The Wrath of Khan

You wouldn't think so from looking at me, but I'm a very angry person. I'm basically furious all the time. My quasi-infamous moniker, "sarathofkhan" was one gifted to me by a former coworker who said that I got angry too quickly. I honestly thought it was a totally normal way to be; in fact, I don't think I ever really identified what was always brimming under my skin as pure anger until I had an epiphany in therapy a few months ago.

With the world as it is and humanity habitually proving itself unworthy of everything we have, I'm highly suspicious of people who aren't furious. If you're not constantly angry about something in this day and age, it means you either have the privilege to not need to be angry about it or you just don't care. Often it's both.

Being a non-white female human with a Muslim name and a penchant for smoking, drinking, fucking and running my mouth off, I do not have the privilege of not being furious all the time. Oftentimes, I think my anger actually stems from fear: fear of being an outspoken women; fear of being from a Muslim family; fear of disappointing traditional family; fear of disappointing myself; fear of having to stay around and actually watch the Earth die. 

Mama Khan has always reacted to fear with anger. When we were kids and we skinned our knees or broke curfew, we would get a verbal whipping from Mama Khan. It took decades for me to realise that that was her way of coping with the fear of harm coming to her spawn and when I realised that, I started noticing that I do the same thing. No one likes to live in fear and I guess anger is easier to deal with -- and there's less of a stigma about anger. 

Fear somehow automatically gets conflated with cowardice, which is the biggest load of bullshit ever, I swear. My whole life I've been made to feel like a coward when actually I was just imaginative and careful. I've always been afraid of the dark (and to this day can't sleep without a nightlight of some sort) because the idea of being enveloped in darkness is suffocating and not at all appealing to me. Scary movies and TV shows have always spooked me because I've been a little too good at imagining how those fictional scenarios could be 5000% worse. I've never been a risk-taker because that just seems silly to me; thinking things out and planning things makes me feel safer and more in control -- even when I'm doing something impulsively, there always is some sort of plan (or multiple plans to account for anything unexpected). 

Growing up believing that fear automatically meant being a coward while also growing up in a household that was unintentionally unsympathetic to vulnerability makes it no big surprise why my fear presents itself as anger. I'm constantly terrified. I'm terrified when I'm travelling alone because my surname and country of birth often mean I get "randomly" checked, so I'm angry at the radical Muslims/Islamists and I'm angry at the racist ignoramuses who have no idea what Islam is. Sure there's legitimate anger there too, but the foundation is fear.

The older I get and the more I learn about the world, the angrier I get. Though, in actuality, the older I've gotten the more I've convinced myself that fear is weak and anger is strong. Even though my rational self knows that's bullshit and I'm unashamedly admitting to you all right now that I am scared pretty much always, I also recognize that saying "I'm scared" and "I'm angry" will garner two very different responses. 

So, I'm fucking angry. Not just at the whole fucking shitstain of a world we live in but at the fact that humanity is so fucked up that I can't even admit to being scared. I have to admit to being furious in order to be taken seriously, because cowards get scared but the educated get angry or something. It just makes it another thing about the world that makes me furious -- and there's no fear in this particular thread of anger.