I wanted to respond to the daily prompt as a way of taking my mind off therapy, but it seems today’s prompt had different ideas. I had to laugh at the irony of writing about what I’m trying to avoid. Things generally happen for a reason in my world, so I’ll run with it and see where we go.
The biggest disagreement in my life is with my parents. This “difference of opinion” has been ongoing from childhood and it feels as emotive today as it did back then. Talks failed many years ago. We agreed to disagree rather than reach a resolve. Of course, these unresolved issues would never bring us closer together, but I didn’t expect them to drive us so far apart.
This has been an extremely difficult week. It all started last Friday at group therapy. We were exploring the reasons why I might be feeling depressed. It felt contradictory to the other positive changes happening in my life.
Dr J said, “Sometimes depression can be the result of supressed anger.”
I thought, ‘What? Suppressed anger? Who the *bleep* said anything about anger’?
Later that evening, it didn’t take much for the penny to drop. If we remove the guilt and self-blame from the abuse we endured as children, the victim is bound to feel anger towards the abusers. And then something quite unexpected happened. Out of nowhere came a tidal wave of very painful childhood memories accompanied by the most incredible anger. I mean burning, seething, throbbing RAGE. I wanted to run for the mountains, but I have been running all my life. This is therapy. This is why I am here.
These supressed emotions are the catalyst to years of depression. The time has come to do what Dr J suggests, “Observe the feeling.” Over the last five days, I tried to write my way through it, but words fail to describe the rage for a childhood riddled with abuse. There were hours when I thought the anger might explode through every pore in my body as I recalled the violence and the systematic rejection. I could feel the chilling fear that ruled my childhood. I relived the helplessness, the cruel injustice, I seethed because my parents cannot see, or admit, the damage they created.
By “Observing the feelings,” I have realised something new. The emotion that anger so cleverly conceals is the devastating feelings of hurt. Hurt for all the bad things that ever happened to that traumatised child.
Today’s group therapy was extremely powerful. Everyone is at the same stage in battling anger from their own childhood. Each group member had a tale to tell. Anger erupted and some tears flowed, but even though I started the discussion, I didn’t have much to say. I couldn’t. There are no words.
I was boiling inside and my voice trembled with years of supressed emotion as I attempted to “describe the feelings.” I wanted so badly to release the pressure and right up until the end of session, I could not see how this was possible… until now. As I sit “observing the feelings,” there is a very satisfying sense of peace beginning to seep through.
It seems my diversion to the Daily Prompt was no coincidence after all.
Daily prompt. Agree to Disagree: Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?