Everyone has heard that old adage – ‘March: in like a lion, out like a lamb’? Well not so much for me. My lion has taken up residence and shows no sign of departure. In fact I think he’s off to Bed Bath and Beyond to furnish his bedroom cos he seems to be staying a while. And boy, is he pissed off. March has been an angry month for me.
Anger isn’t something that is natural to me. A lifelong fear of raised voices or anything approximating ‘shouty’ was derived from a childhood of quietude. My parents didn’t argue (or if they did, it was via whispers), and there were rarely raised voices in our house. Anger and arguing weren’t welcome visitors and as a result, I don’t know how to handle the emotion.
Its just so very alien.
My reaction to other people’s anger remains the same as it was age 10.. go hide somewhere in the fetal position and sob nervously until it stops.
(Yes, I spent a lot of time on the bathroom floor at Microsoft).
My inability to handle other people’s anger is only exceeded by my inability to handle my own.
As a kid, being angry meant playing the Dead Kennedys really loud, slamming doors and often, getting on my bike and riding 30 miles as hard as I could.
But as an adult, its hard to express rage, and as a grown woman, its even harder.
Disappearing for a quick sprint on the bike at 11.05am is much harder when you’re wearing a skirt, plus slamming doors is a practical impossibility when your office doesn’t have doors. And an angry women in work? Cue the references to PMS and the ‘bitch’ title.
You see I’m one of those people who get so angry that I start crying from frustration.
I know. Such a girl.
Nothing is more humiliating that trying to shout at someone as you sob, rattling your fist as you hiccup your way through an insult or try to swear through a squeaky choked up voice.. its ridiculous and completely laughable. And nothing makes me madder than someone not taking me seriously when I’m mad…cuing another round of tears.
And its not just me. I’ve asked friends what they do when they’re mad and while some of them are blessed with a sharp tongue, the majority admit that real rage, boiling venom fueled anger = tears. We just can’t help it.
I never wanted to be a peacemaker and I certainly don’t agree that women are the softer sex. Personally I think we’re as tough as nails and we can take most anything (except another Twilight movie). But why is our automatic ‘go to’ when enraged, to cry? Its so not fair.
I bite my tongue, I dig the heel of my shoe into my ankle, and grit my teeth but inevitably.. tears. And then more tears because I’m crying (‘you stupid ass.. stop crying’). If only someone had taught me how to handle this.. I mean you don’t see guys sobbing on the basketball court, at work or during a fight. How do they do it?
I’m serious. How do dudes get rid of rage? I don’t see them taking off for a 30 mile sprint and I know most of them, hate the rest of them, 99% of the time. There has to be some rage there somewhere. But non of them are crying.
March has been ‘mad’ for me and I’m really looking forward to a more soothing April. But if ‘April showers’ is just another term for bawling my head off, I need a better plan. Or I’ll start crying again and it will be your fault.