It is really difficult to articulate an emotion like anger. You can clearly itemise the things that make you angry, people who make you really really mad. These things you can easily list and if someone asks you can actually tell them what incident or person made you angry.
But try explaining the emotion, what it feels like and you will be surprised to find how much you struggle to tell someone what you are feeling.
I’ve been there, and I can tell you, even years after, I can still feel the acid in my belly, the red in front of my eyes. the total incredulity of feeling that one person, just one action can make you lose your equanimity enough to contemplate evil things about another.
What is it that does it?
It is only anger against another person, at an action they have done that can evoke such a reaction. When you are angry with the weather, an institution, you can actually get past it. You will rant, maybe write a few angry letters to authorities, but 9 out of 10, you will move on.
But if a person does something to hurt you, quite deliberately, knowing that what they are doing is wrong and WILL hurt you. The reaction you have to that is quite, quite unique.
You first feel raw violence, the feeling of lashing out. I really feel this is the stage at which people probably shoot the other or hurt the other physically. Fortunately, I think this does not last too long and most reasonable folks do get past without inflicting harm on the other party.
The next stage is disbelief, you cannot comprehend that what has happened is real. You shake your head and think, no, this is actually not happening. No one can do this type of thing.
Then comes the feeling of betrayal and bile. You feel sick in your stomach, physically sick.
You keep re-living the incidents or what the person has said and feel violated each time.
This I think lasts the longest, it can go on for days, weeks or months. It is also, I think the most harmful for you, the actual physiological reactions make you sick, you get headaches, don’t sleep too well and have low attention levels.
Post this comes the blue feeling of depression, you sink into introspection. You wonder why it happened to you, what had you done to warrant such a fate.
You keep analysing every word, every action. You re-imagine every situation trying to identify the point at which you could have changed the course of the past. But it’s happened and you did nothing, you spotted nothing and you feel even lower that you initially felt and get sadder.
If you can imagine a tape on endless loop, then this is it! You keep re-playing in your head and feeling worse each time.
Much much later, comes the feeling of inevitability. You know its happened, you did not see it coming and its done and over. You try and move on.
BUT, then something someone says, something you see or hear triggers the memories and the bile in your belly forms again.
But you know, you are the only one who can fix this. If you recognise what has happened is not your doing and tell yourself this enough times, you can get over the hump.
And if you are like me, forgive, but don’t forget it happened. The only way is to learn from the past and watch out for the potholes…. Forgive and forget works when someone breaks your best crockery or accidentally backs into your car….forgetting those is good for you… but if someone deliberately betrays your faith…..forgive them in the fullness of time, but don’t forget they did it.
It’s taken me a good four years to get thru my experiences with this vicious emotion….but even now there are little things that happen that bring back the old feeling in the pit of the stomach and I physically shake it off, cannot let it rule my life but I have sure learnt my lesson and will NEVER EVER let it happen again!!