Frozen EF Anger - what is this?

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Butterfly

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Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« on: March 02, 2015, 11:28:04 AM »
Backstory - I've made so much progress with EF, nightmares, IC, ICr, etc. The challenge is I'm still in contact with uPDm who tends toward Passive Aggressive (PA) episodes. Her attempts at suffocating engulfing enmeshment is resolved as I've done well with boundaries and finding my voice in Medium Chill. For me OOTF means I'm not manipulated into feeling Fear Obligation Guilt so Hoovers are ineffective. Check.

Here's my issue: her PA episodes aren't nearly what they were in my childhood, she'll do minor huffing and puffing, sighing etc and I never ask her what's wrong, pay it no mind is the thinking on OOTF and that has helped me tremendously. Don't give the toddler the attention.

BUT at this point even the minor huffing and puffing is immensely triggering. Not that day, no that night I sleep well. It's the days that follow after for some reason I wake in full EF in the middle of the night. Angry at myself for freezing, replaying the event in my head but rewriting the script to where I leave and then playing future scenarios with my strong voice instead of freeze and so my brain spins and my body shakes. For hours

My T had said any behavior however minor I don't feel like tolerating I need to say 'if you're going to behave like this im leaving' which intellectually I get but I freeze. What am I afraid of? Honestly I don't know. If she were to yell I'd be so justified to walk away and stay away so I almost welcome yelling over this seething PA anger. I really want to say 'I'm going home now' but I freeze.

Any suggestions on how to unfreeze? I have a feeling if I can just do this once I'll be ok but I need to get over that hump.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 11:30:36 AM by Butterfly »

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coda

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 01:04:20 PM »
Well I think we freeze -- in that we stop being able to process or act -- for some very good and very old reasons: self-protection, and the mind numbing terror of overstepping our assigned roles and rights. Intellectually we know we're entitled to protect ourselves, and it sounds like you've gotten to a very good place emotionally too. You see what she's doing, you get the dynamic and know how to sidestep it.

But the grip of guilt is tenacious. Impossible obligation goes hand in hand with ancient rage, and it can arise when we least expect it. Saying 'enough or I'm leaving', walking away, staying away...these were all once unthinkable. They may be life preservers now, but when guilt and fear hit us, when our imaginations and Stockholm memories take hold they can feel like just the opposite.

I did a lot of that before going NC. Even when I stood up to her and felt huge satisfaction in the moment, I punished myself afterward. Her rage was much easier to take than her tears of betrayal, because it was closer to her true self, but in the end both triggered me. I'd leave after a seemingly OK visit and slowly but inevitably, the depression and ruminations would take hold. 

Here's the thing, though. They are MUCH more resilient than we think (or they themselves would have us believe). Much. Your words and actions will not destroy her. I think you need to see that to get un-stuck. This is a terrible chess game we're not supposed to win, ever. And it's made harder because we really don't want to "win" at all  - we just want fair play. Make your move. The queen will not topple. It's an exhausting way to live, but if you're determined to stick with it, you will find a way to distance yourself and control the board without hating yourself for it.


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Butterfly

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 03:41:15 PM »
So insightful! Both of you! Thank you from the depths of my heart.
They are MUCH more resilient than we think (or they themselves would have us believe). Much. Your words and actions will not destroy her. I think you need to see that to get un-stuck.
Yes, so very true. Entire post but this stands out.

Rain, oh my how your post made me laugh almost to tears. Yes! Plus you reminded me what stopped the PA behavior in the first place for a time was my calling attention to it. It was before OOTF and by just asking 'is there something wrong' she stopped because she didn't like her behavior being called attention to and she most certainly did not want to communicate directly. But I am stronger now and love your suggestions much better - more direct - and in fact this is part of the dialog in my rewritten script "do you have something to say because it seems like you want to say something" but I like the simplicity of asking if there's something you're attempting to communicate.

Goodness where would I be without you guys?

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voicelessagony2

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 10:46:16 PM »
 

Rolling eyes.  "Are you attempting to communicate something or are you having a physical problem with your eyeballs?"




Rain, this had me laughing out loud, I'm glad I wasn't eating or I would have spit food everywhere!

But seriously, thank you for this. I'm glad I dropped in on this thread, because this is excellent advice that I needed to hear as well. I spend a LOT of time triggered and doing nothing about it, frozen and fawning, because of this PA behavior that is so slippery to deal with.

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Kizzie

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 05:08:07 AM »
Great thread and I must say tks Coda, I think it is really important to keep in mind that PDs are much more resilient than we think.  I hadn't realized just how responsible I felt for not taking down my M, the fear that she led me to feel at the thought that she will break into pieces if I don't protect her.  When I read your post I heard this frightening thought that I've had forever, but was so afraid to acknowledge - that she is fragile and I must not cause her to break, not completely.  So I can look out for myself to a certain extent, but there is a line I have been so scared of crossing that I would not let it surface until now.  She will break if I go too far.  My H and I have talked about going NC but I have an EF when I think about it and I get why now. 

But you're right, they are resilient and I cannot break her because I do not mean enough to her or in the way normal humans do.  It's a freeing thought  :hug:

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Butterfly

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 10:15:08 AM »
What makes it difficult for me to remember she won't break because I'm being a person is that she's gone into total waif mode with everyone around. She's acting like I've destroyed her and she's this poor neglected mother who's mean daughter doesn't care BUT has lunch with them 1-2 times a week.
 :stars:
So I need to remember the waif act is just an act and its totally for my benefit to create Guilt.

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marycontrary

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 05:44:23 PM »
Guys, the suggestions here are brilliant! Thank you!

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voicelessagony2

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Re: Frozen EF Anger - what is this?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2015, 03:03:38 PM »
I just realized something else about this!

I am so terrified of confrontation or conflict, that's why I almost NEVER say or do anything but freeze when someone is being PA.

But just now I tried a new thought exercise that has been super helpful if I can remember to do it... I usually forget all about it but it's brilliant... put the shoe on the other foot! What if *I* was the one rolling my eyes at somebody, and they called me out on it with Rain's hilarious suggestion? "Is something physically wrong with your eyeballs?" Would I react with anger, or would I laugh? Part of the "shoe on the other foot" exercise requires really trying to imagine both reactions, so I try to imagine reacting to that with anger. It's not easy, because I guess that's not my real nature. But I think if I had enough anger that I absolutely could not see any humor in it, then WOW, what's that about? Almost all anger is defense against sadness. What is the sadness about? What if this confrontation actually ended up helping the PA person see something they are always trying to hide from themselves? Even if you never know, because they would never *admit* that to you, maybe not even to themselves, it could still open up an idea for them, and if you keep doing it, who knows... But you are off the hook because you are not responsible for their journey.