Livid

Warning: There is lots of foul language in this post. I am particularly fond of the F word and I use it a whole lot when I am angry. This is a letter to B and it comes off as narcissistic in some ways. Right now I do not care. I have come to the conclusion when relationships are shit and unhealthy it is difficult to not do things that are abusive. Even some things that are understandable responses can come across as abusive when coming in at that particular scene, not knowing history or even the events in the moments leading up to such a reaction.

I’m not justifying any sort of abusive behaviors. But I am trying to understand my reactions at times as I tend to go into fight mode when it comes to my relationship with B. Not physical fighting, but I do yell and berate and there’s a lot of wtf moments for me.

 

There is rage that builds up even after I release the initial rage and agitation. Likely because of the heaps and mounds of stress and bullshit already on my plate, in my life, on my mind, in my body.

But here I am, I can feel the rage rising. I could feel it as I drove away from you after dropping you off for a medical procedure I’m sure you were nervous about.  And I know my hesitation, shame and guilt about my anger is coming from the depths of my psyche. It was entrained into my brain that any sort of emotion other than being happy to serve is bad. It’s selfish, self centered and how dare I care about myself.

So now I’m entangled with a man who doesn’t take me much into consideration when it comes to certain things. It’s ironic that your major in college was communications, you even graduated, but your communication skills have always been shit since I’ve known you.

And although your issues are just that…YOURS! They effect me too.

For instance, twice now you had appointments with doctors recently and both times you went to the wrong fucking place. I don’t completely blame you for this, as I understand the possibility that the communication from the person who told you where to go, may not have been clear.  You were driving yourself at the time and even though it’s a bit irritating that you wasted time like that as well as gas, I wasn’t there, so I was able to do my own life without being all that impacted.

However, today, you needed a ride…which I had no and never would have a problem with. If I am available and capable of helping, (also something you hate communicating and asking for, but that’s beside this point) I am happy to help you. Despite my frustrations, I am writing out in this letter, I am certainly grateful for all you have done for me.

We left for your appointment today in plenty of time and I dropped you off, not able to wait as I had/have things to do today. However as I drove away to get on with my afternoon, before needing to pick you up later, you called to tell me you were in the wrong place…again.

“Okay” I say and drive back to pick you up. Expecting the worst from me of course, since that is our history together, you want to get in the car asap and so you start walking toward the car, while it’s still moving. I relate this to stress and fear and immediately feel like the bad guy. I know you were not thinking straight. I feel like a horrible person.

This relationship has gotten so sick that I know I need to leave. I feel like all I do is hurt you. I blame myself some days and other days I see the dysfunctional dynamic so clearly.  I try to tell myself that it’s only my actions and behaviors I can control and then in the stressful situation or what feels like a repeat of the same old shit and I react the same old way.

I’m a trapped animal lashing out.

I really wasn’t all that pissed off about this mistake at first. I blamed the miscommunication on the doctor’s office. But then you didn’t know where you did have to go and so I pulled over in a busy McDonald’s parking lot, so you could look up directions. So you could call the office.

Knowing I was pissed, you were stressed. Could not think straight. I was getting more and more agitated. Where the fuck are we going? Why is this being figured out now when you were supposed to be at the appointment ten fucking minutes ago?

I didn’t say all that while we were sitting in the car. But I was certainly saying something. Being berating. Being agitated. Sick of the situation and how we seem to get stuck in this kind of bullshit time and time again.

And you know why??? (Well besides the fact that I should’ve taken my own life by the reins years ago and left this sick, dysfunctional hell.)

All it would’ve taken to avoid driving to the wrong place, wasting time, not knowing where the fuck the destination was, was to CALL THE OFFICE AND FIND OUT FOR SURE! Especially since you’d already been to the wrong place twice before.

So now I’m anxious, overwhelmed and so pissed off that I can’t think straight. I have a life to pull together and every time I make a plan, even write it the fuck out on paper, something happens to sabotage it in one way or another. For fucks sake, give me some space to get a fucking foot hold!

Or no, maybe you like it this way? Maybe you just want to keep me down and miserable because that’s where you are? I know you would say no, that’s not how it is. Consciously speaking, you probably want the best for me. You told me once before that if I were to go, you’d be alright. But subconsciously, Idk, it seems like maybe you are sabotaging at every turn. But I could say the same. I suppose I should’ve known that you might end up in the wrong place again, since I knew about the other two times. And I should’ve said, “Dude, call that office and make sure we go to the right place the first time. I don’t want to drive in the shitty traffic around here more than necessary. Make that phone call and save us any possible aggravation and stress.”

But I didn’t.

I mean, if for no other reason to call, (because God forbid, you reach out and ask for clarification/help), you could’ve at least done it for me.

I want to be taken care of in such a way that you think to yourself, “Hey you know, I’ve made the mistake of turning up in the wrong place twice. Lemme call this doc office and double check on the location (even though I’m fairly certain as to where I’m going) so as not to cause a lot of stress for Tiger, who is being so kind as to give me a ride to this appointment. I know how much she hates Delco traffic and I know how stressed she gets when she has to drive longer than necessary or when I’m not sure where to go. And hey, in doing that, I limit my stress as well.”

I’m realizing today that I was taught, both insidiously and directly at times, that stating my anger and frustration after the fact, about my own stress and agitation and anger, is wrong. Especially when in such a situation where you have some medical issues to tend to.  Basically I was taught that it’s not okay to be angry in such a circumstance. I should have compassion…all compassion…no other emotion is okay.

As I said to you in the car, the communication issues are not just one problem, that issue creates a whole shit ton of them as a result of not simply opening your mouth and asking a quick and simple question or in other cases, opening your mouth and making a quick and simple statement.

If you’d just do that, it would save so much aggravation for you, for me and for both of us as a (couple?)

Sometimes I feel like I can’t get away from you fast enough.

So now that you’ve sucked my attention away from what I really need to be doing, I’ll sign off.

 

Advertisements

Sitting with the Inner Rage

It looks as though DBT may very well be helping.

Tonight I came across something that caused me rage. I felt the urge to call him and lay right into him.

Why can’t he get it right? Why can’t he listen to me?

I found out in therapy the other day that I have traits of OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder). Yikes! I already knew about the NPD and BPD traits, but OCPD I never even considered.

It’s the perfectionism, the “there’s only one way to do it” way of thinking that fits that bill and I have that in a bad way.

It came up tonight. I raged to no one. It was a blessing that I was here all alone (except the cat) but I didn’t involve him. I just walked around him when he was yeowling* at me for food and litter scooping. I knew I couldn’t deal with him at that moment and just went into my bedroom.

The cat followed and was still yeowling*, but I ignored him. He walked out.

I had enough presence of mind though to cut my finger nails, something I had been wanting to do for a couple days. I was still feeling the anger, but it was a distraction.

However once I was finished, the rage came over me again and I felt the urge to throw the nail clipper at the door.  Almost.  But I controlled the urge and flipped it back onto the bed.

I did kick the plastic trash can a little bit though. It landed in its rightful spot but on its side.

After that, I just sat on my bed and told myself I needed to sit with this. Feel it. That’s it. Just feel it. I didn’t want to but I did it.

I started to cry…hard.

I cried about my situation. Not about what I’d found that triggered the anger, but in general, in my life, at my age.

I cried about the rage itself and felt more rage about the rage. I felt rage about being so easily enraged. That I had all this rage trapped inside of me because I wasn’t allowed to express anger.

I even cried about being alone with my rage.

This outburst of emotion though, the tears, were also a release of that anger that I was feeling. The real anger, the stuff from deep down inside and way back in the past, that had nothing to do with the trigger in the present.

When I stopped crying, I felt so much better. Usually I feel worse after a cry, more exhausted and even still angry.

Surprisingly, not this time. It was like the anger and rage flowed out with the tears. It’s a bit liberating.

I was and am still so glad now that I did not call him and lay into him. I would’ve just felt like shit anyway and so would he.  And he doesn’t deserve that.  I told myself that while I was riding the emotional wave. And that helped too.

I am also glad that I finally did this…stopped myself from calling as well as, sat with the actual feeling and let it roll through me however it was going to do that.

Now I know what it’s like. I hope I can remember for next time, that as much as it hurts going in, the other side feels so much better than when I don’t stay in touch with the feeling.

I actually want to do this again. The more I do this, the more I learn how to tolerate the difficult emotions without taking them out on those who don’t deserve it.

I know this will come up again. I am not so delusional to think that this one incident will release me of all my PD traits or my intolerance to emotion. (Or is that the definition of a PD?)

Awareness Can Be a Long Process

Original post date: May 24, 2014
This is another post originally from Safire Falcon.  It was even longer than what I’ve posted here. The second half includes a POV of co-dependence that I’m not completely sure of now. So I didn’t include it. I may edit and include it later. But for now, no. It’s interesting what you can learn about yourself when you go back to old writings. It can be discouraging too when it looks like there’s been stagnancy or even regression.  I did edit what I’ve posted here a little, but not much. I didn’t make any notes on where I edited either.

Awareness is still coming in like a process. I spent a lot of my life ‘asleep’ so awareness has been a bitter pill. But as bitter as it is, not knowing…not being aware of all the bullshit makes me what I used to call ‘stupidly happy.’

The absence of awareness makes any happy I felt non-existent(?) cancelled out. I was played…whether it was intentional or not. And when I say that, I mean whether the person was self aware of their own sickness or not.

I think of my sister when I say that because she is narcissistic in a big way. And I don’t mean in a healthy way. So although she has abused and hurt me I don’t think she has done it with the intention to set out to hurt me. It has everything to do with her having the need to avoid pain. She is very much about winning her arguments, being right and proving that her issues with me are bigger than anything I may feel. And if it means hurting me to accomplish it then so be it. I then become just a pesky obstacle to overcome, manipulate or push out of the way in such circumstances.

She feels justified in pointing her finger, blaming me and to sound all therapist-y, has no problem using “You” statements rather than “I feel” statements.

When it came to ‘romantic’ relationships, most of the time there was an issue or problem, I would try to rationalize any problem in any relationship to be all me. Even if at first in my anger I would blame the other. I’d be the one hanging her head in shame and guilt after it was pointed out to me how irrational I was being. And then I’d take all responsibility.

And just like the ruminations I’d have about my sister, those situations would come up in my head later and I’d ruminate about what I ‘should’ve’ said. What I’d so wished I’d said. Tense and so angry because this…thing…argument, was never resolved.

I’m sure all that owning up and taking the whole blame and feeling so much shame is a form of denial as well as confusion as to what is theirs and what is mine. Although I was conditioned this way, I still see a form of denial in this. Some of the issues would’ve been deal breakers if I’d had my self-esteem about me. But the denial allowed me to stay. It was better than being lonely and in pain.

I find myself thinking about what my sister might say in certain situations being the narcissist I believe her to be, and what I would say in finally sticking up for myself, no more tail between my legs. As well as still wish I could have redoes in many other situations.

A fellow blogger asked me in a comment recently:

“I can’t honestly say that I would rather be where I was, than where I am now. What do you think and feel about that? Comparatively?”

I made one comment saying that I wonder if my anger will ever go away while in the next comment saying that I don’t feel so angry anymore. Yeah, just a bit contradictory dontcha think?

I had to go back and ask myself about that contradiction. I think the first comment was just me speaking from how I’d been feeling that last week or two. Because to be honest I am not over it. I’m not done and I don’t think it’s that easy. I jumped to a response without really FEELING what my emotions really were/are.

So to comment here now on that question she asked me, I will say that I would much rather be aware than be foolishly in the dark. “Ignorance is bliss,” is a saying we’re all aware of but I don’t believe it’s true. We may THINK we’re blissful without knowing, realizing or understanding that someone is trashing us, lying about us, manipulating us.

But isn’t it a better and more empowering feeling to be able to CHOOSE whether we continue to include such a person in our lives with that kind of information as part of the decision making process?

I certainly think it’s better to know the truth…even if it hurts…to know the reality of what that person is doing…is capable of doing. If such people exist, it’s a matter of keeping yourself safe from them. I mean if someone was treating your child like that wouldn’t you prefer to keep them away from such a nasty human?

There is relief from being away from my family now. Thing is when I feel the relief of being away from them, the anger in moments and days can subside so much I don’t even remember that I’m still going through the anger.

If I’m by myself, alone, minding my own business, enjoying whatever I’m doing, there’s nothing to react to, right?

But mere moments later someone could say something, even if it’s something innocent, not intentionally or maliciously meant to push any buttons, and BAM! There I am getting angry, irritated, annoyed, frustrated and then finally confused. What the hell happened there?

Have you heard of Emotional Flashbacks?

Displaced anger happens within these emotional flashbacks.  I go through different points, where I am able to separate myself more in a way that my anger isn’t being taken out so much in situations where it doesn’t belong. But other times, not so much. And then I’m reminded to be careful not to have such a false sense of security. Meaning, “don’t be telling people I’m over it” when there is no possible way it can happen that fast.

I try to keep in mind that my anger and ruminating at their narcissistic behavior and lack of empathy is not hurting them. It’s not changing them. I’m not sending messages through osmosis about my side of it all and how I was hurt.

Intense anger over those things are only hurting me. Sometimes (not always) I can change the energy of the anger with a thought,  “There is no way I will allow this emotion to eat ME up because YOU are the douche bag who doesn’t give a fuck about me.”

And I continue, “You are not more important than me. I don’t care that you think you are in the right by thinking I am the selfish one. I don’t care that you are so self-righteous that when you say that I’m the one so messed up with my head up my ass, that you are so blind to how fucked up YOU really are. And that you can’t even see yourself when you are pointing that crooked finger at me. Look in the mirror and while you’re at it, look how many fingers point back as you point that one out at me.”

Obviously I DO care otherwise I would not be angry. But…

I take comfort in the fact that I am the one with the awareness. I am the one learning where my actual responsibility lies, not where some disordered other perceives it to be.

It’s those moments that I feel stronger in my anger, rather than out of control. The anger isn’t quite as mixed with fear of them anymore. I’ve had time to step back and see the situation for what it is, and these people for who they are.

That being said, I know there’s probably plenty more that I’m not seeing, that is still shrouded. But as I’ve said previously, it’s a process. Even if I had come from a healthy background life would still be a learning process, right?

I now have though the space to think about what I can do to take care of myself if I ever find myself in their presence again. Anxiety certainly creeps in there too, when I think about this. But some days/moments there’s a determination at the same time that comes out of the anger.

Disappointment is also part of the equation. The absence of a family foundation is very disappointing, especially when I’ve been walking around blind to my actual role in the dynamic. However it clears up a lot of the mind-fuck, head spinning confusion I was dealing with. Knowing the truth, SEEING the truth clicks on a bright light bulb in my head.

It sucks yeah. But there’s the reality, which has clarified so much of that disarray. It’s been one long continuous sigh of relief, that can also cause forgetfulness of how I once felt and even how I still feel at certain moments.

It’s always more productive to work within reality and know what you’re dealing with than to continue spinning wheels in fantasy.

Anxiety is a nasty part of the equation to which is something I’ve not always been aware of, thinking it wasn’t a problem for me. But that was wrong. Again, it’s something I was just unaware of, despite being able to look back and see my behaviors that indicated it and situations that brought it out of me.

I cannot change my own past behaviors and go back and ‘fight back’, letting them all know they cannot and will not walk all over me. I do resent myself, in that if I’d insisted on the respect, stuck up for myself, I would’ve felt so much better about myself, therefore manifesting that outward in my treatment of others, choices I made and even the intensity of the emotions I felt.

But I think that being said, I could get into a chicken and egg kind of cycle. I was groomed, ‘beaten down’ with abuse as a small child, into adolescence. My brain was forming all kinds of things at that time. It normalized things that shouldn’t be. It formed pathways to lack of self confidence and I was stripped of self esteem. My brain took to a shape that gave me the beliefs of not being good enough, worthy and that everything about me is wrong.

Over the last decade I have slowly become more mindful of my treatment of others. There were times I have been snotty and even nasty believing that if I show my displeasure I could get what I needed, whatever that was and whatever the situation called for. I was being narcissistic. And I could feel the chaos in my mind, the agitation, the impatience toward myself as well as the other.

I find that my anger is more toward myself than toward them in those situations and I’ve done lots of misdirecting. Something I catch myself at and apologize for, when I do.

That behavior may also come from the dissatisfaction I’ve felt about my life. I believe this is also a result of childhood trauma. Making clear and concise decisions about my direction in life and my future, were severely impaired.

I did not have someone who steered me in any sort of direction. I had no one to reel in the reins and I was neglected in many ways. I played alone a lot as a child, I remember. In high school my parents were completely uninvolved in what I was doing in school. And I was able to get away with dating a man 7 years older than me when I was 13 and then when I was 16, I ‘dated’ a man the same age as my own mother.

I wouldn’t call that dating, but used the word for the sake of simplicity.

At 18 I began to binge drink and worked only part time. College was discouraging for the short time I attended because as I said, I had no direction and had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. So at that time I saw no reason to stay in school. And I had no parent speak to me about this decision. I had no support and I was left to feel my own way through despite not having been prepared to do so.

It all led to a chronic anger because I was not able to express a healthy anger. And by the time I’d reached young adulthood, I certainly didn’t even know that’s what I was feeling to induce such behavior. In fact I didn’t even know when to be angry sometimes. For example, I wasn’t hip to when someone was being disrespectful. Boundaries weren’t exactly something shown to me, given me or taught that I even had the right to.

Anger doesn’t feel good, especially when it’s chronic. Chronic embedded anger is different I think than healthy anger. Chronic anger seeps into every part of your life. It destroys relationships, it diminishes chances at having healthy relationships, including with the self. It eats away at the body and brain. It keeps blame right on top, even if it’s justified blame. Chronic anger keeps one in a state of not being able to move forward, feeling that someone else needs to make up for it. An apology is owed. Closure cannot be found from within.

But unfortunately, people like narcissists or other disordered individuals won’t come forth with apologies and validation. So working through it alone is a must if I want to move forward, despite the difficult.

Validation and acknowledgement and even approval is a healthy human need. But the need for those things can run over to the point of becoming pathological, meaning it creates codependence and people pleasing.This can obviously become detrimental and put a codependent in dangerous situations.

This happened to me. My family situation and their treatment of me while my father was dying is a perfect example of how detrimental it can be. I cared more about how they felt in general and what they thought of me more than I did about my own feelings pertaining to the situation.

Playing With Fire Again! REALLY???

If my adrenals don’t get a fucking break I’m never going to recover.  I can’t leave and right now I am so fucking angry it’s more than uncomfortable.

I get angry all the time actually, but a lot of it is about shit that doesn’t matter or is truly futile because it’s about something that will NEVER change. I hate being trapped here. I hate living with someone I don’t trust to learn from previous mistakes, someone who doesn’t pay attention to some of the important shit.  I don’t feel safe.

So just a little back story: In the past, B had burnt a pot after walking away from a tiny bit of water he put on to heat up for tea. And a couple other times he forgot about toast he was making in a toaster oven, one of those times resulting in the toast actually catching fire!

So now at this apartment we now live in, we have a gas stove. I love gas to cook with. I really do. But I also know you need to be fucking careful when you cook with anything.

There are these pieces of round steel that go on top of the part where the fire comes out and they are removable. And if not put back right, (a fairly new discovery for me) the burner does not work. So when I turned the knob today to cook some quinoa, all I got was gas.

As I began to turn it off, the fire suddenly came on and it came out toward me. Scared the shit out of me.  At this point I didn’t realize that piece was on wrong. I just noticed something that looked wet on it. Probably butter from me cooking eggs this morning.

Well, B tried to clean it off by taking it to the sink and cleaning it off with the dish rag. And then when he put it back, he didn’t put it back right. So when I went to use the stove again…well…I already told you what happened.

The reason I realized that piece wasn’t on right and was the reason the fire didn’t go on, is because the exact same issue had happened before. In fact B was right next to me when we had the problem before.

I lost it. I yelled about it and couldn’t stop. I am really sucking at the DBT skills. It was the perfect opportunity for me to walk the fuck away, go outside or into my room and calm down first and THEN go back and talk to him about it. Tell him in a calm way how scared that makes me, which would also be less berating. And I did berate him for not learning from mistakes.

So not only am I angry at him for being careless, not putting that piece of the burner back on right, but also pissed at myself for not catching myself and working some DBT skill.

How the fuck am I supposed to stop myself when I feel the flooding of the threat of danger and then in turn anger? I talked to my therapist about it and she gave me specific things to do, but I can’t even get to the part where I’m supposed to STOP!

The Rage is Real…And Exhausting

I’m really worried about myself and I don’t know what to do. I have so much rage that at some point it’s going to kill me.

Today I went out and, well, first of all I feel terrible anyway. I am tired, fatigued, I’ve gotten so fat in the last few years, I am just not the same person since my family ganged up on me in 2013.

Now that’s not to say that was the cause of all of this. I had rage already and since I’d still not recovered from a break up from a really toxic affair the year before I was already weak and ripe for their pickins.

HOWEVER: That second part being said, about the break up, I was angry long before I met him the first time back in 1995. (Long story, but I had two affairs with the same man. He was married to a different woman each time.) I just want to clarify that the affairs with him, or any other relationship with a man I’ve had, were the cause of such anger. It was caused by the shitty environment and treatment of the adults around me while I was growing up.

So now that we have that out of the way…

I have to figure something out or I don’t think it’s worth staying here.

So back to my outing today:
I want to start at the end though because that’s where the alarming behavior comes in.
I was driving through a school  zone where the lights were flashing to go 15. So I was going 15. I gradually slow down as I come to a school zone so I don’t have to stop or slow too fast. But I swear every fucking time, I end up with an asshole behind me who wants to be in my trunk.

This pisses me off I think more than anything else than I can think of.  But also I’ve noticed the last couple times I’ve raged at/about the incident, there was a build up of other stuff before hand. However, I will say that tailgaters piss me off even if they’re the first stressful thing I come across in the day.  That other stuff though, isn’t anything serious or unusual, it’s like I stopped being able to be out in the world.

Here’s my day:
I went to get my address changed on my license and found out that the area where I have to change that info was not open. So it was a wasted trip. First annoyance. I was counting on getting this one productive thing finally done today. Irritated, but still pleasant to the picture taker people who were there today, it was so forced. The last thing I wanted to be was nice.

So driving away from there I was thinking, “Now what should I do? I’m out, I might as well get something else done.  I know, I’ll stop at the supermarket.” But after being in that parking lot for a little while, I changed my mind and decided to go to another supermarket. Same chain, just a different location.

This other location has a dollar store near it so I went in to get some sunglasses. The sunglasses rack is in a bit of an inconvenient spot near the register and I kept having to move for people wanting to walk down the aisle since there isn’t enough room for two people to pass.  This got annoying.

It didn’t take long to pick out a pair of sunglasses though, because the choices were limited. But then I got in line and the lady behind me wants to be on my heels…or maybe in my butt. I’m not sure. It was getting on my last nerve though.

I can’t stand this. I have asked people to back up in the past and I’ve had mixed reactions. But today I said nothing to this woman.

Once, a woman was standing so close to me in a line that when I went to reach into my pocket, I elbowed her. And then she gave me a dirty look.

“Don’t stand so close and you won’t get an elbow in the rib.” If someone can elbow you while you are standing behind them, it’s a really good indication that you’re too close. Ever hear of personal space?

OK, reel it in, back to today: I get inside the supermarket and it was kind of crowded but not too bad. I was thankful to just be walking inside and not going to the register because there was a very wound up little child running around the register area and I would not have tolerated that very well.

I did notice an old man standing in that same line while that child ran around making all kinds of noise. And he was quite amused with a big grin on his face, which made me smile. It was good to see an elderly man who wasn’t miserable…like my father would have been in that same scenario. And now it looks as though I’m headed in that direction too. 😦

In the produce section, I picked up a couple things and would’ve considered some spring mix in a box if they hadn’t all gone bad. Every single container, the greens were swimming in a swamp. I was disgusted that these would even still be out on display.

At the back of the store, I get this guy behind me and I can hear him back there following rather close behind me and he’s walking at a quick pace…until I stop at the plant milks and he passes me.  Argh! I wanted to trip him.

Over a bit more toward the back corner, I find that the butter I buy went up in price and I’m agitated that I need some before I’m able to get to Whole Foods otherwise I’d wait because it’s cheaper there. I know…it was weird to me too.

Around past the bathrooms, and a woman was exiting the bathroom area with a couple kids and a big cart. So I go slow to navigate and not hit the kids with my cart. And that agitated me because a couple times I thought the one kid who had her back to me would dance out to the middle of the aisle and I’d have to swerve to miss her. Grr.

C’mon mom! Teach your brats how to behave in public. I have no problem with a child dancing around, but when a person with a cart is approaching, that’s when a parent or (the adult with the child) needs to say something like, “Let the lady pass and then you can continue to dance in the aisle.”

Newsflash rude and neglectful adults with kids: It’s your fucking responsibility to teach your kids how to be considerate to others. They don’t just automatically know. And if you weren’t taught, go fucking learn or don’t have offspring to perpetuate the fucking problem.

I got around to the registers and I pick a line and wait my turn. The cashier says to the guy in front of me that she hasn’t had a chance to put her name tag on yet. And I immediately think, “Who gives a fuck?”

OK now I know my mood, which wasn’t this bad when I left the apartment was way in the negative numbers at this point. And it didn’t take long to get there.

The guy though, he was friendly and laughed and said something I couldn’t quite make out. And even that annoyed me. I wanted to smack the grin off his face. And he didn’t even do anything. It was all the stress, rudeness, inconsideration and tailgating that accumulated, that I had no tolerance for anything or anyone.

So then it was my turn. I brought my own bags. There was only a little spot to put the stuff down on after she’s done ringing up each item and she’s not bagging anything. So I do it, while she asks me about the Kombucha I’m buying. “Is it good?” “Is it healthy?” “What’s it taste like?” “Is it something new?”

Not only am I trying to keep track of my groceries and get them bagged, but  I’m also preoccupied with the Access card I have to hand her once she’s done ringing shit up and stops flapping her jaw.

Once she has the card in hand, because it doesn’t scan anymore, it takes the register what seems like a lifetime to, well, register it, while the line gets even longer.

Every time I go to the grocery store I get anxious because I’ve had so many incidents where the cashier is clueless and takes two lifetimes to figure out how to use the card to ring up my order. Supervisors have been called over five times before the thing gets sorted out. Twice I had to go to customer service because the register registered payment even though I didn’t pay. So I had to wait in two lines! Yeah, that was fun.

I’m always projecting impatience and anger from the people behind me and then I try to tell myself that it’s their problem if they get pissed off and impatient, but it doesn’t stave off the anxiety.

This time wasn’t too bad, it was just the computer system being slow and not the cashier.

I returned to my car, feeling tired and looking forward to getting home. It’s pretty much a straight line home, but  it is rare that I don’t have a tailgater on this route.

There is a school zone on the road where they gravitate to me and today was no different.

As soon as I saw her, I started yelling, “It’s 15, I’m not going any faster.” “Back off.” “Why ya gotta tailgate? It’s a school zone?”

I slammed the brakes a couple times to send her a message and cursed her a lot more than that. And wow, was I raging.  There’s a chance to speed up for a while after that school zone, but then there’s a light and immediately after the light there’s another 15 MPH area and a stop sign at every corner through this one neighborhood.  And she was behind me for every single one of them.

She honked at me when she turned off but I didn’t even realize it was her, or that she was probably trying to get my attention until I was another block away.

Duh, I’m sure she had a finger to show me. Just as well I missed it. But then after all that raging I was exhausted anyway. My whole body tenses when I do that and it takes a lot out of me now. I also get heart palpitations when it’s all over.

I’m truly concerned. Things are getting worse for me and I feel like what I’m doing to improve isn’t going fast enough. I feel hopeless right now. And I’m not even angry at myself anymore for reacting that way, especially since it didn’t really effect her much. I know this is coming from somewhere deep. If I’m angry at anyone it’s my family.

I do think this is a boundary trigger for me. My parents, all my life never allowed me boundaries. I won’t go into them specifically here, I’ve written about them before. And it’s not just my parents but my siblings too. Yes, when we were kids they intruded on me but even that doesn’t bother me right now as much as what happened in 2013 when my father was ill.

They fucked with me so much that my mind twisted my subconscious into thinking of my siblings as my parents.

I’ve caught myself verbally referring to them as my parents after thinking about them or even when just thinking about them to myself.

It happens with them separately too. Sometimes when I’m thinking of my brother, my mind will call him my father and my mind interchanges my mother and sister too, even to the point that my mind has referred to my mom as my sister.

It’s fucking twisted. What the fuck am I going to do?
I also think there’s a feeling of entrapment that keeps me raging as well. I’m trapped in a position in life that I never wanted. I have not been able to be my true authentic self and maybe subconsciously I feel like if I had been able to evolve and grow into my true authentic self I would not be in such a position or this lousy narcissistic town to even be tailgated.

I don’t know. From where I’m sitting, the whole family did  some intense damage.

The Dangers of Apathy and My Blog Title

I’ve been in procrastination mode with this blog and pretty much  all other areas of my life. I remember my brother telling me once that anger is good, because it propels you forward. But that hasn’t happened for me. Anger seems to set me back because I can’t think well through the anger.

But today I’m angry and want to see if I can use it to indeed propel me forward in some way.

This blog has been a real issue for me because of fear, because of perfectionism and I think even because of feeling coerced by someone a couple times, whose intentions were good, but she was being coercive none-the-less and I felt as though I was being pushed into something I wasn’t sure of or ready for. Which made me angry.

That being said, for years, I’ve really been wanting to blog. I’ve been wanting to blog about other things besides my abuse though too. And that’s part of where the procrastination comes in. There are many things I could and would like to share. So part of the procrastination comes from not being sure if it would be better to separate all these topics into separate niches/blogs.

But when I think about doing that, not only does it feel overwhelming,  I get into a see-saw match with myself, going back and forth between yes and no. In addition, within that argument, I start thinking I should move all this personal stuff yet again to another blog, start all over,  as a result of feeling unsettled with the name once again.

So…I’m going to do my best to stop procrastinating here and I’m going to keep this blog and just share whatever it is I feel like sharing. Because it’s what I believe I need to do for some healing and getting to know myself again and for the first time.

Back to the topic of anger:
Last night, I realized that Mr. B’s apathy is probably pathological to the point of being dangerous because it has almost set the house on fire in the past and he pulled the same shit last night that almost caused said fire before.

He’d left some bread in the toaster oven (that toasts quickly) and walked away. The toast caught fire. Luckily he was able to put it out before it got out of hand.

When I found out, I was so angry and after I yelled, he promised he’d be sure to never walk away from the toaster oven again while making toast. I was foolish enough to believe him and think this issue was a settled and done deal.

Well, last night he broke that promise. It was more important to check on the cat, to see if he wanted to come inside, than to wait less than five minutes for his toast to be done. The cat won’t have a house to come back into if Mr. B sets it ablaze.

Again, I became angry. And again I yelled about it, wanting him to understand how important the issue is.Ugh! Why I have to explain this to a sixty year old man is a whole other (obviously) sick issue.  And like the last time there wasn’t much emotional reaction from him. The only emotion I saw was a little bit of annoyance when I’d come back to say more after walking away.

And I called him on it right away, “I know it’s an annoyance to you that I’m bothered by this and your apathy. It’s one thing to be apathetic about our relationship and not care about that. But when you don’t care about something that is potentially dangerous enough to burn down the house, you’re gonna hear me.”

I went from being sleepy and ready to sleep to wide awake and raging, with rolling heart palpitations. I was lying there in the dark last night so angry, so disgusted, I realized I could die here, having done nothing toward healing, toward becoming independent, toward no longer feeling trapped.

Mr. B has put our cat’s life in danger in the past as a result of his apathy too.

I’d taken a dog in for someone, upon agreement with Mr. B. His mother, who lived next door at the time, agreed to take our cat (Ozzy) while the dog stayed here. This was an ongoing arrangement with this particular dog because it was too dangerous for this particular dog to be around cats.  The weather on that particular weekend that the dog (Wendy) came to stay, was really nice.

The first morning, Mr. B decided he would eat his breakfast out on the porch with Ozzy. His mom had already let the cat out and after preparing breakfast, Mr. B headed out.  I held the dog while Mr. B struggled with his arms fuller than they should have been.

I asked him to make two trips while I held the dog.But he said, “I’m ok, I got it.”

Luckily I was even in the room to see this taking place because Mr. B does not ask for help so he didn’t speak up in this situation to even warn me and say, “You might wanna hold Wendy while I make my way outside.”

Nope, not one word. I just happened to walk into the living room just in time to grab the dog’s collar and hold onto it while Mr. B stumbled his way outside and while Ozzy sat, meowing just outside the door, under Mr. B’s feet.

The thought of the possibility of Ozzy running into the house while I held a dog that would’ve wanted to give chase and would’ve easily broken away from me, still makes me cringe. Still gives me anxiety and still makes me shake my head to realize how careless and apathetic Mr. B is.

What does all of this have to do with my procrastination in blogging?
Well, what happened last night feels like it may be the proverbial fire I need to do something toward freeing myself. I’m trapped here with him right now and although blogging may not make me the money I need to get the fuck away from him, I believe it is one key to my healing. It’s certainly part of the process.

I’ve wanted to write an “About” page before I really got started here, but I’ve struggled with that. I’m not even completely clear on how to explain why I chose the title and user name Sleeping Tiger. But I’ll try.

My sister was expert at shutting me down, by using things I’d said, against me from previous conversations. She triangulated with my mother against me. Shut me down in the moments when I’ve spoken up about things, given my opinion, even once when I brought a smoothie over to my dad while he was ill.  My sister had stopped by to see my father while I was there. He’d been having some digestive issues and my sister asked him about it and how he was feeling. My father mentioned the smoothie I’d brought him. I said to her from the other room, that I thought it would help with his digestion and it was something he could probably keep down. She turned with daggers in her eyes and flatly said, “Or come right back up.”

My brother is a rage-aholic and took his stress and frustrations out on me so badly I feared making him angry at all.

My mother belittled our agreements and took my sister’s side, scapegoated me, and in fact excused one of my brother’s rage episodes by saying it was just an emotional reaction. She also blamed me for the eggshells we all walked on.

My father, I believed caused most of my issues of fear about sticking up for myself, standing up for what I believe in and speaking out and up overall throughout my life, so I had a difficult time as it was already when the stress hit the fan among my family.

I’m guessing they all sensed the difficulty that would ensue,ike rabid animals and used me to dump all their toxicity into.  Growing up though, I didn’t seem to have much issue speaking my mind to my siblings, standing up for myself, even bullying my brother. I even spoke up to my father in some instances. But I seemed to get weaker as I got older or even in a very short period of time.

It all just seemed to sneak up on me. Which leads me to believe I missed a lot. I was indeed sleeping during the process of certain dynamics being put in place to make it possible for me to be so abused and scapegoated.

But when you develop the characteristics that make you more of a codependent and fearful of other people’s reactions and your siblings become more like scary, raging and even at times violent narcissists, it’s sometimes safer to not fight back.

And then there was the affair I became involved with a few years ago. I took a lot of crumbs and stuck around much longer than I should have. In fact all my romantic relationships were toxic and dysfunctional. And I held my tongue much of the time throughout those relationships too because I was afraid to rock the boat…afraid of abandonment.

In fact, after being with one particular guy on and off for some years, I’d lost myself so much I didn’t even know my own opinions about things. I had been afraid to voice my opinion that I ceased having one them at all and turned to him first to see what he thought or how he felt about things.

Even in many friendships I was a follower, especially with one friend in particular at the age of 13. There were things I went along with or just wouldn’t have done unless following someone else just to be accepted.

After the break up of the affair (and the break down that followed) and then the aftermath of the death of my father and having been closely involved with my abusive family, I shut down. I became afraid to say much of anything for fear it might be inappropriate, or wrong or something that would piss someone off.

I can see it when I make comments on FB. I don’t make the same jokes and I’m very careful to not say the wrong thing.

But it’s time to wake up and say what needs to be said. Say the things on my mind. Tell the story of the toxic sludge I grew up in and then later put up with in other areas of my life.

I hope this makes some sense in why I chose that name. I have been silent on what’s happened to me, although inside I’m roaring. I’ve been fearful about speaking up, however, just because I’ve been quiet (asleep) doesn’t mean I can’t let the people who hurt me know that I won’t let them do it anymore.

A sleeping tiger looks cuddly and cute, but would you mess with it?

Bender and Resentment

cannacolaSo I’ve been on a bender. A bender of marijuana smoking for a few weeks.  Or is it just a couple? Honestly I can’t remember. I got a bunch and just kept smoking til it was gone. Well, actually I threw some crumbs away at the end. But it wasn’t much and it certainly wasn’t before the damage was done.

I’m detoxing now, but I’m agitated and crabby. Not only because of the chemical reaction cannabis has on my body and brain, (although that’s some of it) but also because it stalls any progress for myself in life, in healing and I basically check out for the duration. The time goes wasted.

The resentment that’s already there is even more intense. Resentment. I feel it toward Mr. B, despite the fact I’m SUPPOSED to feel grateful. And I feel that too, but sometimes I can’t bear to be around him. Sometimes my mood changes immediately upon his walking through a door, into a room I’m in. Sometimes, I can’t wait to get away from him and I wish I could just pack my shit and leave.

But, I can’t. Well I could, if I wanted to live outside or in my car.  I depend on him. He pays it all, well most of it anyway. He pays the rent and all the bills that go with a house. I’m a mooch. But I have food stamps. So there’s that.

Thing is, he doesn’t eat most of the food I get because he’s at work most of the time. He eats take out although he keeps it as cheap as he can.However, when I’m busy dulling my pain, I also lose any motivation to prepare healthy food and not only am I binging on weed, but I’m binging on junk food too. So if I could get my shit together and not be so self-centered, I could at least provide dinner for both of us.

But that won’t keep him from eating take out during the day and sweet junk food for breakfast.  It’s probably what’s doing the damage to his short term memory, which gets on my nerves. Probably should have compassion, but the resentment tends to get in the way of that, in addition to the fear of knowing we are both getting older.

I’ve done this to myself though. The pot is an escape and sabotages any sort of progress made previously. I continually keep myself in this place of dependence because I have this need to dull the pain. And then I blame him for it. (That’s what resentment is, right?)

Not right, not logical, but there it is. Should I deny it? No matter how twisted it may be, it is how I feel. I know the anger I feel is heavier right now because of the time I just wasted, AGAIN. And I’m actually angry at me, not him. But he’s an easier target.

He is who he is, and no, if I didn’t depend on him I would have been gone a long time ago.

We were once a couple, a long time ago, but haven’t been for a long time. He is still there for me anyway. Maybe it’s because of guilt that he doesn’t throw me out. Maybe it’s because he’s a push-over (for lack of a better word) that he doesn’t tell me to get a job or get the hell out. Maybe he’s got compassion for me and knows I’ve been trying to get disability benefits.

Thing is, we had a short conversation once and he told me he thinks that the pending case is holding me back from really putting the effort to find work. And you know? I agree. I’m “afraid” to make money, for fear I won’t get approved. And I’m afraid that as soon as I make one dime I will need to pay for health insurance leaving me with no money for anything else. Obamacare.

That being said, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel I qualify for disability benefits. I have PTSD from childhood abuse. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I am worried about my reactions to other people’s behaviors or the lack of my ability to stick up for myself in certain situations, possibly making the job another toxic situation.

But I also feel trapped presently in my situation.

I think if the tables were turned, I’d have kicked him to the curb a long time ago if he didn’t find himself employed in some way. I’m sure I would not have kept my mouth shut about it the way he does, if he just sat home on the computer all day, reading and/or watching videos, not getting anything of any meaning accomplished, being unproductive.

I think I also resent him because he isn’t who I want or what I want in a man. And saying that, I think, “Who do I think I am? Because I’m sure not the woman any man would want.”

And I know that sounds like I want a rescuer, a knight in shining armor. But I don’t think that’s all of it. Given my history and upbringing, that could be, probably is part of it. But there’s more I’m sure.

I’m a woman, so maybe I really did want to be in a traditional role of taking care of a home and raising kids, while the man went to work, preferably ran his OWN business and earned the living.

However, that doesn’t mean that I wanted to be owned, controlled or treated like some second class citizen. It means that I wanted to be a partner of someone who has the same values as me. Me doing my part and him doing his.

Instead I was too afraid because of what I saw in my parents’ relationship and marriage. I certainly didn’t want that toxic dysfunction and I was convinced that it would be that way. So I ran from it.

My values weren’t even a thought. They got lost before I even could develop them and understand what a value was. My life became about running from and dodging pain.

I dated unavailable men, pushed them away while simultaneously pulling them back in. Most of them, were high emotion, so it stands to reason that I end up with someone (Mr B) who has almost none. I needed a break I suppose.

However, there was an affair for a couple years, which was an emotional roller coaster ride and in the end triggered the PTSD I already unknowingly had.

So here I am, at 50, with no direction and no career, not even a job. No husband and no kids. I was not only afraid to raise kids because I feared I’d screw them up and abuse them the way my father did me, but I was afraid of the physical pain of giving birth. So I steered clear.

PTSD, depression, anxiety and no clue where to go or take it from here. And I have to ask, “Why even bother now?”

Here I am living with man I don’t love, who has no ambition, working for a company who won’t pay him what he is truly worth. A company he has been loyal to for over 30 years and they pay him a pittance.

He isn’t likely to get much of a raise whether he asks for one or not, and since he’s not big on communication or talking, chances are good he won’t ask anyway.

Then there’s the living situation and the house. He pays rent to his sister. And it’s a decent deal. But he doesn’t generally talk to her about problems that arise with the house because he’s afraid it will turn into a conversation about us getting out or raising the rent. All the times he’s had any conversation about the house and repairs, it’s been because I’ve said something…more than once.

Despite the fact that we are being kicked out because she’s selling, he still is apprehensive to talk to her about repairs. We have a shower that is now filling up like a bathtub. It has given us issues since we’ve moved in. We’ve had it snaked and plunged by plumbers. Mr. B has done his own plunging and clearing it and it continues to be a problem.  But instead of getting the landlord (his sister) on it, he insists on trying the Drano again.

I also wonder if he just thinks we should live with it since we’ll only be here another few months. I say, “Bullshit,” to that.

We’ll be moving in a few months. But we’ve been here for over 12 years and it was always a fight that turned me into a nag whenever something needed repair or attention.  It wasn’t appropriate for me to go to the landlord because she is his family.

He doesn’t like to ask for help and my annoyance with this was triggered this morning when he had his hands full of something and needed to open the freezer door. Instead of asking for me to open it for him, he has this need to do it himself. Granted, this time, he put the thing down he was holding to open the door. But I’ve watched him from across the room, balance stuff in both hands/arms, while he struggles to open the fridge door. It’s annoying.

Moving boxes of things for the yard sale we recently had, he’d pile boxes so high in his arms, he couldn’t see over them, risking a nasty accident. He hits his head all the time because he doesn’t watch what he’s doing. He told me once that he does it at work all the time because he’s always in a hurry. UGH!

Well, there won’t be any hurrying anymore if you’re passed out on the floor. God, I feel like I’m talking to a child sometimes. When you bend down under something, it stands to reason it will still be there when you get up and you’ll need to dodge it to keep from hitting your head. I don’t understand this at all and it is a source of irritation for me.

One morning, years ago, his need to make it out to the porch in one trip with his breakfast put our cat in danger.

I used to take a dog in, sort of a boarding situation, although I didn’t keep the dog in a cage. I got paid pretty good money for it, which is why I did it.  But we needed to have our cat stay next door with Mr. B’s mother. We always cleared it with her before saying yes to taking the dog, and she always let our cat stay with her. She loved animals and no longer had pets of her own, so, she said, it was a treat for her.

Our cat as an indoor/outdoor cat would still go outside when he would stay with her and come back over to hang out on our porch. One morning, as I sat with the dog in the living room, our cat was out on our porch and right at the door. He was meowing because he wanted treats.

Mr. B wanted to eat breakfast on the porch, enjoy the whether and keep our cat company.

I’ll give Mr. B this: The likelihood of the cat running into the house was minimal. He doesn’t like to come in usually if the weather is nice, for fear we won’t let him back out. HOWEVER: the dog who was dangerous to cats was right inside the door while Mr. B was struggling to get out the door as he struggled to balance plate, bowl and mug of hot tea in his hands.

I was holding the collar of the dog, but there is no way I would have been able to hold onto her (the dog) if the cat decided to come in while Mr. B held the door open for the extended amount of time he needed to, in order to get out the door with too much shit in his hands.

I asked him to please do it in two trips and despite his knowing that the dog would not hesitate to attack and kill the cat if he came inside, Mr. B stubbornly refused.

Nothing devastating happened, but I still get furious when I think about this incident. This is a man who is almost 60 and STILL insists on playing with proverbial fire, making the same stupid mistakes that children learn from and his refusal to ask for help when it would make sense to do so, goes right up my ass.

I know. Look who’s talking. I am by no means perfect and I almost want to say I have no right to feel angry at him or resentful. But feelings aren’t right or wrong, right? They just are. Emotions aren’t logical. (My anger and fury about taking the chance with our cats life though, yeah, I gotta right to that one and have no qualms about it.)

Still, I’m responsible for me and if I want and need something else, it’s my responsibility to go get it for myself, not expect him to give it to me. I know this.

Now that we’re both getting older however, and he in particular is starting to show signs of aging as far as his memory is concerned, (although it might help if he stopped hitting his frickin’ head and stopped eating McDonald’s) I feel obligated to stay, till the end, take care of him, since he’s taken care of me for so long.

resentment

More Than Just Sibling Rivalry

This image is from https://www.doorsmoocher.com/ I wanted to use it because it’s the kind of lock I had at the time of the events that took place I write about in this post. I edited the image a bit by making it black and white as well as brightened it a little.

In my last post I wrote of an example of the lack of my own privacy as a teen. But that stage was set long before that. It can be asked “Why would a small child, prior to the age of 12 really need privacy?” But privacy isn’t just a matter of someone knocking before opening a bedroom door.

My brother and sister started young, taking the liberty entering my bedroom whenever I wasn’t home.

My Brother

When he was a bit older,  (this started when he was 10 and I was 13) my brother would use my stereo.This would piss me off when I’d come home and find him in there. So I’d run up, go in my room and say in a short and curt voice, “Get out.” Sometimes I’d say, “Get out faggot.”
He’d stop what he was doing, gather up all his belongs and quietly leave. I’d just shut the door behind him with no remorse for what I’d just said or how I just treated him.

Makes me want a redo. I feel sad for both of those kids. (My brother and me).
I’m angry at my parents who set us up in certain ways to act like this and even for me to treat him like this. I believed it was normal to be nasty to your brother, even call him names. But now, I know better. I’m angry and sad that my parents didn’t teach us about boundaries and how to respect each other and each others belongings and privacy while we were growing up.

I’m ashamed of my behavior while at the same time feel victimized by my parents in all of this.

My treatment of him makes me feel like I deserved his rage attacks later in our adult life.

When it comes to my brother and me and these types of interactions, I so wish I could go back, knowing what I know now. To have that awareness so that I can be kinder. I think it would change so much about our relationship probably, and also how I feel about myself.

I try to remember I was a product of the toxic and chaotic environment that was my family but it doesn’t make me feel any better about how I treated him or the way things turned out.

My Sister

When she was just a toddler (3 years old) and I was about 9, my sister always wanted to play with my gerbils. One day, while I was at school and she was unsupervised, she dragged a chair to my bedroom door in the hallway, stood on it and flipped the eye-hook lock that was meant to keep my younger siblings out of my room and the gerbils safe from the large family dog.

She of course used no precaution to keep the dog out when she entered, so when she took the lid off and took a gerbil out of the aquarium cage they lived in, it jumped onto the floor and the dog, instinctually stomped on it. Gerbil, dead on impact.

When I got home from school that day, just after I walked through the front door, I could see my mother and siblings sitting on the sofa with somber looks on their faces. My mom was the one to tell me the news. I don’t remember my immediate reaction.

I do remember however, how I felt during the preparation of the burial of this pet. We all kept walking back and forth from the basement to the back yard getting tools to dig up dirt for the grave and make a cross. I remember I was in so much emotional pain. It was overwhelming and a raging anger had built up during all of this walking back and forth. The family dog was right there as well, right along with us. The grief was also overbearing.

At the time I don’t think I was aware that I was angry at my mother for letting my sister invade my privacy that day and many other days before that. I was angry at my sister for causing the death of my beloved little pet. It was her fault this cute little gerbil was dead!

But even without being aware, when I think back on it now, I did know this, deep down I knew it was my mother’s fault. But to show anger toward my mother, to rage at my mother for making this happen, would surely mean abandonment for me.

So instead I got angry at the dog for delivering the deadly blow. I know even more deeply now than I did then, that it wasn’t his fault. But my little nine year old body needed an outlet for all the rage that had built up.

I’m ashamed that I smacked my dog as hard as I could with my little hand, while I tearfully raged, calling him a bad dog. And even then, he continued to walk beside us all, as we walked back and forth in preparation of a funeral for a rodent.

In response to my smacking the dog, my mom said, “I’ve already done that” in a somber and regretful tone.

What I really wanted to do was rage at my mother for not being a mother, for not stopping my sister from going into my room in the first place. I wanted to rage at my sister too. How dare they cause this unnecessary and untimely death to happen.

But I didn’t dare. Not only did I not have the words or understand my feelings of rage and anger at them, to rage at them, would surely mean a certain death for me.

The gerbil incident was one of the most painful events of my life as a child. The loss itself felt unbearable. But in addition to that, I wasn’t able and didn’t feel safe to direct my anger and rage toward the people who actually deserved it.

I’m angry that the opportunity for healthy relationships was stolen from me and my my siblings by not teaching us that all emotions are healthy and OK and that we weren’t nurtured and guided through those emotions to help us understand them as well as how to handle them.