by Lisa Hughey
So I was driving along mentally composing ideas for this topic, thinking about the physiological effects of fury (I’ll get to that later) when I noticed the SUV in front of me had a rainbow shining over the back windshield.
But I continued to drive along, moving onto thinking about another aspect of fury which is the ability of small children to induce a certain level of fury in their mothers. And yet, if you threaten their child, that same mother will turn on you with a ferocity unmatched.
And then, I saw another rainbow on the windshield of a truck coming toward me. Pretty again. Before I can even move on to the next potential slant for my fury post, another rainbow!
By now I’m completely distracted because it hasn’t rained here in days, the sun is shining, none of the vehicles are wet. So where are these rainbows coming from? I can’t figure it out. Then I decide I really don’t need to know, I just need to appreciate them. My point being, I’m more about rainbows than fury.
However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever get furious.
My kids have been the target of my fury, the red-faced, spittle spewing, so angry you feel like your brain is going to burst right through your skull and splatter all over the walls fury, when they drove me to think brink of craziness. It’s only happened a few times, but I’m here to tell you that I happened to glance in the mirror as I stalked toward my son, screaming, just in case he couldn’t hear my already off the charts decibel level (he’s usually the one inducing me to insaneness) and I looked scary.
My totally East Coast WASP-y upbringing leaves me nearly incapable of expressing fury most of the time. A quiet tightening of my chest until the effort to breathe is in peril and the thud of my pulse in my forehead as my brain struggles to hold in the rush of sheer emotion is usually accomplished with nary a word being uttered. But just because I don’t scream and shout doesn’t mean that underneath my cool, composed appearance I am not seething with fury.
I have a quiet fury. I don’t scream. I don’t throw things-even if I do feel like it. I don’t break things. I don’t cut with mean words. I just...disengage.
Overall, I’m a live and let live person. My first inclination if you do something I don’t like is to wonder why you are having a bad day. I might even ask if everything is okay. I think sometimes I get taken advantage of because I’m so easy going. And by focusing on what is really important (like rainbows), I let a lot of things go. But at some point, and the tip is never the same, I expect to be treated properly and if you’ve tipped over the edge. We’re done.
In the words of the mafia, “You’re dead to me.”
That doesn’t mean I won’t ever talk to you again. Far from it, I will be polite, smile, ask how you are, and as soon as I’ve met my social obligation, I will walk away. And you will never, never, never be my friend again.