Anger is something that I have always struggled with but not in the way you may think. Growing up I was surrounded by constant anger or rage, however I have a hard time seeing a difference. For me, anger is associated with abuse, considering anytime anyone was angry their emotions were taken out on me. I promised myself that someday if I ever have kids, they will never feel that same pain I did. They will never know what its like to be surrounded by people who were supposed to love, but hurt instead. I saw anger as something bad that would always result with pain, whether I was angry or it was someone else. For me, it didn’t feel like an emotion, it felt like a punishment. At some point I developed a fear of anger, a fear that has never gone away. The tone of your voice changing, the yell that makes your entire body tense, the “warning hit”. It used to only be anger from my family that scared me, but once I saw it in others, there wasn’t a way for me to see a difference. Someone I was dating in high school once punched straight through a wall when he found out someone had grabbed me without my permission. Truthfully, after that I never let my guard down near him, because I knew that if I was the cause of that anger, things would not turn out well for me. The same happened in college on multiple occasions when I saw my friends become furious and threaten someone or punch something so hard it broke. In my mind I felt like if I was the cause of that anger, it wouldn’t be a wall that was being hit, it would be me. It was easiest for me to shut out anger all together, never letting me feel it, only letting the emotion come out as upset, or a fake smile, something that I had perfected. I forgot how to feel anger, and truthfully I still don’t completely remember. I get frustrated sometimes, but never angry. Frustration to me is upset and in pain and not being able to make sense of why this is happening. The last time I was angry was my sophomore year of high school, the day that I got the courage to say no, to fight for myself and get away from the pain I felt everyday. There were a lot of words I wanted to say, but never did, and still haven’t. In the next paragraph, I am going to say everything I wanted to say on that day. Every word I wished to scream even knowing the consequence. The words of a sixteen year old who wanted to run and never be found. Whether there is anger felt through my words, that’s for you to decide.

“I hate you. Stop treating me like a worthless piece of dirt on the bottom of your shoe. Stop screaming at me for every mistake I make. Stop hurting me. I wish I was never brought here and I wish I never met you. I hate you with every ounce in my body. It wasn’t fair that you screamed at me and called me a “worthless fucking bitch” and told me if I don’t like it then I can go kill myself. Stop saying how much you hate my mom just because she is a better person than you ever will be. Stop making me feel like absolutely nothing. I love you and that’s why I hate you so much. The day you kept begging to die, I wish you did, because then I wouldn’t have to deal with this again. I wish you died that day, and I don’t care if I am around for when it actually happens. ”

From my perspective now, I wouldn’t say the majority of that. I wouldn’t put all of my pain into my words and not feel true meaning behind every word I yelled while crying hysterically. I wish she knew what I wanted to say, with the emotion removed. The words I meant from my heart, not from a moment full of emotion. I wish I said:

“I hate you for what you did. I hate you for every slap, spank, punch, choke, and grab. I will never forgive you for all of the times you grabbed me by my wrist just so you could pull me within hitting distance. I will never forget you for every time I tried so hard to make you happy and all you did was scream at me. I hate you for the time I didn’t realize our puppy peed in the house and you grabbed me by my hair and rubbed my face in it and then kept slapping me until I wouldn’t even fight back anymore. I hate you for when I got home, missed a small spot when vacuuming,  and you grabbing me and spanked me so hard that later on I couldn’t even sit it hurt so bad, and making me count how many times you did it. I hate you for what you did after that. For grabbing me by my hair so tight I could feel it pulling, and then pulling down my pants just far enough for you to use me. I hate you for doing it in the first place, and not stopping when I was laying there crying because it hurt so bad. I hate you for finding a way that my body liked it just so you could say I enjoyed it. I hate you for using that the next time I said no. I hate you for when you knew there was a guy at school who was bullying me and lived only two streets over, and making me walk to the store past his house, when you knew he would see me and make fun of me at school every single day until everyone was telling me to just kill myself. I hate you for saying I was too skinny and to eat a small slice of cake and then calling me fat and making me run. I hate you for a lot of things and trust me there are much more I could list if you would like. But here’s the thing, I still love you for taking care of me and being the main figure in my life, but I don’t feel bad for feeling relieved when you passed away. I will always hate you for this, but I will always love you for at least being there. ”

I cried while typing the first part, and it wasn’t because I was sad. I cried because I can’t feel anger so it comes out as just me being upset. I hate that I can’t feel angry, and all I feel is pain and sadness. Typing that second paragraph, I don’t know if you read that as me being truly angry or not, but I can tell you I absolutely cried because I meant those words at the time and I know that no matter how angry I was at the time, I could never have screamed those words at her because I would fall to the floor crying because even then I was scared of anger. The memories I have hurt so bad I can’t even put into words and I keep remembering more of them. With every memory I hate her even more, and I guess my body remembers more and more because I feel the physical pain from that moment more and more, and flinch more and more. It all hurts and I have so many conflicting feeling that I don’t even completely know what I feel anymore, other than sadness that things weren’t different, that I didn’t feel loved and cared for, and I will never know what that feels like. You knew you could break me and you did, that is unforgivable.

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