Friday, October 30, 2009

Getting Angry

Okay maybe this post doesn't belong on my art blog, but it's my only blog to really survive the 2nd year grad school stress to some degree (I guess besides twitter, which doesn't count).

So here goes.

I don't like getting angry. Okay, I do, but only because getting angry means I have moved past the disempowered, sad, self-deprecating stage. Getting angry means I feel have power over what's going on. Feeling sad and hopeless means I feel I have no power to change my current situation.

Today in class we had to make "anger monsters." Although we didn't have too much discussion about our anger monsters, I wanted to show the art work that came out of my time today. You have to excuse the picture because I still haven't replaced my good camera and the lighting is awful.

I don't like being angry because I have a hard time feeling that I deserve to be angry. But I do deserve to be angry. I also don't like being angry because I think people will dislike me if I get angry. This is something I have to get over. Being angry shouldn't also make me anxious.

I didn't get to talk about my anger in class, I just got to get angry at my teacher later, who was trying to help but I didn't feel heard. I think what makes me angry the most is when people say they hear you but it still feels like you aren't being heard.

My anger is smoldering. My anger builds slowly over time. My anger lingers, waiting quietly for the perfect time to come out, the time when it can make the biggest impact. My anger feeds on itself and on me. But my anger is also my power. It can be destructive and constructive.

Today my anger is acting on my behalf. I feel like I am not getting support I need and my anger is giving me the voice I need to garner that support. I feel like I'm not being told when I do things well, only when I need improvement, and my anger is allowing me to hold on to my victories and now wallow in the feelings of hopelessness, the feelings that I will never improve, that no matter how hard I try there will never be a positive remark in there for me.

Is this what most people consider anger? I don't know. I don't like being angry all the time. But when I'm angry, people listen, maybe because I'm not angry much. I might be passionate and loud but not angry. I might get pissed off and vent at my friends and family, but that's not anger, because when I'm angry I tell it to that person's face... no mistaking what's going on there.

My anger can be nasty, though. I know that.

I named my anger The Russian Bear, alluding to images of Russia being represented as the sleeping bear. I wrote (and said, in class), "Do not wake me up or I will fuck you up." That is the bear. The bear sleeps, and stirs, and yawns, but the bear does not wake up unless enough poking and prodding makes it impossible to remain in the passive stance.

So today I said everything to my teacher. About how I don't feel like I'm getting the support I need in various places, including the classroom. About the reasons I am having trouble at my internship. About what I need her to do for me. I didn't even pretend to sugar coat it, it just came out, plain as day, my thoughts, no diplomacy.

Now I feel anxious about it. Does she hate me now?

I frequently get frustrated at another teacher in my program and have full-on arguments in the middle of class, but I've never told her straight up how I feel about being in her class. I wonder what she thinks of me?

And when I go down the list of people who I have spoken to their face, told them how I feel about what's going on, it's always with authority figures. I one time called out the president of a synagogue, head of the Southwest region of Young Judea, principle of the religious school, and two rabbis all at the same time. So I don't know what the deal is with that.

Anyway, I had to get this post out. I think that somehow putting it on the internet where anyone can see it makes me feel better, so that maybe the people who have been involved in the recent things that are going on in my life can understand how I feel about being angry. I don't like it, but I need it in order to find my voice.

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