Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Anger - My Overlooked Emotion

When Nick and I went to our last couple’s therapy session a few weeks ago, we talked about the different stages of grief that we both were experiencing.  I wasn’t sure where I was in the stages of grief, I was sad, so I said depression, maybe.  Nick was irritable, which was anger for him.  I noticed he started getting into the anger stage when he would have conversations with the T.V. and get annoyed at reality T.V. stars and sports players.  It was slightly amusing and gave me opportunities to laugh at our grief.  But, I said in therapy, that I’m not angry.  Or, I don’t get angry.  Maybe I don’t get angry, because I don’t see a point in it.  Or, maybe I don’t get angry because it’s the stage my dad seemed to use the most growing up and I found it futile.
I guess I thought I was immune to the anger stage.  After all, you don’t have to go through all of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief in order, or you don’t have to enter a stage at all.  I would tell myself that one reason I didn’t get angry is because I didn’t believe in God.  I didn’t have him to fight with, to try to have conversations with him questioning why he did this, or put me through this.  I didn’t have to ask him, “why me, don’t you love me?”, “why my child”, or “what did I do to deserve this."  These conversations and feelings of anger never happened for me.
I also never got mad at the doctors.  I knew logically, after much research, that this was a fluke.  Something that couldn’t have been prevented and something that they could not have predicted.   And I wasn’t angry at myself.  The doctor’s had assured me that I did nothing wrong.  It wasn’t anything that I ate that caused the infection, it wasn’t anything I did, or didn’t do.  It was just a random, cosmic, unfortunate act of the universe, and instead of me winning the lottery with these odds, it was me losing my child.
I thought that I was immune to anger.  I thought I didn’t have it in me.  Logically, I knew that there was no one, no being, or nothing to be angry at.  It wasn’t my fault or Nora’s fault, or anyone else’s, not even God’s.
But, while working in therapy, I realized that there is one thing I had lost my belief in due to this traumatic event.  There was one entity that I no longer trusted, even though I had to everyday.  There was one thing that failed me more than anybody or anything in this world could have, and I have been mad at her from the moment I knew my daughter was dead.  Mad doesn’t even begin to describe it, I have been downright P*SSED at her.  She failed me, and betrayed me, and traumatized me beyond belief.  

She, my daily companion, my trusted guide in life, deceived me.   She lead me to believe that I would be okay, that she knew what she was doing, that I should and had to put my trust in her.  This devilish her, is my own body.  My anger was not at God, or doctors, or myself, but at my body.  How could she have betrayed me?  Who did she think she was anyway?  She turned out to be the cruelest of jester’s, blinding me with her magical trick of thinking I could bring life into this world, and then with a slight of her hand, at the very last moment, she deceived me, and my world would be forever changed.
So, I have learned that I am not immune to anger.  It has been with me this whole time.  From the moment I heard the words, “no heartbeat," I have been silently harboring a sense of resentment and hate for my body.  The lovely lady I trusted with my child and my life, my every day existence, was now my worst enemy. 
It’s bizarre that I can be so mad at my body, but yet during the month of February it has been with my body that I have begun healing myself both physically and emotionally through my grief.  My healing techniques for February have been about exercising at least 30 minutes every day and cooking nutritious foods to nurture myself through my grief. 
In therapy I have started to work through this dichotomy of both healing and hating my body within the same space and I guess, within the same body.  I am slowly working towards resolving my anger at my body through exercises in therapy of writing a letter to my body about my anger and betrayal by it, as well as working towards writing a letter from my body to my soul, giving my body a chance to tell its own side of the story.  But right now, I just think my body owes me an explanation and I will focus on being angry at my body until I am ready to move to the next stage of grief. 

I hear it only gets more messy and difficult from there, because as a therapist I know, under anger lies your true emotions, the ones we are often afraid to feel or confront.  And I’m already having a hard enough time to admitting to anger.  This could be a long, difficult road for me to run…I guess I better slow down and walk or even crawl through it instead.

~Still Breathing…Lindsey 

1 comment:

  1. One of my largest sources of anger in the beginning was my body, but I have taken the time to forgive her. She did everything she could to try to save him and to alert me something was wrong. I do however still harbor anger at other aspects surrounding my sons loss. I find however that anger can be productive. I am using that anger to fuel my desire to make changes in healthcare. I will not let the anger destroy me, but to provide healing for me. I feel all stages of grief are beneficial to the healing process.


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