Archive for the ‘anger’ Category

h1

Anger Is My Ally and Having a Voice

July 15, 2010

I always used to be afraid of anger. Anger could get you in trouble. You weren’t supposed to be angry. So, if you were you darned well better hide it! Ack! So, what to do with anger?

I remember meeting with a therapist right after my separation from my then husband. I had started to see her for other things, but she switched us over to dealing with my marriage (or lack thereof) when I separated. My assignment was to write down all the things I wished I could tell him. Boy was that a tall order…but I did it.

When I brought it in to her she looked at it and then wanted me to read it. I just looked at the list and at her and could not do it. She insisted. I refused. I could not give voice to what I desperately needed to say. She would not let it go…so I got angry and threw it down on the floor. I find that choice interesting. I could have destroyed it or hidden it, but instead I threw it on the floor where I knew she could pick it up…which she did. She then started to read it again…only out loud this time. She gave her voice to what I could not give my voice to.

Listening to her read that list was incredibly hard. I don’t remember much more about that appointment, but I do know two things happened. Her saying out loud what I could not…even though he could not even hear it…was validating. I don’t know that I consciously thought of it that way at that time…but it was. To hear someone else saying what I wished I could say…was hugely validating. She did not think anything was stupid…or exaggerated…or insignificant…or anything else that some people might have tried to do with it. This woman was my voice when I did not have one and she began the process of setting my voice free. There were things on that list that I felt uncertainty or even embarrassment over. Her treating that list as she did took that away.

It was just like during another appointment (or perhaps it was later in the same appointment) when I described something he had done and she said, “So, he raped you.” I just burst into tears when she voiced those four simple words. I had always “felt” the word “rape” regarding those times (it was more than once), but I could never actually attach it. I could never out loud or consciously call it that…for a whole variety of reasons better left for another post…if I remember to do one. (OK…I just went and titled an empty draft to remind me.)

To hear someone describe what happened to me as “rape” was SO validating. I just sat there and wept. She confirmed my reality and she gave me my voice…both in the reading of that list and in calling what he did to me “rape”.

The other thing that happened was that I got in touch with a whole lot of pain and emotions that I had been stuffing through all those years of marriage. I was flooded with a world of hurt as she read everything on that list. Hearing it from her made it even more real. These were not things in my imagination or in my own head. These were real things. Real events. Real feelings.

Anger also started to rise. It had always been there in one form or another, but I always tried hard to not express it. There was one point toward the end when I actually threw some things at my ex. I felt really bad about doing it, but I was desperate to try to do something to hopefully get him to see what he was doing. I was hoping that my taking an action that was so out of character for me would shock him into actually listening to me for a change. It didn’t phase him one bit. I think I just gave him some fuel for the lies he was already telling me about me. Or…maybe it wasn’t all lies? Could it be that I was switching and did not know it? I don’t recall losing time. Any more, though, there are a lot of things I am no longer certain of. I do know that I was reacting to things he was doing…and he did not like it…nor would he acknowledge any responsibility for it. He was manipulative…very manipulative. If I tried to point out that I needed something from him in order to give him what he wanted from me I was accused of trying to blackmail him. He refused to accept the way things work between people. Sadly…everything that he was…he accused me of being.

As I look back on my life with my ex (something I try not to do any more than necessary) I think that my anger did come out in some ways. I would say that I was probably passive aggressive to some degree. I don’t remember it being a conscious thing. It wasn’t like I said to myself, “Self…if he won’t this then I will that.” Oh, no…that would have been SO wrong in my worldview at that time…and it still is. I was a good cult girl and would never consciously stoop to such manipulations. But I think it was slipping out from inside anyway. In fact, it is entirely possible that I was switching without even realizing it…that someone inside was trying to somehow protect me and make things better. But nothing ever got better. It only kept getting worse and worse. There comes a point where you can only stuff for so long before it starts coming out one way or another. One sad thing is that I know my children took some of the brunt…not that I was consciously abusive…but I was harsh at times in my perceived helplessness and frustration.

Anger can be such a powerful emotion. It can give us the energy to make changes that we really need to make. It can help to strengthen our resolve when there are tough things that need doing. It can also be scary. I was always terrified of anger…both the anger of others and of my own. I was always afraid of losing control and I was raised to always be in control. So, I continued to stuff a lot of my anger, although I think I did start expressing it more.

I wasn’t in therapy very long. When I finally got back in many years later, I was still afraid of anger. I was afraid that, if I started to let myself feel it, I would be like a volcano that kept spewing and spewing. I was afraid that I would explode and not be able to regain my illusion of having control over it.

Anger…helpful…scary…necessary…protecting…hurting…punishing. So many things can be involved with anger. I think the biggest thing I learned about anger, though, is that it is typically a cover-up emotion. Anger is not the real issue…it is whatever anger is covering up. The anger indicates some other emotion. It could be fear, for example. I am afraid, but I don’t want to admit I am afraid…do I feel anger. Fear requires acknowledgment of something and possibly having to take action. Anger can be a blind feeling of agitation that does not really require an action…other than to perhaps rage. I feel afraid of abandonment…but instead of acknowledging that and dealing with that…I cover it with anger over something completely unrelated.

Once I read about anger being a cover…I started to look deeper…to look underneath the anger to see if I could figure out what was there.  As I did that, I was able to start taking more control over my life…bit by bit…which made me feel more empowered…and less angry. Anger started to become determination…resolve…energy for the actions I would eventually need to take. Learning that about anger helped me a lot. I learned that anger is my ally. It is my indicator that something is not right…either with me…or with something happening to me or another.

I hope this made sense. I have a lot to do and wanted to get some thoughts out here. So, I have not taken much time to “polish” it up.

h1

What to Do With Anger?

April 19, 2010

I am writing. I have a poem I have been working on that I hope to finish in the next day or two at most. Tomorrow I am busy, but on Wednesday at least, I hope to finish it and give it to the one I need to communicate with. I think a poem might help get the message across in a somewhat neutral way. I hope. It is a “group” effort and I will post it here on the blog when I am done.

For me, I try to use anger as a catalyst. I try to find creative ways to express it…even when I find myself limited by my situation. I can only go so long feeling as if I am trapped in someone else’s schedule…forced to live in an environment that is so not suited to what I have been created to need. It is only my Abba who sustains me/us.

I will keep on hoping for change…and for it to be fairly soon. Right now, there are no signs of anything happening and we have no control over it. We have to trust our heavenly Abba. I know that a few of you readers know who I really am and you can see from what I write in other places what is going on…or not going on as the case may be.

Trust…it is all about trust. A lot of that trust has to do with knowing that my Abba will bring me through this…all of me. I hope to write more tomorrow or Wednesday.

h1

What Do You Do With Anger?

April 19, 2010

I feel like saying something. I feel like wagging a finger in someone’s face. I feel like getting a bit loud. I feel like yelling. I feel like…what??? I don’t know. I don’t do anger very well. I try to be very understanding, very forgiving. I try to let go of my wants for the sake of others. We give…for their sakes…but they don’t even have a clue how much we give. And for one of them…that is OK. But the other. I need some acknowledgment. When you work so hard to present as “normal”…whatever the heck that is…it is so easy for the other one to forget who you really are…what you really are…who ALL you really are. It has been building up for some time.

So…what, exactly, DO you do with anger? With frustration? With an inability to get to what you feel you need? An inability to do what you feel you need to do? To process all the stuff you have had to put on hold for the last few years. Talk about healing interrupted! I know it is not totally interrupted, but in so many ways it HAS been.

I have grown in the sense that I have actually been holding it together through all of this. Well…I believe it is my Abba who has really been holding me together. Many times I have reached the end of my proverbial rope and it is my Abba who has kept me going…who is holding me together.

I am human. I have feelings…sometimes very conflicting feelings…depending upon the who and the what. Again…something that tends to be forgotten by the very one I most need to remember that. I am OK…but that does not mean that I do not have those feelings to battle at times. He does, too, and even from some of the same things. We each have our stuff. And then…I have stuff for more than one.

I think it is time to remind someone. I am praying about the how and the when. Do I write it?  Do I speak it? And then there is who should write it or speak it? What “voice” do I use? What will be best heard? Best received? I am not talking about manipulation here…I am talking about practicality. Know your audience. Speak accordingly.

Is it hopeless? Sometimes it feels like it is. Some times…it feels as if things will never change.  It feels as if I will always have to hide a lot of myself. I have to accept that life might just be that way. Can I do that? Can I trust enough for that?

Our living situation is going to change…most likely during this summer/fall…maybe sooner. That will bring a lot of challenges of its own…while also opening up some things for me. How will I handle that? I don’t know yet. I am trying to get prepared for both change…and for no change. I really hope that I do not have to face no change.

h1

Losses and Grieving

August 25, 2008

The last few weeks I have been doing some grieving. I am not sure that I even recognized it consciously as that. The last week and a half, however, it has reached such a level that I can no longer deny that it is grief.

It has been slowly building and it now feels as if it is coming to a head. Or perhaps I should write that it IS at a head. My heart feels strained and the last few days have been ones of wanting to cry…a lot.

I am grieving for friends who are going through health struggles, grieving for losses in friendships, grieving for losses in things I was hoping I could do, grieving for those I love who have been hurt and betrayed by those they (and I) love, grieving over incidents past and present, etc. The list just goes on.

Sometimes, it is really hard to know what to do with all the grief. It seems like it is just one more thing on top of another. I cannot handle it all. I have to give it to the One who can…my heavenly Abba. He is helping me to get my priorities straight…and to know what to hang onto and what to let go of. He is helping me to learn how to grieve…in a healthy way.

I always struggle with letting some things out…especially anger. I am angry over some of the things that are causing me grief. This is especially the case when the things that have happened are senseless…when there is no reason they should have happened other than someone was being heartless or insensitive. Then again, how many times have I been insensitive? If I want others to be forgiving of me, I must be forgiving of them.

Sometimes, though, things happen simply out of meanness or selfishness. Those are harder for me to deal with…and, ironically, harder to express anger over. I feel so helpless sometimes when I see what happens to others…and to me…and I feel helpless to do a darn thing about it. I think helplessness, perhaps, makes me feel the angriest.

I feel so powerless to do anything to change anything. People are hurt. They even die…and I can do nothing to make it any better. That is what it feels like anyway.

I think I am rambling here, so I am going to bring this post to a close.

h1

More on Anger

August 13, 2008

Well…it is t day today. I spoke to him on the phone this morning. I told him that I need him to push me. I have emotions under the surface. Like a wound that is infected that we need a doctor to lance, or cut into, to release all the gunk, I need him to lance through the protective layers I have covering my anger and emotions. I really need him to push on me.

I can get in touch with some of my anger, but not when I can really let it out and process it. I think to myself…OK, I’ll do it in t. I even kind of run it through my head…how I’ll do it. Then I get to t and the anger is miles away from me. I don’t want another t appointment talking about superficial stuff. That is not to say that t has not been helpful… or that it has all been superficial. Au contraire…it HAS been helpful…but I really need to get to this stuff.

I know that he is concerned about triggering me…but then…what better place to be in if I am triggered? It is a safe place to work through that…to let myself experience it…walk through it. This is especially true during double sessions when there is more time to recupe.

I think he is, perhaps, a bit nervous about treading into territory that is unfamiliar to him. He does not typically work with survivors like myself. I got triggered once before in his office. It was the first time I was ever able to just allow it to happen in front of someone. Typically, I would do everything in my power to try and hide it.

I need that freedom. I need him to not be concerned about it happening. I don’t need him to fix it. I just need him to learn about how to help me be grounded and walk through it. I don’t think it is all that complicated. Just be there. Don’t give pat answers. Talk to me…be with me. I don’t know. I just know that I believe we can do this. I really NEED for him to do this with me. I am determined to push through and not be held back. I will keep working on freedom.

h1

Expressing Anger

August 6, 2008

It feels as if it has been forever since I have been able to come here to write. There are some things that have kept me away from my keyboard. The last few days I have been thinking about anger. What do you do when you cannot safely express anger at the offending person?

I would really love to hear others’ thoughts on this. You can comment anonymously.

I had something happen early in 2006. It was an incident that scared the heck out of me. I was backed into a corner, figuratively speaking, and interrogated for about an hour. I am proud of how well I did. I held my own pretty well. However, I had to use restraint for fear that it might cost someone else his job.

It was terrifying, angering, triggering. I still see the person who did this, on occasion…not by choice. Life circumstances bring us together, along with the woman who was also there when it happened. It is usually from a distance within a group and there are polite exchanges, nods and smiles…all very innocuous…as if nothing had happened.

I am pretty sure that they…both him and her…were afraid of my diagnosis. I wish they had asked me about it. Instead they asked someone behind my back. Grrrr! Even if the end result had been the same, it could have been handled differently.

Sometimes, I picture in my mind going into his office, and bringing her in, too. I want to tell them I forgive them, but to please not do that to anyone again. I was treated as if I were a criminal trying to hide something. I was made to feel as if I had been deceptive.

Other times, I want to corner him and really lay into him. How dare he treat me like that! I want to tell him what I really think…that he may be cult and that he is not fooling me and a whole host of things that run through my head. Obviously…that would NOT be a good idea to try out for real!

The other person was also accused of hiding something, but he managed to keep his job. What were we “hiding”? My cult background. There was nothing to disclose! It made no difference. It did not effect my ability to do what they asked me to do there. The group was not in any danger. Yet, it did not matter. I lost. I lost something that I was really feeling good about doing…all because someone there got wind of my background and got scared.

I cannot go to them and express my anger over what happened, although, in my mind, I sometimes do. So, what do I do with it? I will do fine for a while. Then something triggers it to the surface again and I find myself making comments of a type that I really don’t like to think of as coming from my heart. I realize that there is something still in there.

I do not want a root of bitterness to grow within me. I have chosen to forgive and, every time it comes up, I say it again…”I choose to forgive him/them.” It is mostly him because I think she just pretty much followed his lead. I forgive her for following him. I forgive the group for giving him so much power and authority.

Overall, I believe in the group they work for and don’t want to make waves for the group or friends who work there. Still, I am left with this anger and hurt that keeps coming up. The PTSD part of it at least is gone…other than the anger that sometimes gets stirred up. When it first happened, the PTSD was awful. It had just finally started to settle down from something else when this happened.

So, what do I do with this anger? How do I express it? That is what I think I need to work on now. I would love to hear from others what their thoughts are.

%d bloggers like this: