I can’t pinpoint the exact moment or even the day for that matter, that I realized I was a very angry man. I began to remember a lot of the cruel and shameful things that were done to me and by me (to myself). I learned to think I was useless and unimportant at a very young age and I can’t remember a single memory of when I was young that I thought something good about myself. It was rare that anyone said anything good about me. I remember a lot of pain and depression and I can’t seem to remember a happy time. Oh sure, there was the rare holiday memory and a birthday but those memories are a general memory, the pain is exact and clear.
I never acted out in a hateful way or violent way. I was extremely compliant. I was the middle child and I had the full blown middle child syndrome. My younger sibling was an A+ student and was celebrated and rightly so. My older sibling came with pride and hope and mostly that was a cultural attitude, but I must say my older sibling deserved it all. The hard work and discipline they needed to succeed was very apparent. I am using general terms because I don’t want to seem prejudice toward any sex or age. Yes, I used the words, younger and older, as a way to show that each had their own strong attributes. Let’s just say, when I was younger I was filled with envy and jealousy but at my older age, I truly am proud to have them as my siblings.
Lets skip that for now and I will get to it another day because I seem to be drifting off my point.
I knew there was a problem when I had an outburst at work. I became verbally frustrated at a colleague, and my boss at the time (amazing leader and motivator) sat me down and asked me if I was ok. I couldn’t answer her. She offered me a phone number for someone to “talk to”. I took it and 5 minutes later I made an appointment to have my very first therapy session.
Having these sessions saved my sanity!! I came to realize that I do not have to be wounded anymore. I was releasing a lot of my anger through sarcasm. I would make comments to family and friends, and mostly get laughs. I stopped talking to everyone, I didn’t want to seem like some hateful person. I wasn’t ready to be there for anyone because I needed to be there for me. I realized the people that called themselves my friends and also said that they loved me, never stood up for me. I wouldn’t have listened, not because I didn’t want to, because I didn’t know how. I had turned off the world and never spoke up because I didn’t think I was worth it.
Little things bothered me, I would knit pick about anything because now I had a voice and I wanted to be heard. I got rid of everyone in my life that poisoned me. I very quickly realized I was not missed. The people I pushed away didn’t reach out. Well, there was a handful of people that needed me. I know because they said so. I didn’t want to forgive the people that hurt me, why should they be forgiven? How dare they deceive me. How dare they use me. Even while I write this I can see every single face laughing at me when I got hurt and when I made a mistake.
With the help of my therapist, I realized staying angry will not change anything. I was stubborn though, I didn’t want to let it go. I had the right to be angry. I was lashing out though, I would burst out at anyone that confronted me in anyway. I would be enjoying something, like a movie or reading a book and my mind would start replaying a moment that I felt ashamed of or hurt by and time would stop. I would shake my mind off the memory and continue with what I was doing or watching. Then I would get angry at myself for letting that memory crawl back into my mind. Am I cursed with this anger? How will I let it go? I wanted someone to explain it to me so I could just move on. Then it happened…
I was scooping ice cream (heavenly hash) into a bowl and I had a white shirt on. I forgot to mention, I LOVE wearing white t-shirts, and I accidently smeared the ice cream on my shirt. You see, I take very care of my shirts, I love how white they are!! The shirts started symbolizing the perfect and pure life I always wanted. Yes I know, I need therapy. Well, duh!!
MY initial reaction was…
“oh for fuck sakes, I am such an idiot and goddamn it and fuck fuck fuck…”
Then for whatever reason, I looked down and said…
“Meh..it’s just a stain on my shirt.”
You see, my life is full of stains. Some darker then others, but as time goes by they are fading away because I am continuing to live. Not just live, but living under my terms. Also, once you have a stain on your shirt. It will never come off but if you wash it it may fade enough so that you aren’t embarrased by it or ashamed by your mistake. Stains happen.
Oh I forgot to mention, you can always get a new shirt.