Thursday, March 17, 2011

Learning to Deal with Anger

I feel bad it has been so long since I have posted anything. While things are still going well for me it has been a busy couple of weeks, at least for someone with my energy levels. However I am coping well considering and while still quite tired and sore I am managing fairly well.

As I described in my last post I have made some new wonderful friends, become closer with Tiger and began dating Elmo. All of these people, particularly Elmo, have become a wonderful support network and I believe it is because of them that I have been making some new steps forward in healing. The amazing thing is I dont think any of them realise how much of a difference they make to me. I try to explain and show how grateful I am but I dont know how to explain or show them without going into things that I really dont want to share.

A particularly difficult step forward happened on Saturday night. Saturday had been a great day, I spent it with Elmo, Tiger and the others and Tiger taught us to make sushi. It was wonderful and so much fun!
Tiger was feeling particularly lonely Saturday night so I invited him over to my place for the night. This meant that I had to settle Tiger in the spare bed and change the sheets on my bed so that Elmo and I could sleep there. This was fine – I really didn’t mind, in the scheme of things it was a small task. However, I felt annoyed and frustrated, my chest felt heavy and tight – like a huge lump was on it and I had the overwhelming urge to hit something. Inside I was told I was angry. It’s really the first time I have ever felt like that in my memory. It was terrifying.

I tried explaining to Elmo the best I could and he was really good about it. He talked to me and teased me a little and allowed me to throw a tantrum which ended with me hitting him with a pillow. I think he found the entire thing rather amusing once he knew what was going on and I was letting it out. For me it was frightening, not just the feeling and not understanding, but I felt out of control – I felt violent by hitting him with a pillow. I realise it was harmless and I would possibly have a pillow fight in play – but while I had no interest in hurting Elmo, hitting him with a pillow in that mood felt violent and that terrified me. I told Elmo that I didn’t like being violent and felt that it was and he thought that made me cute.

I know what I experienced was a good thing; I managed to feel something I haven’t felt by myself for as long as I can remember. I managed to do it without switching and I let it out in a healthy manner, even if it wasn’t a particularly mature way of handling things. But it was difficult, upsetting and frightening for me; it didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like progress.

As for the reason for this anger, well it had been a wonderful day. I was happy to Tiger come and stay. Making a bed is not a big deal. But I was tired, I had been pushing it for a couple days and I was in pain and I was frustrated because I hadn’t been able to contribute with the sushi day as much as wanted because of it. I hate feeling helpless and tired. I hate that the Chronic Fatigue impedes on my relationship both with Elmo and with my friends. The anger was at me and the situation I am currently in due to the Chronic Fatigue. I’m not sure what triggered the anger to come out at that moment, perhaps it was simply that I had the support I needed and my mind felt I was ready.

What ever the reasoning I do accept that it is a step forward even if its a difficult one. It still frightens me and I am not particularly happy about it but I am still proud of myself.


Evan said...

That sounds like a huge step forward. I think celebrations may be in order. To express anger safely when it is so scary for you is huge. Congratulations.

Candycan said...

In my opinion, anger is one of the hardest emotions to tolerate.
I am learning to feel and express anger too after it being suppressed forever. I find though that sometimes I am much angrier about something than seems reasonable at the time. I think this is probably because there is so much anger in there that once a bit is allowed out, a lot can follow. It can be like a dam breaking and it's scary!
Do you think you might be the same in this respect?
I try to acknowledge that the anger I am feeling about something that shouldn't seem so bad, is a reflection of a lifetime of other things that I should have been angry about at the time that they happened.
I've just been catching up on your blog after being away. It's always really interesting and I relate to a lot of what you talk about. Thanks for your blogs :)

castorgirl said...

I agree, anger is one of the most difficult emotions. It's one of the biggest ones to suppress, and it's the scariest to encounter when it starts to make itself known again. It sounds like you did really well in explaining what was going on, and expressing it in a safe way.

Another thing that I constantly struggle with, is my own limitations. I have a chronic back condition which means I live in constant pain (usually dissociated away). But it has meant that I have had to learn to accept that there are limits on what I can and can't do. It also means that sometimes I need to ask for help. That's even harder than dealing with the anger. Everyone has limits, don't be too hard on yourself because of yours.

Take care,

MultipleMe said...

Thanks for the comments!!

Evan - Thank you for the encouragement. It feels like a big step for me and I am proud of myself if some what terrified at the same time.

Candycan - I can definitely relate to the feeling of the dam bursting and feeling more anger than really seems necessary! I agree that its is most likely to a release to anger we have been repressing for a long time and that it is acceptable. Just isnt always easy.

CG - Im sorry to hear about your back condition. That must be hard. I am not very good at asking for help, or simply accepting it when its offered without me asking. Accepting limitations can be really hard and frustrating. I also am aware that when I dont accept them I make things worse for myself. I am working on being more accepting - both of my own limitation and accepting help.

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