"I could never imagine you angry Aileen! Never! You are always so very joyful and friendly!"
I mask my annoyance with a thin laugh. "That is kind of you," I say, my teeth grinding together. "I am glad you think of me that way." A false smile takes up my lips. They believe it. Yes, I have always been good at giving those fake smiles.
For, is it not especially unnatural to be happy all the time? To not ever show just a minuscule bit of vexation. Doesn't everybody have some? All of us have right to be angry at some point. What matters is exactly how you go about expressing your feelings.
My name, Aileen, means bright. That, I do strive to be. But sometimes, a bit of anger swells up inside me. I keep it under control, I keep smiling. "Aileen," I say to myself, "Be bright! Don't show your displeasure!" I listen to what I say to myself. I follow it, no matter how much strength it takes. I conceal my feeling, and shield them with what people assume about my general character.
Some anger stores up. Some fades away.
A few days ago, I had a lot of anger. I concealed it away at first, laughing along to the terror of the event. Pairs of eyes looked at me smiling. They thought something about me that wasn't true. When the subject was mentioned upon as "bad" they targeted me. I said nothing. I withstood it, not standing up for myself. I acted like the whole situation was hilarious. Scornful comments were made, and as they built up, anger did too. I made the decision to open up my mask just a bit. I built up the courage, and talked reasonably and calmly.
Nobody believed or payed attention to a single word I was saying. "This isn't like you," they said. Everyone had categorized me into a mold of personality. One that didn't exist. My anger had been festering up. After nobody took me seriously, it finally blew.
Should I have masked my annoyance when that general assumption regarding me always being joyful by a friend was made? Shouldn't I have learned from my mistakes by now? Shouldn't I have told that I do get angry at times? Nobody took me seriously when I voiced my feelings , but is it not worse to have my anger build again? To have an outburst instead of a calm talk to work out a situation? If I express some of my anger by talking to people more often, will they take me seriously? But, is it possible to change from old behaviors? They who my anger spurted out on call me crazy. Is it wrong that I am still laughing along with them? About my crazy outburst that it wasn't expected at all, and that I am never angry?
Old habits are hard to break. But I have things to say and do. I have feelings that need to be communicated. And, I am going to try hard to break this habit.
+ + +