Anger – you dirty SOB. You are the root of so many things and rest in so many of us. You control, you blame, you hate and you cause so much damage within, on a physical, mental and emotional level. Stage 3 – bargaining and anger. I hate to admit it, but they were also 2 very good friends of mine!
The funny thing about the anger was, I never realized I hit that emotion until years later. There were very few times I ever remember being angry at her, and when it did arise, it was very short lived. I was far too consumed by guilt to ever be angry, after all, I felt as though it was largely my fault that she ever left. The amazing thing about anger that I’ve really noticed is, it’s rarely directed at the actual cause or source of where it’s been festering. Instead, it overflows into other aspect of our lives, and that was exactly the case in mine. For me, it primarily overflowed into my home life and job. It came through in various forms, but it was most blantely directed at was my fiance at the time. Why you ask? Why not!? I mean, it was his fault I never did half of the things she wanted me too. It was his fault that I said ‘no’ to her every time she asked, it was his fault I felt too guilty to even ask if I could. It was his fault I ever thought I had to ask to begin with, or feared a fight would stem from it. It was his fault he didn’t understand it, not to the calibur we felt it anyways. It was his fault he had 3 siblings and I didn’t. Blame and anger are identical twins in my book. Where you have 1, you’ll almost always have the other. The finger that points outwards is never as powerful as the 3 pointing back at you!
I had just started my new job 2 weeks prior to her death, and I’d have to admit that a fair amount of anger was also taken out on the patients. The only thing I could think for the first year or two towards our Oncology patients was, ‘at least you get to say goodbye’. That was it. I thought it every time I roomed someone or knew another was going on hospice. As far as I was concerned, at least they had the chance to get their affairs in order, to say all of the things they wanted too, do the things they wanted, kiss and hug them before putting them in the ground – in fact – they had no idea how fortunate they were! That is so terrible to say, I know – but it was the truth. It was my thought process, I was so jealous of those that had that ‘one more day’. I hated and resented them for getting the one thing I couldn’t have. That was my anger. Although I really don’t think I was angry at Josie herself, I was angry that this was my life now. And even more, I was pissed that I had to look myself in the mirror, knowing I had to live with all I did or didn’t do. I hated myself for the responsibility I felt. But, who else was I going to blame?! I had all I could do to just function and attempt to half asked cope, the hell if I could handle taking responsibility for my own actions, let alone even see outside of this god forsaken hell hole! Someone was going to be in the cross airs, and they were some of the lucky few. It didn’t come through as direct ‘anger’ in the form one would think. I wasn’t throwing shit or screaming and yelling – I just turned cold and bitter and more resentful then I already was. My sarcasm in general increased, I internalized more, kept making myself stay buried in the hell that I honestly didn’t think I was going to come out of. As years and other circumstances in my life happened, anger became my closest friend. I began to let others dictate and influence me in ways that only drove me deeper. I learned to cope with more self destructive habits, always wanting the temporary escape. It’s funny what a demon anger is, what it controls, how it’s expressed and even more fascinating – is how it’s justified. How we force ourselves to succumb to the depths of it.
Now bargaining, oh man – that one I had mastered within a day! I would’ve signed any contract with the devil and there were many lives aside from hers I was willing to exchange! I know that sounds terrible to say, but it was the truth. There was next to NOTHING I wouldn’t give to just at least just be able to apologize. But then again, that’s what everyone says in a time like this, right? In fact aren’t we all great bargainers? It doesn’t even take something tragic to start signing away our souls. I mean shit, I was making deals with the devil for a pair of Girbaud jeans for Christmas by the age of 10! 😉 Sacrifice my dog for a cd player? Pfff, if that’s all it takes to say I own one – consider it did! Ha We can all bargain with the best of them and we’re all so guilty of it. When shit starts hitting the fan in our worlds, on any level, that’s when we decide to hit our knees. Then the real begging, pleading and bargaining begins, and the stakes are high! Ever wonder why we wait until things have hit that point to start looking up? Why do we need these life altering circumstances to force us back into reality? To force us into the here and now, to force us to reevaluate what and who is most important. To be forced to stand in someone elses shoes, to feel a pain we didn’t know possible, to be forced to recall the damage we’ve done onto others and plead that you’ll never inflict pain on another soul again. To make us take a look around at what we’ve had sitting right in front of us the entire the time? But then again, if we couldn’t be grateful when we had it, what makes us think we deserve to keep it?
Continue reading 4th stage, 4th letter – D.
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