Ira furor brevis est.
Anger is brief insanity.
When I first began working with my therapist to process through the trauma of my sexual abuse, we discussed the fact that I held no anger towards my abuser. I of course felt enlightened and superior for this. Apparently, that superiority was lost on my therapist since she commented that it was strange that I wouldn’t be angry. She was right, of course. Why would I not feel anger? She said, “Oh don’t worry, we’re going to find your anger.” That prospect frightened me to be honest. I had never really allowed myself to feel true anger towards anyone for any significant amount of time. The thought that there was could be a reservoir of seething rage inside me was unsettling. Well, today I found it, and it actually feels amazing.
As I was driving to work today, I was sort of ruminating about everything that has happened since this summer. So far, I’ve given up drinking, managed to stay sober, started seeing a therapist, began dealing with the fact I was sexually abused, and tried very hard to deal with my depression. Last week I consulted with a psychiatrist about managing my antidepressants. She sort of off-handedly remarked that I should look into getting a Psychiatric Service Dog. I had no idea that even existed, but apparently it’s a thing. Am I really such a bad case that I rate having a trained dog! That would put me squarely into the disabled category of depression; a shocking prospect I had never considered. I don’t really feel that describes my situation either, but it was still quite jarring nonetheless.
As I reflected on all of this in the car, it suddenly dawned on my that the actions of another kid against me, 30 plus years ago, have had a significant negative impact on my life all the way into middle age. Arguably, this has been devastating in many respect. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought of this before, but this time something clicked, and the size and scope of the damage this kid did to my entire life snapped into focus.
Anger, thy name is Sam! Suddenly, I was fucking pissed. Rage and hatred coursed through my veins. Surpisingly, instead of being scary or unpleasant as I had imagined such a state to be, I felt empowered and strong, and for once, in control. This was one of those rare moments in life where the emotional clarity is such that I think I will be able to tap into it far into the future. Ricky, you little fuckwad, for your sake, I hope we never cross paths.
Featured image: Etching of Angry Man, by W. Herbert, c.1770.