Monday, November 3, 2014

accepting anger. and the rest.

growing up, my home was a super comforting place to be. if my sister or i ever got in trouble, we never heard screaming. maybe we were sent to a bedroom for a little while; maybe our already limited-television watching was further limited; or maybe we were told the way we had acted was "disappointing." i would know when my parents were angry with me, but i never saw the anger: i never witnessed what true anger looked like.

i saw this model and chose to take this into adulthood. if i'm mad at you, you probably won't know it. eventually, when i can't handle it eating me up inside anymore, i'll have a discussion with you. ...and that's progress, folks! i used to hold it in for, well, forever.

i was in a bathroom this weekend where the entire insides of the room were covered in tags, including the mirror. it looked gorgeous, and i snapped a photo of myself in there. but when i looked back at it later, i felt a little sad, a little uncomfortable. seeing myself in that mirror that was covered in other people's tags felt like a metaphor for all of this. avoiding seeing where i am or what i need; allowing other people's needs to come first; minimizing the self; feelings EVERYWHERE.... you can go on and on with interpretations.

i'm practicing getting to those uncomfortable conversations sooner. i'm practicing avoiding the avoidance. but those big feelings are super scary for me to feel.

after announcing to my work that i'm leaving my current position, my supervisors here haven't been overly supportive. the emails i now receive daily are not fun to read. i have strategies: avoid opening, forward to a friend, call friend and see how bad it is, forward to a student, get student to draft reply, review reply, send reply. --yeah, that happened last night/this morning; i still haven't read that last email i replied to. it's that scary for me.

that's pretty hard core avoidance of feeling anger. i'm much better at dealing with it in personal relationships than in work relationships. but i still tend to go to avoidance first.

so when i see people get angry, i'm actually pretty impressed. well, let me rephrase that. when i see people get angry for a good reason, i'm impressed.

to my friend getting pissed off at her ED: you're fucking working through it. that's hard work.

to my friend getting pissed off at his depression: you're fucking working through it. that's hard work.

to my friend constantly pissed off at her anxiety: you're fucking working through it. that's hard work.

anger can be a useful tool. it's like that inner voice telling you "something isn't balanced here; let's do something about it. let's process. let's talk. let's get it out."

so anyway, this was mainly for NK today--don't judge that anger, that sadness. keep feeling. take each feeling and wrap it up in a blanket of acceptance. accept that feeling for what it is. and then allow it to pass. i'm super proud of you.

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