I went to my mom’s on Sunday night for dinner, and was trying to figure out if I wanted to bring up the anger toward her that I’ve been thinking about. I knew I wanted to bring it up eventually, but it had been a difficult weekend and I wasn’t sure I had the energy to go there.
After dinner, though, my mom said that she’d been thinking a lot about the example she and my dad set for me. See, I never saw them fight. And, in recent talks with my mom, apparently they never really did fight. Part of the reason I have trouble with anger, I’m coming to realize, is because I have no framework for it in my life. My experience has been: everything’s fine, everything’s fine, everything’s fine, my parents are getting divorced.
And, apparently, that wasn’t because my parents were going to great lengths to hide their anger from me. They just suppressed and repressed it to the point where they barely were able to acknowledge it themselves, let alone express it to each other or show it to my brother and I.
Which leaves me really not knowing how to deal with anger. I don’t know how to express it, and I don’t know how to handle anger directed at me.
Back at my mom’s, she said that she’d been thinking a lot about something I said before my show in December. Basically, I called her up prior to opening night and said, “Now, there’s a lot in this about you and dad. And you’re not aloud to beat yourself up or make yourself guilty over it, because I love you and know how supportive you are of me.” She, of course, said “I’m allowed to feel guilty about whatever I want!” (We may have told each other to fuck off, laughed, and said goodbye. Yes, as the subject of this post indicates, my mom is awesome.)
Since December, though, she’s realized that she is allowed to feel guilty about not picking up on hints I was trans: on a note she found saying “I wish I was a girl.” On evidence that I was trying on her clothing. And, of course, her and my dad’s inaction when I finally did come out to them.
Linked with that, she was telling me I was allowed to feel angry at her for all those things.
I started crying (well, I was already crying, so I continued crying) and said that, yes, I was angry at her for all that and was having a really hard time dealing with it. Because anger toward someone I love just feels wrong. Like a wound in the relationship, something I keep picking at and picking at and doesn’t heal.
But I’m working on that. Someone can love me, and be angry at me, and still love me. And I can love someone, and be angry at them, and still love them.