EMDR #24: Anger

Throughout recounting these sessions, I reveal a lot about my own thoughts and emotions, and I’d like to remind anyone that reads these, that these are my own thoughts and the ways I interpreted things that happened in my life. It is no fault of anyone else that I reacted, felt the way that I did or thought a certain way whenever something took place.
We can break the cycle of projecting our problems onto one another as long as we can find understanding towards others and within ourselves…

Recount of Session: Oct. 31th

I was still dealing with heartache of the Duchess finding a new boyfriend. It was quite clear that I had deeper feelings than just friendship for her. I ended up hanging out with her for the first time since she had quit her job and everything was fine until the end of the night when I felt my heart wrench. Letting my mind slip into those thoughts, I realize I had always longed for something more with her but stopped acting on it because when I did tell her how I felt, those feelings were not mutual and so I set those feelings aside. Now that the opportunity is gone, those feelings had resurfaced and I felt broken. I felt again, like I wasn’t good enough and like I wasn’t noticed by her, I felt like I was never noticed by anyone no matter how much I did, or how much I tried and I’d grown tired of that always being the case.

“Why couldn’t anyone see how good I am?!”

My therapist interrupted me as I said that and told me that I was smiling as I was expressing my frustration. The words carried frustration; however my body language showed to opposite. My therapist asked why I laughed and smiled when I felt angry as if it was wrong for me to feel angry over something; as if I wasn’t giving myself permission to feel angry.

I’ve never had a good relationship with my anger, it usually ends up with me holding things in until they implode, causing a mental breakdown. I think I taught myself that anger was bad after watching my stepdad’s short fuse blow too many times. I didn’t ever want to be like him, or perhaps I just watched too many people get angry when I was a child and felt uncomfortable by the anger, or perhaps it was a combination of things.

My therapist taught me an anger model to help me to understand my anger better. Anger is a secondary emotion that stems from an expectation not being met. Once you can understand that an expectation wasn’t met, you can translate that into figuring out what it was that you wanted. When you were unable to get what it was that you wanted, you are always left with a primary emotion such as hurt, rejection or disappointment and you will end up feeling anger as the secondary feeling.

Anger is a defense mechanism and learning how to allow it and express it in a healthy way is important. I needed to learn how to allow myself to get angry and find a healthy way to express it instead of bottling it up until I ended up having a meltdown. I’m allowed to be angry when I don’t feel like an expectation was being met, and finding a way to communicate more clearly about my expectations and setting boundaries will help to deter getting angry in the first place.

I had an expectation that the Duchess and I would get together and whether or not I communicated it effectively, it was not something she wanted and so my expectation was not met, and it was alright for me to feel upset by it. The next step was to find a way to express that anger in a healthy way which would take some experimenting to find what works best for me.

 

The goal of sharing my story is to raise awareness of mental health problems that all of us experience and to break the stigma surrounding mental health. My belief is that we hurt each other because we have been hurt ourselves, but if we can heal past our own hurt that ends up causing us to hurt others, we can break the cycle of pain that we have been inflicting on each other for so long.

If you are looking for a start in your own journey of self healing, the best way to start is by talking to someone: If you are in Alberta there is a mental health helpline found at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/amh.aspx or in the US, http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-help. Usually a quick google search for help in your location will bring up a toll free number you can call. I also have a friend that practices hypnotherapy and has an affordable pay model for anyone seeking help. here is a link to his website, Healing Self. And if you’d like to contact me personally for any help or direction, you can use my contact page to reach out and I will keep anything confidential (aside from if you’re planning to commit a crime) and help to the best of my abilities.

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