For my English class, I was asked to write a paper containing an "I Believe" statement. This is what came out when I sat down to write it. I know very few people read this blog, but I'm hoping it can help someone who is struggling with anger as much as I did. That you can see the way out and take it. I hope these emotions mirror yours enough, that you can empathize with it enough, that it will make you think.
I was engaged once. He was my whole existence, and we swore we’d love each other forever. We were going to marry in the temple and raise a family together. Then he lost his temple recommend, and my world shattered like a sheet of pristine ice on a morning in late December. I spiraled down into a deep well of pain and misery. The dark morass of anger and agony overcame me. I was drowning in torment, wracked by burning anger so fierce it scorched me inside and out. My head kept pounding with the thought that I had chosen poorly, given my heart to the wrong man. I hated him, and I hated myself for choosing him. Doom set in, and I retreated inside myself to attempt the rebuilding of layer upon layer of self-worth. Layers created over years of trial and error, pain and sadness. But nothing like what I was engulfed in this time. His sin had shattered everything.
In my grief I pushed everyone I loved away from me, terrified of adding any more pain to the mounting agony. Seething anger burned through my veins, and though my soul longed for relief, all I fed it was more searing anger to fan the flames of hatred. This cycle kept growing, higher and higher the tornado raged inside me, occasionally lashing out at the people I loved most dearly. I fought the rising panic inside me, that begged for release. Instead, one night, I let the fire rage through me until it burned me up. All that was left was an angry black shell, filled with nothing but lost hopes and despair. The fire smoldered low inside, and I became stone. Hard as flint and just as unfeeling, I let myself be carried on the currents of life; going wherever it took me without caring at all. Finally the beginning of January came, and with it, release from my self-made prison.
With school starting the next week, I climbed aboard a plane destined for Salt Lake City. As I felt the tires leave the tarmac, I felt my spirit rear its head. The beast that had slept inside me for so long was waking, tamed and licking its wounds, but still there. My strong, resilient self had just been lurking, waiting to be lifted out of the pit of misery I had sunk it down into. We lifted into the air, and I felt wings unfurling inside me. As my soul took flight on tattered wings, and soared for the first time in a very long time. Landing in Utah was like a dream, and so was the bus ride up to Rexburg. I felt as if I were gliding over the land, breathing the fresh air again. I could see hope in the distance, calling out to me, and I was running toward it with all my strength. Idaho has become a safe haven for me; a point of harbor in the stormy seas of my own rage. My anger has subsided so greatly since I came here, following the compass of my broken heart. The fiery dragon that once tormented my soul has been appeased, and sleeps inside me as if dead. I was myself once more, the person I was meant to be. My dreams and aspirations were restored to their former glory. All my standards for self-mastery had returned.
It no longer matters which of us had started falling first. The point was that I had let myself fall from the ideals I had once held. I should have seen myself as a rare gift, not to be given lightly to a stranger. Instead I was careless, and was left with a pulsing hurt that chafed like a sore on my soul. I would like to claim that in my moment of greatest anguish, I turned to God. But I didn’t. I wouldn’t even accept the love of my family and friends, though they offered it most readily. How could I feel love again, when the man I loved broke me, and took part of me with him? A portion of who I was is gone, forever. Part of me I will never regain. Some piece of my soul cries out still for the man whose pornography addiction had come between him and a celestial marriage. When I pick at the pieces of my life, I still see reflected back at me the selfsame man I loved. That boyish smile, those radiant blue-gray eyes that sparkled with delight. The tender way he held my hand, and spoke soothingly of love and eternity.
I focus on those things to remind myself that he is not the enemy. My anger is the enemy. Anger tears us down from within, ripping to shreds the few self-loving thoughts we manage to muster. I had let my pain become a cave, and retreated into it to hide from the world. My anger was the door I used, pushing against it when others tried to let themselves in. Until I freed myself from the anger, locking it up instead. Sometimes it stretches forth its claws, trying to reclaim me, but I resist with all my strength until it recoils. That slithering, fire-breathing serpent of destruction. Anger. Our greatest enemy.