Landmines

I am angry.

Yesterday I was hurtful. I tried not to be. First, I felt hurt. Then I took a deep breath, smiled, said it was OK. My friend’s smart. I wasn’t believed: “What do you really feel? I want you to be honest.” “I’ll be fine. I just have to adjust.” “But what are you feeling?” And I said what I was feeling. I never planned to act on it, I was just feeling it for a minute then I’d move on. “That’s just not fair,” he says. I never said it would be, I just felt it. And I wasn’t going to tell. I was pushed. And what I was feeling was hurtful. I wasn’t lashing out, I swear. I was gentle and tactful, just matter of fact honest. But as soon as I voiced it I felt illness settle into my stomach. I was certain I’d vomit. I needed out of the conversation. I had been hurtful, and that was unacceptable. The original pain I’d felt was also my fault. Why was I hurtable?

I shook my head as if doing so actually helps clear it when emotions are the fog settled over me. Why am I blaming myself for both the hurt and the hurting? Why do I believe this about myself? It’s just not reasonable, but I can’t unbelieve it. At least my stomach can’t. My stomach needs to understand why I feel so culpable and I pause to trace origin….

Ah yes. A lifetime of submission to a man who has shouted a reality into existence in which, since he is always right and true, if he is angering it is because I am rebellious, if he is angry it is because I am wrong. All anger is the fault of the Other, as he does no wrong.

Fuck.

I am past this.

I have been working on this for years.

I don’t believe this shit any more. I know better through and through.

Yet I am blindsided by bullshit feelings of complete culpability, denying myself of the right to exist if that existence is counter another, if my needs are inconvenient or unsettling. What is that?

Dad didn’t just emotionally and spiritually abuse me as a child. He created a world that was safe for him, and demanded we all live in it. Then, to keep us from leaving, he seeded the whole world, past present and future, with landmines. Every step I take, every time I feel safe to venture out and say “I am free of the Voice!” I round a corner and BLAM! No legs to stand on. The world will never be free of landmines, no matter how many I diffuse. Damn him.

Today I am okay with being angry.

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