I never really learned how to deal with my anger. I knew at some level, even as a child, that somehow little girls and women are supposed to be ‘nice’. So, I stuffed it down, way down into the depths of my being. I did that for so many years, that I’m sort of conflicted about how to express those feelings now.
At times I feel rage bubbling up inside me like hot lava! It doesn’t always make sense to me why I these feelings can be so intense.
Driving brings out the worst in people. Including myself. In Hawaii, it seems like drivers either drive super fast, and tail you if you’re not going at least 15 miles an hour above the speed limit. Or, they move along slowly, making an effort to be annoying to the line of cars building up behind them.
Today I was driving along merrily on Pahoa bypass road. The speed limit there is 45 mph. I was driving about 5 miles an hour above the speed limit, and this woman decided that she would merge into the one lane highway right at the moment, directly in front of me. This forced me to slow down drastically. Then she proceeded to drive as slow as she could, and made a right turn even slower onto another street, I believe to piss me off.
People are so angry, and reactive-especially when they’re driving. I notice it in myself, and it makes me angrier! I haven’t been able to figure out what it is about that experience of being on the road, and subjected to unkind behavior that boils my blood.
I’m feeling my eyes bulging out, and my heart pumping harder, just recounting this story!
It seems like when these feelings are pushed aside, they get very big. At least that has happened in my case. So big, that I can feel like I’m a scary monster with red eyes that glow in the darkness. I can feel the razor sharp fangs pressed against my lips as I grimace. The steam rising from my brain, and out of my ears.
For me, I still feel I’m being a bad girl, when the anger arises and surprises me. I know that shouting at people, or tailing someone enraged is not the answer. Shoving it down can have unhealthy consequences, too.
In this culture learning of a very particular kind is encouraged. This kind of learning, doesn’t teach us how to deal with uncomfortable feelings. It doesn’t teach emotional intelligence. We’re kind of left on our own, to learn those things, which are so key to being a well-balanced person, and member of society.
Maybe I need to take an anger management class. Or dance around more to really loud music. Or rip up paper and make collages on a daily basis. I’m not sure. I do know that I hate feeling this way. It’s a struggle to accept those not so nice parts of ourselves. I wish there was a guidebook on human emotions, and how to deal with them. One that is worth reading. I haven’t found it yet. Please let me know if you do!