Angry with my family

Anger

I am not going to deny my anger any more.  I have legitimate reasons to be very angry at my family and my mother and sister in particular for what they put me through following the end of my marriage and even in the years before where I was just never treated with support, empathy and love.  I am sick to death of denying the truth to myself, rationalising it and minimising it.  I just spoke to my therapist and she said my anger needs to flow out and I need to find ways to do that today… write about it in your blog, draw it out or scream it out, do what ever you need to do to get it out of your system she said to me and so this blog is part of that process.  Internalised, invalidated anger has been kicking around inside my system for so long, it resulted in my accidents and in my alcoholism.  Part of my recovery is that I need to speak about it and value and validate my inner self and inner child.

I recognise what happened when I spoke to my mother yesterday when writing my blog A hollowed out shell was that by crying and becoming really vulnerable my Mum roped me into compassion.  Earlier on I had ended the conversation when she was once again telling me I needed to forget about things and put them behind me.   She called me back out of guilt to ask me to dinner and at first I said no and then wanted to relent when she showed me how much pain she was in and how insecure and unable to truly express herself she feels.  While I feel compassion for her I cannot let that over ride my own anger about what happened to me for it is anger that lets me know something hurt me deeply and wasn’t okay and that then helps me set some kind of boundary.  If I get told I shouldn’t have it or feel it that is invalidation abuse pure and simple and if the person is trying to guilt me out of it that is worse abuse.  Full stop! No argument, no debate!

I had a difficult day yesterday.  I noticed I got onto You Tube and posted some videos in two posts which although they had interesting insights don’t really help me to cut to the depth of dealing with the trauma and anger I am still carrying from the head injury that happened to me 12 years ago as the result of my sister and my mother’s meanness. At that stage I needed support and help to heal and grieve and know my truth, but I see how impossible this is to attain from anyone in my family they were just not that awake to the inner self or emotional realities.  My Mum is close to waking up but she seriously needs therapy.  I am sick of trying to be her therapist.  It isn’t my job really and she often told me that its not a good idea to go to others with your problems.  Her bottom line is that you need to work things out alone but that comes from a childhood where she was left alone and had to figure things out all alone.  Yesterday she was touching into deep realities and she told me how she feels so helpless and alone with no one much to talk to about all the things she goes through.  I want to say “well Mum get some therapy” but she never would.  So I end up being the font of all compassion but my compassion now is only prepared to extend so far when no recognition of past hurts or any apology has been forthcoming.

Second reason for anger and terribly acute body symptoms over the past few days has been unresolved issues with my living sister.  She was so awfully mean to me at the aforementioned time, telling me I was a selfish little girl and that I had had a shit of a life and she pitied me.  Oh and also going behind my back to my nephew (my older dead sister’s son) who I was really establishing a close relationship with and telling him how jealous I was of her.  Luckily at that time (just under 3 years ago now) he told me and I confronted her on the day we putting a party on for my mother.  I wish I had just walked out for at first she tried to deny it and then she said he had no right to tell me and then that she thought it was true.  But what I actually think is true is that the situation was the reverse and narcissists always believe they are so wonderful that the universe is jealous of them, why I do not know when the are such superiority junkies looking down their noses at all and sundry.  I have never been that person, as those who know me and have told me its just NOT ME.

Anyway she has softened somewhat in later years and actually did give me a grudging apology about what occurred in 2005 when I confronted her and Mum about it 2 years ago around this time of year.  But it was in no way an apology that came from her heart or truly recognised the damage done and the other day when she rang me about my tooth issue concerned to see how I was, it was I who ended up apologising to her for reacting to the horrible way she traated me.  Did I need to apologise  NO!  And my inner child is very upset with adult me about it and let me know as I woke up with shocking PTSD symptoms yesterday.  Whenever I see my sister my anxiety level goes through the roof and I was telling my therapist today that it was because I feel there is a lot of anger and hurt my body is carrying and the only way it has to come out is as anxiety.  But the mixed up irony is that as anxious as I feel I try even harder to bond with her and its a trauma bond and end up having an extra coffee with her even though its not really good for me to do it, because I feel she may be lonely.

I am aware as I write all this out it may seem like sour grapes to some.  I don’t really care as what you think isn’t my issue.  But what I need to know and see more clearly which is why I am putting it out there in black and white is how I can over ride my own impulses and intuitions. I often find my inner critic attacks my real attempts at feeling the truth of my feelings and most particularly that includes genuine expressions of anger.

Katina, my therapist was today reminding me that as much compassion as I feel I also need to remind myself that its okay to be angry.  So many of the messages around me growing up in family and Catholic school were based on anger being a ‘bad’ or negative emotion, when really anger is a signal of something from our deepest, truest inner self.  If we deny or over ride our own angry impulses we end up in such strife.  I have had so many accidents due to traumas from my past or pain replaying over in the present moment and this is one of the saddest facts about trauma,  it tends to attract more of the same to us but most particularly for those of us who were taught to value compassion, rationalisation and excuses over valid expression of anger.  So many times I have been told I better be careful as anger is dangerous, but this is only the case when it is not cleanly and clearly expressed, or if it is expressed aggressively.   We need to be so mindful of where our sore angry spots lie because when triggered they are signs of something from the past that needs to be dealt with or is calling for our awareness or attention, if we don’t pay attention we are in trouble  It won’t do us any good to act our anger out on those who really are just triggering a massive back log of past stuff but we still need to be aware that such people aren’t good to be around on a long term basis.  I am sad to say that goes for my family at present, much as I long for their love, when they are around it comes with huge reminders of pain from the past.  I have not ‘let it go’ yet, it hasn’t let go of me.

Its difficult writing this, as I was the television was just turned on by some automatic process.  I went over and Jasper my dog had his ear on the remote but what was most interesting was that it was a show called Compass and was on a priest’s life, and at that moment in time he was speaking of the ‘false ego’ that has to die if we want to fully embrace our humanity.  It made me question the wisdom of hanging onto my anger.  Maybe my sister had changed now and has soften, maybe she regrets what she did to me all of those years ago.  Maybe my mother wishes she hadn’t been so cruel to have chosen my sister over me when I was ‘too sad’ grieving at the end of my marriage.  I truly don’t know the answers to these questions.  Is my anger coming from ‘false ego’?  Is that why the television automatically came on?  I don’t know either but I am putting this in my blog as part of the mental process I go through on a day when I am trying to make sense of and deal with this anger from the past and the deep wound in me that gets triggered around this time of year.  I feel less angry now after writing this.  I have attempted to express my true reality, for what it is worth.   And I appreciate any feedback or any sharing from others about how you have dealt with your own anger.

And in the interest of openness the following are just a selection of anger quotes I came across on line :

 

 

Desperately Sore

Gentle.jpg

Today my throat is desperately sore and raw, not from cold, not from flu, but from the pain buried deep, deep down inside that’s coming to the surface with having to have my tooth out but that is just the iceberg, the cold hard thing that has buried underneath it countless blackness and desperately sad memories of painful times and it doesn’t help to wake to a freezing house which is impossible to really warm on the minus 3 mornings.  I am reminded I had an option to move somewhere warm but that would have involved losses of things I loved here, so I’m not going to beat myself up and say I made the wrong decision.

This morning instead I have been working to honour the deep sadness and pain I have deep inside and really listen to my true self when she tells me how hard it was, because as I write this and before while I stayed in bed late keep warm I was aware of how often I have been dismissed and my pain minimised.  How often I may have been told it is not real.  Realising this I can decide to treat myself differently today, in gentle loving soothing way.  There is always something loving and positive I can do for myself.  I don’t have to follow on with words of inner condemnation and shame.

Today my therapist is away too and that is hard as I finally need to see the dentist who will take my tooth out, possibly next week.  A part of me is struggling and doesn’t want it out, its another bloody procedure but I have to face up and get through it.  It isn’t the end of the world but its also another loss so I have to walk a fine line between self compassion and self care which means doing what I have to do to take care of my health.

An empty house full of stuff in the mornings triggers negative thoughts for me right away however I got a little book out of the library on panic attacks yesterday written by a psychologist who recovered from her own panic attacks.  It is written in cartoon form and gives some really positive suggestions about how not to let critical inner voices win.   In the mornings alone on the dark grey days I am more susceptible to being captured by the negative voices.  As the writer Bev Aisbett describes this inner force it really is a downer that wants to paint everything black and heavy and I need to keep being conscious of what it is up to, so as not to be captured!

I also realised there is an other trigger for tomorrow as friends have asked me over for dinner but I have painful memories associated with the times we had most to do with each other in the years after my father died when I was in a bad way inwardly and drinking too much.   Tomorrow night I need to come clean and talk some things through with them, as I know they have changed and matured more now and they are aware I really struggled at that time, everyone in that immediate circle was abusing alcohol or drugs at the time and they don’t do that now.

Despite the fact I know I feel a lot better when I get up and get myself moving about, today I stayed in bed until just before 10 am.   I am aware its okay not to have rules and regulations my inner critic uses to keep me stuck or locked up inside, at times I need more rest and this week has been busier with getting my car fixed, but I also know the happiness that comes for me when I can embrace a day when I connect with someone or something outside of myself.

I don’t have a lot that is really positive at the moment to offer in my blog.   I am finding that my poetry has dried up somewhat.   I look on others blogs and see that mine has just puttered along, followers come and go and the precious few who stay over time mean so much to me, but I will probably never achieve the kind of popularity I see on other blogs and that is okay.   Do I really have to be popular?    In I just need to be myself  and express as honestly as I can.  I don’t have a lot of great life achievements to share in my blog, I just live a quiet life with my dog and try to look for the positive but can at times get very consumed with the negative and with the old ghosts that try to haunt me.

When winter comes and I see how over the years instead of reaching outwards I have so often isolated myself it gets painful on some days.  And then I feel that on the contrary side the inner life is really what is most important and cannot always be shared with others.  We never really know who others truly are and how they suffer inside.  One of the good things about blogging is that fellow writers share from that place which makes real honest connection all the more possible.

Writing takes me out of myself and it has worked this morning. I will do what I can to bring some love into my day.  I need to keep reaching to build a better life while keeping the connection of self compassion strong to myself deep inside so that I can comfort myself on the tough days and build myself up rather than let my inner critic tear me down.  When I show myself that softness and love the harshness melts within me as I realise how hard on myself I have been in the past and realise I can work to change that if I stay awake and aware.

Blog on

The hardest time of day

I am becoming more aware lately of how this time of day, 5pm to 7pm is often the hardest time of day for me.  I was born at 7:10 pm and I am not entirely sure how that is related only to say I can get a tightness in my chest and start to feel deep, deep loneliness and sadness at this time of day.  Leading up to this over the past four or so months I became aware that at this time of day I tend to stuff my face with some kind of snack.  Lately I have been trying to make it a healthy snack but eating in a compulsive way, even if what you are eating is good for you is not the best idea.  Today after a tough day where I finally got out to the park around 3 pm and didn’t eat much more than an apple to clear my system out I went to the fruit and veg markets.  I needed some Brazil Nuts and I slowly and very mindfully at 3 of them remembering to breathe.  I then got home and swept up some of the autumn leaves but a lot was going on inwardly within, memories of how the trees shed in this way in the days leading up to my sister’s funeral in 2014.  Deeper memories are there of how my life also began to fall apart in 1990 towards the tail end of my days of active addiction when I woke with stomach pains in the middle of the night and being unable to rouse my them partner drove myself to emergency,  I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be aborted and the trauma tore my relationship apart.  Within a few weeks I was out of the group house I shared and back with my godparents and then later in a new unit and my relationship briefly resumed only to hit the wall and then I gave up my job and the darkest years of my addiction followed.

I am very aware that I am not there now.  But I will always have a life that has been marked by trauma.  I had at that time already been through three terminations of pregnancy.  In the early years of recovery and sobriety when I undertook my first therapy I wrote a letter to each child that never got to live and named them.  I asked their forgiveness for not being able to bring them into the world and explained why.  I grieved them over years and have acceptance now over my choices. But as autumn draws in darker memories are near and this afternoon I am making the conscious choice to keep my ‘eating’ to a minimum and wait for an early dinner.  I am also choosing to blog about it more for myself, for I am sure it will be boring to some readers or they may even judge, nevertheless I make the intention in this blog to be as honest as I really can about what I am going through.

I am in the cosy living room now.  Jasper has just had a bone and its time to get us both dinner.  I haven’t had a panic attack yet and I usually get them religiously between 5 and 7.  Today I also chose to politely end the conversation with my Mum when she told me I was being ‘ridiculous’ for being traumatised by the events of the past my brother brought up yesterday, she also would not give me further information about something that would have helped me put more pieces in place and I am learning that everyone in the family has their own take on things and Mum is invested in not really owning up to all of her shortcomings.  That is her business, not mine.  I just need to detach otherwise it really hurts too much.

I have written a fair few posts today.  I have needed to.  Mars planet of action moved into Gemini planet of siblings and communication a day or so ago.  Its hitting my Chiron and it explains how what my brother bought up yesterday triggered essential placements of Mars planets in my Mum and sister and dead father’s charts.  I don’t know how astrology works only that when something get triggers I see it in the charts and Mars being in Gemini would suggest its good to communicate about it and get it out in the open which is not something my Mum or sister really want to do.  That much I realised last night when I got no support from my sister to understand things and anyway I was defending Mum at the time which was not right.

I have to keep reminding myself it is okay to reach for understanding of my family, the past and family dynamics.  I was very young when so much went down and had not a lot of way to make sense of it.  I can shame and judge myself for my struggle to make sense and there are some things I will never know.  But in expressing I get to contain my feelings to a degree and make sense of them, which helps me be not as unconsciously overwhelmed as I can be at times. I feel less sad now simply for writing this post at this time of day.  If I can bring my patterns to better consciousness and not over eat at this time my panic attacks may just stop, so this process is, in the end, essentially for me.

The value of a good friend

True friendship

I have had so many, many years of isolation.  Days when I did not speak to a single soul. Days where I was in such deep grief and had no one to share that grief with, not always because they were not there, but often because it was too painful and scary to reach out, often too because I was scared of meeting with invalidation..  I am so grateful now that I at least have a very good friend or two that I can turn to when what is going on inside my mind at times gets difficult to deal with.  And I am grateful for the days when I can reach out without putting too many barriers up in my mind.  I am seeing more clearly lately how many defences and fears I have had around connecting as an emotionally sensitive person who in the past was shamed or invalidated.

That is why I have decided to post a post today about the value of a good friendship, for without out it as much as we can love and value and comfort ourselves, life is just not as worth living or as full of light and joy.

A large part of recovery rests in learning to be a good friend and parent to ourselves, part of our recovery also involves being able to recognise and draw good friends into our lives.  During my breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy I learned the value of emotional support,  I learned how hard it is to be let down by a friend. In my blogging life I value and appreciate the supportive friendships that have come to me and made the tough days all that more bearable.

This much I do know : being happy and having peace of mind rests so much on being a good friend to ourselves but we also need each other.  When we find a true friend we should value them more than precious gold for its in sharing our strength, pain, joy, fear, vulnerability and love that we come to know what is best about being human and what makes life most worth living.

 

By supporting you, I rise

It occurred to me today how much I gain by supporting others who are struggling like me.  I am so very grateful to WordPress as where I live I don’t find it easy to connect to those on a deeper path but on WordPress I have found amongst valuable followers and those I also follow a community of souls who I feel connected to.  I feel connected because people are  real about how hard it really is on the tough days, how at times they can feel entirely rooted to the spot by depression or unexpressed pain and sadness, how they suffer when they witness a world where idiots rise to power and then traumatise everyone who has to watch them spewing out hate and vitriol and silliness all over the place.  This is my community of like minded souls and I have been so helped on my darkest of dark days by the love and empathy shown to me, by those who have offered to email me, who have listened and heard and even at times reblogged my posts.  What a gift!!!

Today I can feel when others are in pain and struggling because I have pain and struggle on some days.  Yesterday I had a fight with my Mum.  I wrote a post about it but I took it down.  I find it hard at times to express my anger towards my Mum in a public sphere but at times she has hurt me very deeply and I was emotionally abandoned by her.  Its hard to say it like it is.  Well yesterday she hurt me a lot and I was in pain and I wrote a post about it but I took it down.  Then I read today how others were really struggling yesterday and questioned why I had to take my post down. It felt to me as if I should not show ingratitude even though I felt she had been hard with me.  Not easy!

I affirm others in the way I should affirm myself.  When I affirm you, I rise, when I give you encouragement its because I want you to know the joy in your heart that comes from self love, from the realisation of all the ways in which in being hurt by a difficult world you came to believe that you were not good enough and that that was a false belief.  Never the truth.  And so today when I was feeling better I read those blogs I really related to and gave some support because we need it, we need to hear words of love, of appreciation, of encouragement and of affirmation.  When we denigrate others we denigrate ourselves, when we lift others up with our words, our prayers or our love and encouragement, we rise. Here we can find a community of souls in which we can express, love and support and spread some positive healing energy when the day seems dark.  Isn’t that what we should live for?

Transforming that which is difficult through showing mercy towards it

I had to take a day or two off from Word Press after the pain of late last week.  I had to do some deep soul searching and want I found is that like many humans I have some deep wounds inside myself that I carry.  When those wounds trigger others wounds and nasty words are said there is a toxic aftermath that goes on in my body, almost like fighting off an infection and its not just a metaphorical reality it really happens kicking around inside of me and making me feel like I have a low grade flu.

In any case there is a chance I actually have had an infection in one of my teeth for some time. Just before my breast cancer surgery in March last year, I broke the veneer off one of the teeth on the bridge which is four teeth wide and covers the space where I lost one and a half teeth in my accident in 1979.  I have needed two reconstructions on the bridge one in 1998 and on in 2010.  Now I have been informed I will most likely only be possibly able to sustain a bridge for up to 5 years. Its either implants after that or a denture.  And I am not having implants due to major PTSD from a head trauma of 2005 which still means I never sleep through the night but often wake up 2 to 4 times during the night.  I am just not up for it.

On Monday I go in to have an infection in one of the teeth cleared out and a temporary bridge fitted.  I am a bit apprehensive but not as fearful as I was going into major dental work about 5 and then  3 years ago.  I am no longer avoiding as much as I do and I am facing up to my PTSD and fears.  And despite that apprehension there has been the deeper pain over the clash I had with a fellow blogger which just made me very, very sad over the weekend.

I know by now the best thing to do is to take care of myself when I am hurting.  I am sure the other person was hurting too.  I tried to make my amends by email and it wasn’t responded to which I am fine about.  Taking a 10th step inventory I apologised for my part but discussing it all with my therapist yesterday she said that a lot of the nasty things said to me were not fair or even true.   It was very much like when my ex partner and I broke up around this time of year 6 years ago.  Painful things were said to me when he devalued and then discarded me. There was no possibility of repair and that as my therapist said does tend to leave a person in a frustrated place.

I have been grieving and then letting myself just be low to ground so I am moving through it. Today my dog Jasper perhaps sensing I needed a break didn’t come to the car when we were due to go to the park, instead he gratefully let me go out alone and so I went and got a lovely cup of coffee and sat under the big old trees in my local neighbourhood shops and drank it, after that I went out to lunch and then bought myself two books, one a novel and the second a poetry anthology of poems to ease stress.  I was so soothed by the first two poems I read in it today that I then sat down and wrote 3 poems myself.

This latest set back which happened at a time when I was really starting to feel happy and supported by others, did make me feel suicidal for a few days but I have come through it now.  I am grateful that over the past two days I have been able not to be so inwardly self critical.  I am seeing how criticism from others perhaps mirrors inner self criticism and it seems to me that in this social media focused world we currently find ourselves in there is just SO MUCH CRITICISM on any day.  To be honest I am jack of it.  I see how the critic can hurt and wound, how it is never satisfied and often doesn’t see things realistically anyway  one of my favourite quotes is by Oscar Wilde and it says

A critic is someone who knows the cost of everything

And the value of nothing

Focus on inwardly or outwardly directed criticism costs too much and it forgets what is good and has value with its endless focus on the negative, seeing the glass as half empty instead of half full. It goes along with a perfectionistic mindset that does not allow any tenderness or mercy for humanity, foibles, mistakes, error or wounds or anything else outside of its black/white view.  Getting a handle on how and why it operates in this way is essential for all of us but most especially for those of us who suffer from Complex PTSD.

This afternoon I am off to do some reading again and take a gentle time at home alone.  I need to practice tenderness, love and kindness in every moment at the moment.

Trying to work my way though this last conflict.

Dealing with a Narcissist is a minefield for the mind.

It makes a pin-cushion of your heart (only the Narcissist will get bored of using pins, they’ll use whatever sharp objects they can find or blunt ones) and your feelings will get battered.

Narcissists can take something simple and make it impossibly complicated… then they’ll turn on you and accuse you of being the one who made something simple complicated. You ruined a perfectly good mood, day, event, moment, relationship, with your drama.

Source:  https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/how-to-deal-with-a-narcissist-when-you-cant-go-no-contact/

Soul examination going on.  Did I make a simple birthday greeting and a desire to promote me complicated?  Perhaps.  I was accused of making a drama out of  a simple desire to help me to feel happy following posting of a birthday wish.  If it came out of the goodness of someone’s heart that was I guess a good motivation, but what if it came out of them trying something they thought might help me to feel better when really that is not their job?  That it then made me feel uncomfortable is maybe why it felt a bit problematic.  That is also why I tried to say I felt it was a little tinged with co-dependence then I got in trouble for that for them, apparently that showed I was trying to assassinate their character and take then down.  I didn’t think that was my aim but they then claimed it was a passive aggressive maneovuer because I was angry?  I was overwhelmed pure and simple and fighting to get free.  Was I coming across as too much of a victim in my blog?  I just don’t know.

Who actually was then complicating a difficult situation?  All I had said in the first post that stirred all this up was that I was a bit uncomfortable.  I got in trouble for not saying this directly.  It just didn’t occur to me and it probably should have.

I would really encourage anyone who wants to raise their level of awareness into human interactions to read Ursula’s post above and to follow her blog.  Some of the themes she covers in this post is how often we turn others into monsters when they don’t act or respond as we wished them to.  They are the one who stepped into our world and caused us pain and difficulties, if only they stayed the hell out.  But it probably was not their intent to do this.  Their intent was to help, but in helping the person who they considered to be helpless in a way they did not really do them a service.  If you then suffer as a result of the help it can then backfire.  Its complex and complicated and at times deeply confusing.

Reading Ursula’s post I must be honest and say as a strong Neptunian at times I have been stuck in powerless victim, feeling that I lacked power and giving too much because I was conditioned to see that as being good. This relates in part to my Catholic education.  Also at times after my father died and I was struggling my Mum stepped in to help me knowing I was hit sideways by it.  When I was helped too much it was not actually empowering for me.  I needed to be an adult and stumble and bumble and find my own way.

I was accused the other day of playing the victim and I can see that this may have been true.  What the person did not know that at a time when I was dealing with a lot in my life, was overburdened and tired and having to deal with even more emails was like the straw that nearly broke the camel’s back.  At the moment I am so over extended in my life due to poor boundaries that I have too many balls in the air and someone’s well intentioned help for me and my blog was not actually helpful at that time with all the other things I was dealing with.

Anyway I don’t think the other person is a narcissist.  She just felt hurt by me and then decided to attack me back, which hurt, who knows if it was valid criticism?

I am reminded that its always up to me whether I choose to take on board the offence from something another person has done and some criticism may help us to see things we can not see.. Although it hurts me the best way to get free is to let go of the hurting or take steps to change what needs to be changed.

I want to have love in my heart.  I want to have peace.  The one powerful insight I took from the post above by Ursula recommended to me by a valued follower is not to make monsters out of others.  And to pray that in time compassion grows in the hearts of others so they no longer need to make a monster out of me.

good-and-evil