The Missing Piece
As I am working through all these dreams I have been having (and there continue to be a lot), I have had this vague sense of anger for the past month. I talked to my therapist about it today and she assured me that it is not uncommon for adults sorting through their childhood traumas to feel this way. To just be fucking angry.
And I’m OK with the anger actually. Its better than the terror that used to come so often. Anger is empowering. But it’s also hard to control.
So I turned to my therapist for help because I feel like Declan is getting the short end of the stick. Sure, he’s been a bit of a pill himself lately too but he’s the last person who should be paying for the crimes of my father from 30 years ago.
How can I work through my anger, not repress it like I have done all these years – but not hurt my very sensitive son in the process? My son who can tell when I am an angerball and is starting to get preemptively twitchy around me?
“Share it with him,” she says.
“Not in the hurling-anger-at-him way of sharing – but just tell Declan openly when you are having a bad day.”
I do that, I tell her.
“Ahhh… But do you make sure to tell him it’s not his fault that you are angry?”
That’s a really great point. I need to make a point of it as well,
She’s smart, that one.
It’s hard but it’s amazing how much those little heads understand. I usually tell Joshua and Maddie I’m not happy that day. They’ll ask me why and I’ll tell them I’m just feeling grumpy, like they do sometimes and that in time I’ll be OK. They get it most of the time.
That makes sense!
I’m sorry you have (and had) to go through all that stuff. I hope you feel less angry soon!
It’s so important to trust him with your emotional life, but so hard to know how not to burden him with it… it’s an incredibly fine line. It gets more defined as he gets older, though, and (especially as a boy) he’ll benefit from the experience…
It sounds like you’re being incredibly sensitive and conscientious. Keep at it.
Ditto doodaddy. It is a fine line.
I think all of us can take a little something away from your post today. Thank you.
Thanks all, Therapist also said that since kids, especially kids Declan’s age think they are the center of the universe they will often internalize any tension they feel around them… as in “What could *I* have done to make her mad, since *everything* is about me?” So, she said that talking to him that my anger has nothing to do with him also teaches him a good life lesson that not everything is about him.
I love your therapist!
i have that same stuff well up on me. i think it’d be even harder with a child.
Oh no, Bryan. It’s *always* about you.
I was like that, too, and it took me years to get things worked out. I was finally able to say things to my kids and it opened up a whole new chapter – for me and for them. Smart therapist you have there!
And all this time I thought I was the one making you mad.
I’m starting to feel a little better now, too!
Your therapist rocks! What a fabulous suggestion and it makes so much sense. I hope it helps both you and Declan.
(I’m in the process of compiling a post about the horror that was MY therapist, so really, thank your lucky stars you’ve got the one you have).