“Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They don’t ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like ‘maybe we should just be friends’ or ‘how very perceptive’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
I have a mental list, about six bullets long, of sentences that I have vowed I will never, ever say. Some of these include, "In ___ days, I will officially be Mrs. _____!!!!" There's also, "The gospel is like ______," unless, of course, one is speaking facetiously. "I love you but _____" is on there, although it's possible that I've screwed up and said that once. I can't remember. Is that bad? Two are too personal to share here. And finally, there's "I was talking to my therapist the other day, and ________." Totally awkward. Totally embarrassing.
So I was talking to my therapist the other day, and darned if we weren't talking about love. Well, indirectly. I was telling her about some things that have happened to me, a long time ago, and how I was ANGRY at the people who did those things to me. We have been talking for several weeks now about how to avoid catastrophizing and other such irrational thought patterns, but how do you get rid of anger? This I asked her. She looked at me sort of strangely, then said, "Is it unreasonable to be angry about what has happened to you?"
Well, no. I guess not.
"So why do you feel you aren't allowed to be angry?"
Well, because being angry doesn't feel good. I really don't get angry very often and when I do, it really bothers me. Also, if I'm angry, I haven't forgiven them, right? It's like carrying all those people who have hurt me around in my head. And it's getting crowded in there.
Then she said a bunch of stuff. Here's a summary: A lot of times we push away negative emotions because dealing with them is bothersome. Nobody likes to be angry. Well, that's a lie. Some people do. But I don't. But if you ride them out, it's easier to get over them, and quicker. Holy cow. Sign me up.