After making a life – changing decision to go on living around the age of 10, most of my existence was characterized by anger. This was sole emotion I leaned on and allowed me to survive most of my middle school years. I wasn’t the type of person to lash out in anger. Instead, my anger stewed within me until I converted it into a dramatic diary entry or fed it into my video games. It wasn’t really until 8th grade that I started to resist that emotion. I didn’t realize the inevitability of anger’s destruction. It was slowly consuming me. There had to be a way to let go and still survive.
One of the outlet I developed for dealing with my anger was a sort of meditation. I didn’t know that’s what I was doing at the time. All I knew is that it worked.
This poem was written on October 4th, 2004. I was 14-years-old and a freshman in high school.
I sit in a dark corner
all light fades away
I lift myself out of my body
Life has left me today
I prepare to let go
to leave this world behind
the darkness surrounds me
then I open my eyes
Fun Fact: most of the poems in my little note-book don’t have a title, yet. I create the titles when I write these posts based on what I know about the girl who wrote them. I chose to call this poem by two names: Closeted and Opening. Closeted is a literal interpretation. When I felt my anger overwhelming me, I would often shut myself into my bedroom closet. Sitting on the floor, I’d tear off clothes from their hangers to stuff under the door and to hang over the key hole so that no light could enter.
Closing my eyes, I imagined the world was gone. This happened in steps. First, I would erase the outside world from my mind. Then I would erase the people and places I knew until all that was left was me and my room. Then I’d remove my room, my closet and then my body. Limb by limb, my physical existence disappeared and I was nothing but a spirit, a soul, a consciousness. In the complete darkness, I could open my eyes and see the same as I did with my eyes closed. There was no light and my illusion was complete. There wasn’t a shadow in the dark to distract from my inner reflection. It was from this place that I would dissect the origin of my anger.
With nothing left but a sort of metaphysical existence, there were no parents, no peers and no society on which I could place my anger. In my meditative state, thoughts like “if only my parents understood” or “if only Stacy hadn’t done that mean thing” were never uttered. My parents didn’t exist. Stacy didn’t exist. There was only me.
This was always a bit uncomfortable because it forced me to face my demons head on. It forced me to see my flaws for what they were, but it also showed me the path to self-improvement. I feel like I grew leaps and bounds in this state because I avoided any concept of blame. I was always to blame.
Once I found the root of my anger, the next question would inevitably be whether there was any hope for change. If it was a trait or action exclusive to me, then I felt relief in that I could actively work to improve that part of myself. On the other hand, if the source of my anger was something outside of my control, then there was no point to my anger. Why waste energy worry about something impossible for me to change? That energy is always put to better use changing things that can change.
This is where the term Open comes into play. I felt like I was opening myself up to something greater than myself. For a short moment, my entire existence was on some sort of spiritual plane where, free from the distractions of physical life, I could work towards finding my true self.
How did you deal with anger as a child? How did you handle the mix of crazy emotions that come with being a teenager? When did finally grow out of the blame game and start taking responsibility for your emotions? Have you ever tried to track down an essence of yourself that exist outside of the physical world?