My Dad was always a very angry man and his fierce strictness regularly bullied and petrified me. He was – and probably still is – a very controlling perfectionist and needed everything to go exactly the “right” way. In his eyes, learning curbs in children were a challenge of his demands for compliance.
Later in life, I used to wonder what was going through his mind as he towered over his little boy with an explosion of violent fury, or his sadistic threats of even worse to come. How could an adult watch the terror play out in a child’s eyes? Could they not see how the mistrust and hatred seeped through the parental bond like poison?
Even though I assumed every parent beat their children, I must have also sensed it was wrong and unjust because their behaviour would make me blood thirsty furious from a very early age. I feared and hated my father more than words could ever express. If someone had offered to kill him when I was a teenager, I am ashamed to admit that the need to protect myself might have spelled danger for him.
While this kind of upbringing can teach some children to become violent bullies themselves, it had the opposite effect on me. I grew up learning to feel threatened by my personal opinions and terrified of my own anger, including everyone else’s anger.
Whenever I experience anger as an adult, it still feels like a life-sucking emotion, which is incredibly difficult to express and even harder to process. In the past, a major incident often propelled me into self-destruct mode, as if I am punishing myself for my own anger.
The intensity of this anger and the fear of facing it, remind me a lot of the trauma I felt when I first started therapy. I imagined having to go through each traumatic memory to find healing. However, I discovered that a great deal of that healing comes from merely observing and sitting with the emotion. In my short experience, it is as if some kind of spontaneous healing takes place within this process and I do trust something similar will happen to the anger.
My individual therapy sessions with Paul are more comfortable of late and I wonder if this is the beginning of that all-important trust and connection between Client & Therapist. Apparently, as we begin to experience change in our relationship with the Therapist, so do relations with other people in our personal lives. Oddly enough, I have been feeling less hypersensitive and paranoid and seem to be much more open to interaction.
We had group therapy Friday morning and much to everyone’s surprise, the session was a vast improvement in comparison to previous weeks. A new group Therapist has joined Frankie, her name is Dr C, and she managed the group like a dream. Poor Frankie, she has been demonised on my blog, but I did feel a little sorry for her.