Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Poisonous Molasses

People often feel extreme anxiety when they see somebody achieving personal growth, gaining insight into their lives, and rebelling against those who beat them down and tried to destroy them.

The anxiety is fed by the realization that they have passively accepted the role of a perennial victim and are not fighting back. And hey, everybody is entitled to their own life strategy. Want to be a nice, convenient doormat because it’s easier and feels so familiar? Knock yourself out.

What bugs me is when the passively accepting begin to hound those who do try to fight and grow, drowning them in megaliters of poisonous molasses.

“Let go of your anger for your own sake!” they implore. “It’s such a hard burden to remember and to keep scores! You’ll feel at peace once you let it go!”

What they forget to mention is that the peace they extol is that of a small child who has renounced all growth to stay convenient and malleable.

God only knows how much I detest the “just forgive and forget” narrative that is used to club people over the head the second they try to lift it and get some fresh air.


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6 thoughts on “Poisonous Molasses

  1. It’s conformity and also, as I finally realized, fear of anger because anger, according to self-help literature, leads to drinking.


    • This, though, I can see, is why people come into conflict or separate–they are impelled to go like comets on their paths. Every serious conflict I have ever had has had to do with growth-or-not, even if I didn’t see it at the time. Including the conflicts with people who were for movement and got frustrated or pained seeing me try and fail.


    • Those who are most afraid of anger are the angriest ones. They just hide the anger from themselves.


  2. Spiderbaby on said:

    Many people think of anger as a solely negative emotion; something that holds you back, makes you bitter, mean and resentful, and ultimately devours you from the inside.
    Imho, anger can be used as a tool to push forward and improve, but it all depends on how you handle it. If you don’t know how to make anger work for you, you can easily be crushed by it.


  3. Anger for me always quickly turns into a desire to self-harm. When I was a child, my parents ran a foster home. As far as my mother was concerned, any time I was unhappy or upset, I should just compare my life to my siblings lives and be happy I had the privilege of never being raped or assaulted by my parents (except for being spanked, but that didn’t count)

    Any problem I had with a foster sibling was my fault. It was never okay for me to shove back if I was pushed or return an insult if one was given. They were wounded, and I was not, so I should always be the bigger person (even though with one exception, my foster siblings were also all older than me)

    One memorable time, I got in trouble along with my sister for causing a disruption while my mother was on a phone call. The disruption was my sister deciding to pick a fight with me, and when I refused to argue or fight, even after she slapped me in the face, she started screaming. This was my fault also.

    On the other had, my mother and grandmother are both extremely quick to anger. The kind of people who start shouting at everyone at family gatherings and brag about how they get their was by screaming at customer service representatives. I never admired that personality trait.

    So while I envy people who can use anger to power change in their lives, for me, good decisions are made once the anger is pushed aside. This doesn’t mean that I forgive or forget, or that I don’t recognize that I have a right to be angry, just that the emotion has rarely been useful to me. Maybe I just need years of intensive therapy -_-


  4. Crystallizing Chaos on said:

    Ah, a psych post after a long time! 😃 Could you write more about anger? What is it? Where does it come from? What is a healthy way to deal with it?


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