I frequently come across posts or emails written by people in the early aftermath of infidelity. The writings are often angry. Powerfully so, the words slashing across the screen like a serrated blade. You can feel the power, the fury. Each sentence an explosion of outrage towards the unfaithful partner, the affair partner and even circumstances in general.
When I encounter these posts, I want to turn my head in horror.
Not because of the writer.
But because of myself.
I recognize myself in those outbursts, those paragraphs of wrath-tinged keening.
I recollect responding in that same manner. With that same rage blinding my sight and deafening my ears.
I identify with the deep upswell of anger formed by betrayal and a sense of unfairness.
And I want to turn away.
I don’t want to remember that part of myself.
I don’t want to perhaps catch a glimpse of residual fury tucked away.
I don’t want to admit the power that anger held over me.
I see those posts and I remember my early journals, the pen digging deep trenches into the paper, pretending it was gouging flesh from his face. All I wanted to do was to lash out, to make him experience just a fraction of the pain he had inflicted upon me. It was ugly. And it made me ugly.
And I don’t like to face that, to remember the vileness of the anger, any potential for compassion forced out by blind indignation. I don’t like admitting that I wanted to respond to my pain by creating pain in someone else.
And so I want to turn my head. To deny that I once felt that same way.
But that’s becoming what I promised I wouldn’t – someone who writes about divorce only from the scrubbed and polished perspective of the other side.
I want to turn my head in horror.
But that’s not honest.
The horror is real.
The anger is real.
And facing it is the only way to lessen its grip.
So I read. And I remember. And I try to reach out.
Because anger is simply pain screaming to be heard.
21 thoughts on “Turn Away”
“Anger is simply pain screaming to be heard.” This is so true. Thank you for articulating this for me.
You;re welcome. The good thing is that the pain eventually gets hoarse:)
Thank you for not turning away. You are one of the first people who reached out to me…I will forever be grateful 🙂
Having experienced infidelity for the first time in my life it’s a club I don’t want to belong to, yet I will forever have compassion now for people who have been cheated on because it’s a pain that can barely be described. I appreciate knowing that I will live through it.
It is indescribable.
To be with that anger and go through that anger is necessary to move forward. Thank you for not scrubbing and polishing. If someone didn’t get angry I would be worried. Betrayal is devastating.
I’d be worried too!
For some time I have been focussing on the healing perspective of living by my values; rather than analyzing the actions of my husband, the pain, and my feelings of anger and despair. The interesting thing is, some time passed before I allowed that ‘healing’ phase to begin. I believe now that it would be impossible to begin that on day 1.
I have read divorce books spouting ‘quick-and-easy’ methods for curing the pain of divorce (or betrayal). They begin their marketing with phrases like ‘if you have tried a, b or c method and you are still stuck in pain, try our super-sonic method and be healed in 21 days’ (or some other ludicrous time period). What they fail to say is that for their method to work, you actually need to have tried all the other methods (a, b, c) first. Most importantly, you have to go through the pain before you can begin to heal.
In the beginning (when in pain) it was comforting to read posts from people as yourself who were ‘on the other side’ yet never too afraid to admit the dark days in the beginning.
Thank you for that honest perspective.
Quick and easy? Don’t I wish! No such thing. Just gotta face it and deal with it a little at a time. And, you’re so right that the deeper work of healing can’t happen while the anger is so intense.
Been there, done that. Very powerful words. Intense anger coupled with incredible pain can be a very ugly thing. Letting go of both is ultimately necessary to survive with one’s self intact. – Fawn
It is ugly yet it cannot be ignored.
Reblogged this on Too much sanity may be madness….
Hangs head, shudders. Slowly pulls on string attached to top of head in hopes head will lift up. Knows it will, along with shoulders eventually straightening and back lifting.
I know I have written those nasty, bitter, anger-filled letters (here and elsewhere). Mostly, I’m past it. I need to stress *mostly* because it still rears its ugly head from time to time. But it doesn’t stay as long as it used to. I’m still nowhere near forgiveness but I’m certainly moving towards a better place.
Sadly though, I continue to wonder if I will ever fully trust again? To be betrayed in that manner, it’s a shattering that is beyond words (or screams, as I’ve discovered).
It is shattering. Life changing. Soul changing. I think you can trust again but you’ll find that trust is different.
Those nasty, bitter, angry letters have their place. You have to purge that stuff. And there is such a need for the pain to be acknowledged.
So glad to hear that you’re doing better:) Just keep up those baby steps!
I am still very angry. I’m angry by the betrayals of my husband and my best friend. I’m angry that he calls me crazy for being so sad and angry. I’m angry that she is still a children’s missionary even though she “stole” the father of the children she works with and witnesses to. I’m angry that I put up with the job hopping, drinking, criticizing, financial stress, and emotional abuse just to be repaid with this. I’m angry that she uses everything I told her in the confidence of our friendship against me. I want to be shiny and polished on the other side, but I’m so not there yet. At least I’m not crying. I prefer anger to sadness. It’ll return as grief is not a linear process, but perhaps the bouts will be fewer and farther between.
Anger certainly has its place. It keeps you moving. And it sounds like you have a lot to be angry about. Let it fuel your journey to shiny and polished.