I've said that anger is really hurt that doesn't want to appear vulnerable. I believe that is true in most situations. When you have anger (hurt) and sadness running simultaneously, in what feels like every direction, what do you do? When the only thing that keeps you going is work ethic and responsibility, and all you really want to do is crawl in the bed, cover your head in the blankets and rock back and forth all night, what do you do?

I've spent my lifetime building compartments for all of my various feelings to live in. Separate little apartments for each, never letting them get to close to one another. I've also spent my lifetime teaching my profession that silos are dangerous. They cause and are caused by poor communication and pose a significant patient safety risk. The same can be said for our psychological compartments. They feel better in isolation than they do together. When they mix together there is awkwardness, and struggle for position. All the crap we learn about in small group dynamics Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing feels true when feelings from one compartment leak out into/onto another compartment. Which takes precedent? What is really more important, the loudest one? The most serious one? How do you tell? Is it the thing that makes you the most uncomfortable you should deal with first, or leave it until the end? Don't look for an answer to any of that...it's all rhetorical. The safety risk is real. If you're not careful, it's easy to react to one compartment overflowing onto another compartment and say things or do things that you'd otherwise be able to contain. When your usual coping mechanisms become overwhelmed by the situation at hand, bad decisions can be made. Words can't be taken back. Actions can't be taken back. Even if there is apology and forgiveness, it's never really the same. I like the analogy of a group of young school children being given a perfect, new piece of paper. They are told to wad it up, squish it, step on it. After they're all done with that they are instructed to carefully unfold the paper and apologize for hurting it. They are told to carefully smooth out all the wrinkles and flatten out all the creases. After they've done the best they can, they are asked to compare how the paper looked before and how it looks now. No matter how sorry you are, the hurt you cause leaves a mark that can't be completely undone. The hurt we cause hurts others. Hurt people, hurt people.

When I can catch myself heading a bad direction, I stop talking. Whether I'm mad, or hurt (both) I don't want to make things worse by saying things I'll regret, but can't really take back. I don't want to do something in anger that will cause hurt to spread out to others like a cancer spreading throughout a body. It's better for me to live with my own pain and hurt, and anger for a while and deal with it when I'm clear headed than to lash out because I'm hurt.

Sometimes a gut wrenching cry would feel good.

Up and down, more than a pair of whores drawers. That's how I feel.

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