I could feel the heat of the sun as I slammed my front door behind me. It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I had to walk through the whole town to pick up my car. I hated the idea of walking and feeling the heat on my neck. I could already sense a headache coming as I thought about the monstrous amount of money I had to pay for a repair that should have been done last year. My brakes were shot and rusted and worn because some thingy was broken and had been for over a year. With each step alongside the busy main street I cursed at my ex.
Find a job, walk, ask from others for the money, were his solutions.
I had given him the opportunity to belittle me. He took with pride. It was his chance to let me know how meaningless my job was, how worthless my time was. How dare he.
I was angry.
I was tense.
I could feel as my neck began to spasm as I turned to the right; something had caught my eye, and my nose. Right there on the main street were cows, eating hay, swatting flies. Despite standing in a small dark room, and hearing the cars drive by they were seemingly content, and I realised; why should I allow him to ruin my day?
I continued to walk, and the angry began to dissipate. I could feel the breeze that soothed the heat away and made the sunshine bearable, even nice. I began to take deep breathes in, holding it in, making my body soften, and releasing it, releasing the thoughts, the images, the hammering comments. I blew away his horrid voice. I breathed in hope, my new beginning, my life ahead. And with each breath I felt like myself again.
But I could feel that it would come back. I knew I had to find a solution to such draining moments, when my whole existence seemed to be questioned, and the only thing left was irritation.
So then, how do you deal with anger? How do you deal with that remaining emotion that pounds on your chest as you walk away from someone, a stranger yelling at you? I had asked my therapist, the one who seemed to have all the answers.
“Just look at the facts.” Ok, so the fact is they are yelling at me. That means they are using primitive styles of behaviour. Something activated them. So at that moment you cannot reason with them. Therefore you just “deal” with it.
But how do I deal with my own anger? To me it seemed as if all of a sudden I began to feel angry, which is usually not a trait of mine. I had to first identify when it started, and why.
After much thought It dawned on me. I began to feel angry when my car needed to be repaired. it was a repair that my ex husband already knew about, but never got fixed, and now more than a year later, it had to be done. I sat there in the waiting room staring at the bill and thinking to myself, how am I going to survive. I could either fix the car or live. My whole monthly income was the cost of fixing the car, and without a car I could not drive the kids to school or work. I felt like I was falling down a perpetual spiral. My world, that I had glued together with spit, was tumbling out of control, and I was angry. My ex had yet again threatened my survival, and I was trying to find a way out.
Despite recognising where the anger came from, I still could not find a way to deal with the anger. I needed for the emotional suffocation to be eliminated. After researching different techniques to remove the anger, which involved meditation, walking, music, aromatherapy, none of these seemed to do anything but push the anger away. This did not seem to remove it at all, but instead move it to the side. Music would tame it, meditation would silence it, but still the heavy burden remained.
And then I spoke to my cousin, a psychologist herself, and sometimes one who had dealt with anger, and now seemed to know how to live with it.
“Anger is something that we need as humans. It is as useful as any other emotion. But just like other emotions, the excess is unnecessary, and even hindering to life.”
What I needed to do was visualize. I needed to send the anger away, beat it out, let it all out, until I was exhausted, empty, drained. It would be until then that I would feel lighter.
After much thought, I sat myself down after talking to my ex. I could feel the rigidness of my hand as it clenched the phone. I sat down in my favorite chair and stared out the window. Before me the clouds turned pink, orange, and purple. They slowly drifted away, and I began to breathe. 1...2...3...4 hold it. I imagined closing a door in front of him, locking it. And walking away. He could remain there, hidden for good. I never needed to open that door, again. And with each step I released my breathe, and with it I grew stronger.