I watched a film last night – Bedevilled (2010) – which was incredibly harrowing to view, especially as a female. One of the main characters, a woman, has suffered so much horrific and constant abuse at the hands of both men and women, family, community and friends, and put up with it since childhood, never losing her loving spirit, persevering against all odds to survive, that you not only feel her pain, but you want to bludgeon her abusers to death and do it very slowly so that they feel every blow but can’t protect themselves against it.
I don’t get emotionally involved in the films I watch. Not often. I remain a detached viewer, mostly because my mind wanders, things I see send me off on tangential thought journeys, but also because films are emotionally manipulative and it’s obvious and clumsy and their grabby manipulative tactics lose their ability to pluck your heartstrings and push your buttons the more you get used to them and recognise what they’re doing. Kind of like with people.
But every now and then… I relate to a character or a story very personally. I almost walked out of this film. I was getting too angry. I needed the imbalance to be redressed and it just wasn’t happening. Like in life.
It’s one thing for life to be incredibly frustrating, unjust, unbalanced, it’s another one entirely for a film to be that way and not to give a satisfying denouement. Luckily this one eventually got around to it, but it was an agonisingly long wait.
My rage is an incandescent eternal flame burning inside of me, but you’ll only ever see the full force of it in my eyes when I’m angry. I contain it, because if I let it loose things could end up like the film ended. I don’t however suppress it or repress it until I don’t know it’s there. I know it’s there and I rely on it being there. I can be very docile, but wild fury is only a breath away.
I release it in very small controlled doses when needed.
I never lose my temper, I harness it.
Sure I rant, argue, and stand my ground in a conflict, if that is the correct tactic to use in the situation. I can also be very quiet, resonable and calm. The situation has to be assessed first and foremost and the best course of action to resolve things quickly and efficiently must be found. If no solution is possible, then retreat may be necessary.
My rage is an intelligent one.
It can be stupid too, but not as stupid as it may seem. If I get angry and then find it was a misunderstanding, I will admit to it. It’s not illogical and irrational. I know I can be wrong and often am. I can also be right, and if I know that I am and someone tries to make me believe that I’m not, well it adds determined fuel to the fire.
There are days when everything and everyone makes me angry, but my understanding is much stronger than my rage. That is how I keep it contained, knowing that no feeling is final, this is just a seismic wave, life gets to all of us and pisses us all off. And most of the time you just have to let it pass, blow off a bit of steam in a constructive way and wait for the calm to return.
There are days when everything and everyone is beautiful and wonderful to me. Life balances itself out, here and there, when it can.
This year has been challenging, and inner raging of volcanic proportions has been a theme.
My most recent burst of inner rage was internally violent, and I did have to restrain the urge to impulsively act upon it and lay waste to a lot of red tape. Bureaucracy can be very rage inspiring. It wouldn’t have solved the problem, might have made it worse, but it would have been satisfyingly funny.
If you can laugh at the absurdity of life, and find humour in your rage, it has a very calming effect.