A stupid man walked on my lawn yesterday, twice, and I’m still really angry. There’s builders working right next door. My home is my home and I need it to be just for me. I need it to be safe and I need to be assured that no-one is going to be here uninvited.
I told him it wasn’t okay, but he argued with me! I repeated it’s not okay to waltz on through other people’s places, and not to come here again. But inside I was so mad. I wanted to whack him with my spade, and yell and hit and punch him. I wanted to make him run away and never come back. I wanted to wreck his car and make him understand that he was completely out of line.
The feelings stayed with me all evening, and again this morning I am feeling shaken and unsettled.
I have attempted to direct the anger where it actually belongs, but there is such a disconnection there that it’s hard to do. This time I’ve managed it more than other times, but still only slightly, and in a more intellectual than practical way. I am surprised at how angry I still am. It’s been a long time since it came up like this. I cried so hard my face was aching, and so I wasn’t able to keep crying because it hurt too much. But there’s still more in there.
I find it very hard to know what is an awful thing and what isn’t. Any bad thing seems awful to me, and I find it really hard to work out what’s what. Today I can see that a man walking on my lawn is inconsiderate and a bit rude, but probably not awful. However yesterday I wanted to smash him.
I also found myself dealing with my need to never let people get away with things. I hate it if, after an event, I think I’ve let somebody get away with something. I want to know that I always protect myself completely.
But what I realised last night – that I don’t think I’ve worked out before – is that even when I do protect myself completely and deal with a situation well, I still feel like I didn’t. I still feel ill-treated and angry. Which I guess is a clue that the anger is connected to my past, when I was not protected.
I should have been protected; I couldn’t protect myself. Sometimes I wonder crazy things like what if I’d run outside and down the street? What if I’d called the police one day? What if I bit and hit and yelled? And why did I not do any of these things?
Too little, of course. Too scared. Too well raised to be a good girl and not make a fuss. Which is the main reason I parent the way I do: I let my girls make their own decisions, choose their own way. I listen to their ‘no’ so that they are well used to stopping things that they don’t like or want.
I didn’t put them in situations when they were too young – like staying the night somewhere without me. They stayed with me till they became old enough and strong enough to be safe. Until they had a strong voice, and knew how to recognise what they didn’t like and were able to immediately act against it.
These are safe-guards that my parents (and too many others) failed to put in place. And I’m so angry about that.