Keeping Your Mojo

Anger is a strange feeling to me. It seems to be the only one that I ever feel and feel well. I've often said that I thought anger was just masquerading hurt, which I would surmise I must feel a lot. My anger has always come in such a sharp and thunderous explosion, that within a few hours, I would be exhausted, calmed, and usually sobbing. I remember my thoughts racing--wishing I didn't ever feel anything and wishing I could just evaporate. No one understood my life, and no one could understand me. High school was especially hard on me. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep. I was angry at my parents' control and usually heartbroken over my love life.

When I entered college, I suddenly felt very alone and strangely more comfortable as such. I enrolled in a college with 20,000 students. With the exception of a handful of people, no one knew who I was, and I managed to just exist. It was such a welcomed change. I could go to all my classes and never speak a word to anyone. I finally blended into the background and had nothing to focus but my schoolwork.

My senior year in college, I made a bad decision to date someone I shouldn't have. I had foolishly believed that something bigger than my actions or me had caused things to change. For the next two years of my life, I learned the consequences of my beliefs. I experienced so much hurt that I managed to unknowingly eradicate it from my life.

As a result, I'm just not the girl I used to be. I loved with my entire heart. I believed in making things work no matter what obstacles I faced. I never threw in the towel. Giving up was not my bargaining tool. The more you pushed me, the more I would push you back. If you told me "no," I'd show you otherwise. I believed that nothing was greater than feeling. Loving someone was what the world was about. I would rather take a risk with my heart than continue one day without feeling.

I managed to leave someone that I loved more than I ever thought I was capable of. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I thought that if I left someone, it meant I didn't love them and perhaps that I never did. I was officially giving up at something and that was a foreign notion to me. I was left with the feeling that I could do nothing to save my relationship. My therapist said some people are more comfortable in a bad relationship because it's all that they know. They become accustomed to taking all the punches. I left her office wondering if I was that person. A few weeks later, I made sure I wasn't or at the very least, wouldn't continue to be.

Two years later, I'm still very much that wounded girl. I'm numb to so much. I feel like I've lost the capability to feel anything but anger. My anger dissipates quickly, and it no longer leaves me feeling sad or hurt. I simply feel nothing--empty. And there are many times when I wish I could hold onto my anger. I need it. I need that feeling of something, and sadly, there's nothing that makes me conjure it up once I've lost it. I lose my oomph.

So, here I am--depleted, full of something and nothing at the same time. It's a strange place to be, and one I secretly wished for. I'm nearly incapable of being hurt, but at the same time, I'm incapable of feeling love. I have a quote on my chalkboard at home that says, "When you truly know the meaning of the word love, you will also truly know the meaning of the word pain." It's strange how the two coincide and coexist. When you eradicate one, you can unintentionally eradicate the other. I ended what was most painful to me because it was something I was no longer capable of loving. I managed to finally walk away, and now, I have to stand up for myself all over again.

Today, I discovered I would not receive my raise at work. I was promised a bonus at my annual review with a challenge to clear our department's exceptions--those that were actually capable of being cleared. Dollar signs flashed through my eyes. I was a determined woman. I finished the end of March, but I never saw my raise. I was later told this "challenge" had been offered to many other departments, and a deadline of May 1st had been imposed, which was never told to me. So, I waited. I continued to remind my boss, who, lately, seemed irritated and avoided me. Today, I had promised myself that if my boss didn't have an answer for me, I would go to his boss.

I walked into my boss's office and inquired, yet again, where my raise was. He asked me to sit down, and I knew immediately, there was no raise to speak of. He mentioned that the company has been struggling to cut back in every department that it could. The raise was simply not an option. I was immediately infuriated, and at the same time, completely dumbfounded and at a loss for words. I said, "What about what you guys promised me?" to which he just replied, "We can't do it at this point or ever."

I left his office with so much hatred for so many things. I went back to my desk and the tears finally started to come out. I was so enraged. My boss is someone I believed was my friend. I respected his leadership and enjoyed his company. Now, he was the enemy. I wondered if he had even stood up for me. I suspected he had known this information for quite some time but wasn't planning on telling me unless he was just forced to. I thought there must be some legal ramification for what the company had done to me. So many thoughts were running through my brain. I'm tired of being screwed, even though I'm used to it.

Within a few hours, all the immediate anger I felt had subsided. Two hours earlier, I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day. I wanted to walk out of the office and never return. I thought about telling my boss he had my two-weeks' notice. I wanted my father to call his lawyer (a very far-fetched dream). I was dreaming of getting even and fighting for what was mine. And then, as the tears dried, I was void of all those feelings. There were no feelings. I still logically concluded that what had transpired was wrong, but I couldn't fight it the same way.

Here I am. Someone has blatantly punched me square in the jaw, and I'm standing here. I know I need to at least hold my fists up, perhaps take a swing or two, but I'm just looking at my feet. Why have I lost the instinct to fight for myself? Is it just too hard for me to care about anything or anyone? Myself included? Am I just exhausted, or is that what I tell myself?

If I don't fight this, I'm going to hate myself for it.