What do you do when you cannot vomit your anger? The anger of not letting be who you are, who you are not, what you want, what you don’t want?
1. You swallow it and burn from within your whole life?
2. Spit it in small doses here an there, often and again? That gives some relief.
3. You become a big scaly, two-head fire dragon that breathes death?
I chose to swallow it all, and it piled inside. Swallowing is the easiest way to pretend everything is alright and is conveniently forgotten. But it is not. One upon the other, the sediments of anger harden over the months to become a rock frustration. I could not even vent my frustration. Things were on the stake in the casino of relationship. I have to stay calm, force a smile, and dance merrily.
I knew from life, strong vs weak, big vs small, tall vs short, adult vs child. I can walk on the pavement trampling little ants because they can not scream. I can not step on the tail of a rabid dog as he would bite. The behavior gets changed from person to person. You can only vent your anger out on those who cannot give back. This is what I did. I chose the ant of my house, my 5-year-old son.
It so happened that the partner has this bugging habit of reminding me my mistakes. He is a big bugger! There was a time when I was in throes of my marriage, making up mind to quit it altogether. The time ranged for an year and half. In that time, I made friendships with a lot of men. All my life, I have been scared of the opposite sex. Never been able to talk carefree with men. It also impacted my relationship with my husband as I could not oppose oppression and humiliation when it came from him. I decided to break that shell as I ended marriage. I spoke to countless men for unlimited number of hours. But some of these men were sexual predators.
This is where I erred and I believe I’m as much entitled to make mistakes as I’m to make decisions. But the partner would make a big fuss of it and remind me again and again in insinuating way. It hurt me and I would swallow the anger. But one day all floodgates opened and I exploded like a volcano. I was on a phone call with the partner and he again started reminding me of my past mistake and how he was left hurt because of it. It was hundredth time that he was doing it and unable to take it any long, I slapped my 5-year-old son hard, who stood next to me. I slapped him till the sound of slaps melted my frustration, not noticing that his cheeks have reddened, his eyes welled up, not noticing his question, why me? I became paranoid, barbaric, inhuman.
Later, I tried to absolve my wrong by loving, caressing, hugging my son, getting him treats and toys. He is that one star in my life, who never complained. Yet, the guilt did not leave me. I knew, justice can be done only by punishment to the offender. I did not want to seek a parole. I want to be punished and I slapped myself, double the times I did to my son. I felt humiliated, in pain, at times my hand was restrained, for the fear of hurt.
The lesson I’ve learned is no more I let frustration take root in my heart. I puke it, I give it back to the people and the partner if I feel that the finger pointing is unjustified. I have become the dragon and my son is safe.