reflection: on anger

January 27, 2012

yesterday i posted my response to the east haven mayor bullshit here in the wonderful constitution state.

i struggled as i wrote it.

it is difficult to write from a place i don’t find myself at often: anger. i discussed it with two close friends prior to posting it because i kept saying, “i don’t know that people have seen this side of me… in fact, i don’t think close friends have seen this side of me.”

i am not an angry person. actually, whenever i get upset, one of two things happen almost instantly: i start laughing because i feel foolish or i start crying because anger doesn’t feel good at the center of my chest. but i did some self therapy yesterday. and i started to tell myself, that maybe some of the things i need to start letting go of are behaviors that i have had for the last thirty-four years. holding on to anger and not showing it is one of them.

there is nothing wrong with anger. so long at is doesn’t lead to hurting self or others. i think it’s perfectly healthy to be angry. to express a “FUCK YOU!” can feel so good or in my case, “tu maldita madre, hijo e’ puta.”  It actually feels liberating… a release of energy.

i let it go… and breathe out of it. almost instantly i feel better.

when my brothers and i were young, my oldest brother Manny was always known for being the “quiet one.” i mean, you couldn’t move this kid from his core (to this day, he is pretty much unfazed)… he has this amazing ability to just disconnect. he doesn’t even have to dust off his shoulders, ’cause the dust doesn’t even settle on him. it was something that frustrated me… i was a bit envious of his ability.

but one day, i have no idea what my two brothers decided to fight about… all i know is that Manny and David went at it like two caged animals and i witnessed the entire thing. Manny and David fought like men that day. but Manny fought like a man that was carrying his ancestors worth of anger inside of him. there was blood all over our living room. i was so scared, i called my uncle Tito Chan crying because this was not a typical fight between my brothers. that day (i think i was like ten) i remember looking at Manny’s eyes and i realized quickly that Manny had left. that something greater than Manny had shown up that day.

this is what happens when we hold on to anger. we either explode or implode. neither are healthy.

we cannot contain ANY emotion. in doing so we dishonor our human process. and the point is to go through the motions and the emotions. express what you need to, sit with it and then let it go.

do not tell people to not feel anger or to not express it. fuck!, we need more angry people. we’ve become so blah about everything. we just have to know the balance of healthy anger.

when i wrote the piece i was angry because my Latin@ community is constantly under attack. i express myself through writing. this is my outlet.

am i still angry today?

yes. because injustices are taking place and we are forced to stan idle and keep quiet. but i didn’t want to bite my tongue anymore. and i didn’t want my work to sound like pretty poetry because the situation that is happening in this country is NOT pretty.

be angry. let others be angry. cuss. spit. scream. punch a pillow.

then let it go…

but keep the fighting spirit.