This has been on my mind lately and centers around one question:
When I, Jacki, get “mad” at something… is it something I’m really, at my core, mad about? Or is it something I’d gotten in trouble for in the past or something that I’d been asked, “doesn’t that make you mad?!” so I feel like I’m “supposed” to get mad about it?
Ok, well technically, those are two questions, or at the very least one question with a follow up, but you see what I’m getting at, right?
Well here is an example, just in case.
So, say I’m hanging out at the old stinky Florida house and the back door neighbor is having a party. It is very loud and very late and something inside me is tickling my brain, like, “You should be mad about this! Who do they think they are?! People are trying to sleep!”
Was I trying to sleep? Nope, but I felt myself getting angry on behalf of those people who might be.
Did I give a fuck if the party was still going on? Not one bit.
But my brain wanted me to be mad at at. Because it is a thing you are supposed to be mad at, according to society or whatever.
Lately, when my brain has been telling me to get all het up, I pause and ask my brain, “Are you really mad?”
The answer is almost always “no.” I’m not really upset or mad about what happened. I’ve just been trained to feel like I should be.
And you know what? Untangling all of this masking and people pleasing and all of the other shit I’ve been doing my entire life makes me feel embarrassed.
Like, a lot embarrassed.
Because I spent so long not listening to myself or my brain (or my body) for that matter because it didn’t jive exactly with the people I surrounded myself with. And I thought it was so important to fit in with them, I altered myself in order to do so.
That sounds manipulative as fuck and it would be exactly that had I been aware and in charge of what my brain had been doing “for” me. It probably thought it was helping.
Which, I guess it kind of was, because I’m here, right!? I survived, whatever my brain was trying to protect me from and then I managed to keep D alive and stuff too.
But I honestly wish I had done both of those things being truer to myself and who I am. But, again, I put my happiness below literally everyone else’s for most of my life.
To put it plainly, that is dumb. I was definitely not happy doing this. I put on a good face (masking!) because I thought that’s what I had to do to fit into society, and because I wanted to make the people around me happy (people pleasing!).
But were they? Cause I kept bending over backwards to do the things I was supposed to in order to make the people I cared about happy and I had to keep doing these mental gymnastics in order to keep them that way.
Or at the very least not mad.
That’s honestly my goal with most interactions – make sure I don’t make people mad.
Because I feel like I did that so much growing up (I am including all the way up to right now cause I’m still growing) because the things I talked about were wrong, I asked the wrong (read: too many) questions, I dressed wrong, I watched the wrong things – just, like, all the things. They were “wrong” even though I loved them.
And that is where my large stash of “guilty pleasures I have no reason to feel guilty about” came from. But nowadays, I just call them “pleasures”. No guilt needed.
If I like something, I like it. No need to hide it or be embarrassed about it. I know I keep saying it a lot, but this thinking has really helped me bunches – if the people you surround yourself make you feel guilty or bad about the things you enjoy, maybe it is time to do some reevaluating.
We all deserve to be around people that make us happy and fulfill us. It’s that simple to me.
At first, being mad was a no go for me, because I was always taught to hide my anger, so it bubbled in there for a while.
But sometimes it bubbles too much and has to come out and it’s not pretty. I hate being angry because I cry. I cannot help it. It is an involuntary response. I am not “doing it on purpose to make you feel bad.”
It’s especially terrible when it happens at work.
Which, of course it has.
And looking back, most of those times were times where it was clear that I was being held to a much higher standard than others and I felt, what I call, injustice anger.
This is the type of anger I’m best at I think, especially when I’m getting angry about injustices towards people I loved. I think it is kind of because I didn’t love me much for a very long time, because I didn’t realized I was lovable or that there were things about me to love.
Ugh this is so rambly.
But I guess I just want to remind y’all to be gentle with yourselves and the people you love. When you feel yourself beginning to get angry, take a beat and really pay attention to your feelings.
Are you feeling threatened?
Are you feeling scared?
Are you feeling embarrassed?
Are you feeling powerless?
Are you feeling disrespected?
Focus on the specific feeling and unravel that. Use that feeling to discuss the situation that’s happening. Get to the root of the problem. Anger just wastes time.
Yeah, I know it feels good and vindicating in the moment sometimes, but does it ever feel good afterwards?