My mother was a chronically angry person. When I think of her, I think of her bitterness about lots of things and her anger. Whenever she got mad, she could never argue the merits of any point, she just lashed out at people at made personal attacks — whether it was Dad, any of us kids, her sisters, etc. She could be vicious. I spent much of my life trying to be anything but my mother.
That said, I have been reading a book about a man who grew up essentially alone. His parents died tragically when he was young, and he was continually let down by the foster care system. He hardened his heart and largely pushed everyone in his life away to keep from being hurt. After a medical emergency during which he ended up in a coma, he meets Jesus, and realizes that his heart is a broken down and empty shell because he has made no room for God. While I am not finished with the book yet, the message I am getting is that he his method of closing himself off from potential hurt is also limiting his chances of experiencing any happiness.
Beyond that simple message, I am recognizing that I may not be so different from my mother. Just as she let anger control her, I am allowing anger to control me. Recognizing that and doing something about are two different things, but it is freaking me out a bit to realize that I may be more like my mother than I might like to admit.