What Do You Do With Anger?
FROM APRIL 19, 2022 (MOVING BLOG TO WEBSITE BLOG)
I have found myself in states of anger quite frequently lately and I'm always blown away by how powerful the anger feels and then my body's reaction to these feelings. I personally don't think I handle anger well because I usually just end up crying - or maybe that is a good way of handling the anger?
I remember over my years with Clarissa telling her frequently that anger is just the surface emotion - it's just the immediate reaction to something else. Perhaps that something else is pain or sadness or hurt and then these raw feelings come out as anger because often times it's easier to feel angry than it is to sit in the real, raw feelings that anger is covering up.
Somedays I am finding myself angry at the universe for bringing me "here". Other days I am finding myself angry at Clarissa for so many reasons. When I am finding myself angry at the universe, I can usually get through it really quickly because I know I'm not really angry. Likely I'm feeling overwhelmed by so many things going on in my life that one little thing pushed me over the edge and my reaction is to be angry and kind of "woe is me" for a short period of time.
I say short period of time because I am not one to stay stuck in that "woe is me" state. We are all riding the roller coaster of life and doing our very best to enjoy the ride or the "miracle moments" along the ride. So staying stuck in this feeling sorry for myself definitely does not last because it doesn't get me anywhere. I allow the moment to come, do a quick checkin with myself, usually find out I am feeling overwhelmed by something, and then I let that feeling sorry for myself moment pass and focus on something that will help me feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes I dance, sometimes I rest, sometimes I write, sometimes I ask for a hug and sometimes I just chill in front of a good show so that I can have a few moments of laughter.
My moments of anger with Clarissa are more challenging for me to navigate. I have found this past week and a bit since Reiki a little more manageable and I am not feeling the emotions in my body as much as I was - but they are still there and it's something I am going to work through counselling and alternative treatments like EMDR and possibly trauma coaching. Right now I'm just taking it one day at a time and focussing on the counselling and Reiki piece because anything more would feel too overwhelming.
I think part of the anger with Clarissa is the questions that can never be answered. Why was it so hard for her to live here? Why was it so hard for her to see what she had right in front of her face? Why was it so hard that she literally had to lose me to see what she lost? I don't get these things. And I know they are questions I will never be able to answer so eventually, I will have to find my peace in the unanswered questions and take with me the things I have learned along the way about myself in order to not repeat similar patterns in the future.
On Friday, Clarissa and I met in person for the first time since December. Both of us were insanely nervous about meeting. A friend of mine asked me before the meeting why I felt like Clarissa had any power over me. I said that it wasn't power - it was years of having my words twisted and manipulated into something they weren't and never feeling heard. I was nervous that was going to happen because over the years of this word manipulation, I would find myself getting louder and eventually losing my shit because I was so frustrated at not being heard. This form of communication does not work with anyone and it really isn't a form of communication. Looking back, I needed clearer boundaries and "I feel" statements to make it about me rather than trying to get her to see something she clearly couldn't.
Our meeting on Friday went really well. I surprised myself because I didn't go in to emotion at all - I know - ME - I didn't cry at all. I had some pep talks the night before and was reminded to keep the conversation about me and how I feel and what I need. I did just that and it's amazing what happens when you stay calm and express thoughts in this way. I feel like I said all of the things I had been trying to say for the last 8 years and for the first time in my experience of knowing Clarissa, I felt heard. This was huge for me.
There were many moments where I had to clearly articulate my boundaries (ex. "No, I don't need a hug right now. I'm good." or "That's your interpretation of what I said and those are not my words so that's on you, not on me.") and I found it relatively easy to do so. In tough conversations in the past I would shake and there was no shaking. I was able to stay super calm and just talk. And she really listened which was and still is an amazing feeling.
It was also an interesting experience for me to just sit in my feelings at times because ultimately I discovered that I do not trust her and I said these exact words. I've listened to words that don't align with actions for far too long to have any trust and I told her that this is a really, really shitty feeling to have after being with someone and working a business together for so long. She understood and I'm sure hearing these words hurt like hell. We made a plan moving forward to help build back some trust and I feel like this enormous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
On the drive home from our talk I noticed 2 things: the first was that I was exhausted which led to a 2 hour nap when I got home and the second was that there is a part of me that feels sad for her. I feel sad because I can see how much guilt she is carrying and I would not wish that on anyone. Of course the door is firmly closed and will never be re-opened again, at the same time, the human part of me was sad to see this.
So my friends, here I find myself in this loop of anger at the unanswerable questions and sadness at the loss and overwhelm at the healing process. I know this anger is ultimately covering up the sadness I feel at the loss of our relationship and I hope that one day soon I can get to the sadness instead of the anger. In the meantime, I will allow myself to feel what I feel. I will allow myself these moments because I think I need them to get through this phase of my journey. And I will do the things (like dancing, writing, laughing) that help shift my energy when I'm feeling too stuck in the feelings. I'm taking it one day at a time right now and making sure I clearly express what I need with everyone in my life, including Clarissa. Hopefully the journey doesn't take too long but even if it does, I know there are many miracle moments to hold on to and I'll give myself grace as I wade through this muck.
Thank you again for being part of my journey. I am always humbled and grateful.