Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Recognizing Anger

I woke up around 6:20AM and felt an immediate desire to curl up and stay in bed all day.  Not tired so much as a deep apathy for the day ahead.  I just wanted to lie in bed and do nothing except maybe read something I wanted to read.

Instead I got up, got ready and headed into the office, apathy or no.  Apathy doesn't pay the mortgage after all.  Work greeted me with another new problem and another new ticket for the frustrating part of our IT organization (they appeared to have turned off FTP, allowing only sFTP to a server that must be contacted by an enterprise application on a Windows server capable of only FTP....  I realize that for many people what I just wrote is about as useful as "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah"!).  

My boss told me that a backup role I was actually interested in was going to another person who was also interested in it.  I admitted to being disappointed and I honesty feel that I have a better relationship with the person whose primary responsibility it is.  She, we are trying to find a way to get me more in a project management role, but this still felt frustrating.  What's really hard is letting someone do it as a real learning experience when she, the primary person and I all know I have the actual experience to do it.

By the time I was leaving at 4pm I was weary.  I got to my physical therapist's office and could feel the growing irritation, truly disgust I was feeling.  I knew I had some time to wait so I rolled myself up into shoulder stand, trying to settle myself into my body and away from the feelings of annoyance.  I came down and into some forward bends, just fully releasing into them.

My therapist, IW, was running even later on account of the client she had been seeing nearly fainting when she went to stand up.  I hadn't even noticed in my impromptu yoga practice (what better way to make use of waiting time).  What I had noticed, or thought I'd noticed as I tried to pull apart all the tangled emotions, was that I that maybe what I was feeling was anger.  

I think of anger as this white-hot rather terrifying thing.  I recall the inappropriate outbursts that happened in private.  There was also the icy burn of the anger suppressed in public, at family gatherings; snide comments veiled in polite words.  This heavy, enveloping apathy towards the entire world combined with an overall irritation, crossing into disgust is so different that my experience with anger that it has been difficult to recognize it as such.

When I think about how unfair it feels to cope with my physical pain and the load of trauma I feel a kind of apathy and or a wave of disgust that so many people in my life have behaved so selfishly.  Occasionally I can feel some of the hot anger, a red energy buzzing around my head, but mostly it sinks into an apathetic depression where I just want to hide in bed under the covers.  

When I press past that into the humming and drumming of daily life the irritation arises until I feel chafed by it all.  The anger becomes a buzzing static around my thoughts and I long to be able to scratch my head, rub my ears & eyes until it ceases.  I feel as though I'm encased in dense, dark stone that hums incessantly with irritation, subtle and unsettling noise.

I told IW when I saw her that my energy was all over the place.  That I thought I felt angry, only that it wasn't anger like I think of it.  I mentioned the apathy and the anxiousness I'd been feeling.  We talked about where my pain was located lately and at what level it had been at.  

Some of the trigger points, which lately have been back to being really bad and sometimes difficult to release, brought a sensation of panic rushing up.  After the years I've been seeing IW I am accustomed to the trigger points been extremely painful sometimes, but the accompanying panic doesn't usually happen.  One of the last ones she worked with on my left sit bone was so intense emotionally that I felt my head race. 

She switched to some cranial work to try and balance my energy.  I felt the buzzing in my head that sometimes shows up when I get massage therapy.  Afterwards I grew chilled in the air conditioning.  IW noted that I was calming too, so I didn't have the anger/anxiety heat warming me up.

Sitting next to CK on the sofa I feel better.  My neck and back have popped, released a few times.  I rode over here, hadn't planned to but it was the best idea and I felt better for the physical exertion as it helped burn off some of the energy as well.  

Like a truly vocal inner critic I've been seeking anger as I remember it exhibited by others.  My critic speaks in waves of raw, wordless emotion and my anger doesn't resemble my memories of others.  The anger is wordless too, there's some low muttering to it but that's just a litany of petty irritation that 's really just a pointer.

The grief is reasonable.  It was never safe for me to process how afraid I was and how hard I just kept trying in order to fit in, do what I was told (the threat of "or else" often hovering just behind the order and changing with me as I aged).  That I should feel surges of grief, and the vulnerability in my relationships waking it, isn't unreasonable.

Neither is the anger.  HB told me it isn't that Buddhists don't get angry, we do, we just do not give rise to the anger.  What I need to do is be mindful and even more self-compassionate of those days when I feel like facing the world is just too much effort.  I also need to learn how to share with CK and AM when I am feeling those angry, heavy days.  I don't want to have that anger affect them unduly.  It feels vulnerable in a somewhat scary way to try and share that with them, but it is more fair for them to know so they can gently remind me that I might be cranky or unfair in something I say or do because I'm processing through the anger as well as the grief.

No comments:

Post a Comment