March 15, 2016 – My little brother was cute, endearing, and kind. He was also a little tattletale. He’d tell on me for common pre-teen lying, especially when it came to boys who might stop by after school.
This was during the flirting years when I kept my hands to myself and giggled a lot. Still, the tattling would lead to blaming and screaming matches when dad came home.
I would storm off, pout, and isolate. My bedroom was my tweenie-bopper cave that kept me safe from thinking about or owning my part.
I mean, why should I own any of it? I was just a kid! I was still a toddler when it came to the whole concept of honesty. I was 12!
Yet I was completely unaware that my behavior was harming others.
I was not only unavailable to my brother’s needs after school, but I was also disrespecting my dad’s house rules. My path was laced with arrogance and righteous behavior mostly because I saw everything as unfair and stupid.
Today, I do not fault myself for this phase. Yet this anger I experienced had to be reckoned with as an adult. I only saw bits of my part, or as they say in 12-steps, “my side of the street” as a kid and it all seemed so inferior to the control parents had.
Part of maturity was facing that I am responsible for my actions and I am not responsible for a fair or unfair world.
It’s no easy feet to grow up and deal with angry feelings. I think all age groups stumble over thoughts of injustice. We have to recognize that our angry feelings are present for a reason. They help us speak up and take right action for ourselves.
If we fail to claim right action, we get to stay babies, play small, isolate, and build caves for our resentments.
I came to understand that maturity is actually a choice. Kids need time to explore their feelings and observe how the world works. They often need systems of protection. It’s not that kids are blocked – they are just enduring the emotional growing pains.
Not so true, however, for the adult who clings to anger and righteous thinking by avoiding the choice to sweep up their side of the street.
Today I see my anger as a warning. I am aware that it surfaces to remind me to be an adult. It’s like a snarky angel who whispers in my ear and says, “It’s time to communicate your needs or desires.”