I’m (Not) Angry


I know Elvis was singing about a different kind of anger—a lover’s betrayal—in “I’m Not Angry,” and in fact claimed to be over it . . .

So you found some other joker who could please you more.

I’m not angry, I’m not angry anymore.

His words are resonating with me this morning. I am angry. I’m ashamed of my anger, but it’s there nonetheless and I know that shame or not, if I don’t deal with it I won’t, like Elvis, move on.

I spent the weekend at home with the kids, my husband, my mom and step-father. I wanted to have the visit, in part to help me start moving on. Mostly it was for my kids and my mom; they love spending time together and had a blast. Science projects, library visits, silkworms, crystal making, walks to the park, pizza, “WALL-E” viewing—it was a bonanza of activity. So much so that my eldest who usually stays up until 8:30, crawled in to bed at 7 p.m. and conked out.

So  . . . here I am, a forty-five year old woman, mother of two, married over a decade, still struggling to forge an adult relationship with my own mother. I have legitimate reasons to be angry at her. I know intellectually it’s time to move on. Emotionally, I’m not there yet. I’m working on it. So this morning I felt overwhelmed by sadness more than anything. Fear and sadness. Fear of becoming like her, fear that I’ll never move on and not be angry for the little girl in me who was betrayed and poorly parented, left to her own devices, and sad as an aftershock perhaps, so many decades later.

Come to think of it, perhaps Elvis and I do have something in common. Betrayal is universal. We expect, hope, want, need love and nurturing and when we don’t get it, it pisses us off. Especially for children, there’s no one else, at least initially, except a parent. When that parent misses the mark, we have to fend for ourselves or we perish.

Writing these words, sharing these words scares me too. This is personal stuff, big stuff. I don’t want to alienate readers, but this is my reality today. And I’m not alone. For whatever reason, for many of us, one or both of our parents was unavailable, emotionally, physically, geographically. But, we made it. The key now is to move on and forgive. I need to know that if and when I can do that, I am not forgetting. I am not betraying that little girl who missed so much. And I will not betray my own children. I am simply growing up and letting a new relationship develop. I’m sharing someone with my children who loves them and nurtures them; giving them, my mother and myself a gift. ‘Cause there’s no such thing as an original sin. I’m not alone. But I’m not a little girl anymore either.


  1. heartwriter says:

    Good work JK, thanks for being vulnerable on the blank page, a gift for all of us.


  2. Thanks all for reading. Feel free to pass my blog link along . . . I love hearing from readers and being able to write about our shared experience.


  3. Funny how time passes but memories and sensitivities sometimes remain in place. It was nice to read some of your blog – part envy as it is a release of a gift that I should partake of as well. As a quick note I would encourage you to seek to be closer to your Mom as, with each day, the opportunity lessens. Your Mom was quite the opposite of you in hear demeanor and loose spirit, yet quite close in her display of passion and creativity. It is truly nice to see your reflections and growth as we should all seek to reflect on ourselves to appreciate the good things that we do and strive to continue to do better. A work in progress.


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