Day 232: My Inner Bitch

A rose from my front yard that blossomed in late September.

I woke up this morning and came to the conclusion that alongside the yoke-like phlegm I’ve been coughing up for three-plus weeks that I’ve also hacked up some major  baggage.

I woke up thinking: I want to find my inner bitch.

Which is so unlike me, as I don’t even like to say the word Bitch, unless teasing my dog, and to type bitch (bitch, bitch, bitch), well that’s just plain out of character!

Much of the thoughts of finding my inner bitch erupted from my dreams last night, the repetitive type of nightmare where I face a parental figure or face a professor and act cowardly and then rage. Seems my inner bitch has found her way into my dream state. Still no sight of her out in this world, though.

Now my mother would likely claim that my inner bitch came out in the fall of 1981, but I would have to disagree. True, at the time I was a very angry teenager, but I raged because I’d held so much inside for so long that with the help of hormones I  just plain exploded…and screamed, and threatened to runaway from home, and barricaded myself in my room….

Fact is, up to that point in my years, and after that point too, I hadn’t really been dealt the best childhood experience; and I had a right (as I see it) and need (to not implode) to be a bit of a bitch. Plus, my teen-bitchiness was so very short-lived—doused out by guilt-laden lectures, scolding, and insults, and the move to the east coast. I was in the bitch zone three months, tops.

That is honestly about the only time Bitchy Me ever surfaced. That and when my boyfriend of several years had a pregnant teenage mistress that showed up at his apartment door.  But I felt guilty after I screamed in shock and hit him with my open hand in the chest. So not sure if that counts.

And I had another bitchy moment, I suppose, when a best friend called me (again) in the early hours of the morning to tell me her much-older-than-her, drunkard and big time loser of a boyfriend had once again abandoned her. I’d had enough, and told her to get some help, and that I could no longer support her in regards to her relationship with said jerk. I was kind of mean, I guess. We were never close again, after that. Boundary setting verses Bitch—seems to be a fine line.

Sometimes I think I might be lacking the bitch gene. Sure, certainly at moments I  look like a bitch, but that’s generally my lack of recognizing and controlling my facial expressions. I could be thinking intently about dark chocolate, and my intense facial expression could be mistaken for bitch. It’s just the way my face is made; it contorts and twists so that most onlookers haven’t a clue to what I’m truly feeling or thinking. That’s why pasted-on-smile helps, often, when dealing with outsiders.

You can ask my husband. I’m not a bitch. I really am not. Sure, I have a dry and sometimes biting wit (blame it on my intelligence) and sure I get frustrated like all human folk, but my degree of anger and expression of my anger is liken to the temperament of a well nurtured and cuddled kitten.

My anger zone generally consists of rolling of the eyes, a sigh, and raising my voice slightly; and if you’re my husband, a mini-lecture about my need to express my emotions and be accepted as a human being with feelings. (That’s what happens when you marry a man like Spock from Star Trek.)

When my anger climaxes, I retire to my bedroom to mope, fret, and catastrophize the situation. Generally then, I am forlorn, curse my circumstance, and want to expel everyone from my life so I can die in isolation.  Where anger goes, who knows. I seem to skip over that square in the hopscotch of emotions. I have no trouble leaping into the hopscotch square of self-pity and depression, but anger, it’s like the chalk in the square has been erased, and anger just doesn’t exist. Even if I purposely jump two-footed into the anger box and try to feel rage, it’s very much lacking in luster and flame, kind of a dull spark of nothing.

I gather, part of this anger repression comes from the times I was often guilted out of my emotions.

“Be thankful for what you have.” “I do my best.” “Things could always be worse.” “Count your blessings.” We’re all common phrases in my youth, bombarding me each and every time I showed the slightest indication of sadness or upset. I grew up believing that my feelings were wrong and out of proportion. That I was over reacting and ungrateful.

Missing from my world were words like: “I’m sorry.”  “It will be okay.”  “That must be so tough and hard on you.”  “I can’t imagine.”  “Let me hold you.”  “I am here for you.” Missing so much, that as I grew older and heard those loving statements, I didn’t know what to feel, and as a result would start to cry uncontrollably.

If I dared to feel anger, I was to blame for not being appreciative, understanding, patient, or forgiving.

So much of my energy was spent stuffing emotions to appease.  I learned to evaluate others’ expressions and adapt my own body language to survive. If I could figure out what others wanted, I could feasibly avoid deflating remarks. If I acted happy and carefree, I was more likely to be praised. My happy expressions were seen and acknowledged; and whether genuinely expressing myself or not, when I appeared happy, at least I wasn’t invisible or wrong.

Anger, I gather, if anger ever existed, got lost in the shuffle of pretending. I was the good girl. The sweet girl. The kind, the giving, the loving. I was unbreakable, brave, and dependable. I was everything I could be to make another happy.

Interestingly, this year, during the month of May, I had a major breakthrough physically, energetically, emotionally, and spiritually. Starting in the late spring, I felt transported back in time to around the age of thirteen, when all feelings of love-sick, passion, creation, freedom, strong will, and justice were erupting.

Strangely enough, I first had bronchitis (due to living in a damp ocean town with mold and in a house with smokers) when I was a teenager and haven’t had bronchitis since. Until now. I seem to be revisiting my later youth on multiple levels, including visiting bronchitis.

Lately, I feel as if there is this sticky residue inside of me.

It’s been said 2012 is a year of purging out the “negative” emotions and coming to terms with all the garbage inside (I paraphrase with much liberty.)

Apparently, my bronchitis is symbolic of all the residue still located at my heart and throat center, where my ability to love and express my true self is located. I’m purging…going on week four now of purging (bronchitis).  And still stuff is coming up.

Today I am acknowledging some current realities. I am delving into the residue and coughing up the phlegm of the past. I am rediscovering that there are people in my life that I simply don’t like. As hard as I try, I don’t like them. I don’t like their behavior, their choices, their self-focus, their belief that their view is the right view, their tendency to think the world revolves around them, their ability to blame others, the anger they harvest and spew, their arrogance and their ignorance, and especially their lack of self-awareness and self-accountability.

I’m wondering if it’s not time to let my inner bitch blossom, if only for a bit, long enough to mop up the remains, to stand up and shout: Enough! Enough already!