Day 100 of 365 Days of Being
I'm a proud feminist, I became a feminist last year when I stood in the embrace of women at Women's March, listening to their pearls of wisdom breaking the noose around my silence. I felt a fire rise in me, a phoenix of destruction before resurrection. It is thanks to these women that when me too rolled around, I had the courage to tell my story.
Now that I have found the fearlessness to use my authentic voice, I use it in the same way as the women who got me here, I have encountered much controversy. I remember a man who told me last year that I represent the narrative of the angry woman. Which was ironic to me since I was a nice girl people pleaser who was completely conflict adverse. At that time, I was working through it and was nowhere near The Angry Woman or at least what I think of as an angry woman.
At the same time, he posted regularly on Facebook that he was angry, usually over pretty insignificant things like a hurdle at work and such. No one told him, he was an angry man, which would be accurate since he was constantly angry. If someone commented, it's not good to be angry, he agreed without shame. The dialogue would carry on with jokes and comfort, no one would call him an angry man. No one.
My typical reaction to anger would be to shut down completely or I would be deadly calm, asking "why are you angry?". I never got a proper answer. It was always along the lines of don't know or stop short surprise. Each time, I would slink away to lick my own wounds and not hold them accountable.
I have faced violent men and women who took their angst out on me, that resulted in 37 years of PTSD. I know what it feels like to be trapped in the silence of their doing, torn between being fear driven to be the opposite of them and also avoiding projected anger at all cost. At the cost of my health, my voice, my authentic self and my sanity at times. This avoidance included my own anger, which I exiled to no woman's land, built a barded fence, chained it to the wall and kept it silent under lock and key.
When I experienced rage last year, it was so unfamiliar to me, I didn't know what to do with it. Some came out in crying fits, most I channelled to writing, personal healing and women's right. I isolated myself so I would do no harm to others. This unfamiliarity with my own anger meant that I was unable to understand angry people all my life, why can't they communicate their emotions succinctly, have a dialogue, come in vulnerability. They scared me, affected me with their energetic arrows, all I wanted to do was run and hide.
I have healed much of my PTSD, find tremendous joy and profound peace in my life. So this year, when I encountered the label of The Angry Woman, not just did it not fit, it completely doesn't represent who I am, not even half of me.
I have rescued my anger from no woman's land, what was once a suspicious foe has become a friend. Just like a stranger dragging his ball and chain, hand cuffed to the table, I had to know it from ground up. Talk to it, sit with it, let it show me all I needed to know. Instead of my previous nice girl habit of shoving it under, using my busyness to distract me, I now know the importance of making time for it. I also hold everyone accountable for their transgressions.
The angry woman label has been used to demonise women for having a natural reaction to boundaries crossed, sexual assault, harassment, abuse and rape. Along with it is the "hysterical woman", "bitch", "pushy broad", "manly woman". In the spiritual and religious community, there's the "unkind woman", "immoral woman", "unholy woman", "unspiritual woman". I had men tell me that "it's my duty as an awakened person" to help them, while being disrespectful towards me, demanding my time and threatening me when I did not cater to them. Or men I have helped but dismissed everything I said anyway, why even ask me if you don't want to hear me? The most common is the overpowering man, having a monologue and wanting me to participate only in the way they want. I have also heard stories of pastors asking women to stay with abusive men or narcissistic spiritualists who demand subservience from women.
I often encounter men in the spiritual community who cut and paste knowledge from other sources, telling me they know more than me. Me, the mystic psychic medium with three awakenings. Me, the person who can go into deep meditation in two secs flat without any prior meditative experience.
Along with me being a mystic is the idea that I can no longer have human emotions. This remains strange to me. I like my anger, I can't say I love it, I like it just enough to not be completely seduced by it. I like our causal flirtation, the warm acceptance into the whole of me and reject the one night stands. I like my anger because anger is reactive, it's swift in protecting me, it's fierce effectiveness in communicating an energetic no when even a verbal no is not enough. It helps me deter leery predators at a glance, anger is familiar to predators, they understand anger. Social cues, not so much.
I did it all, the look away, polite quiet pauses, the shuffling of feet, the shifting in chair. Sudden interest in my phone, bent head creating a protective shell out of my body. The laser focus on my computer, reluctant half smile of politeness, none of it was noticed. So I showed them flashes of anger, like a beacon of my innate worth shining like batman's signal, just to get them to back off.
It worked. They all did, every single one of them.
Anger can also be used to fuel change, like the me too movement. Much of the silence is surrounding the reluctance to be seen as the angry woman along with all the other labels designed to keep women small, when anger is a healthy part of internal connection. I do understand the conundrum, we see all the transgressions linked to anger, the every day ignorant asshole whose determined to be right to the abusive partner to the gunman gone wild. Anger has become a form of moral correctness, anger is no good, anger is destructive, anger like negativity is to be eradicated at all cost.
Everyone is looking for peace and compassion. We want to avoid the difficult truths, it triggers the pain inside that we want to ignore in hopes it goes away. Instead it becomes bigger, what we resist and push down are the same things that disconnects us even overwhelm us. The only way is through the anger and not around it. Breaking the silence is the first important step towards the anger and next is the breakthrough.
Part of the controversy around Tony Robbins is his rejection of anger, his discomfort about the idea of an angry woman and wanting to bypass it all, without understanding that breaking the silence includes getting comfort with anger. This is every much the problem I see with the self-help movement, I was once very much a proponent of it. It made me temporarily feel OK by feeding the ego but didn't achieve permanent results of peace I wanted. That's not to say self-help doesn't work, it does. It only works so much is what I'm saying,
I had to go through the cycle once again by diving deeper into myself to access my spirit. The spirit knows not anything else, ego nor body or mind, it only knows the want to grow unconditional love by giving and receiving unconditional love. Anything that impacts our highest selves causes disconnection within.
I was plenty reluctant to be angry, it triggered the guilt, shame and blame like no other. I also accumulated much deep seeded resentment that was detrimental to my health. I'm the nice spiritual girl who not just understands the oneness with my head but feels the oneness in my heart. Anger should be beyond me, at least that's what people think and tell me. There is no should in my dictionary, not now anyway. Do I want to do it? Is it aligned with my highest self? That's what I ask myself.
I no longer betray myself, this includes my voice, also my right as a holistic thinking feeling woman of innate worth, to be reasonably and naturally angry when my boundaries are crossed. Anger isn't a terrible thing in and of itself, it's what we do with it that matters. Emotions IS, they indicate what discomforts us but has no hold on us permanently, it's the trick of the ego and the monkey mind that traps us in the ever ending cycle of suffering.
If you have gone through a traumatic experience, anger is an accurate and healthy response, do not let others tell you otherwise. Release yourself from the cycle of PTSD by sitting with it and listening to it. It will gradually become your friend not foe, as it did me.
Remember, your place in the universe cannot be denied. Stake your claim boldly. Joan of Arc said to all of you through me.
Love light peace
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