I am so angry. Fire pours out of my eyes and mouth and I roar so loud glass breaks for miles around. My anger burns hotter than the core of the planet and spreads farther than the known universe. It is all consuming. I hate it. I reject it. I judge it. I suppress it. And in return, it gets bigger and hotter and more painful. Anger. It was my father’s tool to inflict fear and pain, so much pain. Pain of the flesh yes, but much worse was pain of the mind. Ripping away your sense of security, of self. Humiliation. Horror. No exit. No escape. My anger is my father living inside me. When I scream at my daughter, it is his voice that comes out. I will not hit her, I will not. But oh how I want to. And that, right there, is disgusting, and fills me with self-loathing. Because she is so young and so innocent and so oblivious. She can’t know the depths of the anger she triggers with her attitude and screaming and hitting, yes, hitting. I want to yell at her, “don’t you understand how lucky you are to not get hit!” But she doesn’t understand, and that’s a good thing, and that’s the whole point of this second version of my child-parent experience. She pushes and pushes and pushes. She uses tones of voice she can’t possibly understand yet that are condescending and mean. She mirrors me, when I start yelling, she starts yelling over me. And I can feel my anger, rising up behind my eyes, to a level of total irrationality. And so I pull the shut off valve. Everything shuts down. I am emotionless. I do not care about anything anymore, including her. It’s safer this way. I am done. Done trying to communicate with her. Done arguing. Done being around her. I am shut down. I am still. And I flee. Gotta get away. Don’t want her to find an override button somewhere and reactivate my anger. Run!
But last night I didn’t run. I went back into her room and held her and rocked her. And as I comforted her and loved her, I was comforting and loving my inner child too. “You are loved, you are loved, you are loved,” I silently told her. We rocked and rocked. We both needed this. We desperately needed to feel close.