Anger, Guilt and A Lot of Woe Is Me

When you write a nasty message to a company on Facebook at close to midnight remember that there is a human being on the other end managing that social media account that gets a ping to their phone. And then they read the message. And then they can’t sleep. Because they’ve had such a year that they’d really like to tell YOU how terrible YOU are for making such a HUGE deal out of nothing. They’d really like to put you in your place. Saying someone disgusts you, because of something so simple, is kind of going overboard. And it’s rude. And hurtful. And I’m sure you’re too cowardice to tell it to someone’s face, but because you sit behind the safety of your computer screen and keyboard it makes it ok in your eyes. You know what’s worse than not getting your 10% discount? Watching your house burn down. That’s a whole lot worse. And your Facebook motto of “spreading peace and love” really shines through in your nasty message received by a complete stranger.

I’m told by my therapist that the shock is wearing off. And that shock was somehow protecting me. And while yes, we probably get to build the house of our dreams (assuming it’s in the budget) and people have rallied around us and we’ve been blessed left and right, I…am pissed.

I’m angry that this happened. I’m angry that I watched it burn and it haunts my sleep still, 4 months later. I’m angry that I have to walk the world and deal with people who are equally as angry about petty things. I want to shake them. I’m angry, so angry at people who hurt other people. People who screw people over. I’m angry that my daughter knows her things burned. I’m angry that our dog isn’t here to put her face next to mine as I cry into my pillow late at night. I’m angry. So angry. I’m angry that my husband’s job situation is in flux and that at every turn we’re just sitting here waiting for answers to our future. Im angry that neither of us have any control over that future. I’m angry that our best friends had to leave the country a month after this happened because their visa renewal got caught up in new administration bureaucracy. I’m angry that every day my daughter says she misses her best friend. I’m angry that our house is still sitting there, decaying, and I see it every day. I’m angry that I’m angry. I’m angry at how I feel. I’m angry that I have to battle this. I’m angry that our lives have been so very shaken. I’m angry at myself. I’m angry that I didn’t blow out the candle.

Guilt is heavy.

Anger is heavy, but it’s easier to feel than guilt.

I often think about Jesus cleansing the temple when I’m angry. I think people in bible school called it “righteous anger”. There’s not much in the Bible about it, but in case you’re unfamiliar…

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’” but you are making it ‘“a den of robbers.”’

I feel like this part of the story was done NO poetic justice. Dude was mad enough to throw tables over! I can guarantee that whole “but he said to them” was not just “said to them”. I want a whole poetic psalm about how the tables flew through the air and how items upon them sailed past the shocked faces of the sellers in the temple. If it was a film the whole scene would be shot in slow motion. Jesus would walk into the temple and you’d see his face turn from joy to anger. Then there would be a pan of all the people selling and buying, an establishing shot to Jesus’s anger. Tables of fruit, trinkets, clothes, all kinds of things. Then it would go back to Jesus and he’d kind of hulk out mixed with some crazy jujitsu table flipping action. Doves would fly everywhere in chaotic slow motion. You’d see some little trinket flipping slowly in the air completely in focus with the background out of focus and you’d watch it flipping and suddenly the focus would rack and you’d see Jesus in the background, behind the now out of focus spinning trinket, flipping over one more table like a boss. Then he’d turn around and there would be a medium close up on his magically bearded face and he would drop the line, “it is written, my house will be called a house of prayer.” He’d say it all super calm but serious, like when you’re 7 and your being a little out of control and your dad uses “the dad voice.” Then there’s a quick zoom out and you see all the overturned tables and stuff everywhere, a purse or something hanging from the leg of an overturned table still slowly swinging from the upheaval, and shocked faces and there’s maybe a random donkey eating an apple that seems unphased by the whole situation. Then Jesus says?, “but you’re making it a den of robbers.” Then he drops the mic and walks out.

That’s how that story should have been written. Come on Matthew.

I think of this story of Jesus’s anger and it makes me want to flip over some tables too. This is not how our lives should be. This is not what it’s supposed to look like.

I’ve been in a rough place again for a little over a week and I wasn’t sure why until I started writing this about mid week. Bill and I have been at each other’s throats all week, because marriage is not perfect and it’s often hard and dirty and messy and sometimes you kind of want to kill each other. Add major tragedy to general marriage life and you get a whole mass of mess.

Turns out, he knew I was having a rough time, and he was too, but he was trying to suck it up and not worry me with his problems. The trouble there is he’s really bad at sucking it up, it always ends up in him just coming off as being short with us, or moody or just…off. So we walked on eggshells around each other, all week, taking tiny jabs at each other which weren’t really about each other at all but more so about our own pain.

It all came to a head when Issa started acting like a crazy person and not responding to anything we asked her to do and flat out acting out. In retrospect her behavior was probably all in response to Bill and my junk we were dealing with; the eggshells and the jabs, and the general blah energy that was floating through our house all week.

Insert my shut down. I turned off and I told Bill to leave.
Luckily he didn’t. He gave me some time to calm down and then we sat in the car and hashed out what the hell was going on with each other. All that stuff I mentioned before, the each having their own stuff and him not wanting to burden me and me just having so much anger about everything.

“I just need to be angry about it for a bit,” I told him.

“You can be angry, you have every right to be, just don’t let the anger consume you.”

He’s a smart man. I think now that I know what the funk is about, that it is anger, I can let it be for a bit and start to work through it, piece by piece. I can let some of the anger go. I can figure out how to work through each piece. The guilt however, is another beast, a beast I’m not quite strong enough to work with yet.

3 thoughts on “Anger, Guilt and A Lot of Woe Is Me

  1. AUNT SUNNY says:

    You write beautifully.
    Let’s get together.
    You talk. I listen.
    Wise Aunt shares.
    Love n Light,
    Aunt Sunny

  2. Janice Thompson says:

    And yet, in the midst of it all, the girl writes a terrific, compelling story.

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