Anger Begins With Fury And Ends With Regret
A single moment of patience in a heedless act of anger could have saved me one hundred moments of regret. If I had known then what I know now, the way my actions would spiral into something completely unintentional then I would have done things so much differently. But then I would not have this story to tell. Mark Twain once said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” It all started with an outdated top loading dryer. The day had come where we were finally able to able to afford one of those magnificent front-loading dryers. My little brother, who had just recently left home, just so happened to be in the market for a used dryer.
The ancient clothes drying device was too remain in the corner of our garage until my brother was ready to come pick it up. Putting away clothes just so happens to be the bane of my existence. So being the procrastinator that I am, I made the well thought out decision that I could just leave the clothes that I had already dried in the old dryer and just get what I needed out of there as I needed it until my brother came to get it. Little did I know that his time would turn into weeks and then weeks would turn into months. My boyfriend, Jeremy, is not always as lenient on someone’s timeframe as I can be. He is also not the hoarder that he l claims I am.
If something is not of use to him the most value it can be in in the trash. He would ask me every so often when my brother was planning on picking the dryer up and I would always brush it off with I don’t know. I would get in touch with my brother for him to follow up with, “Whenever I have time,” and there was never any leading information to exactly when that was going to be. I thought it was over, Jeremy had not mentioned it again. I assumed he had decided to let it go and accept it for what it was, another place for me to store clothes that I did not want to fold. Finally the day came where he said to me, “Eli can either come get the dryer or I am setting it out for the next heavy trash pick-up,” to which I responded very matter of fact that it was not hurting him and that it would be just fine sitting in our garage until Eli was good and ready to come get it.
A few months later I came home from work exhausted and anticipating the time that I got to finally relax. The kids were already fast asleep within dreams. Working two jobs with three little kids there is not much room for downtime. I had become extremely negligent with laundry and by that, I mean I did not have any clean night clothes. I thought to myself, no worries let me go check the handy extra dryer that I have conveniently stored in the garage and I will just get something out of there. After walking into the garage, I stood there dumb-founded. The corner in which my storage device had been designated was empty. I stormed back through the garage door in a rage I am not sure Jeremy had seen before and demanded to know where the dryer was.
A little unnerved and with eyes as big as boulders Jeremy replied, “I put it out for trash pick-up, it has been in the garage for months just taking up space. Besides I told you that if he did not come get it, I was throwing it out and I have given you plenty of time to let him know.” As I kicked a plastic toy across the room I shouted, “There were clothes in there and now there is no way to get them back.” Jeremy completely baffled mumbled that he did not know there was anything in there because I had not told him. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. As my face burned with fury I marched to the closet and handful by handful I threw his clothes in the front yard. I was determined to get back at him and I did not care how unreasonable or ridiculous I was being. It is often when people become angry that their own bigotries come out. With the urge to win and make the other person feel small, and bad, comes the desire to make that person suffer the same way as you.
Not once did I acknowledge that he honestly did not know or take responsibility in the face that he had reminded me on numerous occasions that he was going to throw it away. Jeremy, in an attempt, to diffuse the situation left for the night. Meanwhile I laid in bed all night stewing. The next morning, I woke up feeling like Ursula when she had taken Ariel’s voice. I had really shown him, maybe next time he would listen when I told him not to throw something away. I continued my morning routine just like any other day. Running late as usual I had to practically push my kids out of the door to leave for work. When my four year old saw the explosion of clothes scattered across the front yard he stopped completely in his tracks. He turned around and looked straight at me with pure devastation. He broke down and sobbed, “Mommy why would you do this? This is so ugly.” He was heartbroken as he repeated, “This is so so ugly,” he proceeded to start picking up his Dads things with tears ushering down his cheeks.
There was a tightening in my chest and a lump in my throat as I stood there with no words to say. I felt immediate regret and wanted nothing more than to take it all back. It was in that moment that I realized I had not accomplished anything. By reacting on impulse and making a rash decision in efforts to hurt Jeremy, I ended up hurting someone I loved most. I had achieved my goal in making Jeremy feel small but hurt my son far worse in the process. In the heat of the moment you rarely realize that decisions you make then could inevitably hurt someone completely uninvolved. People will tell you that this little squabble will not matter in a year however the agony behind my fragile child’s tears was as loud and devastating as a broken heart that turned into a lesson that I will never forget.