Integrating the anger

fire

I had another interesting session today. I went in feeling very angry today; lots of anger bubbling under the surface with no place to go. It’s been a busy week and frustrating one too! I am angry with my ex for his lack of support, I am angry with a man I fancied for telling me that I could be myself with him and then turning on me when I was very honest; saying he couldn’t handle my frustrations and that I should implicitly trust him even though he hasn’t earned that trust.

I am also a little angry at me for being so giving with people who don’t deserve it. I started chatting to a guy on an online dating app and we seemed to have a good rapport. We were chatting constantly for about a week and then arranged to meet. At the time we were supposed to meet. I got a text from him saying that he hadn’t left his place yet because his mum in Sicily had kept him on the phone for two hours. He asked if we could meet two hours later and said I was being overdramatic when I told him how he had inconvenienced me.

I struggled with myself for a few minutes and then I told him that I wouldn’t be waiting two hours for him. I went on to have a lovely afternoon by myself and took a long walk by the river and had delicious street food. I then deleted his number. No fucking way! It’s not good enough for me. Poor excuse and no real apology and on top of that telling me that I am ‘overdramatic’. I don’t need that in my life. Not anymore, I have always been surrounded by people who invalidated my feelings and by extension me. I don’t want that anymore. I want people who take responsibility for themselves and don’t turn everything on me.

But I was angry at myself for the hope that it created in me and the fact that I even bought him a book because it came up in our chats.

So that was the backdrop of my week and I went into my counselling session today holding all of that. My counsellor asked me what I was ‘hungry’ for and what I needed. What do I want from the app. I don’t know. Companionship, a potential someone-special, love and to be loved, to feel less alone, togetherness and intimacy. I have since deleted the app because its a free one and one that seems more for hook-ups. I started getting so many messages and it was just too exhausting emotionally and mentally trying to work out who the fakes were.

I drew fire and water today in my session. The water is the clam, the inner wisdom and quite voice within that I find it hard to listen to when faced with the promise of romantic love. But it is there, and my counsellor made me aware that I did listen to that quite voice when I told him that I wouldn’t be able to meet two hours later. I laid a firm boundary and I showed that I wasn’t going to accept being treated like that. That’s new and unfamiliar and uncomfortable for me but I did it. Boundaries are so hard for me to maintain but I am learning new ways.

Deleting the app, replying to the man I liked and saying that he hadn’t exact;y earned my implicit trust was also another way I asserted myself powerfully. Going on to treat myself to street food and great afternoon by the river was also a way I channelled that anger I felt at being let down.

I will get there, the road is bumpy and it feels like an uphill struggle but I am moving forward despite the discomfort and hurt and disappointment. I try not to be angry with myself because I gave the gut the benefit of the doubt when I got him the book. My heart is open and I have hope; something I wouldn’t want to lose ever.

Yet I know I have to keep listening to that quiet voice that knows, even in moments when I want to do the opposite and go the way I have always gone. The fire in my drawing is the anger and anger is fine. Looking at the fire with its hues of orange and red on that paper was liberating. I am allowed my anger and I can integrate and channel it. I can express it creatively and productively to push me forward. It doesn’t have to be hidden and kept down. If I can draw it, I can allow myself to feel it without thinking I have done something wrong.

Finally my counsellor made me aware of the fact that maybe there is a part of me that doesn’t trust people. That part of me that hasn’t been allowed expression because I have been so busy trying to be the good, agreeable girl so that I could be liked and wanted. That part of me that went underground because I had no choice but to trust my primary caregivers, the two people who didn’t deserve my trust.

That part that doesn’t trust needs acknowledgement and acceptance too and I can integrate it somehow so that it can be used to protect myself. I can learn how to judge actions and let people earn my trust and respect before I lavish it so freely on strangers who use good words and seem kind and trustworthy but don’t deserve it. It’s all hard work. But I will get there.

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15 thoughts on “Integrating the anger

  1. Wow, you are doing great. It is hard to set boundaries, to make it clear that you expect to be respected. It is hard because you weren’t treated that way in the past and learned not to expect it. And it’s hard (I suspect) when you feel a bit lonely and would like to be loved; it’s tempting to lower your expectations and accept something sub-par just so you don’t have to be alone. Or this is what I did, anyway, more than once while I was a single mom, after I left my abusive marriage. I kind of cringe now to think of some of the men I dated and (ick) slept with.

    I love that you respected your own time and your own opinions. I love that you didn’t buy into the “overly dramatic” accusation or the assumption that you should implicitly trust someone just because he said so. That is both brave and wise.

    It is so much better to hold out for someone who is respectful and honestly loves the real you, with your boundaries and needs and moods. I’m lucky to have stumbled across that in time, and it’s quite incredible, unlike any other relationship I have ever had, including with my parents. No one has ever accepted me like my husband does. This is what I wish for you. It’s healthy and satisfying and worth waiting for. Fine, if you want to date or have a lover or some friendly company or whatever, but save your heart for someone who truly deserves it. There are men like that, I’m glad to say.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for your response which fills me with warmth and hope and inspiration. I am so glad to hear you found that; and you are so right. I need to save my heart for someone who deserves it and accepts ALL of me. Honestly I would like to have some male company but if it were someone who I know is just a ‘lover’ for example, I feel I would get too deeply attached to anyway. I think I have a long way to go. Your responses always encourage me a lot 🙂 Bless you !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, well done. Anger is the single best sign our boundaries have been violated in some way. We should always trust it, Unfortunately as you well know the signs of emotional neglect and invalidation crosses over to our anger. Its hard to stick to a boundary at time. I consistently make excuses for people. I am seeing its better to take a firm line and honour myself. Thanks for being an example of this for me. I love this post. You are doing great recovery work, 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. Your posts and responses to mine always help with the very very deep stuff as I feel you understand on a much deeper level. Yes you are right, I should trust and listen to that anger where before I pushed it down because I had to. I learned to distrust my own body and feelings; which are meant to be our guides in life. I think you are so right about the firm line and honouring ourselves. I wanted to understand better where you say “…the signs of emotional neglect and invalidation crosses over to our anger” ? I am asking because I think there is deep wisdom in that point. Thanks for being such a wise friend 🙂

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      • Well I think part of being emotionally neglected is that we are left alone with feelings and so feelings become very confusing for us. We feel something at a gut level but then doubt it because we may receive a really bad response or be made to feel bad for feeling that way. I was not sure after posting this reply as sometimes old anger and pain over neglect can be triggered again by someone who is doing their best at the time. But only we can know our bottom line and for our own emotional health we need to know where to draw that so we don’t invalidated again. I hope that makes better sense. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for replying. I am glad I asked the question because yes I understand what you mean about the danger of present people or situations triggering old anger and pain even though the person in the present is doing their best. I think by being firm and honouring ourselves, the people who really matter and care will try to understand and meet us halfway. At least thats what I think 🙂
        Thanks for

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an awesome post. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    It’s really great to read how you are integrating your anger, delineating your boundaries, etc. It gives me ideas on how to do that for myself.

    These days, I feel angry all the time. I’ve been so upset at myself for being so angry. Then, it spills out into my relationships. What you shared here and in other posts on your blog about being the good little girl, needing to be perfect, etc. really resonated with me. And I definitely related to, “Warming the Stone Child.”.

    While I’m sorry that you have gone through hell and back (and then-some), it’s great to read your experience and not feel so alone and weird. Your sharing is teaching me that I need to have some deep self-compassion – which is the UTMOST difficult thing for me to have for myself.

    Hoping the best for all of us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your very warm response to my post. I am so glad it resonates with you and can help you on some level. You are not alone or weird and I can relate so well when you say that you get upset with yourself for getting angry. I do this too. But I think awareness of this is the first step to change the patterns we have learnt. Its ok for us to be angry and have firm boundaries and yes we have to stick closely with ourselves through it all and become our own best best friends. It sounds like you are on the path to self-acceptance and self-love and I wish you all the very best on this difficult but very rewarding journey 🙂

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      • Thank you so much for your reply.

        Yes, so true…awareness is the first step…and one of the most difficult. For too long awareness was busy trying to tell me “something, anything”…well, really, it was trying to tell me “my truth” about my childhood. However, I kept pushing it down or away until I had a series of outbursts that scared the heck outta me.

        Fearing for my sanity, and my own life, I had to look at what was pushing through from the thick sludge of my subconscious. What came up sounded so “unimportant” when I said it out loud and shared it initially with “unsupportive” others.

        Some psychology trends and these well-meaning “others” I have come across were basically telling me to grow up and out of “it” (whatever “it” was at the moment). “It” was actually admitting that my childhood wasn’t the faery tale I was trying to present to the world (which I now often wonder may very well be terrified of admitting it’s own painful history and, hence, has tried to hush trauma survivors or even at times “gaslight” them.).

        LOL…I have no idea if I am making any sense as I was up late reading your awesome blog. Now I’m feeling like I’m blathering away, LOL.

        In any case, thank you, again. As well, it was great to read the comments of others here as it helps me too.

        All the best to everyone here! Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s taken me a while to learn this (and I still forget periodically) but it’s helpful to realize that it’s okay to feel anger. We don’t have to justify it or repress it or try to change it into something else. It’s a feeling, like amusement or disappointment or excitement. Feelings come and go, and they are all acceptable. What may not be acceptable is letting any one feeling rule your behavior. It wouldn’t work out so well if anger made all the decisions in your life. But you can still feel it, respect that it has something to tell you about the situation, and use that together with other information to make a decision.

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      • Hola, La Quemada.

        Unfortunately, these past few months I’ve been “allowing” my emotions to rule me. Not purposely, as far as I’m consciously aware of. They just seem to be “seeping” out of me. It’s like I cannot control my emotions, in a sense. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

        As well, although I know on an intellectual level that it’s okay to have emotions of any kind, on an emotional level it feels like a completely different story, especially this past year. It’s like I’m on fire or something.

        I’m not yet quite sure what’s really going on with me. However, tellingheavysecrets’ blog, and the blogs of those who are posting here (like yours), are really helping me on my present inner journey.

        Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It does absolutely make sense! I still feel like there are times when a very dark depression takes me over. I have trouble finding my wise “observer” self who notices and accepts the emotions. And I have been working on this for a L O N G time. I think it’s very important not to judge ourselves for that. Trauma and depression are a big deal; of course it is hard. Those are the times we need help from friends, family, therapists–anyone who can have some empathy and provide some support. And that includes fellow bloggers. I know I have learned a lot from them and received incredible support.

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