Fist against your jaw, bones breaking underneath, fingers turning red from the blood spitting out of your veins, your body hits the floor and I stare at you. Bitch, slut, asshole, motherfucker. I make a move to hit again and stop myself. Even in my mind, I can’t hit you on the ground. Frantic, I open my eyes, scratching down the story I witnessed, filling in the blanks. My boiling blood leaves its taste on my tongue. I bit too hard.

I used to be ashamed of anger. More than sadness, its power scared me. I was afraid of the images running in my mind, afraid that I might one day give them a reality. Afraid of the consequences if it ever happened. What would happen to me ? What would happen to them ? What would I think of myself ? Bottling it up inside kept the carnage at bay but how long would I last ?

The path to health is tumultuous. On my way, I made a deal with my feelings. I let them be, let them out, but they must do no harm. Not to me. Not to others. It’s a deal I made with anger too.

I take a piece of paper and write. As many words, as many pages, as many days necessary. I write the ugly, the abhorrent, the terrifying, self-censor turned off. Anger barks loud and clear until I am found whimpering, cut open but clean of pus. Quietly, I anoint myself and dress in soothing gauze. The breath I take spells relief as my mind clears of the fog of wrath and vengeance.

I used to live in a world of misconceptions. I didn’t trust what I couldn’t understand. Feelings were unintelligible. Guilty of weakness, I put them behind bars and made myself their watchdog. It took me years to realize I was their prisoner instead.

My words became my freedom.

I chose health over shame. Anger, sadness, love and happiness over a life of fear and misery. Feelings and I both respect our part of the deal. I learned anger comes from a place of pain, and I had to get through it to reach the truth of my problems. I thought I would be repulsed by it but, instead, I found myself understanding it more as it opened up to me and I to it.

My words remain on the paper. I turn around and throw them away. I am safe. So are you.

I found peace.
It’s all I’ve ever asked for.

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