Daily Evil: A is for Anger

Welcome to April Blogging from A to Z.

A friend of mine died in February. She has known me since I was born, because she was in college with my parents. In fact, my father got arrested for having her graduation party, though it was thrown out of court. Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1963, and the problem with the party was that it was mixed race. Luckily there were no drugs and no minors drinking. I was the youngest minor, age 2. My mother was left with me, terrified that she could be lynched.

Anyhow, this friend is an artist, like and unlike my mother. I spoke to her daughter-in-law a few days ago and she says she is in the anger stage of grief. Yes, I know what she means. And new grief brings up all the old grief. How annoying. March 29 was the day my little sister died of cancer, so that all comes up too.

I keep reading that we should be positive. I hate it and I disagree. Sometimes we can grieve and go through stages of grief. Anger can be an indication that we are in a bad relationship or that we are being mistreated. Sometimes it is connected to old past anger, though, that needs to be cleared out. Have I succeeded with that? I don’t know.

Is anger evil? I do not believe any feelings are evil. Acting on them may be evil, but it’s complicated. Feelings are information, part of our senses. This doesn’t mean that we always interpret things correctly, so sometimes we need to check. “When you said this, I interpreted it this way. Is that what you meant?” I usually have to wait a week if I am upset about something, so I can have the feelings calm. I get better and better about not acting on anger. I do not mind feeling it.

A is for Adam and Eve as well. This is one of Helen Burling Ottaway’s etchings, titled “First Valentine”.

For the process of making an etching, read here. This is from 1982, number 29 out of 35, a limited edition each run and signed by the artist.

6 thoughts on “Daily Evil: A is for Anger

  1. curioussteph says:

    I agree. All emotions are valid, and if we use them as sources of information, very useful. As you recognize, it may take time and more than a few deep breaths to have sufficient distance/perspective. Hard to make some emotions value neutral.

    • drkottaway says:

      I think it takes a while to learn to o handle anger internally, but still acknowledge it.

  2. I think a lot of that shit about “positivity” and “negativity” is just about denial. Emotions cannot be reduced to a binary system. You feel what you feel. You grieve the way you grieve. There are no rules.

    • drkottaway says:

      Families sometimes fight about the โ€œrightโ€ way to grieve. Also, fighting can be a way of avoiding grief.

  3. Paula Light says:

    Good post. I think by denying anger we make it worse. It needs to be acknowledged and dealt with like other emotions. Hugs! ๐Ÿฉท

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