Afterword re curiosity about the anger. As I explained to my friend keeter: "truthfully, what set me off was the typical scenario of a bunch of us turning 'I'm more cultured than thou' and piling criticism -- like fragrant but bullying linebackers -- on a blogger and blogging. All of a sudden I'm deeply identifying with the whole concept of blogging and populist culture and, and, and ...Like all my fits of anger, it can be seen as funny when it's over. But what isn't funny is the bullying I see on the board. When somebody gets a wild hair and takes off after somebody is the worst example of subversive female anger. I don't want to be part of that."
I have been seething for nearly three days ... the twisted part about anger for women is that we have been schooled to believe it is so unseemly, so wrong -- anger is not pretty, it's not delicate, it's not nice.
And I have a hideous temper that I have been encouraged to disguise since I was -- well, since I was.
The flipside of disguising anger, repressing anger, though, is depression. Shove that fury down far enough, long enough and it turns on you. I had so much experience with schooling myself to not feel anger, I have been to the point of not feeling anything. Anger, frightening as it is, is preferable.
Anger's trigger is rarely its root cause. The trigger this time is my perception that someone attempted to diminish me. Note I said "perception." Because what one feels in anger is rarely anyone's objective reality.
In truth, this person doesn't know me well enough to diminish me -- but my emotional antibodies, my psychological immune system took that germ of a thought -- "this person is dissing me" -- and mounted a defense worthy of fighting the plague.
And I have carried the angry infection around for three days. THREE DAYS.
My anger can be majestic. And I think I hold onto it because, in a perverse way, I like it. It gives me false power, it substantiates me, it makes me feel like I take up more space.
My ex-husband -- veteran of true psychoanalysis (and marriage to me) -- has deep awareness, and he described his anger as a lover -- he could feel her approaching, she was seductive, he always had a hard time choosing against her.
But, much as I might welcome the splendor of this seductive illusion, I need to select away from it, move past it. Because I do understand its shaky foundation:
Fear. I am afraid. What I am afraid of is undoubtedly connected to feeling powerless, not being substantive enough, feeling my life is not yet taking up enough space.
This fear is connected to my work product, to my creative product, to my relationships, to my existence ... which, with every day, is a day less.
I spent some time in therapy repeating, "I'm not going to have enough time. I'm not going to have enough time."
And I don't increase the time I have by spending it in anger.
Today's fragrance: Bandit by Robert Piguet (a deep bow to L and to C) with its notes of leather, wood and spice, jasmine and carnation on a base of vetiver, patchouli and musk. I am the type that sits there tapping toes as the leather blooms, saying "when's the jasmine? when's the carnation?" Well, the florals get there, and it's an arresting (Bandit, get it?) combination with the harder-edge leather/woods. I think the vetiver gives drydown an edginess. Not a relaxing fragrance. But not one I need to make a quick getaway from.