Anger

I’m still trying to get a grip on why I got so angry and distressed by my last group and therapy session. And yesterday, again, I exchanged emails with Ron and again got angry and sent an angry reply. Why oh why oh why.

At this moment I don’t feel angry. Instead I feel a lot of sorrow that I may have damaged my relationship to my therapist. He provides support and I don’t want to give that up at all, just so I can vent, knowing he will not strike back.

What’s making this whole situation worse is that I’m once again kind of isolated. I feel so bad after therapy on Friday that it takes me the weekend to recover, so I don’t make the effort to connect with friends. At least, this weekend I didn’t. Friends are a kind of reality check sometimes, a break from letting stuff go round and round in my pitiful lonely mind.

I did go out Saturday night to dinner with a social group that formed out of a group I used to go to. It was OK. There were only three of us, and I was still pretty shaken by my therapy. The other two people there had anxiety issues. One woman, V, likes to talk, and was talking about her stuff. The conversation shifted to parents. I said I was estranged from mine, that I’d been abused as a child, and they didn’t help me, so to hell with them. OK, still angry clearly…..

V asked me what kind of abuse…emotional, physical. Sexual, I said. And both dinner mates were clearly shocked. But I felt like saying it. I’ve barely spoken to anyone about it outside of therapy, and they were discussing their issues – why do I have to keep mine to myself. But I know it’s a heavy piece of information to throw into a fun type dinner. They changed the subject and we talked about other things. But I did feel more free and stronger for saying it. It was a really distinct feeling that I wasn’t expecting.

Anyhow, that was my social interaction for the entire weekend, including Friday which was a day off from work. I’ve been mulling things over and fretting by my lonesome since.

Back to why I felt angry. Hmmm….why oh why. The group was triggering. Because I am remembering how it felt to be treated as if I was invisible when I was a teenager. It felt awful. Just the suggestion that Ron might be doing the same thing to me I think was enough to send me into a tailspin of anger and fear.

It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am not outgoing in the group. Or at least, I’m not that rewarding. I don’t smile, and probably don’t seek out eye contact as much as others. So Ron would get used to not looking at me much, as I don’t look back.

Then I have this issue where someone whom I like, who likes me, say a friend, then introduces me to other friends, who then don’t like me. So the original friend then sees me differently. I had this happen with a close friend, and it really hurt me. I am afraid the same kind of thing is going to happen in the group. A few people have mentioned that they don’t feel connected to me (well, two), and I fear that Ron, who seemed to like me when I saw him one on one, will no longer see my good points. It’s a group issue for sure.

I have to remember that one person did say she felt connected to me – A. There you go.

Then there was the jealousy factor. This one is painful to write about. The massive connection between A and Ron, and the huge concern he shows for her. And she seems to absolutely adore him. Oh dear.

She is very pretty. And very young, in her early twenties. I kind of wonder how long she has been seeing Ron for therapy. The first months can be like falling in love. She could still be in that phase. Maybe I’ll ask her next time how long she’s been seeing him.

The thing is, I also feel connected to A, as we have similar issues, while I don’t feel that for anyone else in the group. They seem like foreign continents to me. So I am also glad she has Ron’s support.

What else. The fact is, though I can freely air my complaints in therapy, Ron never actually admits to anything whatsoever. He keeps encouraging me to continue, but he never actually addresses anything. For instance. When I say that at the end of the group, he only supported A, and talked only to her, and was using my troubles to help her, and that he only cared about her…..He said he was sorry if I felt he hadn’t been taking care of me also, and that it is his job to take care of both of us. So he’s sorry I feel the way I do. Nothing about what actually was going on.

Ah well. Sorry to go on about boring interactions with people you don’t know.

I am now pondering whether to once again write Ron an email to at least patch things up. I hate to leave a whole week to go by with an angry email from me to which he never responded. Or should I let things settle. I can’t decide. My anxiety will likely decide for me. If I can keep calm and balanced about it, I won’t write. If I’m freaking out and waking up every two hours all night….I’ll write again to try and get some piece of mind. As long as he replies, I will feel better.

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5 comments
  1. Paula said:

    I have learnt to write out my anger, sadness and resentfulness, but did NOT send the mails. Like you in this mail, I used to regret that I had sent them in the first place. Writing it out but not sending it, has helped me on two ways, I got rid of it and it stopped an endless circle in my head.I can somewhat understand that Ron says he is sorry but does not dwell on the issue or reacts to your satisfaction. It is a way teaching the client that we will not always get what we want. Giving the person the chance to learn and cope with anger, frustration and disappointment on a more healthy way. It is like that for all of us. Sometimes we dont get what we want, think deserve, crave or envy… In my eyes he is teaching the little girl tools for life.Its part of living life on life terms. Love and hugs, Paula

  2. diver said:

    Hi Ellen. I don't think this stuff is boring at all. I think the dynamics of your relationship with Ron is really interesting, and that it's a privilege to be able to explore this stuff with you like this. So 'thanks for sharing' as they say :)Why o why the anger? I get the impression that the sight of Ron's nurturing care for 'A' might be at the heart of it. Notsomuch the group triggering stuff. From what you've written it sounds like A's getting the very sort of attentive affection you crave, the sort you'd hoped therapy would be all about. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for you, like a kid locked outside a candy store or something.I do hope Ron has noted your concerns and adjusts his behaviour in future sessions, accordingly, both 1:1 and in group. Thanks again for your wonderfully open writing Ellen.

  3. Harriet said:

    Yes, I also hate the phrase "I'm sorry you feel that way" rather than "I'm sorry I said something that hurt your feelings." I'm sorry you feel that way makes me feel like something is wrong with me.As for the anger, I don't experience that much in therapy, but I think it is good that you recognize it and talk about it. And the dynamic between you, A, and Ron is interesting, the fact that you feel a connection with A, she feels a connection with Ron, and then what? You sense that he feels a connection with A, but not with you.I have a hard enough time maneuvering my relationship with my t, I can't imagine throwing other people into the mix.And I think it is great that you mentioned your childhood experience to your friends at dinner, regardless of their shocked silence. I think getting things out there makes them seem less overwhelming? Secrets always carry so much weight.

  4. Ellen said:

    @ Paula – words or wisdom Paula. thanks@ NWNMG – thanks for the support. Still don't like the group, but the feelings have receeded.@ diver – Glad you're interested diver. You could be right, it might be jealousy pure and simple. thanks@ Harriet – yeah, that's it. Well, I do think there is also a oonnection between Ron and me – that's what makes this so painful. Just somehow in the group we don't seem to connect and that makes me sad. And angry obviously.Thanks for the support re friends. Yes, not carrying a secret is better – I felt lighter after I'd said it.

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