Anger Control

I Ain’t Bitter, I Just Don’t Care Y'all Are Killing Me

It is incredibly easy for people to label you bitter, when in reality, you've developed a severe allergic reaction to emotional stress caused by certain individuals' behavior or words. Bitter to me is when I yell, "All men are dogs. They stink!"

All men are not dogs but some stink. Fed-up with feeling emotionally drained and adopting an attitude of “I will not deal with this knucklehead’s behavior” can be liberating. What’s the saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” I believe that to an extent but I personally am not vindictive. I’m not confrontational and like to maintain inner peace. Might sound like a load of crap but it’s really not. When I am upset by feelings caused by the behavior or words of another, romantic partner or not, it seems to disturb more than my inner peace, that is, until I work through it.

Unfortunately, it’s not until I restore that balance that I see how deeply I’ve been affected. I do believe women are emotional creatures and yes, we can be motivated by these emotions, but one of the things I am grateful to have finally learned is to not be held hostage by these emotions.

I recall two situations in the past year where someone’s actions or words were very hurtful to me. Of course, it’s worse when you feel it’s unwarranted or undeserved but because I was in different mind states, I dealt with each differently.

Suppressed Emotion

The first situation produced silence. I was so hurt I could not form coherent sentences. I didn’t get angry. I just felt, drained. And defeated. I was so used to closing up shop emotionally that it took a few months before I became angry. So angry that it would keep me up at night! But still, I was not bitter, nor did I feel like I needed to get even.

Free-flowing Emotion

The second situation was slightly different because it was behavior, not words, that were hurtful to me. I surprised myself that day. I let myself become angry. Not just annoyed, seriously angry. So mad that I could feel the blood vessels constricting in my head… my heart raced and my voice became deadly quiet. It felt good. I said exactly what I wanted to say – without being purposely mean and without harboring the pain he inflicted.

Breeding Ground

With the first incident, when I remained quiet, it could have very well been a breeding ground for bitterness. But I worked through the emotions that were a direct result of this pain. As a matter of fact, the individual apologized almost a year later and although it provided closure, I found, almost astonishingly so, that I had lost love and respect for him. This for a man I once said I would die for! I wasn’t bitter or vengeful – I just could not allow myself to care anymore. After the anger subsided, which seemed to be no more than the release of emotional anguish, I had nothing left. You know how I know I’m not bitter? Because I’d do it all again to experience the kind of love I had for that brother.

The second incident taught me to deal with the emotion while in the midst of it. SAY what I mean when the opportunity arises – not after the fact. If you wait until later, what you say will seem contrived and inappropriate. When the second incident occurred, almost six months later, I let loose! I think they frightened dude because he got really, really quiet. I have a seemingly gentle nature but be forewarned, you don’t really want to rumble. Like I said, I don’t often hold grudges and I am never vindictive, I learn from experience to avoid those things that don’t work for me (like the plague) no matter how tempting they may seem.

Pain breeds bitterness but if you work through it, you can let that pain go before it manifests itself in actions that will have people calling you bitter – or worse. And you tell them, “I ain’t bitter, I just don’t care,” then carry on being the fabulousness that you are.

Originally Written: March 11, 2002

OneHipSista

Hi. I'm Valerie. Glad you're here – come on in and sit a spell. I've never put so much of my writing online but I share my personal experiences in hopes that I help someone in some way. I hope you find something you read thought-provoking, amusing or encouraging. Reach out or comment if you like. Please forgive the typos, grammar and cussing. Thanks for stopping by.

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