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Slamming as an opening
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We couldn’t slam them in our house. No matter how angry we were, it wasn’t allowed. We also couldn’t yell from one part of the house to another- but that was rarely in anger. What would have happened if we could have slammed our doors? What would have happened if that anger were out in the space between us instead of controlled within our rooms, our bodies, our hearts? Would my father have intervened if I had slammed the door? Would slamming the door have brought things to everyone’s attention- brought it to all of us to address? I wonder what was behind the rule. Was it to not disturb the peace? My guess is that it was more specific than that. We weren’t allowed to swear because swear words were considered a substitute for expression- something “unintelligent” people used when they couldn’t articulate what they were feeling. What an interesting narrative he created- placing intellect on a pedestal above emotions. My guess is that not slamming the door was the same. Slamming the door was a non- verbal way of expressing your anger- a sidestep to actually embodying it. Trouble is, we weren’t allowed to embody any emotion. We weren’t supposed to be angry. We were supposed to experience what came to us in a calm, cool, collected manner with a focus on something good that could come out of it. I’m grateful for that coping mechanism- it definitely helped to develop resilience in me but imagine if I could have slammed that door. Imagine if my anger had permeated the communal space outside our bedrooms; imagine if my father had responded, addressed it, if together we had had talked about what was making me angry. Slamming the door would have opened another; one that might have brought us connection.

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