AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Hello, My Name Is Anger DATE: 3/14/2009 11:45:00 AM ----- BODY:
I'm angry. I should have known. The shortness, the depression, the feeling of being overwhelmed. The impatience with everyone, including strangers.

When the happy salesman came to my door this week, he rang the doorbell and then did an enthusiastic drum cadence with his knuckles as well. The dogs began barking, and the baby monitor hissed out the sounds of a just then napping baby rustling in his crib. I bolted to the front door and opened it just enough to stick my head out and snap, "I've got a sleeping baby in here. I don't care what you are selling." He jumped all four steps down from my stoop with his apology left hanging in a speech bubble that dripped with shame.

He didn't deserve that from me.

Someone attacked a friend of mine yesterday on a blog. Granted, I am a fiercely loyal friend, but it made me far more angry than it should have. I ached for her and wished that I could take on that other woman face to face. The things that ran through my head to say to her were cruel and hurtful. Very hurtful. I didn't say them, but I dwelled on them.

I told Girl this morning that I was feeling mean. She suggested that what I was feeling was really anger. She is so right.

I don't handle anger well. I have pushed it so far down into the places I never reach that when I do feel it, I don't recognize it. Anger doesn't wear disguises; I just don't know it. It stands quietly in front of me, waiting on me to give it the right name tag. I hand it, "Hello, my name is MEAN," or "HURT" or "SAD," and it patiently places each new tag on top of the other one, but answers to none of those names.

When I think about expressing anger, it frightens me. If I say that I'm angry that my parents and my brother's family get to celebrate everyday together, be it Valentine's Day or a talent show, I'm scared I will be misunderstood. It worries me that by feeling a jealous anger, they will think I'm angry at them. Which I'm not. Right beside the jealous anger sits gratitude that they have that time together. They make odd bedfellows, but there they are.

I just wish that I had that time with them too. And stepping back, I don't know if that emotion is anger or not. That one may be sadness. It's hard to tell.

Plus, expressing anger opens up a vulnerability. Back in September when I shut my blog down for awhile, I kept hearing, "Don't let her know you are angry. Don't let her think she got to you." I get that. I get that for some people, knowing you've made another person angry is some sort of victory. But that's not my problem. Was I angry that someone used my blog to violate my husband and try to ruin our first night out since the baby was born? Of course I was. Anger was an appropriate response, but I didn't show it because for some reason I thought that would make me weak.

I don't think anger wants anything from me. I don't think it expects me to dance with it, write songs about it, or paint with it. I think it just wants me to give it the right name tag. I start today.

I'm angry that I lost two more babies. In a row.
I'm angry at loss.

I'm angry that the best my doctor had to offer was, "It happens."
I'm angry at helplessness.

I'm angry that my parents can't come to see us and that I can't get to see them often enough.
I'm angry at disease.

I'm angry at the adults in Lovely's life who don't see her as her own person. Who make decisions for her based on their own desires and bitterness.
I'm angry at selfishness.

I don't live in the anger, but I have been living around it. Skirting it. Giving it all the wrong names. In that, I have given it stayability. I don't want that. Giving it all the wrong names lets it seep out into my everyday life and stain the relationships I have worked so hard to polish.

I name you, Anger, and I give you notice. You are only a feeling. You will not rule my life.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Mrs. Chicken DATE:Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 2:16:00 PM EDT Good for you, Canape. I have the same issues and the same desire to label anger with other, less scary words. This post is empowering not only for you, but for me, too.

I'm angry right now, and I am letting it control me. Thank you for taking my blinders off. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Amanda DATE:Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 11:42:00 PM EDT It's frightening how it can own you, this anger. You are not alone, and you are not angry, you just feel anger. I think it'll be on its way soon. Make way for joy and peace. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 9:24:00 AM EDT Good. Good step.

Now ... use it.

(I don't know about you, but I use anger to clean house. It gives up and slinks away pretty darn quickly that way. And if it doesn't? The house still gets clean, and Happiness, Contentment, and Gratitude didn't have to give up their time to do it.)

Hee. Hee. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 9:31:00 AM EDT You have been facing a bunch of really unfair circumstances. It's fair to be angry. It doesn't make you weak to know this. It makes you stronger in recognizing it and seeing it for what it is. Labeling it lets Anger know that it won't be able to control you or consume you. Anger will simply be an unwelcome guest for awhile. Poke that anger in the chest and let it know that it is not welcome to stay for too long. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Beautifully Unique DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:09:00 AM EDT Great post Marty! I think we can all learn a little something from it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kris DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 11:26:00 AM EDT Good for you. This was a great post. And believe me, I know exactly how you feel. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Magpie DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:26:00 PM EDT Roar! I hope it helps to have gotten it out like that. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Don Mills Diva DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 8:27:00 PM EDT I needed to read this today. Thank you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous the new girl DATE:Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8:18:00 PM EDT Canape--I so relate to the Anger wearing other name tags. It's such a keen metaphor.

Thanks for sharing it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:51:00 AM EDT Amazing post! Take it, shake it and get rid of it!

I know how anger can eat at you. But you did name it, pinpointed it and now you can deal with it.

Best of luck. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Never That Easy DATE:Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 11:34:00 AM EDT I have had this post open in my browser for a few days now, and every time I think I've got a coherent comment to post, it falls apart. Because I am angry too, and I thank you for saying it much better than I could have. ----- --------