Professional Help Activities: Processing feeling of aggression w/your T

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C.

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Reminder: In order to honor our group process we ask that only current ASCA workbook group members post and respond here please.  If you would like to join in at this time or a later date please send the moderator a PM.  Thank you.

Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.

Professional Help

1.   What kind of aggressive/hostile feelings are activated in your therapy sessions? What seems to trigger them?  Have you discussed this process with your therapist?  This is a legitimate topic for your therapy and your therapist should be able to help you with it without withdrawing needed support from you.

2.   One last word:  Your therapist is legally required to warn potential victims and,in some cases, to notify law enforcement officials if s/he reasonably believes that you are likely to harm yourself or another person.  In such a case, your therapist is permitted to break the confidential relationship between the two of you in the interests of protecting both you and your intended victim.  For this reason, as well as his/her interest in your continued growth and well-being, your therapist is not able to support or condone violent actions under any circumstances

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bee

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It is very hard for me to access my anger at my abusers. I worked with my T for years before I could admit to having anger. Maybe because of this, and because she knows I am not capable of acting on my anger, she encourages any hints if anger she sees. I can tell she wants me to be able access it. I have started to in small amounts. My M was the only one who was allowed to angry, so I stuffed all these feelings far, far down.

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Kizzie

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I don't have a T here yet so I can't say what anger issues will be activated. 

I feel like I have worked through a ton of anger and grief in the past 4 or 5 years but who knows what there is still to dredge up? I do know I reached a point in the last year or so where I just got tired of being angry. I still stand up for myself when I need to, but when I come up against a PD-like (unfair, punitive, sneaky, critical), I would rather walk away.

In the past I would end up in an EF of white hot anger and frustration because nothing I did seemed to matter or to change anything, it usually made things worse and I would end up looking like the one with the problem. Now that I understand that the behavior is disordered, the person dishing out the negative stuff is broken and there is nothing I can do that will change that, I  disengage as soon as I can and let it go if I can. To be angry hurts me and just wastes time and energy I could use in more positive ways. 

The above notwithstanding, I'm sure that once I find T here and we get deeper into the trauma I will probably be revisiting this step  :yes:

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VeryFoggy

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Kizzie, I think it is true, the anger does not last forever.  Going through, into, facing the anger head on once for me was enough. It does not have to burn forever, and staying stuck in anger?  Thatís not healing. For me I think it took about 12 months of working through the anger from the last straw moment until it finally burned out.

And I was left with acceptance. I did not have to revisit every single moment of trauma. I only had to understand what happened, as a general pattern, to understand the pattern, and to see that it could not be fixed, there was nothing I could do, and it could not be changed.  And then true sadness could be experienced for what I had never had, nor would ever have. And now I am finally trying very hard to give it to myself. What I never had.  Which is:

Safety, security, trust, strength, ability to believe, confidence, happiness, a feeling of well being and a deep knowledge that I can and will take care of myself, and not let bad relationships happen to me anymore.  I can give all of those things to myself. I am spending my time learning these hard, hard lessons. But day by day, with two steps forward and one step back I am slowly making progress. I can be my own best friend. I need to be my own best friend.  BoundariesÖ

And I know one thing that helped me start climbing out.  More than anything was OOTF.  So many stories. So many experiences. So many feelings. All the same.  And we canít all be wrong, we canít all be crazy, like they said we were. That helped me more than anything. And having a place to tell it where you would be heard and understood. Priceless. It was the beginning of my journey of the rest of my life.

I donít think you can do anything with PDís except walk away. One of mine, my sister, just texted me on Motherís Day and said ďI miss you.Ē  I have not responded.  I donít know what to say.  Iíve thought of a couple of responses, but have made none.  Samples:

Does this mean you are ready to come to counseling?
I miss what I thought we had.

I donít know what to say.  I donít want to get the pot stirred up, but I canít just go back to abusive treatment ever again either.  I need some reassurance that things will change. In my opinion?  I think it was a Hoover, or else a realization that her Supply is GONE, and that now she will have to find new Supply ASAP if I do not come back.

Bee Ė I totally agree with you Bee.  It is important to access the anger and to let it rip! What I found out when I did it?  Is that I am such a ďniceĒ person?  That even though it felt like a volcano was erupting inside of me at times?  I never did anything to hurt anybody.  I had plenty of thoughts, but I did not actually do anything, and that helps me trust myself going forward.  That I can feel the feelings but still be rational, logical, and try to do things that will help myself and not destroy or hurt others.

Though I did in the end feel like a peeled grape walking around with no protection against new hurt. Thatís why I am studying Boundaries so much now. I am trying to learn a new way to be, so that I donít leave myself open to additional new unnecessary hurt.

But yes definitely think going through the anger and just feeling it is very important to healing.

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Indigochild

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This is amazing!

You have just helped me to understand partly why i would feel so empty with out anger:

-Though I did in the end feel like a peeled grape walking around with no protection against new hurt. Thatís why I am studying Boundaries so much now. I am trying to learn a new way to be, so that I donít leave myself open to additional new unnecessary hurt. -

Perhaps thats why I'm not ready to learn about boundaries right now. I have enough defenses anyway and distance myself from people, don't trust anyone or life, and push others away.
Loosing anger after having it for so long would in a way, be like loosing part of yourself.

Thanks for this , such a huge help.

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anosognosia

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1.   What kind of aggressive/hostile feelings are activated in your therapy sessions? What seems to trigger them?  Have you discussed this process with your therapist?  This is a legitimate topic for your therapy and your therapist should be able to help you with it without withdrawing needed support from you.

I've never had any homicidal ideations, probably because I was receiving death threats from my F as a kid.

It's so hard to get in touch with hostile feelings I have inside. When I do have them (maybe once a year max) it happens in private and it passes in a few seconds.

I dissociate immediately after an intense therapy session, eg when we talked about my ED, I dissociated for a few weeks.

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VeryFoggy

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Ano - Sorry for my ignorance but what is ED?  Also I seem to be having a great deal of trouble understanding what exactly dissociation is?  I went on the Internet and read a few things, but I am still having trouble with understanding it?  I read one example that talked about getting lost while reading a book.  If that is what dissociation is, then I have been dissociated most of my life!  If you or anyone can give me some examples of what happens to you when you experience it, I would really appreciate it!  Thanks!

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C.

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Hi VF.  Yes, I think books can be used in a way that is disassociation.  As I understand it, it depends on the intent.  When it's denial and avoidance of reality, it's disassociation.  I think of the "freeze" reality in Walker's book.  He likens that to disassociation if I remember correctly. 

Disassociation seems to be an extreme avoidance of an unpleasant emotion (pain), that in the reality of emotional health, a person needs experience.  It's also a protection in small amounts.  So watching a movie, playing a video game for a short time, reading, etc. all have a place in one's day.  These activities can take one's full concentration and create a buffer time until a person is ready to face the pain and move through it.  But when they become extreme and/or are used to avoid pain, they simply postpone the pain and people generally simply become depressed.

In my own experience I use an electronic game too much, or Netflix.  I know that I've slipped into a moderate depression right now.  I'm working to pull myself out but my thoughts are unpleasant with many activities that I used to enjoy, so I want to do something that fully engages my mind to avoid the thoughts, but they're still there.  Really I need to face the sadness and find relational things that bring me joy and peace again.  OOTS is one of those things that helps me feel peace.

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anosognosia

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Ano - Sorry for my ignorance but what is ED?  Also I seem to be having a great deal of trouble understanding what exactly dissociation is?  I went on the Internet and read a few things, but I am still having trouble with understanding it?  I read one example that talked about getting lost while reading a book.  If that is what dissociation is, then I have been dissociated most of my life!  If you or anyone can give me some examples of what happens to you when you experience it, I would really appreciate it!  Thanks!

Ah sorry, ED = eating disorder. I almost died from it because I was so malnourished.
Dissociation - when the traumatic event is so unprocessable I just numb out - derealisation and depersonalization. As if what I'm going through is not real and I'm in a dream world.  All ways my body is trying to protect me from the painful reality.

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VeryFoggy

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Thank you C and Ano for the explanations, and Ano I am so sorry you almost died from malnourishment!   That's terrible!  Also thanks for the explanations of dissociation.  I think as a child I did use books to dissociate as I was constantly reading, and thus constantly escaping.  Today I monitor and regulate my reading of fiction, and dole it out like a treat, and that makes sense to me now.  I do still use it as an escape. A complete and total flight from reality. So I don't "allow" a lot of it.  I force myself to stay grounded in reality whether it is pleasant or unpleasant.  This helps with understanding tremendously.  Thank you.

I would have to say "freezing" was never a way of dissociating for me.   When I am in the worst EF you can ever imagine, I am feeling so much pain, and so much terror, and so much fear, I that am literally paralyzed.  So that's not dissociation to me.  It's the opposite, and a full blown face to face confrontation of the terror that is so bad I cannot move, think, or breathe.