I’m not prone to anger. I find anger to be a time-waster and I believe that anger is the result of feeling different emotions, stemmed in the roots of a larger problem. Often anger is tied directly to feeling hurt, embarrassed or vulnerable in some way. It’s rare I feel angry to the point of not being able to communicate how I feel to the person I feel angry with. This is just who I am. I grew up in a household where anger often manifested itself in stressful ways, including yelling and doors slamming and conflict that at some point in my adolescence I realized was not common in all homes. As an adult, I’m not surprised this anger existed in my childhood. My parents were young and came from their own versions of anger too. I find anger unproductive, a cover-up of the real problem. My views on this don’t mean that I find anger invalid or entirely unproductive. I know anger is part of who we are and how we process events in our lives. Upon reflection, I think my views on anger come from seeing how destructive it was in my own home, in my own family. I watched anger untie the illusion of nuclear bond and create space in relationships where space ideally wouldn’t be. I became smaller in situations to avoid anger. I learned how to read a room, how to meet people’s needs, how to be conflict-avoidant. How would my life have been different if my parents could have named the cause of their anger? What if they could have tapped into that vulnerability earlier than they eventually did later in life?
I haven’t written since last week because I am angry, and my anger makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know what to do with it. It stares at me in my dreams as I run from it, terrified of not being able to avoid it long enough. I keep dreaming of something chasing me. In the dream I’m out of breath as I open the door to a cardboard, one-room house. As I shut the slatted-blinds, I see the shadow of a man looking at me outside the window. He reaches for the sliding door and then I wake up.
Katie started hormones on Monday and I’m angry. I’m not angry about the hormones, although I know this is part of it. What do I do with this? How do I process it? I know my anger is rooted in fear. I’m terrified of what the future of our marriage looks like. I’m scared of what it means that I wasn’t given a vote in this transition, that I wasn’t given the option to express what my timeline would look like. What does it mean that the timeline of this transition was decided without me? What does it mean that I’m so angry?
I’ve never been mad at Katie like this before. She tried to hug me at one point and I couldn’t even let her touch me. I started crying. I’ve cried every day on my way to work. On Tuesday, I cried 4 times while at work. Katie and I have spent hours going back and forth in a calm, collected manner, trying to understand my anger. She is trying to understand why I’m so mad at her, which is difficult to explain in a way she can relate to. She can’t understand why I would be angry about not having a say in the timeline of the transition, because how could I be angry when she was so miserable before she came out? How can I be angry when she’s a better version of herself now? I am struggling with this too, because I like the version of my spouse I know now much more than the version pre-Outing. I love Katie more than I ever loved Kyle. But I’m still so angry.
I wish I had even just one person to talk to about all my questions. I need someone who has gone through this before to answer them. Someone who I won’t resent when they say “I’m sorry, this must be so hard for you.” It’s not that this response isn’t the correct response, or isn’t appreciated. Please, Loved Ones, don’t stop saying it. I need to hear it. I need to know you’re there. This path I am on is so lonely. I just want to find someone who can satisfy all the questions I have. How did you feel when she started hormones? Were you scared of your spouse growing boobs? Were you scared that your marriage couldn’t make it? Did you feel lonely? Were you angry? How did you handle that? What did you do?
I don’t know how to end this post. I’m going to visit a friend this weekend out of town so I can get some distance from the visual reminder of my anger. I need a break. And wine.