Fury. Red hot, white fire, coursing through my body. Matching the weather – we are on the edge of Hurricane Sandy apparently. Raining for the last three days, and today we are to expect furious winds. No sign of them so far, but bring it on as far as I’m concerned. Let the world rage.

I want to get it down before I have to tamp it down and do some work.

I understand I’m over-reacting and not rational. I know. It doesn’t help.

I’m furious with Ron and his therapy. What else. Of course. Since I am clearly obsessed. We exchanged a few emails. Not that many. Last night I wrote him a short and angry one, which he will likely not bother to reply to. I didn’t specifically ask for a reply, so he won’t.

I keep obsessing about canceling my appointment, and giving group a miss for the week. Wow. As if this was some huge big deal. I don’t think this would have much of an impact on Ron, but maybe I would feel better, more in control.

The first email was to say how sad I was, and how I regretted a bit if I was harsh with A, and also I much more deeply regret the way I didn’t protect my son enough when he was a child. I felt I should have left my marriage when he was a baby.

Ron said he could hear my regret, and, if I didn’t like the effects I was having, I could adjust the effects. Which immediately made me furious. What effects is he talking about? And does he have one single clue how hard it was for me to cope as a young mother?

So I asked him what he meant by effects. Do I need charm school?

Ron. “I totally encourage you to let yourself have effects.  If they aren’t the effects you want you can adjust and or refine.”

What the f does that mean?
I suspect it’s people in the group telling him how they feel about me. Or, it’s about A telling him about our meetings. Or what. What is he talking about?
So I ask what is he talking about. He says we should discuss in person, do I want an extra meeting.
No thank you. I don’t believe I’ll take my scheduled session either.
So then I feel completely bereft. Parts of me are extremely attached to Ron after all, even if he doesn’t always talk to us.
I spend my weekend trying to get over this. Sunday night, I decide to try again. As soon as I start writing, the depression vanishes and anger returns. I tell him he cares about A so much he can’t support me, that I’m happy with how I handled the group and it’s allowed me to feel resolved about A and let go, but I feel my relationship with Ron is now in the toilet, which always happens with group. It was a little more barbed and angry than what I’m sharing here.
I do feel that. Ron couldn’t even grant me that yes, likely A had ten minutes in which to return my call, but he chose not to, as this was most convenient for him. At least give me that. No. He defended A at every turn.
Are men blind to how they treat women? Or what? What is it that makes them see things like they do. Like you can always just shrug and carry on, pretend things never happened that did happen, they did.
I feel he was completely unsympathetic to me, and it hurts a lot. I have put a lot of trust in him.
So I obsess about quitting therapy and quitting group. It’s a way to deal with the pain of it. I’m wanting not to act out by canceling things, to sit and endure. Or should I follow my feelings for once, and not show up. I can’t decide.
  1. I hear your anger.

    I am feeling so angry today too. Yesterday we found out that my brother and his wife voluntarily gave up parental rights to my niece, so she is now a ward of the state, officially. It means that legally my brother and his wife have as much responsibly to my thirteen year old niece as they would to a complete stranger…

    In a way, this is a good thing. It serves to show just what kind of parents they are, and it gives my niece a fighting chance to get help and care from responsible adults…

    But it’s also terribly sad what she’s gone through and is still going through…it makes me angry when I think about how my family wrote her off and wrote me off too, because we became inconvenient to the story they wanted to tell themselves.

    Anger is powerful, energizing, galvanizing. I’ve spent most of my life fueling myself from my anger, using it like rocket fuel, occasionally incinerating those who were unlucky enough to be around me during one of my angry rants.

    Ultimately, that anger is mine though, and in the present it has far less to do with anybody else–it’s just me, myself and I. I am feeling anger, I am punishing my body and mind with tension because allowing myself to feel the pain of sadness, hurt and loss is so difficult.

    My anger, my rage towards others–is never really about them. Especially not when it’s about things that happened months or even years ago. Almost none of the things I am mad about are happening right now. And my anger is merely a mask that covers my profound sadness and a sense of my own failings and insecurities.

    Knowing that is certainly painful, but provides me a way out of the cycle.

    I hope you feel better soon and that it passes before too long…

    • Ellen said:

      Wow Aaron. What an incredible abandonment for a young girl to experience. It’s hard to believe a parent could do that. Your cause for anger is obviously a lot stronger and more justified than mine is. Are you able to be in contact with your niece and be supportive at all? I’m sure it’s a complicated situation.

      I agree there’s lots of pain and sadness underneath anger.

      Thanks for sharing your story and for the words of wisdom! Much appreciated light for this dark and rainy day.

  2. oh dear, he did NOT handle that email exchange very well. i’ve been very, very angry at sharon on a few different occasions and i did find it helpful to wait and talk it through with her. but it just about killed me to have to wait a week to have that conversation, as you probably remember. i was so angry i almost ended up back in the hospital.

    so, i think you will only be punishing yourself if you cancel your appointment, although i do understand the need to stick up for yourself. at the moment you are only speculating on what he means, he may not be talking about your relationship with your son or with A at all, he could be thinking more loftily…

    i sense a lot of pain under that anger, and that’s what i’d encourage you to sit with. breath. apply tea and slippers as needed. and naps. go to meditation this week if you can. don’t cancel. you did so well last week opening up and saying just what was on your mind.

    i don’t think R will ever take sides between you and A, or the other group members, so it may be that you will always feel unsupported and disappointed. i wasn’t there, but i’d be surprised if he is taking their side, either. as a therapist and a facilitator he has to manage everyone’s feelings equally. i’m not saying you don’t feel unsupported and invalidated, but this is an ongoing theme that might be deeper than last week’s group. just something to ponder.

    i am settling in with some homework this afternoon, but will zing you an email tonight to check in,


    • Ellen said:

      Thanks for agreeing with me about the email! I am having the effects I desire. he he. I remember what you went through in the summer Catherine, and it was quite horrific. No worries, I am in no danger of landing in hospital. Waiting a week when you’re in a crisis seems inhuman sometimes. But I think now I’ve refused the extra session, Ron has washed his hands of me until Friday.

      I like the prescription of naps and tea! OK, will do. Do you think I did well? Thanks. I actually thought so too. Too bad Ron didn’t agree.

      Ron didn’t take sides in the group. In fact, I was OK until I went to the session with him. That’s when he took sides. In my likely diseased opinion. It does seem to be an ongoing theme….but, but, but…that’s because he does it over and over! 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your insights Catherine.

  3. Hi Ellen,
    Hang in there. This is a tough part that I remember going through. It is when the truth will set you free but first it will make you really miserable. If I am not mistaken, and I could be, I suspect he is trying to empower you now with some control over the situation with your son and group. Past has no edit undo, but the future is yours. Lack of sympathy seems to run rampant during this process. My counselor was very unsymapthetic too. I believe it will get better. Give yourself a chance to talk to him face to face. It does have advantages in this particular conversation. Took me several sessions to really start to grasp this new concept. As you described your marriage, I recognized the helplessness I felt in my marriage. Empowerment is learned and neither one of us were taught this. Your mother’s comment to just put up with their behavior increased the feeling of being powerless. I am cheering you on. Anger is one of the emotions that will kind of jump start you through this process. If you need to email me feel free. weareonebyruth at gmail dot com.

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Ruth, I’m not seeing the empowerment, I have to admit. I actually feel OK about how I’m doing in group, before I start talking to Ron about it. I did go through a bunch of therapy while married, and a small amount of couples counseling also. None of it helped. My ex is OK in many ways, an interesting person, but he has worse issues than I do, and no motivation to learn the way you and I have had. There is nothing to be done in some situations, like mine was, but run. My son also – those mistakes are in the past. There’s really not much I can do now. Some things are not fixable.

      Interesting your counselor was unsympathetic also. I wonder why they are like that?

      Anger is running it’s course actually, and I feel calmer now than when I wrote this this morning. Maybe by the end of the week I’ll feel like going back. There bye starting this whole great cycle once again. Sigh. If not, I’ll go back the following week.

      Thanks for the support Ruth and for sharing your story with me. I’ll keep your email handy.

      • weareonebyruth said:

        I didn’t see it either. Just some of the words he is using like ‘effect’. Basically if you have an effect on something you have power to change things. Some things aren’t fixable. That is why some of the people I know on different blogs have gone no contact with parents and siblings with narcissistic behaviors. No easy answers sometimes. The cycle gets to be not so big anger and not so low depression. You are doing better than you think. 🙂

        • Ellen said:

          That’s true about effects, and is a hopeful way of looking at it. Thanks for understanding and for the encouragement. I hope I get into more of the cycle you are talking about soon.

          • weareonebyruth said:

            So do I. Unfortunately, I am having another round of anger/depression from saying yes too many times. Working on that. 🙂

            • Ellen said:

              Sorry to hear that Ruth. At least you know the cause. Sending healing thoughts.

  4. dazzle11215 said:

    are you going to group tomorrow? i’m going to the pumpkin parade in parkdale (sorauren and dundas), wondered if you want to come along. will call you after i get out of school tmrw…

    • Ellen said:

      Sounds like fun but yes, I believe I will go to group. I’d have to be done by six. Thanks for asking me.

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