Don’t you ever get angry?

Don’t you ever get angry?

He leaned in and asked the question without malice or presumption.
Don’t you ever get angry?

The counselor Jacob and I had been seeing waited for my answer.
I was alone in his office, one of few meetings without Jacob.
His question stunned me.


It was an emotion fairly foreign to me. Disappointment, frustration, fear, and profound sadness – yes. But anger was something that didn’t register.

Ours was not an angry household. I grew up in a calm, loving environment as did my husband. The tone of our home was gentle, quiet even. I cannot recall a single incident where either of us ever raised our voices to each other or our children. Discipline was meted out sternly and directly, and heard that way, but never in anger.

When Jacob’s addiction consumed our lives, so many emotions rushed in. Fear ruled, along with obsession. Where was he? What was he doing? With whom? And when would he be home? Other feelings got buried. Joy, serenity and the knowledge I could control anything simply evaporated.

But anger? At whom? And for what?

Even in the throes of his worst years I couldn’t be angry at Jacob. This was not the son I knew. This was a young man under assault. The anger he exhibited towards himself and everyone around him was more than enough to fill our home. Why add to that?

Instead of rage, I felt unrelenting sadness – buoyed by whispers of hope – that one day Jacob would be back.

It took another year after the counselor’s question and two more rehabs until that day finally came.
But first, I had to let Jacob go and focus on my own recovery.

Anger was never part of it.
Hope always was.

4 Replies to “Don’t you ever get angry?”

    1. Carol, I love hearing from you. And you are so right.
      Hoping everything is calm in your world.