It doesn’t happen very often but every now and again I feel angry.I recall a day shortly after witnessing the shooting, I was sitting at my desk in social studies and the anger started to creep in. I was angry for a lot of reasons. I was angry that I had to deal with all the difficulties that came with witnessing the shooting. I was tired. Tired of being afraid, tired of feeling like no one understood me, I was tired of trying to hold it all together. I wanted to pickup my binder and pencil and throw it across the room. I expressed my feelings to a boy in my class. His reply was simple, “then why don’t you throw it?”. I thought about it for a second and then said,”I’d have to go pick it up and I don’t want to get out of my desk.” Not only would I have had to go pick it up but I would probably have had to visit the councilors office more regularly.
I think I made the right decision when I chose not to throw the binder that day but there was another time when I wasn’t so controlled and wise. Quite a few years after I graduated, following a string of school shootings, I found myself getting increasingly upset. One day while cleaning my kids toys off the floor I began taking my frustrations out on the blocks……… and the wall. I thought it would make me feel better to just throw those blocks as hard as I could out of the room, and it did make me feel better….. for a couple of seconds. It felt good until I looked out the door into the hall and saw all the dents I had made in the wall. I quickly came to the conclusion that although throwing things gives a temporary feeling of relief it doesn’t last long and ends up not being worth it in the long run. I just ended up feeling silly. I planned on filling, sanding and painting each dent on my own but I didn’t. Those dents served as a daily reminder that there were better ways to express ones feelings and that it is best to express them before you get to the throwing things stage . (don’t worry my kids weren’t around to see the hissy fit)
Sometimes I still get angry for a variety of reasons. I get angry that things still affect me. I get angry with people who have no desire to be understanding. Today I had a few angry moments. When I read the news that there had been a school shooting in Chardon High school it started to creep in. I was angry with the shooter. I was angry with people who reduce these kinds of tragic events to a platform to argue gun control. I was angry with people who blame it all on bullying. I was angry to hear people saying “This kind of stuff doesn’t happen here.” I was angry to see it all happening over again. I felt angry because I felt like there was nothing I could do to help, but then I remind myself that getting angry just puts dents in walls and that there are things I can do. I blog, I will write a letter to the school to extend my sympathy, I will raise my kids and try to teach them to be loving caring people. I will try to be a more loving, compassionate person. I will try to be actively involved in the well being of my community and the individuals in it. I think we as individuals can all ask ourselves, instead of searching for a place to lay blame, what can I do to help? What is my role in all of this?