meet my alter ego, betty

The door reverberated in its frame,

As Prosecco bubbles dribbled down

Like a washed up, washed out sky full of stars.

My anger had been so immense,

To throw, to slam, to punch all came naturally.

The thing that scares me most is that

The anger was so undeserved.

I couldn’t even tell you what he did.

But somewhere deep inside my brain

A switch was flicked and Betty came alive.

She’s the alter ego that I always try to hide,

(Not always as successfully as one would hope, may I add).

I’m told that Betty didn’t see our childhood quite the way I did,

She clung to fights and threats of suicide,

Like a person clawing at the edges of their burning building,

Unwilling to let possessions perish in the flames.

These threats are not the things that kids should see or hear (or so the therapist says).

She rears her head every time those words appear,

She doesn’t care a jot about intent,

And she never bothers with the context.

She stomps around in a hissy fit

Until they all apologise for what they’ve done to her.

It’s Betty against the world

And God help anyone who stands in her way.

I’m learning to soothe her, though.

I used to buy her loads of shit

In the hope that that would make the tantrums go away.

But love and patience were really want she wants.

She’ll never go away for good,

Popping out at random times,

But now I have control.

It’s fine to throw a glass or plate every now and then,

We’re human and anger’s always on the stove,

Always ready to bubble over and cause a scene.

But don’t you ever let that Betty girl

Take you peace away.

I’ve been feeling some unwanted anger recently. It’s been about several different things and none of it is really any of my business so I shouldn’t allow myself to get angry about it.

But I’m human and so it’s in my nature to get angry about stuff that doesn’t concern me. Through therapy and reading a lot of books, I’ve come to realise that a lot of these unwanted and negative emotions are hard to control because they are wired into us from a young age and they are working at a subconscious level.

I know that my Betty is a part of me that suffered some trauma as a little person and every time something stokes that fire she will appear. Since giving up drinking I haven’t been able to ease the pain that she brings with her but I have been able to control my behaviour so that I don’t lash out. I hope that with more time and patience I will be able to lessen the pain too.

If you are struggling with anger issues then I feel your pain. It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings and it’s right up there with jealousy and grief. Just remember that every time you feel that twinge in your heart that you recognise as anger, it’s not because you are really angry. That twinge is a sign that you are hurting and you have just learnt that lashing out can make it feel a bit more comfortable. I pray that you find a healthy outlet and that you can begin to unpick your past and see why your Betty gets let out when you don’t want her there.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

9 thoughts on “meet my alter ego, betty

  1. Crystal Rose

    Yup, tears flowed at the very end. I get sudden anger, completely out of the blue,
    and containing it until able to express that energy in another way…it’s very lip biting hard to not lash out at anyone around me let alone myself…..Oh…..this is exactly why I live alone. There are serious times where I do not want to subject anyone to this mental illness at it’s worst. [dx’ed manic depressive & cptsd] thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your world. Very brave….much love on the healing & health! Thank you for sharing

  2. Keera Ann Fox

    I had anger issues, too. As my therapist helped me see that my survival mechanism was no longer needed, she also told me it was a good survival mechanism—for a girl. Girls are easier to ignore than boys because we are less aggressive and (sadly) people are used to seeing us cry. But where an angry boy gets punished, an angry girl gets seen. The girls who do better are the ones that prevented themselves from becoming invisible.

    Betty is not your Mr. Hyde to your Dr. Jekyll, but your Superman to your Clark Kent. Don’t fight her or fear her. Admire her fortitude, and give her some love and gratitude for having made sure the grown-ups didn’t get to forget you were there, that you mattered. She’ll settle down once she knows you’re safe—and seen.

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