Anger is unfamiliar to me. I have only felt it as powerless frustration. I have almost always been passive aggressive. It has slowly turned into vindictive bitterness over the years. And it was made worse by over analysis and unfamiliarity with the purpose of what I feel.
Recently the quality of my anger has changed. It has matured. I find a growing intolerance for passivity. I find a growing intolerance for dysfunction. I can no longer tolerate self-victimization. While things have happened that are not my fault, the are sure as hell my responsibility.
I have come to realize that the depression that I have dealt with for the majority of my life is caused by a severe lack of boundaries. Five years ago I could have hardly described what boundaries were had someone asked me. Now I see that my inability to distance myself from dysfunctional relationships has left me feeling powerless. I can no longer jeopardize my happiness because someone it makes someone else uncomfortable. Their comfort is not my responsibility.
These personal discoveries have led me to believe that one of the most important tools a man can have is his anger. Perhaps a better term would be will-power. Regardless of the term used, I am referring to the emotion that facilitates the ability to create expectations for others, with rewards if they comply, or punishments if they refuse, and to do so reasonably. I believe that this emotion and the ability it facilitates is absolutely necessary for game, for social skills, for relationships, and even general happiness.
When a boundary is stated, the person who states it must be willing to follow through. A father who threatens to “turn this car around, right now if you two do not stop fighting”, must follow through with his threat if he want respect from his family. If I insist that a girl friend not tear me down in public, if she continues to do so must end the relationship. If a roommate is consistently late with rent and it is causing problems, and I threaten to move out, I must do so if nothing changes. If I do not follow through, I am powerless, and I deserve what happens to me.
The irony of anger is that it has allowed me to feel more compassion for those who have hurt me in the past. While I cannot justify their behavior, now that I see that it was not done maliciously, and that it was done in ignorance, I can be more forgiving. This does not mean that the boundaries come down, that would be foolish, but now that I am free of their destructive behavior, I am free to forgive.
Of all the discoveries I have made through this emotion, the most significant applies to myself. Tolerating bad behavior in other people is one thing. Tolerating bad behavior in myself is something else entirely. As an omega I have some very self-destructive tendencies, and I have suffered for them. Familiarity with anger allows me to create expectations for myself. Failure no longer has finality: it is no longer my fate. Instead it wakes up a deep intolerance. I can no longer be passive. I can no longer tolerate my weakness. I can no longer tolerate my fear. These are old habits, and so they are resilient, but they must die. I must be free.