On anger and forgiveness
Sun 16 June 2019
(my comments on “the thread on reddit”)
I have been thinking about this thread for the last couple of days, and I am sorry I let myself to be side-tracked into a stupid argument about the Christianity and religion and stuff. Right now I read linkffn(9203082) and that made me into thinking about forgiveness and anger again (BTW, I am just in the seventh chapter, but it looks quite good).
There is that thing about being angry. First of all, let me make it clear, that I have no idea what your mother did to you, and certainly I have not experienced like that personally, so I have no way to even comprehend what you feel. Nevertheless, I know a bit about being angry for other reasons.
One very smart lady told me once (and she without doubt read it somewhere herself), that anger is the public show of our fear. I am not sure whether it is true physiologically (I am not a doctor, brain physiologist, psychiatrist, or anything of that sort), but I found out repeatedly that it is very helpful thinking about my anger in this way. When I get to the argument with my wife, it is usually very interesting to think what actually made me angry with her (and unfortunately, I am thinking that only later, too often too much later). There may be some justified anger, but mostly I found that there is truly some fear underneath. I am afraid (of course, we are afraid of those who are closest to us, because they can hurt us most), that for example she won't get my point, she won't change her behaviour, and she will therefore eventually hurt me (or our children; even worse!) again. By being angry I am trying to generate enough force to persuade her she is wrong, and I am right. Unfortunately, after twenty-three years of marriage, I have exhaustively tested it doesn't work, and the only change of hearts happens when she herself is persuaded about the need of change.
I haven’t experienced true child abuse, but I went through share of anger in my life. I grew up in the Communist Czechoslovakia and whenever I think how much my life (and life of my parents!) was screwed up by Them, I go out of control how much angry I am. How much opportunity I lost because I couldn't grow up in the normal country, how much hurt and debilitated my parents were (my father got his heart attack during the interrogation of the false accusation of rape by the secret police). And I may perfectly know it is completely irrational (well, now less than five years ago; oh well), but there is still fear they will return again, or that I may never recover what I've lost.
Of course, my receipts on what to do with such fear are useless to you (giving my trust in the God’s Providence, etc.), but still I think it is better to understand our fears (and yes, as Seneca wrote, if we didn't control our fear, it controlled ourselves), then to think there is something good about it.
Just a thought.