Anger Management

She had nothing to show for the time other than hurting teeth and jaws from gritting them or clamping down hard, on anger, on something solid and tangible. She was always surprised at how anger could feel so real and was always stunned by its physicality. Sometime during the night the pain radiated upwards, up her temples, spreading across the frontal lobe and radiating outwards, a shroud of pain stretched tightly across her skull.

You see, she just didn’t like who he became when he was around others and feeling in his element, as though he owned the world. Anger swallowed her power of speech and her ability to articulate anything, so much so that if one was to ask how she was feeling she would probably just say, “I am fine, just have a slight headache”, while inside her world would be churning and turning every morbid shade of grey and black.

It always passed, and its immediate passing worked in his favor. It didn’t stay, seethe or fester. It retreated to a deeper place, a secure place. Like a conscientious werewolf, perhaps, retreating to a safe shack where he couldn’t hurt others whenever the moon shone bright in the sky.

That may be the reason why he pushed it to the limit; perhaps it was his way of working in a balance, of putting her in her place somehow, perhaps it was his warped way of telling her she was not so special.

The irony of the situation was that she knew she was not special. At best she felt like an impostor, a pretender, at the moments when she appeared to shine the most. All that glittered, she was convinced, was definitely never gold in her case. Left on her own she thought she would wither away untouched, causing barely a ripple in her wake. She probably wouldn’t even displace the air that surrounded her as she made her way through to any destination. She believed this.

But she was, nevertheless, capable of black and withering anger at the double-faced praise he heaped on her when no one else was around and the precision with which he proceeded to tear her apart when there were others around. It was possible he thought he was poking innocent fun at her, teasing her but the coat of humor his words usually wore was threadbare and ripped, hiding a feral beast within, bearing its fangs at her.

He was quite oblivious and incapable of sensing how close to an explosion she was during one of those moments when he paused, briefly, to look around and gauge the reaction of the room, having delivered another one of his zingers at her expense; in his element, smiling, waiting for her self-deprecating smile or shrug. Waiting for her to smile and join in, in the laughter he strove to percolate at her expense. That smile rarely failed him. Perhaps it encouraged encores of ever escalating roasts, “Rip her to shreds!”

She didn’t recall ever paying him back in kind. She wouldn’t have known how. She liked to treat people the way she hoped to be treated. She felt she was aware of her shortcomings, her flaws, aware of the dreariness that saddled her soul and alienated her from everyone, from everything. She thought she couldn’t possibly be fun to be around for more than a few minutes (the few minutes when she actually made an effort to be sparklingly effervescent).

Her interests never coincided with those of others, if ever there was a person who marched to a different drummer, she knew it was her, but – she wasn’t graceless. She wanted fairness and grace always. She thought people could hate her, if they chose, for as many things as they wanted, but they couldn’t hate her for being graceless. She couldn’t have dreamt of humiliating him in public, under the guise of some warped sense of “good-natured fun”.

She couldn’t dream of walking out on him when he was holding forth or walking out on him ever. After the blackness retreated she had no trouble acknowledging the radiance or appreciating his finer qualities, the things that had always made her feel lucky. But unrestrained anger is a scary thing and it was increasingly cumbersome to shackle the beast.

She wanted him to reconsider his approach, indulge in some leisurely introspection, reevaluate his actions, so that they could enjoy more periods of grace, more serenity, forever.


  1. Be true to yourself, you are a genuine person. Supressing your feelings towards the insensitivity of others is not good for your health and happiness.

  2. You have an amazing power over the language and expression.Yes anger can be really potent especially if its restrained

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