Floored by anger

I was stunned to hear so much anger and resentment at today’s Noon AA Lambda meeting. Four letter words, talking AT us and not from one’s own experience, it left me so rattled that I got off the freeway on the wrong off-ramp. I can expect angry sorts of sentiments from newly sober alcoholics, but those who were spouting off were old timers who seemed to have some repute at having quality sobriety. That wasn’t evident today. The topic, ironically, was “resentment”. I kept wondering, I am at this meeting to show support. Cross-talk is discouraged — it’s verboten actually — but I wondered what value I provided sitting in my corner, drinking it all in silently. I was going to talk to a newcomer, give him my number, but someone else started talking to him. My usual MO after a meeting is to just leave as quickly as I can anyway which I did. But the vehemence of the speakers stayed with me.

I don’t do well with the anger of others. I tend to shut down and become quiet. I disappear hoping to become invisible and wait the storm out. I don’t feel capable or strong enough to come back with a response to anger or a snappy come back. I feel small and vulnerable. The inner child in me shrinks in fear. “Please don’t hit me or hurt me” I cry. I’m not good at fighting back.

Nationally we are experiencing life at the hands of a bully. Each day is a new undoing of the past 8 years. Each day is a new report at how candidates for cabinet positions are ill-suited for their jobs, yet they are being supported by their congressional investigators. A new accusation of illegal activity by voters is made by the White House without a scintilla of proof. The divisiveness of the country is deepening and becoming more and more entrenched. Promises of more nastiness for those who are minorities are yet to come. The arrogance and anger of the elected officials is appalling. Going on Facebook I’m faced with the chasm of division and anger from both sides is shrill in the narrow canyon of the social media. Perhaps the anger and frustration of today’s meeting simply mirrors what the national mood is: anger that covers over fear, sadness and helplessness.

How to be brave in these troubled times? How do I maintain dignity when the mud gets slung with such ferocity? The Obamas used to say  “we go high when they go low.” I need to find some like-minded people with whom I can go high when all around me is going low.

By the way, the Good witch of the North was named Glenda.



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