Anger

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sure there is more at the foundation than just anger, but that's what seems to dominate when I am experiencing too much stress. And these days, too much stress is anything that doesn't go as I expected it to or something/someone stands in my way of accomplishing something.

I know my reactions are over-the-top, and I know they are often irrational. I just don't know how to manage them, how to respond "normally" and appropriately (or better, so that I am ok with them).

Today is a good example. I have three things on my calendar to do today, so it's a busy day. The last thing is a doctor's appointment, and I am terrified and hugely anxious about going. Although my original trauma(s) were not medical-related, I have had several (to me) traumatic episodes involving health care providers to the point where I don't trust any of them and I'd rather lie on my couch for weeks and in pain with a broken bone than go to the doctor.

So, the middle thing today was therapy. We're doing online right now - and I'm not sure we'll ever get back to in-person - and we were not able to connect today. Something wrong with the program he uses. He called me - which I found suspect, because he used as a reason not to call me some time ago that he didn't have my number anymore - and said he didn't know what was going on, but we could use Zoom, if I wanted, or just do a check-in.

I was so angry. I know it has, at least in part, to do with my not wanting to go to the doctor and my feeling like we can't work that through beforehand (although truthfully, he's never seemed too concerned about it, even though he seems to understand where it comes from). Maybe it's the frustration that I wanted to get help with it and knew I wouldn't even if we did talk. I don't know.

It's one small example. Happens to me a lot in a lot of different situations. Even if there is a "fix" for whatever is the issue that causes the upset, it's like it doesn't count or I can't proceed because everything has changed.
 

grit

Not Active
Is it anger or another feeling? I am asking because you said there is more to the anger foundation. The example you provided sounds like people are accommodating you knowing or not knowing your past 100% as you do but they are engaging you in helping hand. This is my perspective of course.

I find if I give too much attention to a feeling, it grows exponentially and I lose time.

For me, I do not give a lot of weight to feelings other than they are telling me to be alert about something cause they come and go so much....I cannot depend on them for my life cause again they are fleeting.

What I do, I try to focus what is my state of mind (overarching mood) that seems to affect a longer periods of time or with more people/context or is more consistent in some ways - all internally - I do not act out and invest muscles and body to make it real!

I too have trauma of violence and anger is one of my often first feeling to show up when I am wronged, or my boundary crossed or insulted or slighted. but I find when I feel state of hating (masquerading as I do not care) or apathic (showing up as dismissive or blunted senses or dissociated) , or depressed (lethargic and physically unable to move), then I take a closer look to understand.

What I do usually is to try, as best as I can and as reasonably as I can, to understand it temporally. What is now and what is then. I can be hating and apathic but will still go to work, engage people and feel so disconnected but stay reasonably interacting. I do not fight it and try to understand it but also I sort of accepted that growing up in so much violence, I may never know any other way so that sort of accepting gives me space to see the reality of today - I am not in violence situation now! and my body relax.

I think if you can space out the foundation of the anger and the situation at hand out loud or maybe even sharing with another human you are in contact with (i.e. the therapist), I wonder if that activity may break the linkage of the past and the present. I find myself the singularity of the past feelings/ state of mind collapsing with the present is exactly what causes me the above states of negative and heavy moods ---- and I hate it! see there I go again but I try to parse it through the difference of time...life long habit! works most of the time and when it fails, well, I am human.

editing - adding two things: if you can challenge the belief this has anything to do with this doctor - that may help. cause you know they are not the same people who hurt you! and the fact you feel things change at the end, that sounds splitting...sounds like using pro and cons may help your both sides of the brain to align and reconcile your feelings.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Is it anger or another feeling?
Thank you for responding.

It's very hard to separate the anger and all the rest. I think, though, that it's a combination of betrayal (very real and not imagined in some cases, but it seems to now be what I expect because it's has happened so much), violating my boundaries (again, something that has happened so many times I can't count), and hurt. Sometimes, it's a very small thing that happens because the person doesn't know me. Those are the times I really wish I could get under control, because they happen a lot. (at other times, many, many times, it happens with someone who does know me).

he example you provided sounds like people are accommodating you knowing or not knowing your past 100% as you do but they are engaging you in helping hand.
Yes, sometimes. My T, for example.
I find if I give too much attention to a feeling, it grows exponentially and I lose time.
Yeah, I get this. There is no time between when it happens and my reaction, though. It comes so fast that I'm in a really bad place before I even realize it.
What I do usually is to try, as best as I can and as reasonably as I can, to understand it temporally.
And I actually do this. After. I try to understand what it was that triggered it and why I reacted as I did. I just can't figure out how to slow down the reaction...today something else happened, and I cut.

The feelings are so intense.
 

grit

Not Active
I am sorry you are having difficult time. I wish I had the right words but just know I hear you out here somewhere in the world and you are not alone!
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I am sorry you are having difficult time. I wish I had the right words but just know I hear you out here somewhere in the world and you are not alone!
Thanks, @grit. Today is a better day, so far. One of the things I am learning is that I *really* need to fill my time with the things that are the most important to me. It seems to make the hard stuff easier, or at least it helps the difficult feelings pass quicker.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Happy to hear today’s a bit easier, @whiteraven . Something that has helped me with this though is "do the opposite" DBT skill. It sounds gaslighty because it’s basically acting the opposite of what your feeling is pushing you to do. But in cases like here when you know you’re missing the right target of the anger, it might do the trick. Like, if you feel angry, physiologically do stuff that is the reverse of being angry.

Like clenched fists and teeth > open hands and relax your face
Frowned brows > relax forefront
Racing thoughts > envision something slow and peaceful
Getting louder or more accelerated > soften your voice tone, speak slowly, envision something nice
Aggressive thoughts about someone > envision something quiet and nice, distract the attention from the thoughts as to cut not with the attack of the feeling if it’s too fast, but the subsequent dwelling.
… or whatever happens to you when you’re angry.

Gradually it’s easier to apply the skill.

I apply it more for when I’m getting in depressed stupor.

I hope this might help. It’s really not easy to do and it has the thing that you have to accept not that your feeling is wrong, but that right now, it’s not being effective. That’s the whole DBT yada yada. It works. Not all times. It’s like a muscle. It’s hard.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Like, if you feel angry, physiologically do stuff that is the reverse of being angry.
Thank you...this was really helpful. It reminds me a bit, though, of all the "fake" smiling we are expected to do as women or when we are growing up. I know it's more than that, but...

I'll give it a try!
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
It reminds me a bit, though, of all the "fake" smiling we are expected to do as women or when we are growing up. I know it's more than that, but...
Yeah I really get that. I myself had quite a lot of problems with it at first but if you take the whole rest of DBT you see it really isn't the purpose. The whole thing is while you're validating your feeling "like, okay, I'm profoundly mega pissed right now and I understand why, but is this the right moment, the right target, or do I really want to sink rock bottom into that feeling and landing enraged for X time?" / Are there more effective ways to deal with the reasons that have made me angry?

That said, when you see how women and men are socialised statistically we lash out much less precisely because of that pressure. I think women have the complete capacity to be as violent as men but while men are quite encouraged to have more aggressive and demanding attitudes, it's the reverse for women. And it shows. So training does work.

But if you're interested in the rest of DBT I'll really suggest you to take a look, there are quite a number of good books around and the first part is to acknowledge and be okay with your feelings even when they're difficult and cuckoo. With the rest of the principles in mind the forced aspect of this precise skill doesn't feel that forced. It's a bunch of methods designed for helping with fast moving, contradictory feelings in situations where having that isn't effective. Like in safe situations.

You'll see how it works so :-)
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm sure there is more at the foundation than just anger, but that's what seems to dominate when I am experiencing too much stress.
Ever done any work with >>> The Iceberg Of Emotions
I know my reactions are over-the-top, and I know they are often irrational. I just don't know how to manage them, how to respond "normally" and appropriately (or better, so that I am ok with them).
that's what seems to dominate when I am experiencing too much stress.
So there’s anger management... which is it’s own thing & hugely useful... but jumping back to basics, for a moment? Since your stress cup seems to be topping off... what are you doing to vent the stress & give yourself some more room to work with?
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
The whole thing is while you're validating your feeling "like, okay, I'm profoundly mega pissed right now and I understand why, but is this the right moment, the right target, or do I really want to sink rock bottom into that feeling and landing enraged for X time?" / Are there more effective ways to deal with the reasons that have made me angry?
This makes sense. Thanks for sharing that!
But if you're interested in the rest of DBT I'll really suggest you to take a look, there are quite a number of good books around and the first part is to acknowledge and be okay with your feelings even when they're difficult and cuckoo.
I think we did this a long while back, but maybe I'll revisit. I seem to have a very hard time sticking with one thing/following through. That's not just with therapy stuff, but with everything.
Ever done any work with >>> The Iceberg Of Emotions
No! Thank you for the link. I somehow missed this and will take a look...
Since your stress cup seems to be topping off... what are you doing to vent the stress & give yourself some more room to work with?
Hm...until recently, I was walking (a bit - I have a lot of pain and can't walk too far for too long), spending time out in nature (the best thing for me in any situation), taking lots of pictures. I love walking in the woods or around the lake, love exploring and seeing new animals.

I guess I haven't been doing much of the stuff that helps lately. It's been super hot - I get bad headaches in the heat, so avoid it as much as I can - and I think that has added to the depression already there. I haven't even been sitting on my patio much; birds are dying here, so we had to take down the feeders. It's very quiet now.

I *have* started - yesterday - working through a druidry course, taking some time out of each day to read and do some journaling. Since that is all about nature and creativity, it might help get me back out and focused. Yesterday, I worked through it all on the patio, and it was nice being outside. Also, I'm going to be joining the Order - and communicating regularly with like-minded people. That will surely be beneficial.

Thank you for your response!
 
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