Anger is an energy 

Let me explain…

Once upon a time there was a little girl, an only child, who lived on a quiet, lonely road. Her room was on the second floor of an old house with a window that overlooked a pond. Her mother was more worried about the placement of the furniture in the room than preserving the view, so a large wardrobe blocked the window onto the pond. It also blocked the morning sun and kept the room darker than it would’ve been otherwise.

The girl liked to dream, to make up stories in her head. She invented an imaginary twin brother named Jamie. Jamie always came with her to the creek that ran through the property and the two of them had great adventures there. They pretended to be giants stomping around a mighty river. The little girl would pretend to be caught in the current and cry out to Jamie to come rescue her. When she came back to the house wet and muddy, her mother would frown and scold her for not acting like a lady.

The little girl was afraid of the dark. Having a vivid imagination, she pictured all sorts of monsters and demons lurking there. She had a lot of trouble sleeping and stayed awake listening to the creaks and groans of the old house. Sometimes she would try to crawl in next to her parents in the middle of the night but she was always sent back to bed with an eye rolling reassurance that there was nothing under the bed or in the closet.

When she did fall asleep, she had nightmares. She dreamt of plane crashes, floods and the house catching fire. She dreamt that bad men would break in and kidnap her and hold her for ransom. She worried that maybe her parents wouldn’t pay. She pretended Jamie was in the bed next to her and she would hug her pillow like it was him. In the mornings, she would sometimes awaken on the floor.

Evening meals were spent in clipped conversation or in tense silence. The little girl was so nervous she couldn’t eat her supper. That only made her mother more angry. She told her that she ruined every family dinner they’d ever had. Sometimes the little girl would leave the table and go throw up what little food she had managed to choke down.

Despite all of that, the little girl was bright and did well in school. When she learned to read, she read well above her grade level. She won the spelling bee when she was in the 4th grade, finally making her mother proud. Her teachers encouraged her to read and gave her lists of books for the summer vacation. Reading helped her escape. At last it was something her mother approved of. She wouldn’t be scolded for curling up with a book the way she had been for catching tadpoles and getting all dirty.

She had to wear glasses now. Her mother made her wear curlers to bed because she didn’t like her straight hair. The curlers were uncomfortable and made her problems sleeping even worse. All the other girls in school wore their long hair straight and smooth but her mother said her hair wasn’t shiny and thick enough to wear that way. Her mother said she was too skinny and pale. She’d rouge her cheeks with her own makeup to bring a little color to the girl’s features.  Her mother would sigh and shake her head.  The girl would feel ashamed.

Her grandmother bought her a diary, the kind with a little lock and key. Even with it locked, she kept the diary hidden so her mother wouldn’t find it. The girl started to write things down. How she wished she was a princess in a castle one day and an astronaut on the moon the next. How she wished Jamie was real. How she didn’t think she was pretty. How she worried she would never fall in love because no one would ever want her. She worried that she’d never be happy.

The girl sought solace in books and music.  She poured out her frustrations in poetry. She went away to college and drowned her sorrows in booze.  She made friends.  Men actually found her attractive.  One of them told her she was beautiful. She didn’t believe him, couldn’t believe him.  She pushed him away.  She broke his heart.

It took the girl a long time to realize she was more than her mother’s disappointment.  Eventually, though, she understood. The girl’s mother never wanted the girl to outshine her, to be smarter or prettier or more successful. She was only ever proud of the girl when she could somehow take credit for the thing she was good at. She really didn’t want her daughter to be happy.  She wanted her daughter to make her look good.

Understanding makes her angry.  But the hot anger feels better than the cold pain.  The anger is fuel.  Fuel for her writing and she is on fire.

Writers, do you channel negative emotions into fuel for your writing? 

(Image courtesy Pinterest)

50 thoughts on “Anger is an energy 

  1. I am so lucky and glad I don’t have too many negative things going on in life. God’s been kind! I hope others who do face negativity find the strength to turn it around!
    Thank you for sharing Meg. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely! All the bad times you go through make good stories to tell the world what stuff you’re made up of and what you can take away at the end of the day from it all! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the best story I have read on your blog so far!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Love and light ❤

    Just out of curiosity: writers perceive their stories differently from readers do. Which one was your favorite?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah I think writing or poetry is a great way to channelise your negativity. Its a beautiful story and I enjoyed reading it! Thanks to Vibrant too for reblogging it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this story! I definitely channel my anger and other emotions into my writing. I think that channeling my emotions into my writing is what makes me a good writer. I have to feel it before I can make someone else feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hot anger vs cold pain. I’m glad it worked successfully for your girl. Sadly it often does not play out in such a positive way. In fact, I think it accounts for many negative actions. For instance, cannot understand such needless vandalism as someone walking down a street cutting car tires. I’m glad for the direction your girl takes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that anger is an energy and can be channeled in a positive way, fortunately for me it went that way. When I was 16 years old I came to the US from El Salvador to live with my father and stepmother, both took everything I did in a negative way. I couldn’t speak english and had to adjust to my new culture. I had to baby sit for my brat half brothers and sister who were 7, 5 and 2. I had to cook and do dishes every night, and clean the house every Saturday. My father was a person that you could never talk to and I felt no love from this family. Because of my language difficulties I did 3 years of high school and those were the years that I spent in this house. I promised to myself that when I went to college, I would do really good so that I could find a job and be independent and never have to go back and live there. And that is what happened, I channeled my energy into my studies, I graduated first in my class with a 2 year chemical technician degree and at 21 moved to Rochester to work for Kodak. At that time Kodak was a great company to work for and paid for my night school BS degree in Chemistry. Eventually I decided that I loved art more than chemistry and made the switch, and title by little I am telling my story through my art.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This story made me so mad at that mother and so happy for the girl that she found a way to use the anger. I think most of us have to forgive our parents for all the things that they did to us and for our disappointments in the things they did not do for us. TV may make this worse, as it often portrays these ideal families, especially around the end-of-year holidays with all the sappy movies, but I suspect it has always been this way.

    One of those life-changing moments for me was when I traveled to Clay County, AR, to do some genealogical research and happened to meet an ex-wife of one of my granddad’s relatives. She told me things about the family that no one who was still a member of it would have said and it really opened my eyes to understanding my granddad and my dad better. Dad’s own mother told me some things that had a similar effect. Seeing Dad in the context of his own life, rather than through the filter of my life, let me see Mom the same way, and I don’t hold the anger toward them that I used to hold. So, my favorite bit of this story is the last 2 paragraphs. Understanding can liberate you from the box that your parents put you in or let you forgive them for how damaged that box is or both.

    Even though the story is telling, not showing, it is an excellent story — and I hope the girl in it is not you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good! Editing while you’re “fired up” is a productive way to channel the energy too. Isn’t it interesting how the comments became more personal as the discussion progressed? It took a while before anyone asked/guessed that the girl in the story was me…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess I know who that little girl is…!
    Yes, I totally channel my negative energy into positive things, not just writing. I noticed that I get a burst of energy that I do not have otherwise, so every time I have negative thoughts in my head especially relating to my past, I do something positive like writing or dancing or cleaning the house and sometimes even creating music (I play the guitar)! It really helps when I come out of it to know that the sudden burst of energy was channeled into something useful, kind of makes me forget the anger! 😀
    Great post, Meg! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m absolutely with you on it. I do feel negative emotions can fuel writing. It give a new perspective. We all have a tendency to take things for granted – the ones that makes us happy. However, we pay a great deal of attention and spent all our energy, musing on what, why, how. So negative emotions can be channelled for a productive outcome.

    Have a great day!
    Arcane owl

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am sorry you had to experience this, but I am happy it has made you the person you are. You are an amazing person and, while you have had some negatives in your life, you have fashioned them into an amazing piece of art.

    I’m glad you are who you are.

    Liked by 2 people

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