Well, this is the sugar-free section, isn't it? As anyone looking at this probably knows, I recently got a divorce. Funny, I don't feel any older;) But I do feel tired. I am out of the thickest patch of torrential emotions--the part where I was begging God for an answer to the question "should I stay in this even though I want to die every day?" But now that the decision has been made and the procedure is final, the process has morphed into something that brings out what were the most stealthy of my emotions. Something like handling the five stages of death. And anger, I'm afraid, is one of them. I find that I am set off pretty easily and fly into a private rage at things that I never have before.
The two main anger triggers within myself seem to be: when people don't show that they care about me and I've shown it a lot to them over the years, and when the young cat that I adopted, Ferdi, digs in things and spills things on the floor. It's not that these things aren't upsetting naturally. It's just that my anger as a result of them is way overblown.
When I track my thoughts during those times, they go either to resentment-fueled anger (courtesy of the lack-of-caring instigator, which I am partly responsible for) or positively-exhausted and helpless anger (courtesy of the cat incessantly getting into stuff).
In other words, this is a confession--I might seem nice to everyone, but a couple people know that there are times when I can't hold up against the fire in myself and it torches down the world I know if only for five minutes.
Last night, for instance, I was going to take a bath. Baths are times that I consider sacred. I find them to be the most pleasurable part of some days. For year's, I've gravitated toward the ritual of drawing a hot tub, leaving the lights low and grabbing a book to read while I soak. Last night, I was so tense and needed a bath. But the plug to the tub was gone (Mr. X may have taken it by accident when he moved his stuff out while I was in the states). Guess what? I kind of lost my mind.
In all fairness, I was stewing before this point over a few things that x audaciously took in the move---things that he deemed his even though there was a discussion to be had around them---so I think that steam was building up. When I asked about a book he took, which I thought was at least both of ours, he pushed back and said it was his, period, but I could borrow it. It happens to be about tantric sex and by an author who we met and I am acquainted with--I never got a chance to finish it and was interested in doing so.
Back to the plug. When I discovered it missing, I thought to myself "why wouldn't he care if he took this plug? How could he not know that this is one of the very few comforts I have in life right now?"
I realized that after knowing me for three and a half years he didn't know. He didn't know much about me at all, in fact. And that's not his fault, it's mine for settling or gambling recklessly on him eventually, over many, many years, perhaps knowing me a little.
I proceeded to flip out all by myself. Crying, hitting pillows around the house. My mind reeled not about the plug but about my needs being invisible to people--that plug was a need of mine, a very simple little thing for someone to notice as necessary to let be. But you know what I am discovering? It's my responsibility to be visible:
It all fit in with the rest of the puzzle pieces I've received lately in therapy sessions and heart-to-heart talks with counselors and friends&family, respectively. They all tell me in one way or another that I have to start watching out for myself on a more nuanced yet powerful level. That I try to give too much to people and don't consider myself enough and this sets up an anger cycle. And that my ego is gratified by creating dependencies with people so that they need me, I feel needed, they don't necessarily give much to me, I complain, they are annoyed, repeat. My complaints eventually turn into rage.
This is not a new thing, but it is a brand new phenomenon that I understand it--it's like a self-help mountain to climb, but at the top, there will be a transformed energy within me--one that is giving of itself because it's tended by me, moment by moment, decision by decision. This involves slowing down, and that's not something I am terribly good at--at this point, it's pretty essential for me to just get good at it.
So I'm learning. My behavior last night was so ugly, even if it was just me here, crying alone. I soon came to my senses and forgave myself, because it was essentially a release of a lot of pent-up stuff rather than me being really petty about a drain cap. I mean, I've lived among the poorest people in the world and washed my clothes for months with a bar of soap and bathed in less water than most people fill their sinks with every day--I don't really need a bath that bad.
Ferdi is the biggest challenge though. He knocks every little thing off of counters and hits it around. He scratches things and runs up to Pasha and bats him in the face. I need to get a powerful squirt gun or something so I can save my palms ... he never listens to me clap or say his name sternly. He just ignores it and continues. I am sometimes tempted to kick his little butt out. But I won't because in about six months he'll be more mature--that's what I tell myself, and my anger.