December 12, 2007


Posted in *cringe*, Guilt, Seven Deadlies, The Angry, The Why, The WTF at 10:26 am by Dagny Taggart

While I may not be comfortable with the concept of when to get angry, I am more than capable of it.  There’s been a little of it here, but the things that I don’t say are often far worse than the things I do – which, I think, is to my credit.

Moby:  Fuckin’ whore. 
Slams door as he leaves for the last time.

Me:  Take care.
Thinks, “Not that you’d know since you couldn’t lock it up for the last half of our relationship.”

I didn’t say it out loud.  Which is an improvement from my relationship with the ex-fiancé, wherein he and I spent more time honing our expressions of fury than being in the relationship.  The things that I think of saying, sometimes, scare me.

I don’t, which is good.  But what kind of person automatically thinks of the most vicious & cruel retort possible?  What kind of person subconciously sifts through everything she knows about a person until the sentences formed in her mind are perfectly designed and aimed to do the most amount of damage in the fewest syllables?

This is one of the reasons why, when I do get mad, I get very quiet.  I may even seem stupid, unable to hold my own in the ongoing debate/discussion.  It’s because I’m afraid that, if I open my mouth, the worst will come out.

I’ve come close, here.  And some of those things, I’ve re-saved as drafts.  Because I was angry, and rightly so, and I don’t necessarily regret expressing that anger.  But to let it sit there as a reminder, every day…  that seemed like the cruelest sin of all. 

And I know, better than a lot of people, just how damaging and hurtful and lasting those kinds of words can be.  I don’t ever want my voice to be the one rattling around someone’s brain, to be the one heard with startling clarity over and over every time a painful memory resurfaces.  That’s not the legacy I want to leave, deadly sin or no.



  1. Alias Faux said,

    Honestly, the least fun of the 7.

  2. Nato said,

    I haven’t seen “Wedding Crashers,” so I’m kind of in the dark about what “lock it up” actually means. I have several guesses, though.

    You seem to have been taught and encouraged all your life to plan meticulously, to absorb and filter and choose with precision, so I’m not surprised that you’d have such a talent for devising witty comebacks. (For my money, anyone who calls his ex a “fuckin’ whore” deserves a verbal evisceration.) That you choose not to say them, that you care about what your words might do to others, speaks extremely well of you.

    Among my list of greatest regrets is the time I blew up verbally at an ex. I was justified, and after six months of head games and thorough, laser-guided precision heartbreaking, she arguably deserved it. But I still feel ashamed of myself.

  3. Alias Faux: I’m not a huge fan of Envy, either, really. But then again, I kind of think they’re two sides of the same coin. One is you being angry at others. The other is you pretending to be angry at others when you’re really just angry with yourself, no?

    And, I kind of like to think I’m saving the best for last. 😉

    Nato: The verbal stuff definitely sticks with me for a lot longer than anything else, and that might be one of the reasons I try so hard not to say things out loud.

    And yes, anyone who says something like that deserves to be called out – but for being the kind of person who would say something like that, not because of something unrelated, something incredibly personal about which they’re incredibly sensitive. Sigh.

    I think you can probably stop feeling ashamed of yourself. At some point, everyone handles a situation in a less-than-optimal way, and it sounds like you’d not do the same thing again (though I very much hope the situation doesn’t present itself!). 🙂

  4. WiB said,

    what you think to say isn’t what defines you; it’s far more what you choose to say. Fight or flight exists even for emotional combat, so it’ only natural to want to go for the jugular (see Moby quote, above). The fact that you temper that instinct, especially where others clearly are not doing the same, is a credit to you.

    It’s all about choice. Everyone gets angry, but what we do with that anger is what matters. In the end, quiet is better.

    I would suggest channeling that anger into something productive. Like, I don’t know… cookies?

  5. Nato said,

    One trip to later…

    Wow. “Lock it up” turns out to be far less dirty than I assumed. I don’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed. 🙂

  6. Hammer said,

    Although I belive that under the right circumstances there is a place for anger – that it is useful, necessary even – I also believe that you eventually have to let it go. I nod and tip my beer in your general direction.

  7. Lisa said,

    Smart smart smart to hold your tongue. Far better to not have put meanness out into the world.

  8. WiB: Anger cookies – an interesting idea. I’ll consult with my friend, the art therapist, and see what she recommends. 😉

    Nato: I might have been borrowing the phrase and using it as a euphemism for something not covered by UrbanDictionary. Then again, I might not. Why don’t you just decide to interpret it in a way more comfortable for you? 😀

    Hammer: Yes, the letting go is useful. But, of course, it’s finding the way that’s most effective and least hurtful that’s key.

    Lisa: Well, I figured that if I had actually gone there, I’d be no better than he – though I didn’t really care what he thought, anymore, I wanted to be comfortable with how I had handled things. I don’t regret not saying it, so that’s something. 🙂

  9. vvk said,

    But what kind of person automatically thinks of the most vicious & cruel retort possible? What kind of person subconsciously sifts through everything she knows about a person until the sentences formed in her mind are perfectly designed and aimed to do the most amount of damage in the fewest syllables?

    People who (1) understand people well enough to actually know what would hurt them the most, (2) a wit quick enough to come up with something in a timely manner. You, seem to have both of those, but you also have a third important quality, (3) a level of maturity and concern for others that tells you to keep your mouth shut.

    I’ve got (1) and (3), but am sorely lacking in (2).

    There are people who don’t have (1) and think they have two, so they end up saying something stupid.

    There are lots of other sorts of people too… for example there’s the person who would react with violence… they tend to not have any of (1), (2), or (3).

  10. freewheel said,

    Your restraint is admirable. And you’re right, it’s hard to take vicious words back.

    Still, sometimes people need a good ass-kicking. Take this Moby character. After someone calls you a “fuckin whore,” what’s the point in showing restraint? Much better to have it out with the person who caused the wrath than to hold it inside only to let it out at some other time on some innocent person.

  11. vvk: I suspect your wit is quicker than you’re letting on, but have no doubts about whether you have (1) and (3). I just wish the hurtful things didn’t come to me so easily. 😦

    freewheel: Thank you! I guess for me, the point of showing restraint is that knowing that in the long run, in the end, I wasn’t just like him. And you’re right – taking it out on the wrong person is a very real danger, and finding an appropriate way to express and exorcise that anger has been a constant challenge. 😕

  12. vvk said,

    The ability to understand other people, their wants and needs and desires… it’s a powerful thing. You have that ability. There’s a very fine line between having the ability to make someone very happy, and the ability to hurt them… to do either, you need to understand the other person. So when you’re angry, your mind will tilt towards figuring out hot to hurt them, and when you’re happy, it’ll tilt toward how to help them. They’re two sides of the same coin… and the side that really matters is which side you act on.

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