My daughter recently posted on Facebook, a meme that said something to the effect that, “My New Years resolution is to tell more people to fuck off!! “. In her introduction, she did include a great detailed list of potential people and potential situations that Fuck Off!! would be perfectly appropriate to say as a response if any of these scenarios ever came up in reality. Yet none of this added information kept me from being triggered by my own unconscious shame and anger that came up from reading the original meme.
Well, as some of you who know me can imagine, my first reaction to reading her post, for a moment, was “what will people think”?? After I let that energy flow through me it was, okay, “I don’t give a fuck what people think”! Between these two reactions is a part of me that needs to speak to embrace my daughter and myself for who we are trying to become. Our authentic selves.
In our collective society, for both men and women, especially southern ones, anger is a taboo emotion. We don’t like to see it, feel it, or express it, or have it mirrored back to us by others! We do mental gymnastics to rationalize that it’s not necessary to express anger, especially in public. We might look really bad, or we might piss somebody off, so we cover it up with many various defense mechanisms.
Most of us, especially my generation, want to appear to be cool, calm, and collected as much as we can.. We want to look happy, and put together, always putting our best foot forward. The problem with this is, if we repress and hide this anger, and in tandem the other side of this coin shame, behind a facade we are still going to act it out in many different ways, unconsciously.
We may become bitter, and use our passive aggressive anger to jab people with “funny” sarcasm, and blame them for being hurt, because they can’t take a joke. We may act it out in a Jekyll/Hyde scenario, like my father did, presenting a light and jovial face to one group of people and a very dark and ominous face to another group. We may stay silent for most or all of a lifetime and kill ourselves slowly or suddenly with disease or by “accident” or from a myriad of addictions. These diseases including addictions and “accidents” of any kind are in my experiential opinion, caused by internalized anger and shame that becomes, after a time of suppression , held unconscious in our mental, emotional, and physical bodies. If we don’t consciously become aware of our unconscious repressed feelings and express them to heal ourselves they are acted out as self destructive tendencies like the aforementioned, diseases, accidents and addictions.
That’s why I feel passionately, like my daughter does, about removing the taboo about expression of any and all emotions, especially anger. As a recovering “bless your heart” I want to be “nice” southern woman who’s struggled for years to try to be real, I am especially passionate about my recovery from unconsciously creating and living in a facade of proper manners and protocols that have been controlling us for centuries and kept us from living an authentic life in the flow.
So for many years now I have been focused on healing my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical body by allowing all of my unconscious emotions to become conscious and expressing them in private to become more balanced so that the real, more authentic me could come out and be public. So that, in the moment, as much as possible, I can use anger appropriately as a boundary to protect my inner child. Yes, and in some situations, appropriately will mean to say in the moment “fuck off”!!! to an asshole who is being hurtful or abusive.
I allowed my daughter from the time she could speak to curse if she wanted or needed to, because even that long ago I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite and not allow my child this anger release that I was regularly allowing for myself. So she is the product of being a free expressor from her very beginning. This is part of the reason why to the majority of this world her expression of her authenticity might seem provocative, and extreme. If we as the older generation take on our part of anger expression in this world then maybe young people who are scapegoated by society for being way too angry, and God forbid, way too vocal, won’t have express so much for those of us who have disowned our anger and other emotions at our own, our children’s, and our collective’s expense.
We as individuals and as a society are now making some progress though, because we are being triggered by our personal and collective anger and shame to wake up these unconscious feelings so they can be consciously owned and expressed by us all!Look at the black lives matter movement, the #metoo movement, and the LGBT movement, we are all bringing our unconscious bipolar parts forward to be openly expressed and healed. So that one day we all will be personally and collectively unified and whole! SO BE IT!!!