Friday, February 24, 2006

Hard to do

I've not been jounalling really, here or anywhere these past few days. I've had a few abortive attempts, but nothing that produced any real release (or even made much sense for that matter.)

It's because I'm angry. Processing disappointment and betrayal. Trying not to turn it on myself, such that it become suicidal thoughts or self abuse. But that's hard, because it's been a pattern for me for so long.

Anger was never my jurisdiction. Emotions were regulated in my house. We each had one that specialized in. My Mother was "Happy".... ala "Nothing wrong here, don't look over here, nope, there's nothing wrong ... we're HAPPY." My Father was (is) a Vietnam Vet, so he was the "Angry" young man, deserted by his country, with a lot of dead friends to show for it. Angry with reason, no doubt, so he had the corner market on that part of the household

And me... I specialized in sad. Grief. Despair. Morose self-indulgent sadness. I still do it pretty well too. Not that I want to, but old habits die hard.

So trying to be angry is challenging for me. When I feel anger rising up in me, my body starts to quiver. I get hives across my chest. My heart hurts, and my breathing is labored, and then I have the uncontrollable urge to vomit. After which I begin to cry, and suddenly the anger is not anger, but morose self-indulgent sadness, disabilitating in its conuming grief.

I want to find some way for it just to be anger. Just angry. I'm looking for some places, classes, physical moments in which to let it out, as anger. Last night at dance class, I kicked some dancing ASS to a very hard rock song. When i finished, i lay bruised on the floor, breathing heavily but feeling so much lighter in spirit. The teacher asked "Wow... when did you last dance?" I said "Yesterday", and then laughed... because i got, she was asking "How long has that been in there, eating at you, needing release?" and the answer is that its been in there so long, it's like an imaginary friend I grew up with. I could dance every day and not run out, I've got such a collection of rages.

Anyway... I'm looking into things. Things that both distract me and provide me safe outlet. But until I manage to untie this knot of fury that's been sitting in my belly.... I might be intermittant with this blogging thing.


Anonymous said...

That's kind of an inspiring idea...dancing the rages so that you can consume them (for energy, for movement, for growth) and not let them consume you. You mentioned grief and how you feel like you can't let your anger turn to grief. Is that because you become stuck in grief and can't move out of it, or because it feels like a habit you can't break?

I'm still chewing and thinking about this entry.

Yummyteece said...

There's a fantastic book called "Sweat your Prayers" by Gabrielle Roth (also a musician), and it's her theory of dancing (or just moving) all the emotions we experience. for me, it is the ultimate current through which to outpour emotion.

I don't want my anger to turn to grief for a couple of reasons. 1. I need to learn to handle anger (so yes, feels like a habit i can't break) and 2. The grief turns very self destructive (because of that anger fueling it) and instead of saying "I'm mad at Person A because of THIS", I instead say "I'm mad at myself for being foolish/short-sighted/naieve enough to allow THIS to happen to me. I am a bad person, so wonder Person A chose to respond in this way. I was probably really annoying to Person A. Clearly, I was wrong. I need to change." I use that grief to negate myself and my right to defend myself and in the past this has caused very self-destructive behavior from exessive chemical use to suicial attempts. I don't ever want to go back to that place, and part of the way to fight that is to stand up for myself and allow myself the 'right' to be angry.

Jennifer said...

I was here: "to stand up for myself and allow myself the 'right' to be angry" a year ago. I wrote a memoir for my MA program. I haven't done anything with the memoir, but writing it brought up sadness, then fear, and then intense anger. I ran when I was angry. I mean like tennis shoes running. And I screamed in the car when I was alone. I think when I began to understand how much anger I had pushed aside, how much of my very valid emotions I had refused for almost my entire life - and how this had hurt me, I could let it just be what it was. I had known I'd played a role (for me it was the fixer, the calmer) when what I deserved was to be mad - but for soem reason writing the book made it sink in. My knowledge became deeper, if that makes sense, and I could sincerely feel.

I got a therapist specifically for the feelings that came up while I was writing the book - and when I was really pissed off I tried to just be as present as I could with it.

My friend Daisy (who gave me the poem I posted awhile ago) is a dancer too. I know that for her, for me, and it sounds like for you, connecting the emotion to her body in a non-destructive way is really important.

There's something about your post that makes me think of, I don't know - a boxing match 9maybe you get knocked down but you get back up and try again), or falling off a balancing beam in gymnastics and getting back maybe you don't know exactly how to do it but you are in it to deal as you need to - like you aren't going anywhere until you get this done...

Yummyteece said...

like you aren't going anywhere until you get this done...

YEP... that's EXACTLY how it feels, and what i am most afraid of!

There is this feeling that if i don't get this bit sorted out, I'll be stuck here indefinately. Pouding on the sides of a box i can't see, like a Mime.

and really... who likes mimes? ;)

Jennifer Wells said...

i'm getting really tired of using the words intentional and present (seems like they're coming up a lot & they feel loaded to me) but they come to mind when i think about what you're writing/saying. i might worry about you getting stuck in a box if it seemed like you were denying your anger, but you aren't. i say stay with it as much as possible and then give yourself breaks when needed. and maybe you WILL cry, or be sad, or still feel angry during these breaks but if you're working your ass off with the anger, that seems okay. i don't think you'll be stuck there forever miming. that's just my opinion, but i don't.

when i took what i called breaks from being angry, i took out all of the cds that i never listen to because they remind me of the source of a lot of my anger and sadness, put on my headphones, shut the bedroom door and requested that nobody come in. Then I cried a lot. I didn't think about it much, I just let it be there for a certain amount of time.