Once a friend was angry with me and started yelling. I found myself backed into a corner, crouching. It was an automatic reaction, totally out of proportion with the situation. I remember when I was married that my anger expressed itself in short, tight, mocking phrases. The kind of anger that can slash to the bone with words, but the neighbors won't hear it.
Last week I was at the bus stop, and I saw a couple walking together. The woman was waving her hands in the air, while the man was yelling at the top of his lungs. "You keep walking!" he screamed. "Keep walking, I said! I'm gonna sit right here. I'm sick of your %$#$!! All you do is argue. You keep walking!" The woman stopped and looked at him hard. And then she said, "But you have my bag!" When the bus pulled up a few minutes later the man was still cussing the air blue, and the woman was still standing nearby waiting for his rage to cool.
People work in different ways, but when my children tantrum, it's all I can do to hold it together, to keep from crouching in a corner. It's all I can do to remember that they are small yet, and that I am grown. Sometimes I go outside with them, because outside they shrink to their true size under the sky.
I am so uneasy around anger. I feel sometimes like an old sponge that can't hold any more water. There's just no more room for any more anger and rage in my life, and sometimes no room to get away from it. And so it is difficult to write tonight, because I have weathered yet another blustery day in my household.