Anger Problems on the Emotional Healing Journey

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anger issuesI had a tough time with anger. I had problems with feeling anger. I didn’t think I felt it. I denied to myself that I ever had it. I didn’t want to feel it.  I was proud that I wasn’t an angry person. 

And the truth is that I totally misunderstood anger in the first place. I had a different kind of anger problem.

I related anger to self pity. I thought that if I was angry with someone who treated me badly that I was just feeling sorry for myself. I detested self pity; I had been taught that self pity was the “worst” emotion, so I certainly was not going to engage in it. I believed that anger WAS a form of self pity; therefore I didn’t allow myself to feel anger.

Because of the way that I had been raised, my belief system was all wrong. I had love mixed up with obligation. I had respect mixed up with ownership and compliance and the list goes on from there. In the same way that I had the definitions of love and respect mixed up, I also misunderstood my own emotions, labelled them as “other emotions” and dismissed the real emotion.  That was part of how I survived. 

Labelling certain emotions as other emotions was how I dealt with many emotions, not just the emotion of anger. Like my definitions of words like “love”, “respect” and “relationship” I misunderstood emotions like anger and self pity and traded them for other emotions so that I could shut them down.   

Anger would not have been safe for me to feel or express and in my mind self pity was pathetic, so I could deny anger, quickly identify self pity, jump straight to “oh Darlene you are pathetic, get off the pity pot” and that was how I effectively avoided the whole anger problem thing. 

I could get angry for other people. That was okay. I sometimes briefly wondered WHY I could feel anger in relation to someone else’s life, and why that was different, but I didn’t think very hard about it. If someone told me they had been sexually abused, or beaten or sold for adult amusement, I could feel all the appropriate anger; I could feel hatred for the people who had abused them and disgust towards the people who had let them down; I could defend them and tell them that what happened to THEM was wrong. I knew it was wrong and I could passionately express my feelings to them as long as it was about them. But when I looked at my own life, I disconnected because anger (like so many other emotions) was not safe for me to feel in relation to myself. Today I realize that getting angry for others didn’t put me in danger, but when it came to my own life I had to stay in “survivor mode”.  Anger was too dangerous.  

Think about it. What would have happened to me as a child if I had screamed or expressed in any way that I was ANGRY because someone was sexually abusing me? How would it have gone over if I expressed my anger that my mother hit me? She was already in a bad mood. I was already getting hit. What would have happened to me if I had screamed my anger at the teacher who was emotionally abusing me when I was ten years old? I don’t think it would have gone well for me. I had been taught to submit. I had been taught by the events in my life that I had no rights. So I suppressed it. I stuffed it down and I never felt it, never faced it. Anger was not something that I was allowed.  And I learned to deny anger the same way that I learned to deny all the rest of the emotions and feelings and human rights that I had.  

Since I had been taught that self pity was pathetic, and I believed that lie with all my heart, it is easy to understand that if I could convince myself that anger was self pity, I could move off it so much quicker.

I didn’t think I had a RIGHT to be ANGRY.  When I was a child I didn’t have a right to much! I was constantly told how to act, how to feel, how to dress, to smile, to say hello, told that I was NOT sad, that if I cried that I would be given something to cry about, accused of being an exaggerator and overly dramatic. I had no reason to think of myself as an individual with valid thoughts OR emotions. Why would that change just because I got older? The beliefs that cement themselves within our own minds do not necessarily change because we grow up.

When I finally realized that what happened to me as a child actually happened to me, I also began to realize that it was really wrong. As I began to understand the lifelong effect that it had on me, I began to feel ripped off. I began to realize how much of my life that I had lost. I began to realize that I was not loved or protected and that I had been objectified as a person. I realized that I had been mistreated and devalued by people who never thought about me long enough to realize that I not only a person, but a CHILD! And then I began to get angry.  I began to feel anger.  And at first it scared me. I had to give myself permission to feel it. I didn’t like it. I felt like something BAD was going to happen if I allowed it. I felt wrong and I felt dirty. But I knew that it was time for me to face anger. It was part of the self validation that I always talk about.

I have a right to be angry. Anger is not evil. My anger is justifiable. And in my mind even just writing that I want to duck! I was taught as an adult that Anger is NEVER justifiable. I had that all mixed up with the “lack of self control” For me, skipping the anger was the same as how I tried to skip straight to positive affirmations before I did the work involved in order to facilitate my emotional healing. I owe my emotional healing and personal recovery to the efforts that I made not to “skip those steps” anymore.

Anger is healing. Until I acknowledged my anger and until I felt it and affirmed my right to it, I could not let go of the past. 

Please share your thoughts about Anger.

Lighting the Path on the Journey to Freedom;

Darlene Ouimet

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111 response to "Anger Problems on the Emotional Healing Journey"

  1. By: Mimi Posted: 30th November

    Well, today is the day. I’m fairly nervous to go speak to the dean. Thankfully my husband will be there. He’s not nervous at all. He has spent a lot of time as a university student in his life. He says this is unacceptable and he hasn’t experienced this kind of thing as a university student. I attend a community college. The teacher I was under has often talked about when she taught at a university. I tell myself in my small mind, “I bet she was fired”. Who knows if she was; makes me feel better. In a short 8 hours, I will be facing the giants!! Perhaps I should take it easy on the coffee today. 🙂

  2. By: Kia Posted: 29th November

    Thanks for directing me here, Darlene! Wow! I am a passive aggressive person. have been for as long as i can remember. I too get angry for other people but have a hard time being angry for myself. I get angry AT myself, but because of what I did, not what was done to me. I internalize EVERYTHING.
    Got lots of thinking to do.

  3. By: Mimi Posted: 27th November

    Darlene and J,
    Thank you so much for the cheers!! I will take your experience Darlene, and write these specific events down so I’m prepared. I do believe she’s under these disciplinary guidelines with her testing because she actually said her tests are reviewed before they’re given. However, it was a classmate that said she was forced to do it, rather than a choice she made.

    Something I haven’t forgotten – in January of this year I began a class with her but had a little catastrophe at home. I was unable to concentrate or study. I dropped the class. On the first day of that class, she handed out a homework assignment designed to see where you are in terms of time available to dedicate to work involved in the class. It also asked a few questions. 1) what grade do you expect to get? 2) how many hours do you expect to spend attaining that grade. I remember writing I expect to get an “A” and I will spend as many hours as it takes. Those were my answers. Of course she was looking for a number on that last question. Well, I dropped the class as I said, then, picked up Micro this past August. She again gave the same homework assignment with the time questions on it the first day of class. When she handed it out, and gave instructions on it, she said, “…. and ‘as many as it takes’ is not an acceptable answer”. In my heart of hearts, I really believe she remembered that was my answer from 8 months prior. It seems a little too coincidental to be random. She seems to get her own self worth by leaching it off of others and she’s definitely in a position to do so with young adults who are scared of her. I believe she did not like my determination, and set out to destroy it. Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but, I’ve observed that she eats, breathes, sleeps, poops her job such that she’s a sort of mommy dearest. A favorite line of hers, “do we have our listening ears on?” I haven’t heard that since kindergarten. I would guess she’s in her early 70’s. She wears no wedding band, and has no children. She admittedly spends 12 hours a day most days of the week, at the college. That said, I think she did study me a little and perhaps even subconsciously, decided it was her job to destroy my determination and confidence. So, anyhow, a few more bits of the story. Thanks for listening!!
    xoxo
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th November

      Hi Mimi
      Mimi, this is GREAT processing. This is the stuff that I still do in order to get down to the truth about how I know it isn’t me. I look at all these facts together. (where as before I looked at them as individual events, all of which could be “excused” because one alone was no big deal. I had learned to do it that was as a child survival technique. This is all great information and makes a “whole picture” of what you have been dealing with.
      She is wrong! She sounds like a major bully.
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: J Posted: 26th November

    Hi Mimi,

    thanks for clearing that up – I was thinking it might be some special class or something! 🙂 This part that you wrote seems very positive:

    “I know she’s had disciplinary action taken against her for failing too many students. All her tests have to be moderated/reviewed before she gives them.”

    …. in terms of, you’re obviously not the first one to have significant problems with her, and the “powers that be” obviously have her on a tight leash already, so at least you don’t have to be the first one to try and convince the people in charge that there’s a problem (potentially the hardest part in my view, particularly if they’re “head in the sand” kinda people).

    BIG congrats on such a big & new decision for you! I really hope the dean is respectful to you in a difficult situation for you, and that you can find some positive solutions. All the best!!! 🙂

  5. By: Mimi Posted: 26th November

    J,
    The term overflow simply referred to my blood boiling and now it’s boiled over….. if that makes sense.

    Darlene,
    I welcome the days when I can confront without so much emotion attached. You’re an inspiration and I know there is hope that a day will come when I too can take a stand and not be angry doing it anymore.

    My husband and I will see the Dean this coming week. It is something I’ve never done – blow the whistle so to speak. I’m not a complainer in a restaurant, or retail places, etc. I’m generally one to accept the circumstances. I don’t think i’ve ever asked to speak to a manager or the next higher up for any reason except on the phone when the person I was speaking with couldn’t help me, like the phone company or something. People butt in line, I just go with it. Rude cashier or salesperson, I just go with it. Soooo, all that to say, this is the first time I think I’ve ever gone above someone’s head in the chain of command. And, this isn’t exactly retail or restaurant, but something I think is much more serious. The more I recall things in this class, the more I think she had me spear headed from the beginning. She knew I was in the honor’s program and knew my GPA. I could be paranoid, but I believe she had a secret desire to slice me down a notch from the very beginning. If I had any confidence, she wanted to chop it into tiny bits. My education and grades is one of the few things I am confident about. Perhaps that threatened her. I know she’s had disciplinary action taken against her for failing too many students. All her tests have to be moderated/reviewed before she gives them. Her favorite thing to do is leave out a vital part of instruction in a lab class and watch everyone wander around aimlessly whispering to each other trying to figure out what to do. All the while she sits at her desk and gasps audibly at the ignorance among the students. She will then make comments like, “After a day like today, I don’t know where we’re going to be next week”, or “I’m afraid to say anything for certain right now”. I haven’t really figured all that crap out. She purposely sets us up to fail, then gets visibly and audibly frustrated if people don’t know what to do. And, you’d have to pay me a lot of money to convince me she doesn’t do it on purpose. I don’t know what she stands to gain, but apparently there’s some payoff because she does it nearly every lab day. Oh, well. I am about to blow the whistle so, wish me luck guys. And, as always, thanks for your support and insights!!
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th November

      Hi Mimi
      The first time is the hardest. I have done this quite a bit now and here is something that helps me very much; write this stuff down in point form and take it to the meeting. All the things that this professor has done/said to you, write them out. (then you won’t forget things and the point form paper will help you stay calm. (and you won’t go home saying “OH I should have said this or that) I don’t think you are paranoid. If all this stuff is true that she has had to monitored because of past complaints, that take that as validation towards your feelings until you can validate yourself all the way. Let your past success in school speak for you here; a school never wants to lose its smartest students! You have my full support! visualize me CHEERLEADING over here! I am so proud of you Mimi! You are standing up to abuse and validating yourself! YAY
      You go girl!
      Hugs, (keep me posted!)
      Darlene

  6. By: J Posted: 23rd November

    Mimi,

    at the moment I’ve got a smile because the word “schmuck” always seems funny to me… BUT YOU ARE NOT A SCHMUCK!!! Stupid professor is the schmuck.

    SO AWESOME to hear you’ve found ways around all this mess! I’m not familiar with the term “overflow”, but it sounds like you get to finish the course without having to be around the teacher?

    And btw, you mention your reactions vs the kids taking it in their stride — from what you describe, you’re the only one that’s being singled out & targeted for abuse! They may not feel comfortable standing up for you even if they’re uncomfortable with what the teacher’s doing in case they get picked on too. (Or the could be unaware, or not bothered so long as it’s not them).

    But whatever it is, if you’re being abused, in my view it’s GOOD that you’re upset about it! (Not easy… not good that the abuse is happening… but good that you’re recognizing it!) I hope that makes sense.

    And finally, may I give a huge “HELL YEAH!!!” for your hubby! 🙂 Your description makes it easy to get a feeling for how much that meant to you. I’m really glad for you!!! 🙂

    (I fear I may be abusing the “smily face”… meh. Can’t have too many smiles, right?)

    🙂

    Ha. Take that, brain (for telling me I’m overusing smilies. I shall defy you by doing MORE smilies!!! Bwahahahaha….)

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    (apparently I’m in a silly mood today. Huzzah!)

    Actually it’s very nice to have realized that… I had an appt today to view a potential place to live… well actually, I THOUGHT I did, but turns out it’s next week. I’ve been so stressed about it, that when I heard them tell me it’s next week I just started crying. (Embarrassing, but what can you do) Then when I got home I had a voicemail, and in checking it discovered I still had the voicemail from my worker saying it was TODAY…. >:(

    So nice in a way to know it wasn’t me getting confused / stuffing it up etc. But been feeling quite frustrated as well. Which is ok. I’m allowed to be frustrated. So anyway, it was very nice to realize I’d forgotten about all that for a bit & ended up in a silly, happy mood!

    One more smily for luck! 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing!!

  7. By: Mimi Posted: 23rd November

    Thanks Darlene!! I still feel a bit shattered inside; like I should have let it roll off, or, I made the wrong choice in being visibly angry!! I wish I could knew if people could actually tell I was angry, or if I was feeling like such a spectacle that I imagined everyone must know. Anyhow, thanks for the encouragement and showing me that it really doesn’t matter if she saw my tears, and confronting is OKAY when you’re being mistreated. I was taught anger is wrong, period. And, second to that, expressing my feelings, etc. I want to be in a place where there’s never any guilt, shame, or remorse for having an angry emotion and expressing it. I love your perspectives!!
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th November

      Mimi
      I could write chapters on how hard this was at first to speak up for myself. I felt SO wrong. and that too was the belief system; I had been taught that I was always wrong ~ that my feelings were wrong, that my memory was wrong etc. But the more that I dug down to expose the truth and the more I fought to honour it in my life, the stronger I got and the less difficult that standing up for myself has been. (I still get a slight adrenalin rush when I do this when the other person gets mad at me, but I don’t back down.!) p.s. and I don’t even get angry doing it anymore.
      Yay for you!
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Mimi Posted: 23rd November

    J,
    Thank you very much for your response, support, and insight. I feel like such a schmuck because I can’t just sit and take it. My anger seeps out in my actions; walking faster, fidgeting, doing physical action with more vigor…. the best way I can describe it anyhow. And, all these kids younger than me just sit and take it in stride. I’m like, what the heck?? Why am I the only one who wants to get up and slap this lady??? Well, I suppose, that’s partly because on the first lab day she did call me out as if she was speaking to the entire class, 5 times. That did not start me out on a good note. She’s called others out, I’d say half the students, 1-2 times each. Me?? 15-20 times total. She didn’t realize who she was dealing with though because my blood’s been boiling since that first lab day. Now, I’m in overflow. I am dropping the class. I have all the materials, notes, and textbooks I need to study up and test out of it. I’m thrilled at the thought of that.

    Here is the beauty in it. I have told my husband all this since the beginning of the semester. Last night, we discussed me dropping and he agreed it was okay to do so. He got a little wound up about this teacher and he called her at home. She didn’t answer, so he left a voicemail that he would like to either speak with her or he would be speaking with the dean. She did not return his call, but, he is calling the dean today. All this to say, WHAT A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME!! I was so grateful to have someone help me stand up for myself, validate my feelings, and go to bat FOR me. I had a huge revelation that NO ONE HAS EVER DONE THAT FOR ME!! It’s like the layers of an onion being peeled away when you’re trying to heal. This was another layer that exposed the fact I’ve never been protected by my mother, (or father, or step father), rather, she put me in a place where I needed to defend myself. It’s a double edged sword. Not only did my mother offer no protection, she was also the OFFENDER. WOW!! I feel so liberated today. Some weight has been lifted. I see how/why I would feel so bad when faced with an offense, no matter how I reacted. I knew I would find no help or support… an internal message. But, I had these feelings of needing to defend myself, which were also wrong. WHOA!! I am so thankful to be able to spill it all here in a safe place. I’m thankful for the listening ears and support I’ve found here. It’s my new refuge, and hope. I love it!! Thanks Darlene, and J, and everyone else who has had the courage to share and allowed their vulnerability to be exposed.
    Mimi

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd November

      Hi Mimi!
      Thank you for sharing the whole story here and then coming back with the breakthrough! I have an issue with teacher/bullies who seem to take their moods out on certain students as though that is an acceptable way to behave. Not professional at all! YAY for you for standing up to her, even in you had some tears well up. So what?? She is an example of the total misuse of power and control and she needs to be confronted. Yay for your husband for going to the Dean too.
      About the other students not seeming to react… perhaps that are just that much more desensitized to things like that? We always assume that others are just letting it go, when in reality most of the time it’s just that they are conditioned to take it. Since the profs behaviour is WRONG then it stands to reason taking it is not the healthiest course of action .
      Hugs!
      Darlene

  9. By: J Posted: 22nd November

    Hi Mimi,

    I meant to respond to your comment, but as you can see got ever so slightly carried away getting my own crap out. 🙂

    Very sorry to hear about your class troubles. The first thing that popped into my head is that you ARE trying to handle this in an adult manner…. but when the person in the power position is the one acting like a child, it’s all but impossible to resolve things in an “adult” manner, no matter what you do. (That’s my opinion anyway – I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I think you should give yourself credit for TRYING to be an adult in this situation).

    I’ve had a lot of trouble the few times I’ve tried studying since high school. I’m a very good musician (one of the very few areas I’ve got a healthy ego! 🙂 possibly a tad TOO healthy, but hey) and tried to do a certificate course in music a few years ago. I very strongly suspected going in that I’d find it really hard, because in my experience, “academics” in art/creative subjects all too often seem to be “blocked” creatives who take out their s**t on vulnerable youngsters who come into their world… one of the things I truly hate, because it should be FUN, and it’s SOOOOO easy to do huge damage to people who are trying to reveal themselves creatively etc.

    Sorry, got a bit carreid away again there…. the point is, while I was there, I saw a WHOOOOLE lot of behavior from the lecturers that would make most 4 year olds say “dude, don’t you think that’s a bit immature??” So first of all, I want to validate that what you describe sounds EXTREMELY childish of your teacher.

    And trying to stay aware of the “not giving advice” rule, but I wondered if there’s any kind of mediation/private complaints process that your school might have? (eg someone you could talk to about what’s happening, and perhaps get ideas about any alternatives to feeling like you have to drop the class?)

    Maybe there’s another class you could join with a different professor. Or maybe other people have complained before, and one more will be the one that makes the powers that be pay attention and do something? Or maybe you could try to discuss your feelings with some of the other people in your class who seem to get picked on? (I used to do that quite a bit during my music studies. Didn’t really want to take things further, but it really helped me to at least discover I wasn’t the only one who thought some of the teachers were immature, arrogant jerks!) 🙂

    I’m hoping that comes across as potential options you might not have considered, rather than advice or “you must do this” etc. Also, I fully understand if you’re not in the sort of place where you could consider anything other than getting out of there. I’ve done that many (actually, all but one) times when I’ve tried studying since school. Your mental health has to come first.

    And as I think about it, I’ve had a strong tendency over my life to force myself to take a whooooole lotta s**t from people (family, friends, employers, teachers etc) and tried to force myself to “stand up” to it, or at least “not quit” etc (which is just self-abuse, really). So I hope that wasn’t coming out in my suggestions above. But I guess I just wanted to make them, in case you ARE in a place where you want to do something, but just couldn’t see any other options.

    Damn I’m writing a lot today!

    May I finish by saying that I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through this pain. And WHATEVER you choose to do, I support you in looking after yourself!

    And for the record, I’d just like to point out that you must be very intelligent to be studying something like microbiology in the first place!!! I dropped out of science as soon as I could in high school (I was terrified of having to dissect something 🙂 ), so I have great respect for people who understand things that I basically have no idea about.

    Take care of yourself!!

    J

  10. By: J Posted: 22nd November

    Hi Kelly,

    I think I must’ve read the original post of Darlene’s before but not the comments… just reading yours (#31, 36 & 56 in particular) and felt so much of your pain. But so glad you shared and had the feelings you described in #36 of feeling validated etc!

    I’m not sure if I’ve written about my self-harm specifically on this site. I think I might have… anyway I think I will now. (AND… cue entire mental shutdown. Probably should’ve seen that coming!)

    Ok deep breath… and let’s try again.

    ********************* Self-harm, sexual topics ahead******************

    (starting to feel like a movie/TV show parental advisory screen) 🙂

    So, the physical self-abuse started towards the end of my first serious relationship (bit under ten years ago), when my use of porn seemed like the major stumbling block stopping us from being happy.(We wanted to get married etc. It’s very hard/strange looking back now, because I now think a lot of the pressure I was putting on myself to do the “right” thing was from trying to live up to my parents’ expectations. But we were so in love, too…. I guess it just wasn’t healthy love, unfortunately. We were very young. And there’s no way I can see it could’ve actually worked without being incredibly harmful to one or both of us, so arguably a good thing… but just still have so much grief over it all).

    Ok.

    Another deep breath. So, I started to feel completely trapped, (as in, despite trying and at times succeeding for ridiculously long times not to use porn and/or masturbate [which I think I also viewed as evil at that time], I couldn’t stop completely) and felt like I was losing my mind becuase my girlfriend would get so upset and down and act coldly towards me etc. Which of course, I learned from my mother was NORMAL, and arguably may have subconsciously LOOKED FOR (or at least, been drawn towards, because it’s what I was used to)…. both my serious relationships have been marked by me feeling “less than” and constantly guilty etc.

    (That’s not to say I was perfect in them btw….. anything but.)

    So, yeah. Felt trapped, couldn’t see any way out of the f**king emotional/mental wringer (didn’t want to break up — didn’t want to hurt her by doing so, but I felt I was hurting her just by being with her). Around this time was when I started getting this feeling like my head was just spinning… pretty sure it was basically a literal, physical feeling, like a whirlpool…. and this was what led to the self-harm.

    At first (from memory) it used to start up (the spinning feeling) when I’d be driving home from her place late at night. We never had actual sex (did the good little christian “technical virginity” thing, which for the record she never felt guilty about, while it tore me apart inside — and yet I wanted to so bad at the same time), and driving home after making out etc would be when my head would start to go to town on me with guilt, condemnation and so on (believed since as far back as I can remember that I was destined for eternal damnation. Having actually started my first physical relationship didn’t exactly help in this way).

    I think before I started actively hurting myself, what happened is that I’d be driving home, head would start spinning, and I’d just put the accelarator down, until I took a corner fast enough to scare myself from nearly crashing, and then the adrenaline buzz would leave me all shaky and terrified and I’d slow down again.

    Not proud of this btw. In retrospect, I can at least make sense of it by realizing that the adrenaline kicking in would stop the out-of-control spinning feeling, so from that point of view it makes sense because I didn’t know any other way to stop that feeling. And I had no idea what the f**k was happening in my head…. I thought I was literally losing my mind. (Please note I’m not trying to condone speeding or anything. Just trying to make sense of it after the fact).

    Somewhere along the line I also discovered that pain would stop the spinning too. I remember punching the wall after an argument with my girlfriend and leaving knuckle marks in it. That might’ve been the first time I made the connection. I remember breaking the windscreen of my car one time from punching it too. Somewhere along the line, I started directly attacking what seemed like my mortal enemy – my head/brain. I remember just punching myself in the head as hard as I could over and over until the spinning was overtaken by pain. (Seemed to take a while, from memory). Not sure if I ever did it in front of her. I think I might have. Poor little me, and poor little her. People shouldn’t have to feel like they’re so terrible that they deserve to self-inflict pain.

    Not sure how long this went on for. Haven’t done that for many many years now. One thing I’ve only more recently considered though, is my relationship with food. Pretty sure that could be looked at in a similar light, really. It wasn’t that long ago that I read a comment (in a book about audio engineering, of all things) that made me stop and think about it. The guy was talking about how you know when you’re done recording/mixing a song, and he said “You just know. Like how you know when you’ve had enough to eat.”

    This made me suddenly realize that I never seemed to know when I’d had enough to eat. I’ve had what I think of as upset stomachs for as long as I can remember. I used to get really bad stomach aches as a kid (remember having to get carried out of school and taken to the doctors cos I couldn’t even walk one time when I was maybe 5-7. Then it disappeared as soon as I got to the doctors, and I was so scared that the doctor would tell me off for lying. Coincidentally enough, I remember my mother would almsot never let me stay home from school, so I strongly suspect that’s where the fear of being seen to be a liar came from. F**king bitch)

    For years now (could be decades, actually) I often have to race for the bathroom after eating, and (trying to think of a not-overly graphic way of saying this)…. nope can’t. Let’s just say it rhymes with “schmiorrhea.”

    Sorry. Male humor coming out. Some things never change.

    More recently (I think after reading the statement about knowing when you’re full, and realizing that I didn’t), I thought it might be connected to the amount of food I ate, whereas I always assumed it was WHAT I ate that was the culprit. I’m much more conscious of how much I eat now (try to be, anyway…. late at night when my mind’s racing I still tend to binge to distract myself). Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. It doesn’t even seem to be connected to quality of food (unless my body’s so accustomed to junk/fast food etc that actually eating healthy food causes it to rebel). Because sometimes I can eat what seems a reasonable sized, healthy meal with quality ingredients, and still end up stuck in the can, and then sometimes I can scarf down a bunch of junk food and be fine.

    Actually, speed of eating was another thing I’d thouoght might be the culprit (and we’re back to my mother….. CONSTANT nagging about slowing down while I was growing up…… ARRGHGHGH!!!). But again, sometimes eat very carefully/slowly and no good, sometimes race thru a meal at light speed and seem fine. Go figure!!!

    Anyway, I guess I’m trying to help myself see the connections between my hyper-nagging, controlling mother, food, nerves, stomach etc. What can I remember? She’d always tell me not to eat at night, and give me shit about it if I did. So I got to the stage of waiting until she’d gone to bed, THEN eating so at least she wouldn’t be there to bitch at me. This makes it start to feel more like an “official” eating disorder (the hiding etc… used to try and hide any packaging of what I ate under stuff in the garbage so she couldn’t find out that way. Also used to hide the dishes in my room and clean them when she wasn’t around for the same reason. Actually, I still do that. That’s also to do with the fact that she can’t seem to EXIST with even one dirty spoon in the sink….. she’ll actually wash up all the dishes from a meal BEFORE she sits down to eat it. f**king insane.)

    Also, as a young’un, I was really skinny for my height (about 132 lbs / 60kgs), but still thought I was fat (always had comparitively wide hips, big thighs/butt. Not ideal for a guy). I’m now somewhere around 270-280 lbs / 120-130kgs (don’t really weigh myself anymore). This happened REALLY fast, in the year or so after I started on anti-depressants. I’ve never been that healthy in my diet, and I had stopped exercising due to injury, but that was several years before, and nothing changed until I started the meds. Then I tanked up so fast I got stretch marks all over my waist/hips. (Again, not ideal for a guy, as I’d only ever heard of that with pregnant women).

    Jumping a bit here, but was just thinking about the “family dinner” ritual…. I used to F**KING HATE having to go sit at the table and eat with them. Pretty sure in hindsight that they’d dominate the conversation etc. My mother seems to have a strange need to feel like she does everything for the family (cooking, serving, cleaning etc). Actually one of her little games over the years has been to bitch about not getting any help around the house. But if you offer to do something, you either get “No, it’s fine, I can do it”. Or if she DOES condescend to “let” you do something, she’ll nag about HOW you do it, bitch about it not being done “her way”, or whatever other s**t she can dream up.

    ………DEEEEEEEP breaths……

    It kinda sucks to hate your own mother. But hey. It is what it is. (And as I think about it, it sucks much worse to hate yourself because you were indoctrinated by the twisted s**t your parents dumped on you your whole life.)

    Nag, control, manipulate, dominate, belittle, withhold/withdraw, blame, guilt, shame, repress, walk around naked even after I’ve grown up…….

    what a legacy. Really hope I’m not in contact with them when she dies. Because there’s no way in hell I’m going to get up at the funeral and pretend everything was great. My father would be even harder in some ways, cos I still want to make him proud etc. (long since given up on my mother). But he I guess throws enough scraps my way (despite doing nothing when I’d ask why my mother treated me like she does, even as a kid; and also joins in on the abuse at times) to keep me trying.

    And hearing all the people who DO still participate in their bulls**t game of “let’s pretend” (ie help them believe they’re god’s gift to the universe) talk about how great they were at a funeral…. I think my head would quite possibly explode.

    Ok, that’s probably not a particularly helpful path to go down right now.

    I just remembered what you mentioned Kelly about using sex as a form of self-abuse. I kinda think that’s what I do with porn. (Only ever had two sexual relationships, but same thing there really.) Guilt, shame, condemnation, blah blah blah blah blah. Can’t ever imagine being in a “healthy” sexual relationship. Don’t have the first clue what that would look like. Actually, I feel the same way about ANY form of “healthy” relationship (emotional etc). Scared that I need to have a “healthy” relationship with MYSELF first….. and funnily enough, I can’t imagine what THAT would look like either. But I don’t want to be alone & miserable forever.

    Oh well. I’m trying to make steps. VEEEERY, very little tiny baby steps…. but what the hell. I’m trying.

    Ok typed myself to a standstill. Apologies if any of this is too graphic etc.

  11. By: Mimi Posted: 22nd November

    OOOPS…. I meant, I have been her target!! Anger makes me type crazy too apparently!

  12. By: Mimi Posted: 22nd November

    Well, I hate to be so forthright, but, I’m so angry right now I could spit. I have been spoken down to by a professor for the majority of this semester in a Microbiology class. I sit in the front row and from the first day of the lab portion of the class, she has been my target. I don’t know if she senses that I’m fragile or my self esteem is in the gutter, or just what. She has called me out for wrong technique (or whatever) on so many occasions. The whole class can hear here. 5 times in one class period is toooooo much for me. It sends me right back to that place where I was when my mother would belittle me or whisper about me and spread lies before and during family gatherings. She tainted my entire family and I was forever an outcast in their midst. Today, I can see that my anger in situations like the one with my teacher, springs from something deep inside that wants to defend myself. Unfortunately, I did defend myself today. It wasn’t the best way to handle it and I did it with tears in my eyes. I approached her after class and asked her why she refused to answer my questions, but freely answered the questions of the young man behind me? She deniied it and said she didn’t answer his questions, she simply showed him where to look for answers. BUT, she wouldn’t even give me that. She simply repeated the statement, “you should have had that information before you came to class today”. So, there I sat, no resources from which to draw, time was running out, she refused to help me, my classmate said something and she quickly shushed her saying “no help from others”. What the hell was I supposed to do?? I had no idea what to do. Just take a failing grade? I’m so pissed just typing about it. When I did approach her after class there were still about 5-6 people in there. I’m sure they heard me. I know the teacher saw the tears welling in my eyes. I just walked away and left the class. Now, I’m left with the embarrassment of not being able to handle situations like this in an adult manner. Only in a childlike manner where I seem to be stuck. All out anger at being treated like a “less than”. I told her she didn’t need to speak to me like I was an idiot. (I have a 4.0 on a 4.0 scale.) She retorted, I’m not speaking to you like you’re an idiot. OHHHHHHH, yes she was. She has done it to other students too, but not nearly as frequently. And, she always refuses to answer my questions. She claims she wants people to “use their critical thinking skills”. She doesn’t care if the guy behind me does. She hands it to him on a silver platter. Anyhow, I have a history of not being able to handle people or events like this…. those that put me down blatantly, etc. I am dropping the class tomorrow and I don’t know what I’ll do about my education now. I hat that I am so jumbled up I can’t even handle taking a class because the teacher’s insane. Everyone else seems to be able to handle it….. what the hell is wrong with me??? Why can’t I just take it!!!???? I am embarassed that the class will know after today that I dropped because I couldn’t take it in stride. As if I’m a basket case…. well, I guess I am. I’m pretty stinking angry!!

  13. By: Pam Posted: 14th September

    Ah, Renee, I’m sad that you are having such a tough time lately. You deserve a voice and it is a kind one. I hope things get better soon…

    Pam

  14. By: Renee Posted: 14th September

    Kelly,
    Thank you for such kind and caring words. Did you know that this is the first time in my life I have had a voice where I am not picked a part or crucified for the way I feel. Darlene’s blog is my rebirth of expression I never had before. I can not tell you the gift it has given me with all of you as my support. Thank you so much for the love I get from all of you.
    Renee

  15. By: Karen Posted: 13th September

    Kelly: I can relate to your pain. My biological father dropped out of my life for 20 years. I reached out and reunited with him when I was 30. He was bipolar and that’s part of why he dropped out of my life, plus he thought I’d adjust to my step dad better. Also, we ended up moving to Hawaii, so he thought he’d lost me forever. Anyway, he begged my forgiveness and we became very close and shared an indescribable bond. His depressions only worsened as he got older, so after 10 years of having him in my life, he ended up taking his life.

    Later I found in his drawer every letter I had written him in those 10 years and copies of every letter he sent me. My cruel oldest brother wouldn’t let me take them and since he was Executor of the Estate he kept me from doing so. Later he read some of them and even shared some personal things about my life with other family members and some not so nice comments I made about my mom and step dad. (They ended up giving me the silent treatment for two years! They didn’t even respond when I told them I was getting married a year after my dad died! And, of course, they didn’t reach out to me at all when my dad died because they were always jealous of our close relationship.) Anyway, it was NOBODY’S BUSINESS reading our letters to each other!! I still don’t know what happened to all those letters and I would have LOVED to have had them. He probably just threw them in the garbage for all I know. Fortunately, I did keep most of the letters my Dad wrote me through the years. He may have stolen our letters, but no one can take away or rob me of the bond we shared.

  16. By: Karen Posted: 13th September

    So true, Darlene! ‘We need people to assist us on this journey.’ That’s why I love support groups with other women. You gain new insights and get reality checks and validation/confirmation you’re not the CRAZY one!

    I just started volunteering at my church and also a women’s center facilitating a group for sexually abused women. I am not a trained counselor, but I think just being a sympathetic ear and being able to relate to someone else’s pain is HUGE. I’ve had my own years of counseling, have read numerous self-help books, have a strong Christian faith and have taken a Peer Counseling training course, etc., but I still think just being a caring listener and being a shoulder to cry on is sometimes the best thing you can offer a hurting person. I’ve had every abuse in the book, so I hope I have gained some wisdom through my healing journey. I just want to ‘pay it forward.’

  17. By: Kelly Posted: 13th September

    Renee,
    I completely understand your feelings of hurt and betrayal from your sister reading your words and using them against you.. How else would anyone feel when that is done to them? it is so hard to understand why people would do such things, especially from those who are supposed to love you. If i could take that pain and betrayal from you and carry it for you for a little while, i would do it in a heartbeat.. I so despise the fact that so many people need to feel the pain, endure the suffering, live in the confusion of a life turned upside down by evil doers. Yes it feels good to not be alone in these feelings, but if i could i would feel it all, in order not see others suffer so..
    All the writings i had, years and years of me, gone.. i once thought that amongst all that writing was ME… and that one day in reading all i had written i would find myself, or enough pieces of me, that once i fit it all together i would be free, i would be me.. In losing all of that, i lost the hope i once had of finding who i am.. so along with the hurt and betrayal of others reading and using my words to hurt me.. they also took my only path i had to myself.. leaving me to be eternally lost…

  18. By: Renee Posted: 13th September

    Joy,
    Of course! When they find out they are not a lone they feel the comfort and finally they feel safe. THE END………..lol

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th September

      Renee and Joy
      I could put your joint comments together and post a new blog post… the story of how humpty dumpty found healing and wholeness when the world said it was hopeless… you know…. that is my story! and it is why I do what I do. I think that the discussion is not so much about therapists vs no therapists, as it is about how we need people to assist us on this journey. It doessn’t have to be a person with a certain degree that does it.
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: joy Posted: 13th September

    Renee

    And since words spread fast..then Fairy Godmother Darlene will begin to see a bunch more humpty dumpties crawling into her blog to see if they can find out how the first one did it.. And those who said he couldn’t make it will be here too.. clapping and jumping that he beat the odds..
    lol

  20. By: Renee Posted: 13th September

    Joy,
    Don’t forget all the people that ignored him or made fun of him, watching as he is slowly restored, though he had scares that people could see, he was much wiser, and stronger than he ever hoped of being! When he felt stronger he went on fairy godmother Darlenes blog and told his story and everyone cheered him on!!!

  21. By: joy Posted: 13th September

    Renee

    And i could see him like you say and some of the kings men saying..he’s not going to make it. .he’s too messed up and then come along the one you described..kind and gentle : ignoring everyone who said the kid’s too messed up and putting him together and making him the best looking egg that side of fairy tale land..lol

  22. By: Renee Posted: 13th September

    Joy,
    Yeah, even in fairy tell land they needed help too. I picture him laying on the ground all cracked and crying, with his hand outstreched reaching for help. He would need someone kind and gentle and full of wisdom helping him to put himself back together again.

  23. By: joy Posted: 13th September

    Renee

    I am going to keep that little gem you gave me “humpty dumpty couldn’t put himself back together” either. .Seems like all the king’s horses and all the kings men couldn’t put humpty dumpty back together again either.. So I bet he was in therapy 😉

    Joy

  24. By: joy Posted: 13th September

    HI Pam..

    Thank you for your kind words.. I appreciate you and your encouraging ways..

    hugs: Joy

  25. By: Renee Posted: 13th September

    Karen,
    Sounds just like her! They must be twins. Im going to do my best. I know my life will be guarded for a while. At least I know what im up against.
    Renee

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