The amount of anger burning in the depths of my soul is significant and unhealthy. I’m angry at everything and everyone, and the countless hours I’ve spent meditating, exercising, and talking about my feelings in therapy have done little to remedy these feelings.
“I’m sorry that you’re feeling such intense anger,” my therapist said to me in our last session.
“Why exactly are you sorry?” I asked her. “It makes me angry when people apologize for shit that isn’t their doing.”
After all, it’s not her fault that my neighbors throw their fast-food wrappers on the street despite a large number of garbage cans available and that I have to constantly battle with my dog not to eat their litter.
And it’s not her fault that some disgusting man got on the train this morning and sat practically on top of me and then fell asleep while blasting his music out of a loudspeaker.
It’s not her fault that my students are driving me nuts and it’s not her fault that I feel my life is stuck in quicksand — sinking fast but moving nowhere.
It’s not her fault that the men in my life almost universally treat me like shit —dicking me around and using me mentally, physically and emotionally — or that I allow them, continuously to do so. I can take responsibility where I need to.
It’s not her fault that I’m greatly lacking in self-respect or self-esteem.
On a larger scale, it’s not her fault that our “president” has launched an attack against a teenager who just wants the world to take climate change seriously, and it’s not her fault that half of our country continues to support him.
It’s not (entirely) her fault that the polar bears — my favorite animal — are going to go extinct because of the melting ice caps and it’s definitely not her fault that old white men around the world are arrogantly and aggressively ignoring this fact — even though it’s their own grandchildren who will be dealing with this fallout.
It’s not her fault that our country doesn’t give a shit about its immigrants, or its minorities, or its homeless population, or its citizens struggling with addiction.
It’s not her fault that we don’t give a shit about the mental health of our children — or our adults — that we don’t give a shit about how easy it is to shoot up a school, or rape someone and get away with it.
It’s not her fault that we’re so willing to turn the other cheek any time something doesn’t affect us directly.
And it’s hard because even though I greatly want to find ways to solve all of these problems and make the world better, there’s also a nagging voice in the back of my mind that says, we did this to ourselves.
As I sit there and think, the punishment of this does not fit the crime, I also think, fuck us all.
When the angel on my shoulder asks, how can we better support those in need? the devil on my shoulder says, let’s light a match and watch the whole world burn.
And then I end up wondering — are these two thoughts married? At this point, is the only way to fix our issues to burn it all to the ground and start again?
I hope not, and yet.