I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Using this as a sort of a thinky place...

Just re-discovered another one of my buttons: that I translate loud and/or harsh disagreement as personal disapproval. More, that it makes me angry; it makes me feel like I have been misunderstood and misrepresented, particularly when I try to explain and it just doesn't take.

Blood pressure up; heart rate faster; sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Total fight-or-flight response.

I'm pretty sure that my therapist, at this point, would ask me and what happens if that person misunderstands you?, so I'm asking myself.

If I am misunderstood and misrepresented, I am not in control of how people look at me and think about me, and at risk of having them not like me or approve of me. If people don't like me or approve of me, then...

Honestly, I'm drawing a blank. There's just this panicky, frustrated space in my head surrounding the idea of not being able to penetrate anger and disapproval and dislike. Beyond that, there's a big question mark; I don't know what happens. Honestly, in the real world in which I am operating as a nearly-30-year-old woman (as of Monday, ack!), this shouldn't be the end point of that mental equation.

I can only assume that this still ties back to the powerlessness of being a small child with a randomly angry father who scared the bejeezus out of me. Powerless feeling in the face of anger meant searching for a way to control it and turn it away; when I was little I'd automatically run around hiding everything that might set my father off, cleaning my room (which in a five-minute span usually meant stuffing everything in sight into my closet), sitting down to do my homework. If Dad was really in a mood to be angry at something, though, he'd open my closet and find the enormous pile of things anyway, and boom, I'd be the focus for his rage.

It all comes down to control, I guess. I have these rituals I do to try and control the opinions of others, and when I lose control, when I can't change their minds or talk them down or explain myself in a way that they find satisfactory or any of that, then I get scared, frustrated, and angry. (Anger, of course, being the direct descendent of fear.)

I need a new reaction, and I think it's related to working through the question of what happens if I can't explain myself or change their minds. Hrm. Mental note: must ask therapist about this.


  • Goooooooo Meg! This stuff usually takes years - reach one big realization, then process it, then work through a whole bunch more anger and denial and repression for months, then reach another big realization, etc. You're like a snowball rolling down a hill! It's so brave of you to delve into your deep dark stuff and face it head-on like this. You're awesome!

    By Anonymous Erin, at 3:18 PM  

  • Oh the control issues. I have so many. It is good how much you are discovering about yourself. Keep it up.

    By Blogger ms ralph, at 3:36 PM  

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