I am angry.
I spent most of my 45-minute drive home from the office on the phone. As I locked the office door, I made a phone call that I thought would take 60 seconds, but it dragged on and on. As I finally pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant for dinner, I realized that my muscles were tight and my jaw was clenched.
I felt incredibly angry. It wasn’t anger about anything that had just happened. It was more long-repressed anger seeping out. As I turned the car off and sat in the fading twilight for a few moments, I felt a rush of irrational anger and misery.
I wanted to explode. I wanted to cry. I wanted to angrily scream out to ask somebody why life doesn’t work the way I was taught it was supposed to.
As far as I can tell, there’s nobody who can answer my question. The people who taught me the things I believed about the world are dead or dying. And even if they were still around, I’ve finally realized that they were even more confused about reality than their teaching left me.
I didn’t recognize myself as an Enneagram Type 1 for a long time simply because I was in such denial about the anger I felt inside. There had been times when I felt anger — especially when I was going through therapy and things were slowly “leaking out” — but I thought that anger was an anomaly.
I now understand that this anger is a deeply repressed part of me — and it’s what often drives me to fix myself, to fix others, to fix the world. Right now, though, my understanding of anger isn’t that rational.
I am simply experiencing rage that things are not as they should be.
I’m angry about all sorts of things. When I allow myself to feel it, I realize that it’s a boiling cauldron of rage that wants desperately to fix everything that’s wrong — in my life and in the world around me.
I’m angry that so little of life works the way I was taught it would. I was born into an era when we were told that everything was possible and that we would achieve great things. The future was a technological and social utopia. I would be valued and rewarded for my talents and virtues. That was the picture that was painted for me — and none of that turned out to be true in the ways I believed it would.
I’m angry that I feel so relatively isolated and alone. There are people all around me — and I interact with them all the time — but my values and ways of thinking might as well be from another planet. Half the world glorifies a great past which never existed. The other half have fallen deeply into intellectual denial of reality. The first group seem hateful to me. The second group seem brain-damaged and irrational.
I’m angry that I have no one to love and who can love me. I didn’t really understand love properly when I was younger. It took me decades to start coming to a deeper understanding of how much it matters to have the right partner. When I had choices of partners when I was young, my limited understanding of love could be compared to an artist who worked in crayon. By the time I learned enough about the craft of painting my own style in glorious oil paints — and I was mature enough to really love — there was nobody there. And I’m angry about being alone.
I’m angry that I have trusted people who turned out not to be trustworthy. I’m angry that I haven’t figured out how to support myself doing the things which I understand I need to be doing. I’m angry that I spend my days doing things which seem useless to me. I’m angry with myself that I seem to have so little control over myself at times. I’m angry that the world around me is so irrational — to the point that it seems as though I must be crazy or else they are crazy instead.
I don’t know what to do about the things I’m angry about. I’m not sure that’s even the point right now. Yes, I desperately wish I had something to share my anger and hurts and hopes and dreams with, but that hope seems so remote that I feel almost numb when I try to allow myself to feel those things.
There is more to reality than most people on this planet will ever allow themselves to see. There are spiritual and metaphysical and even mystical experiences which are so much more important than the garbage with which we are typically required to fill our days.
I am angry and resentful that the very person who could have been the best one to explore this amazing reality with will never come down that path with me. I am angry that the meaningless values of the world stop some people from ever understanding where true value lies.
I don’t have answers to any of these things — or for any of the other things I’m angry about. Right now, I just need to feel the anger — to believe that it’s righteous anger that deserves to be heard and vented. I need to let that anger drive me toward something bigger and better than the failed promises of the past did.
I am angry. And I desperately want to reform myself and reform my world enough that the day will come when I am angry no more — and I can experience the love and hope and peace which are my true birthright.