Strangers Call Me Angry: How I Found Freedom When I Stopped Suppressing Anger and You Can, Too.

Let it burn or it will set you ablaze

Marla Rose

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“Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.” Zora Neal Hurston

I don’t remember the first time I was called angry. Even though I went through a pitch-black goth phase in high school, it was more about style and music than my demeanor. If I had to guess, the first time I was called angry, as in being an essentially angry person, was in college, after spending most of my life before that trying to fly under the radar in volatile household and bullying school environments, attempting to avoid negative attention from being directed at me as best as I could. I’ve always been feisty and had a bit of a temper, but “being angry” was not presented as an indictment of my character until I became an activist, specifically, a feminist.

Before I moved out and went to college, I was not allowed to speak honestly about what was happening at home with a drunk, hot-headed and irrational father; I learned that I had to suppress it to stay safe. Does that mean I wasn’t angry, though, especially as I got older and understood more of what was happening? If you’d asked one of my friends at the time if I seemed angry, they’d say, “Marla? No. Are you kidding? She’s always smiling…

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