I have been working on issues of swallowing anger and injustice and letting it sit inside festering into bitterness. I've known I have a temper issue for a while, but it took this most recent diagnosis of gallstones to really make me take a look at what is going on. Who does it hurt more when I choke back any expression of hurt and upset? Certainly not the person or system I am hiding it from. I am not advocating just flying off the handle, either. That is equally dangerous. I am learning, however, to stop being afraid of powerful, just anger in myself.
Screaming into a pillow or punching the daylights out of some poor inanimate object is still something that a part of me cringes in shame and fear at. So my poor husband listens patiently as I rant and rave and pace through the house, or I go to my journal and pour out my hurt and anger onto the page in words that I may or may not understand later. It is a start.
The hardest part is what to do when I have physically expressed my feelings but there is still a physical sensation of helplessness and terror inside of me. The part that wants to hide from all of the white hot intensity of my rage. The part that was the white hot rage and has cooled and deflated until it doesn't know itself anymore. The part that is still hurt by what was done or said but is not angry. Just hurt and sad.
I like to think that I can simply curl my arms around myself, give myself a Reiki self-treatment, and let it go. But it stays. It is hidden in the smallest parts of my, like mold or mildew that slowly multiplies undetected until I burst out from it's hidden den and back into my awareness with it's illness.
Removing my gallbladder will remove the stones of a lifetime of bitterness accumulated unawares, but it cannot remove the emotional residue left behind by that bitterness. That is up to me.
It seems that daily I am made to face this issue now. My husband still works for the same people who betrayed me so deeply last June, and I want to protect him from their deceit and underhanded ways. He struggles so hard on the side of God and Justice and they are constantly creating lies and crises he must deal with. It hurts me deeply to see from the outside what they must have done to me as they built up to that final betrayal that still cuts me like a knife. I am bitter and angry with myself for not being able to function through the physical pain I am in, as if I could break through to the other side if only I try hard enough or push myself far enough. I resent my current position of "weakness" - being unable to work outside of the home, being unable to bring my home out of chaos and into a place of refuge and peace, being in so much pain and so tired.
Daily I lift up the whole thing to God, asking for guidance and help. With my health struggles, I seek to make it through the day without another crisis. To hold up my end of the bargain and pull my own weight. But the bitterness intrudes even in my moments of peace.
I am actually looking forward to the gallbladder surgery. The cessation of the constant pain will be a blessing. Rather like looking forward to the Lumbar Puncture. I know that there will be pain following it, but after that acute pain heals I will be out from under my current burden of constant dull, dragging, draining physical pain.
So I do what I can do. I write. I fold the laundry. I do a small bit here and there as I can. I let myself cry in frustration even when it makes my headache and vision worse. I seek answers within myself and with God. I crawl into God's lap and curl up there, waiting for the healing that I have been promised. Taking the small steps as I am shown them that add up to a larger whole.