My father was always just few degrees away from boiling. It took the smallest thing or sometimes nothing at all to send him into a rage that seemed to have no limits. Holes in walls, shattered bottles, smashed chairs, harmed pets, and broken spirits were left in his wake. He had his moments of screaming and yelling but the worst of it was when he raged silently. At his worst, there were no words spoken. Only silence accompanied his swift and unpredictable movements. I have seen many displays of anger in my lifetime but I have never seen another human rage in utter silence. Words, even if they are screamed in anger at least give you an inkling of what is coming, who the target is or even the eventual winding down of the angry person. With him there was only guessing and the hope that it would end.
My mother was always a second away from snapping. With her there was no warning. One second she could be smiling and the next could be attacking. She was unpredictable and ultimately unstable. One minute sewing along happily, the next stabbing scissors through a hand for daring to get too close to her work. One minute bathing her daughter, the next holding the flailing child underwater. She was a screamer. Shrill and blood-curdling were her two volume levels. It was pretty easy to gauge when she was winding down because she literally ran out of energy to continue. With her it was only a matter of wearing her out a quickly as possible; fight back and her fury would be worse but the duration was lessened.
I have great difficulty expressing my anger. The words do not come and in that silence, I fear I am half a shade from becoming my father. If I have no words, will I rage like he did? I feel the anger rising, my heart races and I am boiling inside but no words follow. I am mute and I can almost see my fists beginning to fly. I am him so I run away. I am not angry. I am fine.
pen, you name it, it's probably been a target. My husband has stopped asking why there are broken dishes in the trash. I snap and God, it feels good. My mother was so miserable in her life, it's no wonder she snapped so often. It's a rush and it is satisfying if only for a moment before you realize how childishly you have just behaved.
I will snap at the inanimate but if you ask me to direct my anger at those who hurt me, you can forget it. The words cease, silence ensues, and I am just as terrified as I was as a child ducking and dodging my father's rage. I am afraid I will never stop; my father never did and I am his daughter. I was raised by a monster and I have his DNA; I have her DNA too. There are so many times that I feel that I am relegated to nothing more than still silence and broken dishes... and it sucks.