I don’t know why there is a such stigma with anger. I guess as a yoga teacher I feel like I am always supposed to preach love and acceptance to my yogis. I have also seen what bitterness does to people and I guess I kind of lump bitterness and anger together. But after going through the worst breakup of my life (even worse than my divorce because at least that I saw coming). After the initial shock and boohoo blubbery crying and eating beer and ice cream for dinner (ice cream with melted Nutella, whipped cream, and peanut butter chips no less and beer in the bottle not in ice cream ha ha) after not eating all day because the only emotion I felt was sadness- no hunger) then came the anger.
I was so mad that he could give me a anniversary card (our one year) two weeks before that said “Everything about you is amazing and I couldn’t be more in love with you and I can’t wait to wake up to you every day” to breaking up with me. There were NO SIGNS. He was telling me every day he loved me, calling me baby being affectionate etc. He told me he was confused and didn’t know what he wanted and that the idea of marriage terrified him. I told him I know what I wanted so he needed to figure it out. I don’t need to be married any time soon, but it would be nice in the next year or so, and he said he doesn’t even know if he will be ready in a year. I also told him I am not waiting on him to figure it out. Not that I am going to jump into dating again, but just that he needs to get his emotional health in check. For his sake. He was in an unhappy marriage for 14 out of 17 years. Even though he thought I was perfect for him, he said he couldn’t have created a more perfect woman for him. WE NEVER FOUGHT ONCE, both had two boys, both were affectionate, both loved watching superhero movies and coffee and yummy beer, I know those are all little things but in the past 10 years of my being unmarried I have not found that) he was terrified of that feeling of being stuck with someone that was hateful and mean and degrading and all of the things his ex wife was. Even though I NEVER was any of these things he just wasn’t ready. We started dating WAY TOO SOON. He should have had time to breathe, and be alone after moving out. I get that. Even then when he told me he had just moved out, my first instinct was to run. But he swore he was ready to date, ready to be happy. They had lived in separate beds/bedrooms for a year, so I thought that was enough space. He had been so unhappy for so long. So I ignored that instinct because I thought I finally found my Prince Charming. He was and still is amazing. I know he needs time. The man THANKED me for LETTING him rub my feet on our third date. His ex wife would not let him touch her. He was so attracted to everything about me and constantly told me how great I looked. (Which I am not used to! My ex husband wouldn’t bat an eye at the way I looked in anything lingerie or all dressed up.) It was so hard to go from being the HAPPIEST I have ever been to my whole life, whole future being ripped out from underneath me. He hasn’t had the joys (BAHWAHAAAA enter sarcasm here) of dating and meeting all kinds of crazies and going through holidays alone. I think he needs to feel that and see what it is like. So learn from my mistakes people! So this evil angry monster how do you fight it? How do you use that anger and to fuel you in a positive way? Well when I posted on FB that I was angry I got lots of people saying its okay to feel that way. I guess I was just worried of becoming a Bitter Betty. I don’t want to be jaded against all men. And really he was better than ALL men that I have dated in the past TEN years. He honestly was the only guy to make it to one year. I am not picky. I just want a man with morals, and a man who pays his bills on time, and a man who is affectionate. The rest I can work with. He was all that and some. I had finally found my end to the crazy dating of this world. Finally found my someone to wake up next to. My someone who sends ‘Good Morning Beautiful” texts.
So you can see how I became angry. I was blindsided completely. Not being used to this anger, wasn’t quite sure how to deal with it. I am a happy go lucky positive person most of the time. I was actually accused of being too agreeable once. HA. Is that really ever a problem? I was raised by parents who I never saw angry honestly. So exploring different ways to deal with it. So I poured myself into working out, and of course crying A LOT.
I remember once after my ex husband got beat up (long story-short version he was in a band that was not a hard core band playing at a hard core event and he and his entire band got beat up by a bunch of straight edge kids in Utah) they were all so badly hurt they had to drop the tour and come home. A day or so after I walked in the door and he was curling a 25 pound weight dripping with sweat and says, “You think it’s wrong to work out out of vengeance?” kinda funny now. But he let his anger fuel his work outs. Honestly now I think I am past that anger. Maybe. I texted him that I was mad at him and let him have it. But I need to move on. To put myself first. To feel those feelings. Not harbor and let them fester. The day after he broke up with me I took a personal day because I was so distraught (and had plenty of vacation time) So I cried and cried and cried. Punched pillows. Talked and talked and talked to all my friends and coworkers who kept asking me how I was. And now I can talk about him without my eyes welling up. How can I be mad at someone who gave me the best year of my life? Who showed me what a real love, real affectionate relationship can be like? I have been in his place before where there is nothing hugely wrong with the other person but it just doesn’t feel right, and it’s hard to just pull the plug, you gotta weigh the pros and the cons. So I can’t really fault him for not giving me a heads up. If he did, it would have happened sooner.
I had a friend (from here no less!!) Brittany, that sent me flowers and the note had this quote: Don’t be ashamed to weep.‘Tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our loss is sealed inside to comfort us.” Brian Jacques. It is okay to cry. Tears are healthy.
My friend Tracy posted this Maya Angelou quote on my FB “Bitterness in like cancer, it eats upon the host. But anger is like fire, it burns cleans.” Have you ever seen a field that has been burned? They burn the crops to have it grow back in fuller. ( Here’s a good description of why : http://thepioneerwoman.com/blog/2011/05/why-we-burn-our-pastures/) It’s more vibrant and healthy. Starting over fresh and new. So as much as I want to be mad and bitter and grumpy I need to move past those feelings and know that even anger is a gift. I want to be mad that I am 37 and still not found a man. My ex husband has been remarried for 9 years. I feel like I have wasted time, and I need to stop. I need to know that I don’t need a man to have a life, I can have one on my own! It is hard around the holidays because I don’t have any family here. It’s just not the same being with friends, I was really really looking forward to spending the holidays with him and his family. So instead of wallowing in that I am spending Thanksgiving in Chicago and Christmas in California. I will move on and I will participate in the Tough Mudders with or without a man. I challenge you to feel the anger and move over with that fresh field. Don’t let it eat you up. Don’t let the way others treat you keep you from living a full and and amazing life.