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 :