Today I just wanted to give a shout out to anger. I think it’s misunderstood. The other day I responded to a letter from a friend of a chump wishing she wouldn’t be so angry, and that seemed to touch a nerve with you all. (400+ comments!) I began the post by saying, look, your friend has a right to be angry…
Writing about anger is a delicate balancing act, because no one wants to be seen as an Advocate for Anger. Oh, you bitter people. You angry Chump Lady sycophants. Whipped into a frenzy of cheater hate. I hear that shit All. The. Time.
I am all about MEH here and gaining a life. But before you get there, if you’re really going to process what happened — you are going to get righteously pissed off first.
And that’s not a bad thing. It’s a necessary thing.
Anger is your friend. Anger is your internal warning system setting off security breach alarms. Code RED! You’re being abused! This isn’t RIGHT! Anger is fuel. Anger makes you call that lawyer. Anger makes you protect your money. Anger kicks paralyses ass. Anger says “Stand up and FIGHT!”
Anger is chump kryptonite.
What? Where did my nice, compliant chump go? Can’t we be friends? I don’t understand your hostility. If you’re going to overreact like this, it will damage the children.
Oh cheaters hate it when you get angry. It’s so not like you. Hey, DON’T TOUCH MY CAKE!
And it makes many people around you uncomfortable too. I thought you two just grew apart. I hope you can keep things civil.
If you don’t understand that betrayal makes people angry, then you don’t understand injustice. And if you refuse to understand the injustice, then you probably have an agenda.
Chumps, you don’t need those folks.
Now, you don’t need anger forever. I’m not saying become one of those embittered old people yelling at children to stay off their grass. I’m not saying give way to rage, pour gasoline on their possessions, and dance around the burning pyre. I’m not advocating revenge. You’re too classy for that.
I’m saying pay attention to your anger. Channel it. Let it drive you to safety.
When you’re out of this shit quagmire, then you can relax into a hard won “meh.” One Tuesday you’ll wake up and find you just don’t care a thing about this person. If you’re totally no contact, you won’t need that anger. If you know how to enforce boundaries, anger won’t have to work over time.
If you nurse anger without gaining a life? If you just suck on the injustice like a painful tooth? That’s not going to help you. It’s going to make you a real drag at parties. Anger at your cheater is going to take up precious mental real estate that could be better devoted to cute puppy videos. Or cookies. Or anything more pleasant than a cheater.
If you’re stuck on the Injustice of It All, redirect your focus to What Next? Throw your energies there, okay?
But I’ll tell you this — I’d rather you be an angry chump than some sad sap who posts “I miss you!” on your cheater’s Facebook page. I’d rather you be pissed, than so stupid as to let them clean out the investment accounts. I’d rather you be Godzilla than some blubbering, pick-me-dancing fool. I’ll take ANGRY you over that shit any day.
As the bumpersticker says: “If you’re not mad, then you’re not paying attention.”