“Anger,” Dad says, “is blocked expectations.” I notice myself listening from that deep place. The place that is filled with a little too much darkness and remembers light and longs for it. I notice the grown up girl in me that does not shy away from a father’s admonition and advice, but instead grabs hold--a rope of wisdom thrown into the pit. He says more wise and kind things. He talks about how it’s okay to not be who I was when I left 3 1/2 years ago. Permission is granted to try it out amongst those who love me. Warm hearts are promised as I work out how to be this me--not that me.
I try to believe that. This is the same man that chided me many a time in my growing up years for too high of expectations. I’ve spent a lot of denial on having them at all. Having expectations means the potential of facing disappointment. One of the most painful emotions of all. If I were to work through the “blocked” expectations I would have to admit I had them. Maybe lots of them. For the way things would be. For how I’d be. For how things wouldn’t be. For how I wouldn’t be. Wouldn’t have to be. I’d have to sort them out. Damn.
“The problem,” a best friend writes, “with suppressing this is that this anger turns into depression and it is bloody hard to pull ourselves out of it, to be able to express how we feel and understand what is going on and be able to release it in some way. You have taken great steps to re-adjust to a lifestyle you left long ago, and also the realisation that you are no longer that person who left all that time ago. It can feel suffocating. You have changed, have grown, but now have a feeling of being forced to change again.” Then she throws a rope in too: start writing again. She reminds me how important it is. How much I work through on the page.
I am swimming in a sea of army green file folders. Three boxes and four chock-a-bloc drawers worth. Some things are kept. Cards & printed emails from Scott’s surgery. A few favorite theatre scripts. Some poetry Scott wrote. Photographs and inky prints of Bridger’s feet. Most are tossed. White Costco-sized bag after white bag. Boxes of recycling. The boys gleefully running things through the shredder. Layers and layers of relief washing over me as the receipts and bills and contracts and notes of an old life turn to confetti. “We’re breaking the ties.” Scott explains, when I ask why it feels so good. “We’re cutting loose.”
I sit in my green chair. I sit here a lot these days. Pondering all of this wisdom. What is it I am “cutting loose” from? Why do I so often feel trapped? Suffocated? What is the antidote to all of this anger? I grasp daily for gratefulness and a thankful heart and daily I feel the weight of my failure to hold on to either of these things for very long. Am I a spoiled rotten brat? That actually might be part of it. I do however, feel so acutely the need to “release it in some way.”
Release--excellent word. It goes in and sticks. Deep in that despair place. Release. Like releasing a prisoner. Ah ha. There it is. A little clue. The way out is illuminated a further few steps. The prisoner inside all this anger is me. Releasing the anger is releasing myself.
I posted this on facebook the other day. She talks about her little girl having “the sads” and not being able to let them out. She explains about “emotional throw up” and just letting kids let it out. I thought it was fantastic. For my kids. But here I sit with loads of my own “sads” that need to come out, and the only person not giving me permission to do so is me.
Release, Cori. Release.
Then maybe throw a party and toss all that confetti.