It appears I’m angry

One of the emotions I haven’t really felt since Christofer’s death is anger. I have had bouts of it. Short-lived and generally tempered with reason. I don’t like angry. Anger is too close to rash. It makes us say and do things we don’t mean. Or wish we didn’t mean. A lot of truth comes out in those angry bursts we would never spout without unfettered rage. For some, it’s cleansing. For me, for whatever reason, it isn’t. It makes me feel small and mean and, for want of a better word, dumb. No one listens to angry ranting, even if the spewing holds some truth. If you want to be heard, be funny. (An angry comic is always the best teacher, IMO.) If you can’t be funny, be sincere in a gentler way. Your truth will be heard and listened to, and never get brushed off with, “That was the anger talking.”

I live by this. I always have. But it appears I am angrier than I suspect. I keep it in. I don’t admit to it. I don’t give it voice. And thus I dream. Angry, angry dreams that I don’t even acknowledge. And then, last night, Chris was angry for me.

He was here, but only had a day, and he was so angry. He didn’t want to see his friends. He didn’t want to do any of the things he used to love. There were people here, largely ignoring him even when I cried, “But he’s only here for a day and then he’ll be gone again. Don’t you understand?” But no one did. No one cared. Just before I woke for the last time–because I kept waking, going back to sleep and picking up the dream again–he was asking the Dean of WestConn if he could wear a particular orange, sparkly leisure suit for his school picture. He was refused. I pleaded, “Don’t you understand? He’ll be dead again in just a few hours. What does it matter if he wears an orange sparkly leisure suit?”

Gads. I guess you don’t have to be a genius to read that dream accurately. So yes, I am angry, and I guess it’s time to admit it out loud. Ready?

I’m angry that he was so alone in the end.* I’m angry we didn’t comprehend just how bad the depression was. I’m angry that a young man I thought loved us all like family would give Chris the means to destroy us all. I’m angry he didn’t speak up, warn us. I’m angry that, after all Chris had been through, after all the pain and fighting and frustration, he didn’t make it. I’m angry that I wasn’t able to save him. I’m angry that love wasn’t enough. I’m angry that all the good he did for others, all the time and effort he gave out hoping to get even a little of the same back, never materialized. I’m angry that he was forgotten, swept aside like something not worth dealing with. I’m angry that he always felt like he didn’t belong. I’m angry that no matter what persona he adopted, it wasn’t the right fit. I’m angry that he didn’t have it better, that his whole being was destroyed at the age of fifteen, that during those long months recovering, he sat here alone. Friendless. Mourning the death of who he had been, all he’d planned on being. I’m angry with him, for not speaking up. For making that choice. For not being here. That I’m not Turtle anymore. I’m angry because I’m sad. All. The. Time. Even the joys are tempered with grief, and always will be from now on. I’m angry because I have to stay strong even when I want to crumble, because if I crumble, everyone does.

I’m angry. So, so angry. Because I already had more than my fair share of grief in this life. And now this has happened. This is my reality. There is no changing it. I’m angry because the words, “Why me? Again!” come to mind too often, and it makes me feel like a whiner.

Well…do I feel better? In a way, I guess. Reading back over all that, I see the truth in my anger, and I see the other side of every coin I tossed up. Because there is one in every case. I’m stronger than my anger. Way stronger. I’m smarter than it too. But we all have that primitive brain that needs to throw rocks once in a while. Mine just got its chance. Maybe next time I dream of Chris, he won’t feel the need to be angry for me.

*There was one young man who was here almost daily, right up until the end. He knows who he is. So if you’re reading this, or your mom or sister are, know I haven’t forgotten.

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34 Comments

Filed under Life's honest moments

34 responses to “It appears I’m angry

  1. sarahhegger

    And in this post, you honor yourself, and that anger that needs to be heard.

    Like

  2. Could have been my words…..love you for speaking truths

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      ❤ Jackie.

      Like

    • Jennifer Goddard

      Of course you are angry. I’m angry, too. Really really angry. But then, my dear friend, unlike you, I do anger well. I’m not exactly proud of it, but it’s a fact. I’m actually surprised when people do NOT get angry. I have found that anger is like any other type of energy – you can channel it into something good, some action that makes a difference; or you can just let it explode into a vapor of “blown off steam.” I don’t know what you should do with your anger and would never try to tell you what to do about anything anyway — but for Heaven’s sake, don’t deny it, don’t be ashamed of it, and don’t waste it. Love you forever!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Terri-Lynne DeFino

        Thanks, Jen. Yes, I know you’re comfortable with anger. I envy it sometimes. I guess it’s just not me. It makes me unhappy. Still, guess it has its place and I needed to bean some things with stones. ❤ you back.

        Like

  3. I was getting a bit worried about you. I would never say anything, no one has the right to tell someone how to grieve, but I thought you’ve been holding it together all too well. Of course, you’re angry and you should be. It’s not whining, it’s pure rage and it’s part of being human.

    I would have been breaking dishes, glasses, etc long before now.

    I hope it did make you feel better and every time the anger starts to bubble up, you let it out somehow and don’t feel bad about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      This is what I do. I handle things. In the process, I do bury a lot, I’m aware. But I do let it all fly in my writing. It’s my outlet, so it’s not completely bottled up.
      Thanks for worrying about me. ❤

      Like

  4. Anger is as human an emotion as all the others. You’re entitled to feel that way and I’m glad you made this post. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart hurts for you. I feel helpless in the face of this – I have, I do, I probably always will. I’m always around if you need to be angry or need a shoulder to cry on or maybe I’ll even forget my dignity for a while and we’ll get drunk and dance on the beach this spring. Love you so much, Terri. (((((((Terri)))))))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anger is natural. Rage is a normal response to the unfairness of life. You need to throw rocks. You need to punch a pillow or pound the ground. You need to scream and fight until the tears flow and all the pent up emotion is allowed to explode out of you. It isn’t pretty, but it helps, at least for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      I have discovered that my form of punching pillows is more in my writing than I ever realized. I knew it was an outlet, but this post proves that it’s way more powerful than I thought.
      Thank you, Renee. I think I’d like to break some dishes too, just because it would feel good. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Everyone grieves in their own manner. Goodness knows there’s no friggin’ handbook for it. Your anger is wholly justified. And, as everyone else has already mentioned, it will be cathartic in some way. Don’t bottle it up. Write it, scream it, whatever you need. It’s important for you and it honors you both. ❤ ❤

    Like

  8. Debbie

    I know that only love will win out in your heart and home, but anger still has its place. I am glad that you are letting yourself feel it, and so, so sad and also furious for the circumstances that have caused it. I do anger pretty well, so furious fits (for me).

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Anger and I have never been simpatico. I have always been a peaceful, peacekeeping sort. I’m lucky to have friends like you.

      Like

  9. Mark Nelson

    Hugs. We live too far apart, frankly. Maybe we should meet in KC and cook and write for a weekend or a month.😄

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is good work you are doing here, Terri. Good and hard and intense. Naming all those things with all the raw feelings of each of them is allowing them to be felt fully. As I read each of the things that you named, even though I don’t know you in person, I feel the grief, the anguish, the pain. I can feel your son’s pain and loneliness, and I feel great love for him, for you, for your whole family.
    In a sense this is the true gift of anger–to share this raw energy. It seems that when we suppress that intense feeling, it seeps out in our daily life, toward it is only when we supress our reprI’m glad you are sharing it with us, otherwise it can get strangled into a nameless st is to be shared or else it will strangle us or have personally I felt This is your way, your healing, your journey

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was trying to say that it seems that suppressed anger is the kind that ends up coming out in violence toward ourselves and others. And that can stay with us like a stone in our shoes, unexamined and not shaken out. So thank you for sharing your pain and anger and grief and love. When all of us can feel this for each other, we are truly present for all of life. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      You are very right, Lorraine. And sharing it, finding our own hearts in someone else’s situation, not only helps diffuse the anger, but puts some good vibes out into the universe.

      Like

  12. You are entitled to be angry!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  13. Hello, Sister. I saw this post shortly after it went up, but wanted to wait for a moment when I’d have some time to put my thoughts together.

    For years and years, I was also very uncomfortable with anger as an emotion; but sometime during my late 30s early 40s, thanks in part to a wonderful therapist, I learned to respect my anger. Even harness it – though not always as well as I’d like. 😉

    Forgive me for putting a feminist spin on this (you know I can’t help it), but the truth is women are taught that our anger is a bad thing. We’re acculturated into suppressing our anger, and this does us a lot of damage.

    Anger is a healthy and useful emotion that deserves our respect. It simply must be expressed, or it eats us up inside. Anger is also a primordial impulse to action.

    I’ve lost count of the number of movies I’ve seen where the hero is moved to his final, greatest heroic action because of his anger. Geeky example: When Luke Skywalker’s aunt & uncle are killed, the anger he feels is the motivating impulse to learn the Force and rise up against the Empire.

    Anger must be our motivating impulse as well. Not to act in anger, mind you, but to allow the energy of that emotion to drive us toward deliberate, well-considered action – action that often addresses the cause of our anger.

    You’ve done that here, you know; addressing the causes of your anger by writing and sharing in your many posts since Chris’s death. I think that’s both remarkable and admirable. If you weren’t angry, or conscious of your anger, all those people who find comfort and companionship in your words would be a little more lonely in this world.

    All this to say, love your anger, Terri. Own it. Whether you realize it or not, anger is part of what makes you beautiful.

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    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      How beautifully expressed. Thank you, Karin. You help me see more clearly. I’m a peaceful being by nature, despite my kooky sort of chaos. I do get angry, obviously, right? But I do think ( hope ) I channel it well and quickly to a place better suited to make a positive impact on my life. If I’m lucky, for others, too. Thank you. You are so extraordinary.

      Like

  14. In such a short time I have learned so much about you and from you. Your strength comes through your words, and your anger is expressed as a tool of understanding. I wish you comfort and peace as you morn your loss.

    Like

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Thank you, love. I wear it all in the open. It helps. I get to lay all the pain out in here so I can do fun things like make people laugh at a FB launch party. 🙂

      Like

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