Monday, June 29, 2009

Anger. Guilt.

When I look at my life and my attitudes towards it, I realize that I drift along predominantly feeling two emotions: anger and guilt.

Often the guilt comes as a result of the anger. And sometimes the anger is because of the guilt. Either way, those two emotions glide beside me hand-in-hand all day every day. They love each other those two feelings. They cherish their time together and giggle gleefully while they torment me with their mischief and competitiveness.

Who will win today? Anger? Guilt? A tie?
They've become virtually indistinguishable from each other - like couples who start to look alike.
Or perhaps they're siblings. Who knows?

All I know is that those two feelings are what won't let me rest.

Anger has made me leave jobs. But guilt is what has kept me there for so long in the first place.
Guilt has made me do things that I don't want to do - for my brother, for co-workers, for friends - and anger is the result. I should perhaps add a little sister to the mix - anger's mini-sibling: resentment.

I volunteer for an organization, and I feel guilty that I haven't given it my all. Yet, I resent and get angry when they ask me to do more.

My brother makes me angry for being so irresponsible and inconsiderate, yet I feel guilty when I lash out at him for simply being who he is.

I confide in friends about some of my unhappiness and feel guilty for burdening them. Then am angry when they don't seem to care enough to follow up. Or when they offer advice that I don't want to hear. The I feel guilty because I am not immediately grateful for the fact that they even took the time to listen and offer their thoughts on the matter.

I feel guilty because I said something on this blog that caused me to lose friends. Then am angry because the punishment seems disproportionate to the crime. Then feel guilty again for not respecting their feelings enough to not be understanding without having an undertone of anger on top of it.

I don't know how to untangle myself from these emotions. They are my constant companions with everything I do. The guilt is what makes me monitor and censor every word I ever say to anyone. The anger is what makes me not want to answer the phone most nights.

I am constantly tired from this battle that is constantly occurring in my head. I know that these feelings shouldn't taint everything I do and say. I know that I should probably print out this post and take it to a therapist. I know that most people don't live their lives this way.

I try so hard to be good all the time. And I think these feelings are a side-effect of that. Trying to be good means that you feel guilty when you're not. It results in anger at others at the fact that they don't know just how hard you're trying. But why should they know? Why should they know that in my head is a constant battle of propriety and consideration.

It's exhausting. I can never figure out why all I want to do at my very core is sleep. Sleep well. Not toss and turn and wake up constantly. Perhaps it's to try and escape the battle. Escape the giggling siblings and their torments. Escape a life of appropriateness.

Anger and Guilt. I hate them both. Yet they seem to love me.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I know exactly how you feel, especially lately. I've become a rather angry person, lashing out at people for no reason other than they did something to inconvenience me. I have to routinely calm myself down from being so angry and I hate that i've become this way. Hopefully the next few months will help me manage these things...

Becky said...

I find myself constantly having a 3-way with anger, guilt, and resentment. I try and try to break away form them, and yet somehow, they always seem to find me.

I'm sorry that you find yourself struggling with this as well. Its an icky feeling. Here's to being in a better place soon!

Floating Princess said...

My anger still burns bright, but as I've aged it cools much quicker. I've let go of a lot of resentments that I held onto for a long time too. Guilt, though. That's a doozie. I've been working hard at letting go of guilt because it's caused me to do so many things I didn't want to do. Lately I'm not as burdened by it, but that has come at a price as well. It angers some people that I've stopped doing things solely out of guilt and started doing what's good for me instead. I have chosen to think of that as their problem, not mine.

Sheila (Charm School Reject) said...

I am so on board with you on this one! It is a constant cycle of the three and it kills me. But when you try to suppress those feelings you get all batshit crazy. I feel like I can find no common ground. And it sucks.

And I totally feel you on all of this. xoxo

Jess said...

Oh, this is so frustrating. I agree that these two emotions create a nasty cycle.

WendyB said...

Man, do I know the feeling. I've felt this way to an unusual degree in recent days.

Kyla Roma said...

Aw, Miss. This is such a hard one. From what I know of you you're boisterous, opinionated, and someone who laughs hard - but with that it can be really challenging to not over extend yourself or feel guilty or angry when people don't match your energy level or understand where you're coming from.

You're doing good. Take it on in small pieces, and pay attention when you can be learning from it- otherwise don't worry too much about holding onto these emotions. I'm thinking about you! If cupcakes will help (Clue: They will) I'm all stocked up and we're overdue for a date =)

Anonymous said...

I wish I could say I know how you feel but alas I don't. I once was filled with anger, but have since shaken that off, and now I find that I don't care.
In regards to guilt. I so rarely feel that emotion, but when I do it's cause I have done something naughty.

Princess of the Universe said...

Ashley - I think if I actually lashed out (at anyone except my brother) I might actually feel some relief! Oh wait. And then the guilt. Nevermind.

Becky- I'm thinking some new therapy might be in order.

Princess - Oh yeah, we can only control our own emotions...other people need to sort themselves out!

Sheila- yeah, crazy seems to be my middle name.

Jess- cycles suck, don't they?

Wendy- I never would have guessed- you always seem so upbeat! xo

Kyla- I'm ALL about a cupcake date! Name the day and I'm so there!

My Dear Anon- I should start being more naughty! That kind of guilt sounds like fun! :)

Nat said...

I have to work with anger. I made a conscious decision that I didn't want to be angry anymore... it's a work in progress. It's not so much that I don't get angry, it's acknowledging it, letting it go and moving on.

Sometimes it works better than others. Guilt... yeah, I have guilt. I'm Catholic. I have enough guilt for three people.


Kim S. Yee said...

Honey, I hate seeing you hurting. However, I think it’s time for you to seriously acknowledge how awesome you really are. I don’t mean just writing it out in a blog…I mean truly feeling it. I could list a million words to describe how wonderful I think you are…beautiful x 100, talented x 100, uber-intelligent x 100 (see how easy the math is?)…but if you don’t believe what I’m saying, then it’s all just piss in the wind.

It would be nice if we were impervious to other peoples’ projections and manipulations but, the truth is, we sometimes base our sense of self on them. Why should you feel guilty because someone is taking advantage of YOU? Why should you put your feelings aside because they might offend the person who IS HURTING YOU? Love your friends and family, but not at the expense of your own self-love. Your emotional & physical health is priority #1, and it’s not up for discussion. It’s not being selfish, woman…it’s being true to yourself. And dammit – YOU DESERVE IT!

And now for a good dose of that medicine for myself. Lord knows I have my own issues with anger & guilt. Amen.

James said...

Hi Princess,

first off glad you are back! I tried to get on your blog a few times a while back and it had become invite only.
I think you might need help to break that cycle of guilt/anger because they are not good for you even in the short term.

LiLu said...

I think they go hand in hand, too... much like fear and anger. Sigh.

Princess of the Universe said...

Nat - I thought about making a Catholic comment in there, but since I'm not, I decided to be a bit more PC about it.

Kimmie- OK that comment totally made me cry...

James- yeah sorry, I knew I would lose some people when I shut down for a bit there.

LiLu- is that kind of like: fear leads to anger, anger leads to uh something something something leading to the dark side?
Yeah, it all just kinda sucks.

Designed by Lena Graphics by Melany