I have been battling minor anger issues related to my father’s passing away last week. I’ve had to watch my tongue (or completely hold it on a couple of occasions) with my wife and kids. I’ve had to stop listening to some of the radio programs that I often disagreed with but certainly didn’t have a problem with. I’ve also had to be aware of my acceptance with the kids – I am an exceptionally laid back guy and my kids are very good so my having a problem with how they’re acting is exceedingly rare. When little things started bugging me last week, I really had to step back and try to figure out what the hell was wrong with me.
I was out with a bunch of recovering friends last night and one of the guys began talking about how angry he used to be, decades ago, and the root cause for that anger – fear.
I rolled that around in my head a little bit, the root cause of most anger can be traced back to fear. I know this to be true… A lightbulb appeared over my melon and lit up. All of a sudden many of my struggles over the last week with my father’s passing started to make sense. Other than the usual feeling a little more mortal, I connected a few dots to see a pattern beneath the obvious. There is an underlying irrational fear, with my dad gone, that a part of my support network is gone as well. Trying to wrap my head around this entirely is proving difficult so early on but there it is.
You see, the truth is my dad hasn’t been available to offer knowledgable assistance for almost two years now – I’ve already been on my own, and have made it just fine so far. This is the irrationality. For some unknown reason though, his being gone puts a finality to it that I’m struggling with. My dad was always there to bail me out. Even though I haven’t needed his assistance, other than offering suggestions on how to deal with stress and life, for more than two decades, it was always there if I did… And now it isn’t.
So the wife, kids and I arrived home shortly after figuring all of this out last night and feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, I settled down in bed to watch a movie on my phone… I may have made it three minutes beyond the opening credits before I was out. I slept like a baby, better than I have in several days.
Now that I’ve identified the fear, the root cause of this irrational anger I’ve been feeling for the last few days, I’ve got something that I can work with – and on – so I can do something about it.