Geology of Anger

Insight comes in odd bursts and from all quarters. I have been writing for a very, very long time. In 5th grade, I was a new kid at yet another new school. We moved a lot when my father was with Texaco. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Jones, was a perceptive woman. She knew that being perennially the new kid takes it’s toll. She drew me out through my writing.

Mrs. Jones kept me after school one day.  We had been studying poetry and had just begun to look at Free Verse. I was struggling with letting go of Iambic Pentameter. Mrs. Jones sat with me and read aloud from the poetry anthology Reflections on the Gift of the Watermelon Pickle. I listened with rapt attention. The poetry in this anthology was not always rhythmic or ordered. I was astonished to find Freedom in  the chaos of the words.

I had by this time in life developed a bit of OCD. I needed order and ritual in the midst of the alcoholic chaos at home.  I found great solace in the clear expectations that I could set for my self; do not cross the street until five cars pass, count to 15 before entering a room and, of course, Never and I mean Never, Step on a Crack.

Mrs. Jones read to me for a long time and then she handed me a certificate; a very real certificate that read:

Poetic License 

It was made out to me, Jennifer Kay Winkel and stated:

As a writer I, Jennifer Kay Winkel, can write ANYTHING my heart feels called to write.

I will and must write, as that is what I am called to do. I will not be bound by rules set my either the past or myself.

I Will Write.

Signed, Jennifer Kay Winkel   ____________________.

Witnessed by Mrs. Donna Rose Carlson Jones   on this date _______________.

I began to let go of Iambic Pentameter and rhyme schemes. I wrote more and more often and I have never stopped.

I have Poetic License.

I did not begin to let of my OCD Rituals for a very, very long time. OK. Complete disclosure: I still count and sometimes I just can’t stop.

Which is why I write.

I need to let go of the past and as I write, I see that I must also find forgiveness. Last night I became aware of the need to first forgive myself.

I have a very hard time loving my mother. I have a very hard time letting go of my anger. I have layers of anger: childhood abuse, neglect as I grew older and difficulty caring for her after my father died, to name just a few of the many layers. I got Geology of Anger going on.

I will not always be able to find forgiveness for my mother as I write AND I must  find space to forgive myself for this.

I am working on the outline of the days, and months after my father died and the difficult time I had understanding my mothers odd behavior. Alcoholics Dementia is a many-headed beast.

So is my anger.

I will close this tonight, remembering that thanks to Mrs. Jones, I have Poetic License. Writing is not counting but it is damn close in keeping me safe and showing me the way. Writing is a vessel and a tool and salvation.


Words can set us free.

Tonight I will focus on forgiving myself. I am angry. Hell yes, I am angry.

But tonight I will not be angry at myself. I will have compassion for my Geology of Anger.

~ by Step On a Crack on October 2, 2011.

7 Responses to “Geology of Anger”

  1. I love the Poetic License. Keep exercising it. I’m so sorry that you’re pain is so very deep and I admire your ability to get it into words. Isn’t it interesting that under the unforgiveness for others, we eventually recognize the first work we must do is forgive ourselves? Countless others share that journey. Welcome to the path of healing through forgiveness.


  2. There’s a bit of a “chicken and egg” element to forgiveness. I found myself tangled in that web for many years. Who goes first? LIke diving into an icy lake knowing if the other “guy” goes first and “his” lips turn purple … you’re like, outta there sucker! So, i don’t mean my mom would forgive me … after all i ruined her life … she didn’t want me, and i caused her post-partum depression among other illnesses she continually claimed to be a VICTIM of. One of us had to be sick … and my illnesses were by proxy: I mean i didn’t have an active role in “getting sick” it was part of the package that IS my mom. Let’s be sick, shall we? If you love me, you’ll be sick.

    So, to be more clear, finally … shall i forgive myself for making myself miserable … for trying to oft myself in indirect and direct ways? Or should i forgive her for hating me? Erm … she’s the chicken that laid this egg … so my wish is, to be even more confusing is that the chicken would speak the truth for once and say, simply, “Melissa, it’s true, i didn’t want you and my guilt is overwhelming”. Mom, i knew it all the time … i FORGIVE MYSELF! Thanks for telling the truth. I’ve cut her loose. She won’t ever tell me the truth … so she is cut loose? Forgiven? Officially IGNORED and fucked-off? Probably the latter … officially fucked off, and i will help her get around in her crippled body. I will continue to love and respect my dad for “doing the best he could”. He did. HE DID … I want an omelet!!!! 😉


    • Good God you are so right! It is a chicken and the egg thing. What a conundrum. Maybe this is where the problem lies. Wait. Not maybe, IT IS where the problem lies. I can feel inside myself the need to find forgiveness OR REALLY start with acceptance, FOR MYSELF. At our house we talk about choices sometimes in the “On your Death Bed” sort of scenario. On my Death Bed, I want to know that I did my best to find perspective and did not let the Geology of my own Anger eat me up. That old Geology is what messes me up time and time again and I have seen it destroy family members. Yuck. SO I just begin and keep going back to Forgive myself for feeling bad that I hate my mother and maybe, just maybe there is healing there for both my mother and I. I am Tired of carrying the weight of her hatred AND I know a bit about why she is who she is. IF I can find compassion for MYSELF I might find space for compassion for her. I too need to forgive myself for making rotten choices based on early self loathing AND pat my self on the back for digging my self out out OUT!!

      Ditto my Dad. I respect that you still take a leading role in caring for your mom. That takes strong Character and Grace. You got it Girl! Omelet. YES me too!


  3. I adore your support in my oft-confusing blathers because we understand anger, totally. I don’t know how you [one] gets “rid” of it. I wish it were like used toilet paper and you could just flush it!!! Course we don’t want to pollute the whole sewage system with THAT advice. The thing is … “you do what you have to do to get through” (one of my fav. OA (ALL AA-reated) programs … AND at your own pace. The journey is key. God knows we all have our own path, our own intensities of anger and anguish AND HAPPINESS (geesh) … and they seem to flip and flop around: there’s always some new life event to add to, or seperate us from, our MAIN fight in life … but it’s all related … like chickens and eggs. OH BOY … here we go … toast with your eggs?


  4. Love, love this post. I’m out of the town the next couple of days and wrote the rest of the week in advance. Funny, because one of mine in the next couple of days is about one of my teachers but, sadly, not nearly as insightful as Mrs. Jones. I know many of us are glad she presented you your Poetic License!


    • Thank you Debby! This means so much to me. I am grateful to hear you will be posting while away! I need what you have to offer. Mrs. Jones was an unusual teacher. I am indeed grateful to her and her care and concern. I look forward to reading about YOUR teacher. Don’t stop, OK? Peace, Jen


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