Friday, December 3, 2010

Cycle of Anger

It has become apparent to me that I harbor great reservoirs of anger from my past and that it interferes with my daily life. Because I am more or less by myself here in Korea in that I have no one talk with at great length about anything except professional concerns and because I don't want to labor relatively new friends about old issues from my past, I have been journaling. This has been successful in uncovering the reasons I am so angry at so many people because I was raised in anger from a dysfunctional family and a dysfunctional world.

I don't think my situation is unique and many people have this problem and I have written about this before. I find it astonishing that I would be angry at people who were mean and vicious to me many years ago. Some would say, get over it. That is my intention. In order to detach from something that had such an effect on me, and I know this sort of thing had effected others, you have to get it in the open because it is still happening today but to another group of people.

I was raised in a government housing project, Linda Vista, located in the San Diego area. I was born in 1945 and moved there when I was just four years of age. I had a older sister and and a younger brother. Our mother was from Harbin, Manchuria which belonged at the time to Russia. She came to the United States and met and married my father was was a "Okie".

It was during the time we moved to Linda Vista, that Senator Joseph McCarthy started his televised hearings. It was his mission to ferret out the communists from different parts of the United States. It was a witch hunt. Because my mother came here as an adult, she still had a strong accent and was easily identified as a Russian-American. It was pure hell during those hearings for many people including us. Parents of the kids we played with called us names such as commie and told us to tell my mother to go back to Russia. I still can see their twisted and ugly faces. It has been so many years ago. They threw paint at our house and fence and dragged our fence down. We moved to another part of the project to get away from the worst of them.

In school, the kids would taunt me with the same names that their parents used. I would get hit with boards, rocks and so forth. No one came to my aid although it must be said some teachers tried to talk to the students about what they were doing. I never retaliated. I just hid the best way I could. I was getting beaten at home as well.

Thank goodness, that awful time ended with such brave Americans as Edward R. Murrow who finally gave an expose of the harm McCarthy was doing. People began to see what McCarthy was really doing. None of those people ever apologized to my mother and to our family, and the damage was done.

When I hear what is happening to Arab Americans or those who are Muslim in America, I cringe with my own memories. I could hide better than many can since I looked so much like the others in Linda Vista. If I was required to wear a headscarf, it would be impossible to blend into the population.

Anger stays for a long time with people. It is the end of 2010 and I can still see clearly the people who were so hateful and prejudicial toward my sister, brother and myself. None of us ever forgot those awful things that were done to us or the fear it generated in my mother who was just trying to get along in a new country away from where she was raised. To the day she died, she was always afraid to complain or make any complaint against anyone who treated her badly. She was afraid of the anger that was shown to her as a new citizen of this country all because she was Russian by birth. It is ironic that my mother was in Harbin because her family were running from the Communist troops.

Those people now who shout and say such angry things are creating angry cycles within those children who are watching as I did from the sidelines. That anger that they are generating will long outlive them and will be cycling long after they are in the ground. I am sure many of the people who showed me such anger are long dead. Certainly my parents are dead and even my brother.

I am going to try and stop the anger with me, but I have spread so much myself already. Some I have given my children and grandchildren. I have done what I said I would not do. I have acted out my anger on innocent people, those who had nothing to do with the hateful and spiteful McCarthy who lies decaying in his own grave. I have tried to make up for it and that is different than was done with me. I will write posts like this one with the hope that maybe someone will read this and stop that angry outburst and research where the anger is coming from and detach from it so it would stop with them. I am hopeful.

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