From Fear to Anger to Awareness


I have three angry, negative relationships that are impacting my life, but I don’t know how to extricate myself from any of them. Maybe you have some of those as well. That’s why I want to share this.

The first is with my brother. He is terribly vindictive, bitter and angry. He’s been in alcohol treatment several times, arrested for domestic violence, and had two wives leave him. Because we are the next of kin for two aunts whose estates are tied up in South Carolina probate cases and because our father is still alive, we have financial ties that can’t be severed for some years to come.

The second is with the stepdaughter and step-granddaughter of my Aunt Caroline. Because they forged an alternate will, my aunt’s estate is tied up in a probate legal case that will likely take 2-3 years to resolve. My aunt’s husband specifically wrote his daughter out of his will because of their broken relationship. She has a police record for embezzlement. The forged will only surfaced after my aunt’s death from complications stemming out of suspicious food poisoning.

The third is a neighbor who raises pit bull puppies to be sold for protection and fighting. We also have reason to believe he deals in drugs and stolen goods. The care of the animals is minimal. The stench and noise from the puppies is quite annoying. He also has a police record and is known for violence.

I find my irritation rises not only when I have to use valuable creative energy to deal with the mess these soul-sucking crazy-makers create, but also when I read or hear trite advice to simply cut the negative people out of one’s life. It’s as simple as deciding to wish away the cancer that has consumed a victim’s body.

What I’m trying to do instead is learn and grow from the experience of dealing with these difficult individuals. By sharing my observations, I hope to more deeply understand what I perceive.

What I consistently notice about anger is that it stems from deep, unresolved fear. What each of these people has is a fear that is so deeply entrenched that there is almost no way to get to the cause and expose it for scrutiny and resolution. The emotion of anger has become so raw and close to the surface that there is no regard for who gets damaged by it.

What scares me most is how easily I can be infected by their hatred. I’d like to believe I’m so strong that I can’t be touched by their negative energy. But that’s like pretending I’m invincible to radiation while standing in the core of a nuclear reactor. The first contact with any of them produces a reactionary, lizard-brain flash of anger in return.

It scares me because my reaction means I must also be holding on to a fear so deep that I can’t name it or detect it. At least not quickly enough to stop my own negative flush of adrenaline. It would be so easy to point the finger at others in regards to their evil without recognizing how close to them I really am in my emotional response.

I don’t now how much I would pay to disentangle myself from these sorts of people. But even if they were gone, without dealing with my own deep fears, I’m still going to be stuck with myself.

How about you? Do you have any angry people or negative situations where an aphorism or positive mantra won’t turn your mind around? How do you respond? How is it transforming you?

Let me know. I still have a lot to learn.








1 comment on “From Fear to Anger to Awareness

  1. Thanks for your kind words on Facebook, Charles. I totally know where you’re coming from.

    My own reaction is less of anger than a sense of resignation and frustration that there’s no resolution and seemingly no path to resolution. I’ve forgiven and forgotten, over and over, but it just seems like living Groundhog’s Day, through no fault other than my desire to maintain ties with a community and family that I love.

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