By Natascha Jones, Guest Blogger
I’m your textbook California girl: cute, blonde, tan, fun, always laughing, always studying some form of self-improvement. I love what I do and I try new things. If you saw me walking down the street you would think I’ve got a pretty great life.
There’s just one thing. I’m very angry. I didn’t really know it, but it’s always been there, one degree away from a rolling boil. It’s an intense, uncontrollable anger that causes me to make really irrational and often detrimental decisions.
I’m in my 30s and it took me this long to realize I was living with a whole other part of me. Let me explain. I started seeing a guy (typical) and gave him my ultimate vulnerability. For a lot of people it’s sex, for some people it’s time, but me, it was my secrets. It’s not that my secrets are even very secretive, but I’m incredibly private about my life (the irony of writing an honest blog every month for I AM THAT GIRL is not lost on me).
So I told this guy just a few of my secrets, for practice. He knew I was uncomfortable with sharing and I knew I would have to eventually, so we both jumped in. We began to like each other. I began thinking this disclosure was a good idea and told him more. He asked about my family, what I needed from the other person in a relationship, how I felt about him, and I told him. You could almost see the ribbons of energy forming between us, tying themselves into lovely little knots. I cried really hard and I’m not a crier. I was embarrassed but when I took my hands away from my face he was still there. This was happening and it was amazing. I was purely open and vulnerable.
And then I didn’t hear from him. It was only three days, but when you’re sure you came off as a lunatic, you want that person to pop in and assure you that you weren’t. I wanted to hear that my secrets were safe with him. When I heard from him it was just some joking text messages. I was a bit confused but I suppose I was glad he had “reached out.”
The next day I invited him to my friend’s birthday party. No response. I could feel the (justified) anger welling up in me. Like tiny fireworks exploding on my skin, I could feel the rage coming out of my pores. He was playing games with me. I told myself to give him a day to respond, but dressed in my anger suit, I couldn’t wait more than two hours. I unfriended him on all accounts, and then sent him a nasty text message, basically telling him I wasn’t going to play his stupid games and that I never wanted to see or hear from him again. I deleted his number and our history right there.
Fifteen minutes later, he responded. Of course he had a good reason and I decided to give him another chance, but the damage had been done. Three days later he decided he wanted out. He couldn’t see a future with someone who had so quickly dismissed and “deleted” him. I was crushed. Pure rage and anger quickly descended into deep depression. I was vulnerable to him, he didn’t make me feel safe, and then he was gone. In my mind he betrayed me and in that moment that was worth the anger I felt.
It is said that anger is a necessary emotion to protect us from danger. But this situation made me stop and think. Am I really in danger? Why am I angry? I’m angry because I’m afraid. I’m afraid because I was vulnerable with someone. I was vulnerable with someone because it is good for me. I was angry with him afterwards because I was hurt that he didn’t make me feel safe. There are at least 1,000 ways I could have communicated this to get what I truly desired: nurturing, compassion, support, and intimacy.
Yet, I chose an angry, hurtful way. I pushed him away hoping he would come running after me and prove me wrong. I made him an innocent bystander and I regret that. But I learned something more valuable from him than he will ever realize. He was the mirror that showed me how I had done this to my step-father over 13 years ago and to at least three guys I dated. I would get hurt then incredibly angry and shove them out of my life. The hurt feelings were too intense for me to process. Too overwhelming for me to feel. Anger was an easy way out of facing that pain, but I lost a lot of love in the process.
He made me realize that I’m actually very scared and sensitive and when I open up to someone, I can easily be knocked off of my center. He held up one of the most important mirrors I’ve ever looked in and made me realize that though I want a relationship, to love and be loved, I have this thing I have to do, no need to do…want to do. I want to face my fear, lose the anger, and be vulnerable with people without losing my center. I want to unearth this fear of betrayal and show myself that monsters aren’t real. I’m trading in my armor for amour.
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While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.