Exquisite Transitions

Exploring the opportunities and gifts of changing times

Running for cover…no more

It doesn’t happen often anymore. Me getting furious that is. And when I think back, getting to the point that I could even experience getting enraged was a journey unto itself. So the transition seems to be coming full circle.

I began my life under the roof of a rageaholic. It wasn’t constant, mind you, but it was a pattern. My Dad had a lot of undealt with emotions that would come out in fits of rage, usually towards situations with strangers or acquaintances. Rarely towards family. But my Mom and I had to live with the fuse blowing and the explosions coming from out of the blue for many years. So I became the person who “didn’t get angry.”

That lasted until I met the man who would eventually become my hubby. Bless him for being my road to freeing the Mars energy within me–that battle hungry god who is willing to die in battle for the right to express anger. Of course it started as fear of those feelings, and fear of the consequence of expressing them…such as losing my then boyfriend.

Over the years I went from tentatively expressing these feelings, to openly, freely expressing them anywhere at anytime–and be prepared to duck because (and I’ll never here the end of this one) the shrimp may go flying across the kitchen at you!

Frying, Soon to Be Flying, Shrimp

I’m not sure how I got from that place to where I am today. I suspect its about having moved through the judgment of these feelings as being unacceptable, to being acceptable, yet out of control and inappropriately expressed (no role model for that), to recognizing them when they are present, yet having the presence of mind to feel them without lashing out until there is greater clarity about what is really troubling. Usually I find that underneath it all is hurt.

Given that Anthony and I haven’t quarreled in a very long time, amazing given our early history, it is interesting that we had the opportunity to see how we both deal with this old dynamic “today.” It seems we have BOTH come a long way!

The details about what set me off are less important than the change within me and how I dealt with the energy-in-motion (e-motion) moving through me, before interacting with Anthony. Equally as awesome was how differently Anthony dealt with me and the situation in general.

So this morning I felt a growing resentment and anger, which culminated into a fury of sorts when I saw something which I had asked Anthony do for me, something that meant a great deal to me, basically done very carelessly and without regard for its importance to me. It epitomized the very resentment and anger I was feeling, and now added this very personal element of hurt–a disrespect for my feelings and what I felt was important.

This was a recipe for flying shrimp!

Well, it was 9 am and there was no shrimp in sight. In fact my day was laid out to do spring cleaning chores and I was clear that I did not want the day to be taken over by these feelings, or to be hijacked by anger going back and forth between us. Thankfully Anthony was still sleeping and I kept on with my early chores, allowing the feelings to move through me, all the while knowing that I was not ready to discuss them with him, and really just wanted the house to myself until I was ready to speak with him.

When he did wake and saw that I was upset, he asked “what was going on” and I said something like, “I am busy, and you’re not, but I don’t want to talk about it now.”  He did not directly confront me to talk about it then and there as he would have in the past. My voice was calm, not disdainful, just stating the fact–and I imagine conveying my intention that I did not want to lash out at him.  His response was, “Oh boy, I guess I should leave the house then.” “That’s probably a good idea.” Both, calm statements of fact. Really interesting!

As I did laundry, washed windows and curtains, I shed a few tears of hurt, which washed away much of the anger, even knowing there was basis in experience for what I was feeling, that did need to be discussed. However I was clear that doing so in the heat of the moment would not be useful.

A couple of hours later he called to see if it was “safe” to come home, to which I said yes, I was on my way out. “Are you still mad?” “I am angry, and very hurt, but we’ll talk about it later.” Then he said it–I thought my teeth would fall out of my mouth: “Well, I am very sorry about whatever has you so angry and hurt, and I will try my best to rectify it after we’ve talked.”  WHAT?

Even after I came home I wasn’t quite ready to talk; I had just bought a salad, wanted to eat it without a knot in my stomach and told him so. So when we were both ready, we sat down and without a lot of back and forth I expressed the stress I had begun to feel again, the resentment that had been building and that I did not want to this continue. Then I got to what had hurt me so and why.

By the time we spoke, each of us had chance to reflect, to experience our e-motions, make choices about how we wanted the dynamics between us to unfold (or more likely, how we didn‘t want them to unfold). So when all was said and done, we discussed what we needed to, without drama, without lashing out and with the clarity that we were not out to hurt each other. We were able to continue our day free of any lingering anger or tension between us, yet clearer on where we each stood about the issues at hand.

Despite how the day began, I feel extremely blessed that we have experienced such growth in how we manage these extreme emotions and that we can do so with love and respect for ourselves and for each other. Amen!


  tasinator wrote @

That is so interesting…I read this after completing a draft explaining how I’ve decided that instead of fighting against my impatience/intolerance, I’m learning to recognize what sets it off and trying to avoid those situations.

Congratulations to you for also recognizing the situation for what it was and avoiding the out-of-control repsonse 😉

[…] Running for Cover No More I wrote about my journey of getting in touch with and learning how to express anger in healthy […]

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