Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Anger, or self loathing?

What makes a person use anger on everyone close to him/her?

I used to know such a person. I dreaded going home after work everyday. I went home punctually in spite of it, because I had bigger fear that he might harm my kids if I was not home before he was. The three of us lived in constant terror, as we never knew what would set him off. Eventually we came to realize that everything set him off. It wasn’t us - it was him. Then we gained our freedom back – we left.

I found out recently that my friend Rachel had become such a person some years ago. I saw how her husband and her daughter live the life I used to live, and I was sad, angry, and felt utterly powerless. I wanted to help but didn’t know how. My heart went out to Joey and Alice – they walk on thin ice and endure her constant bouts of anger over the most minute and innocent movements, comments or casual conversations. I know how their lives are. It’s like living in a nightmare from which you can’t wake up.

There was alcoholism that could be part of the reason for the man’s behavior, but there was no apparent reason for Rachel whatsoever. She has a loving and devoted husband. She has a daughter to fulfill the perfect “2 son 1 daughter” combination. She doesn’t have to work and lives in a nice house. What could be so wrong that she has to ridicule, belittle, berate, or just plain yelling at others to make herself feel superior? It seems that she’s determined to ruin her family with all her might, and she won’t stop unless it’s completely destroyed.

These people are cowards. They appear to be pleasant and cordial to outsiders, but turn into absolute tyrants when there’s only loved ones around. I think they are using anger to redirect people’s attention, so that no one could see how inadequate they really are. So the question is not “Why are they are so angry?”, really, but rather “Why do they feel so inferior?”


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