Updated: Apr 12, 2020
There are some thoughtless people. There are some angry, thoughtless people.
It only takes four angry people to throw someone off course. Maybe I was already off course at three.
My first encounter with real rage, puffed up red-purple cheeks and words spitting at me was an angry man. It turns out he was angry with his own life, but I was an easy target. Point the finger somewhere else. He denied this ever happened. His wife denied this ever happened. His wife was the second rage. Cold anger. I heard that she asked somebody 'Do you think if I hadn't, she would still be with Ian?' I am glad you asked. I am glad you feel a little of the blame I put on you. You will never understand how much pain you caused. The third rage was by someone known to be a volatile passive-aggressive and it was nothing to do with me or my place of work, but it was directed at me in my place of work. If you haven't been subjected to whites of eyes, uncontrolled volume, shrieking voice, shaking anger, then you should know that nothing tells you how to react in situations like this. Nothing prepares you. And when skies are all blue and apparently everything has been forgotten the next day, with a sunny voice and a pleasant manner, with no apology, you are still reeling. I was still reeling. The fourth rage should not have ever have set foot in my workplace. She raged first at my tiny class, stamping feet and telling them she hated them and then she raged at me for stopping her.
There is so much anger. Without giving it much thought, one can believe that tiny communities are strong, caring and kind, filled with optimistic, altruistic people. That is true in part. But having lived in one, it is easy to see that very often, people run to tiny communities from their problems elsewhere. They run from their work problems, their family problems, their depression, their anger. Let's get out of the Rat-race. And for a while everything might seem idyllic, they can convince themselves that everything is idyllic. But if they haven't dealt with their problems, their problems move with them.
Loneliness, depression, stress, anxiety. Run to a small community and these things don't automatically go away. You have anger? You will still have your anger in a small community. You fucked up things elsewhere? You still will. Problems with relationships? Problems with friends? You will do the same in a small community. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? That will still be part of you. Dishonest? You still are, and a higher percentage of the population knows about it. To change these things you need to tackle these things, with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, with counselling, with hypnosis, with medication, with a hard go at it. And you still might not be able to change them. Running away to this apparent utopia will not heal your mental health. You need to know that. Running away to this apparent utopia will not heal your personality.
Problems getting on with people? Fall-outs in a small community are far bigger than they were in the Rat-race. Snide comments from the christian lady with eyebrow raised, about an 8 year old. Tempers lost in a post pub drinking binge that are still lost twenty years later. Gossip at the local shop. Hear that the teacher jumped the fence? DID YOU HEAR the teacher jumped the fence? All the problems that can seem diluted when you are one of thousands can seem a heavy weight when there are only a hundred.
It is the only place I feel I will ever truly LOVE, but there were many factors knocking me off course. Gossip. Dishonesty. Anxiety. Depression. Four angry people in a tiny community. (This snippet was written much later about a different set of circumstances. It is about lies and fear.)