick he had brought in from outside. Again he came inches from hitting me in the head with it. I went from fear to anger. I proceeded to get up and pushed him against the wall, telling him to get the fuck out of MY apartment. He wouldn’t leave. I told him I was going to call the cops and he told me to go ahead…

I won’t lie I was scared senseless but I didn’t let it show… That night I hide in my bedroom, afraid what he might do… Thankfully he calmed down. Later the next day I told him that my lease was up at the end of the month and I wasn’t renewing my lease, that he needed to find a place to live… I went home to Michigan for a few weeks and he was gone by the time I got back…

As much as I loved him, I couldn’t put my life at risk any longer.

So yeah I have had my fair share of dealing with other peoples anger…

I have to realize that it is not anger that is harmful, it how you handle the emotion. When anger turns into rage or even worse violence that is when it is is dangerous.

Bottling anger up is also not healthy, that is how you burst. People are just like balloons, you fill them with too much and they either go flying around the room or they explode! Being angry is healthy and normal, so is talking about it. I have to remember this. I also have to remember that I am not like my father at all.

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