I Used to Be Angry…

…and I would also say there was a healthy dose of bitter.

I was one of those girls who decided people in high school probably didn’t like me…because I was too smart. (hold the laughter, please)

I listened to an awful lot of Tori Amos in college, and an unhealthy overload of Ani DiFranco in grad school. I even rocked out to “Hello City” by Bare Naked Ladies with the express purpose of throwing hate in the direction of Philadelphia, the city I didn’t enjoy living in at the time.

But like most angry teenagers, I grew up, married a wonderful man – who by the way, is never angry about anything – and I stopped being a Bitter Betty. Then I became pregnant with my first child…..and became very ill. Any of you who know me in real life know how ugly Amy=pregnant can be. Bed rest, vomiting, trips to the hospital, extreme weight loss, torn muscles….long story.

But the worst of it was when I gave birth to my daughter two months early after doctors ignored my pleas that something was wrong and thus changed the trajectory of my entire parenting experience.

I hated my doctors, I hated the hospital, I hated that my child didn’t crawl, or walk, or had to go to cardiologists and geneticists. I hated that because the neonatologists wouldn’t allow her to be anything but tube fed she never nursed. I hated A LOT of things…and it spilled over to my life. I decided that the world was out to get me. The Chinese food restaurant intentionally didn’t pack the sweet and sour sauce for my chicken, the guy who cut me off in the turn lane meant to make me miss the green light…..I. Was. Mad.

And then….redemption! I became pregnant with my son, and the idea of a “do-over” was exciting, even if the pregnancy was just as horrible and traumatic. I would finally have that perfect delivery, the healthy baby, the nursing newborn placed on my chest immediately after a normal delivery.

And then during labor his heart rate plummeted to 60 beats per minute, I was rushed to the O.R., and he was ripped from me, blue, lifeless, unresponsive. They whisked him away in an isolette – I didn’t touch him, I didn’t hold him, I didn’t nurse him, I barely saw him as he rushed past me.

But he is fine. He is more than fine. He is beautiful and brilliant and crazy. And my daughter is smart and sneaky and creative enough for every child on this earth.

And then one day in church, wiping away tears, I decided to stop being angry. I decided to be Blessed. Because that is what I am meant to be.

So now that I’m in this online world of high drama that is amplified by posts and tweets and retweets and post comments and e-mails, skypes, google talks…..

Well, I’m just not an angry person anymore. It’s all okay.

Will I still fire off an angry e-mail once in awhile to a close and trusted friend? Yes, of course. I said I’m not angry anymore, I didn’t say I wasn’t human.

Does it hurt me when people choose to criticize without knowledge, to judge without open discussion, or to attack without reason? Of course it does. But it doesn’t affect my life nearly as much as it affects theirs.

So if you want me to rebut or refute, I probably won’t. If you’d like to call me or e-mail, I’d love to talk to you – whoever you are and whatever your beef is about. Because there will be lots of it over the years – that’s the way the world works.

But I’m not angry anymore, so if that is your goal, you best look elsewhere.

Here is one of my favorite stories from a book I read to my children:

“Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t help her across the puddle.

The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.

‘That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!’

I set the woman down hours ago,’ the older monk replied. ‘Why are you still carrying her?'” Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

Call it Zen. Call it Grace. But I’m not angry anymore….

Leave a Reply


  • Thanks for that post. It’s so important to take the next step to not being angry anymore. Anger can ruin your whole life.

  • In many situations in life, we can choose to be bitter or better~ Better is definitely the best choice!

  • Cheryl Christian

    Words of wisdom..Enjoyed the post and printed it out..Thanks

  • Wow, does this really hit home. Although I definitely don’t have the “right to be angry” like you (you are so brave re: your birth stories), I am angry all the time. My 3 year old gets yelled at more than I would like, my husband is walking on egg shells around me and I can’t imagine what my happy, go lucky 4 month old thinks. To be honest I don’t know why I am angry. I am. Can’t help it. So, I am taking the page from your book and choosing not to be angry anymore. Take that negative attitude, I don’t want you anymore. I am going to play with the kids, dishes be damned, and I am going to enjoy it!

  • What a GREAT post. Reading this, I realize that I am still angry. It has nothing to do with blogging, but it’s something that I need to put down.

  • Thanks for sharing this Amy. I felt pretty much the same way after C was born. I was angry at everyone and everything, even other moms just because their kid was walking and mine wasn’t even trying to stand yet. Despite my first reactions, the vast majority of people aren’t out to get us – not even the 2yo when he fills the entire sink with toothpaste and a couple hundred paper clips (don’t ask…)!

  • Jennifer B

    I love the monk story! Thank you for posting this!

  • haven’t figured that how-to part, myself. Glad you have 🙂

    • Jeane

      Question for you..some people who leave comments have their pictures.. What did you do and how can I get my picture to appear when I leave a comment? If it’s in Google, my picture is there but on most blogs..no photo. Thanking you in advance for helping me.

  • I have been aggrevated all day and annoyed at the world today–even thought I am on vacation and supposed to be enjoying myself. Your post helped me put things in order tonight. The power of you words may have indeed meant the difference between me speeding off in the car and hitting a local bar and reassessing my blessings. Thanks for helping me remove the spoiled woman off of my back and enjoy the rest of my walk.

  • Hannah Hardin-Pratt

    Wow I totally identify. I said I wasn’t angry I didn’t say I wasn’t human are brilliant words.

  • Jeane

    Years ago early in our marriage, my husband and I had a fight before bedtime and I went to bed mad and miserable. Next day, he had already gone to work before I got up. I had left him a note in his lunchbox. So, I fumed and had the fight a dozen times over in my head during the day. When he came home, I was ready to battle. He looked at me and laughed out loud. “Are you mad? At ME? Whatever for?” He had blown the whole thing off, never saw the note, didn’t even register that I was really mad at him. It was like something hit me in the face. I had been mad all day. Wasted a whole day. For nothing. Been miserable for nothing. Was I really upset about…what was it now? Holly Toledo! Don’t want to waste our time..life is too short. Put that anger in the dresser drawer and let the socks handle it.

    p.s. married to him still ..43 years and counting.

  • Jeane

    Just a question..how do some posters have pictures? I want one too! And how do I get mine?

  • Hello! I’m SO thankful that I found this post and totally relate to every experience!
    I’m sitting here feeling a bit hopeless, bitter and resentful at the fact that I can’t get anyone to follow or comment on my blogs, youtube or even twitter for that matter!??!
    I think I’m pretty interesting…Right???
    Well Wrong???
    No I’m not the type to embellishes real life stories…
    Nor do I swoon or over glamourize my persona to attract followers…
    I’m just freggin’ Anarnia – anyway, I’m turning over a new leaf and making the decision to NOT quit and keep doing me, maybe one day I will grow up to be a fabulous blogger!

    Thanks for the inspiration!