Anger, Sadness, Confusion and Misattunement

I can’t cuddle Frank right now. Actually I can’t even look at him so I threw him off the side of the bed last night. My boyfriend said, “ooh is someone angry with T?” Yes. Yes I am. He asked why but I felt far too vulnerable to tell him. Poor innocent little Frank though.

I am feeling angry but I’m also feeling hurt and misunderstood and rejected although I’m not actually sure why I feel rejected! On top of that I feel some guilt because (and as a reader pointed out earlier) I have a suspicion in the back of my mind that my anger may be disproportionate and misdirected.

Here’s what happened from my perspective:

I left T yesterday and felt instantly uneasy. I felt a mixture of sadness and anger. I later managed to write and realised the feelings (which were quite young) were that I felt I hadn’t “had enough” of T yet before I had to leave her again and be without her for another 5 days.  I cried quite a lot and was really in touch with the sad feelings.

I then decided to reach out and email T to tell her this was how I was feeling. I felt vulnerable doing this because there was a risk that she may think I was being over the top and extreme – it is, after all, only a few days. But I did it anyway and I really hoped she was going to reply and say she understood that it felt it wasn’t enough, that I didn’t want to leave, that I would miss her and that I would soon be back…or in my fantasy that she would tell me to come back on Saturday or something and that she missed me too (obvs I know that wouldn’t happen but a girl can dream!)

BUT

But what happened was that she replied nicely, very kindly – but in my eyes, to me, about the wrong thing. It felt she got it wrong and the anger that brought up in me was pretty scary. I was so angry that she hadn’t “got it”.

It wasn’t about the child bit not having been tended to in session (as she said) it wasn’t that! It was just that I didn’t want to leave her again. I didn’t want to have to go away from her. I suspect there is some transference going on here – perhaps I am feeling something from my past or whatever, perhaps its an emotional flashback.  It feels to me that it is about the break and about missing her and being left alone again already or something. Perhaps I am scared she will be gone too long – I don’t know but what I do know is that it isn’t that the child bit didn’t feel it got what it needed – it wasn’t that. It’s just that I will miss her.

I got so angry because I felt so unseen and T has never made me feel like that before. I felt so much anger that she missed the point – that she had read my writing and was being so misattuned to me – that was so painful. She’s meant to be perfect – she’s meant to be a mind-reader AND she’s meant to just get it and make it feel better but she didn’t and that felt horrific. She made it worse and now I hated her for that. I felt so disappointed.

I shouted “no!!! no!!!!” out loud through my sobs to myself – no, please don’t get it wrong, please don’t make me feel worse, please don’t be imperfect, don’t let me be angry with you. Because she is the only person that I’m NEVER angry with you know? She is the safe person, the safe place. She is the good mother and I don’t want to turn her bad.

 

T has said to me in the past that sometimes in therapy our psyche can distort things to get us to where we need to be. So with that in mind, perhaps I have “made” some anger at T as I need an excuse to direct my anger somewhere? But obviously if that is the case it is unconscious and so it doesn’t FEEL like that.

It could be misdirected and actually be about anger I have towards my mother (I will call her bitchface from now on I think).. but that hasn’t been my style before, so why now?

OR it could be that being angry with T is easier than having to feel that horrible, painful longing for her that I was feeling before she “got it wrong”. I don’t miss her now I’m angry although I am desperate for this to be resolved.

Who knows.

That now leaves me here and wondering what to do for the best. Half of me wants to contact her again, take another risk (although that feels very scary). I half want to tell her that I’ve felt angry since she replied yesterday because it feels she didn’t “get it”. To tell her that it triggered a strong reaction in me of anger and that I’ve felt uncomfortable about it since. To tell her that my response was typed very bluntly (but I wasn’t sure she had picked up on that or not) and as she then hadn’t replied it felt even worse (hello, why aren’t you a mind-reader??).  Oh and that kind regards, best wishes and all other sign-offs were pissing me off too because they felt cold and clinical and that her name and a kiss would feel much warmer (LOL).

Or do I just sit with it and wait until I see her next Tuesday night?

That is potentially safer in that there can be no more misattunement – no more understandings and therefore no more potential anger or sadness to have to deal with BUT the likelihood is that I will push it all down and away and come Tuesday I will feel as though I am “over it” although I probably won’t be and I won’t tell her because I won’t feel it necessary and then and even if I did, the feelings would be removed and it would all feel rather unimportant and small. That doesn’t feel particularly healthy or productive.

What is best, not risking more misattunement and not getting anything resolved or risking more misattunement and more anger but getting some reassurance?

I hate it when these things crop up at the end of the week and then you have to go into your Friday and weekend feeling confused and hurt and upset and rejected. I don’t want to have to carry that all weekend and i don’t seem to be much good right now at “holding” it (if I ever have been).

T has said to me in the past that when my anger comes I may find her emails set me off and that we can’t deal with the anger via email because it can make it worse – she said it almost becomes a case of damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t in regards to responding to a client in that situation and that she may have to reply to say we would speak about it in session – to “bring the anger into the room” – and can you imagine if she did that? IF best wishes set me off, what would that do?

Is there a chance that T IS right? am I misunderstanding my own feelings? Because if I am, then clearly I do not want to be telling her all of this and then look like a total tit! My gut is telling me that she isn’t right but I am now so confused by everything I am doubting myself.

Yeserday in session T said how there will be a part of me that is still hoping my mother will change and I said no there isn’t. She said there will be even if I am not consciously aware of it and I said again, no there isn’t. Not any more. I felt a bit of resistance in me. A little tiny bit of anger I guess – NO I DON’T!!! but I imagine that could be because she is right and I am wrong. Is this the same? I don’t think so, but???

WWWWWAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

 

Ps, bitchface text me about ten minutes after T’s response – can you believe that?

 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Anger, Sadness, Confusion and Misattunement

  1. I agree that your anger is absolutely misdirected. If you add the flashbacks and the break it’s understandable. Have you talked about the flashbacks in session yet?
    Your T is not perfect or a mind reader but she is safe. She can handle the anger and that’s what she is there for. I would be honest about how you feel. May be better on Tuesday though because any further emails may add to your anger.
    I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way 😔x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah we spoke about them in Tuesdays session. I left that session feeling okay, but yesterday’s feeling crap. Its funny that I got through the break without feeling like this but leaving my normal session this happens! So strange.

    I just decided to pluck up the courage and have emailed her my blog above – risky move I know. I’ve told her that I know we can’t deal with it via anger but at least she will know how I am feeling and it gives us both a few days to think about it and let it settle…. I hope I have done the right thing.

    I have no idea what sort of reply she can send that will be “good enough” because obvs she will have to say something in response…. maybe she will just thank me for sending it and being honest with her…. to “be kind to myself”.

    Will she sign it off with best wishes or her name? LMFAO…. xx

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  3. It might be a bit of a delayed reaction to the break. A build up of subconscious feelings. It possibly feels a bit safer to feel them when she is around rather than out of contact.
    It’s not risky. She’s not going anywhere! It feels that way and I would feel the same.
    As long as you’re prepared that you may not get a good enough answer. I’m not saying to ignore you feelings but there’s nothing she could do apart from physically be there which she can’t do.
    Ha! My T uses both. xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s probably a combination of everything too like someone else said. Anger is a huge part of grief.
        Yeah. I would be surprised if she didn’t use a closing greeting type thing and her name. It’s not something that I have thought an awful lot about. At your T has emailed you! Mine said on Wednesday that she would email me and so far, I have nothing! 🤷🏼‍♀️
        How are you feeling today?

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      2. Oh no! Really? That’s really shit so now you’re left waiting for her which isn’t gonna feel good at all. It’s always a horrible reminder for me that they are so much more important to us than we are to them.

        I’m actually feeling really good today LOL!! I feel a bit embarrassed at how fine I feel given the fact I sent her that blog…. like where’s it all gone?

        I’m currently in the hairdressers and I’ve just had my nails done so I’m pretty chilled. Xx

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      3. Yeah. I think she is either testing me or she just forgot because of time. She forgets to reply to her friends texts so it’s not just me! I don’t think it’s intentional appearing not to give a shit. It’s a good excuse not to do my homework which was incredibly difficult!
        I’m glad you feel better. It’s probably because your T now knows where you’re at. Those feelings were real. You have passed it over to the person who can help you. x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I highly doubt she’s testing you, I doubt they would do that to us – it’s too dangerous for them isn’t it koz it takes us so long to believe we can trust them. I can’t see them disrespecting the relationship like that. Totally agree it won’t be intentional! I’m awful for replying to my friends and family by texts etc. I reply much better to peeps on here ha!!
        Yeah I guess it’s koz she is “holding” it for me – her offering me a session really helped even though I couldn’t accept it (damn it!!). I did dream about her last night too which was quite nice really. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m just wondering if she is trying to get me to advocate for myself. Or maybe that’s just easier than the possibility that she did forget. Part of me wants to just ask her and part of me wants to pretend that I have forgotten and that I’m not bothered.
        Ah that’s a shame, but good because she got the message from your blog post! It’s a difficult place to be. It seems like vulnerable anger rather than defensive anger. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yeah I get that totally. I also know the feeling of wanting to pretend you’re not bothered when you are. It’s easier to pretend you aren’t bothered than admit you are koz that makes you feel vulnerable. I would say email again but obvs it’s not me that would potentially not get a response so I don’t wanna encourage you and then you not get what you want or need you know? It’s so hard!!! Xx

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      7. I’ll be emailing her on Monday anyway so I will mention it then. It’s a risk though. I’m not worried about offending her, just the answer. I might not like it. I’m trying to see the this relationship as a way of testing ‘normal’ relationships but a therapist is impartial so their feelings don’t really come into it. It is hard! xx

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  4. Poor Frank 😦 I think sending a copy of the blog post was the right thing to do, so at least you’ll be able to discuss things next week from the point of view of where you are right now. It sounds very painful for you and also confusing. The anger can be about all of it – your mother, having to leave T too soon, Frank being a reminder that T is not there, your boyfriend being right, your hamster eating too loud (sorry, I’m starting to get silly there, but you get my drift) Hope things calm down for you over the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha you’re not wrong about the hamster 😂

      Thank you. Me too actually. Weirdly since I’ve told her all of this I feel soooooooooo much better! It’s as though having told her has taken it away from me and given it to her or something! Cx

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      1. I love that she offered you another session, it’s little things like that that help with reconnection. Shame you had to work though.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think you are wrong and I don’t think your T is wrong. Even if your anger is misdirected it doesn’t make you wrong. I have been in same situation a few months ago and from the inside I felt the same who was wrong? Could I trust myself? I think this is part of the work. You are supposed to be angry and perhaps misdirect that anger. As long as this doesn’t make you wanna quit it’s all part of the work.

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    1. Thank you. Yeah a few people have said now that it’s part of the work for me to misdirect my anger to her but that feels so unfair! Like why should she have to take it? (Obviously I do also understand logically the point is to help me to get it out), it just feels wrong.

      That’s interesting, do you think not knowing if we can trust our own feelings is a common issue?

      Xx

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  6. Hi, I found your blog yesterday and spent a lot of time sobbing through so many of your entries (that’s a good thing..) You are a wonderful writer and have some keen insight into the therapy process. I’ve been in therapy for csa for years and I’m always looking for additional understanding, which your writing provides. But I’m prompted to write because of your latest post. I so feel your anger for your T. I’ve been there many times. What struck me, and excuse me if I’m way off base here, is how great it is that you ARE angry at your T. She is the good mother, yes, but she’s also there for all this anger. Getting it out with her is incredibly scary (it has been for me although mine is a male) but it’s part of the process. I know you don’t want to hear that but I recently (almost) completely lost control of my anger with my T and after I got past how badly I felt about losing it, I understood how important it was/is for my recovery–to have a safe place to let the anger out. Your T seems to be showing you that she’s up to the task and can handle it. So please tell her! Also, those closing remarks, ugh, how I hate them. I told mine to quit using exclamation points, and to quit being so unrelentingly optimistic. I guess somebody has to be because I’m not. Best of luck to you and thanks for what you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow really? That is so lovely to hear. I can’t imagine anything I have babbled on about helping anyone so that really is a compliment. I am touched, thank you!!

      I am so sorry that you have been through csa (and that you are also in therapy)!

      Re this new anger of mine to T, it’s so scary isn’t it? She has mentioned this so many times over the last 3 years but I never believed her, I couldn’t imagine it actually happening and then when it did yesterday I was so shocked!!

      I’ve read/been told that she is there for me to get this anger out on – that it is a phase of my recovery but it feel so wrong. I feel so nasty to want to project anger at T that isn’t her’s to take! Do you know what I mean?

      My T has never let me down before about anything big – so I don’t doubt her ability consciously at least – but yeah I guess anger wasn’t tolerated when I was young and I still feel that I’ll be punished or rejected for it. I can’t even believe I felt it at the moment!!!

      OMG I am so glad you get that too, why does it irritate me so much? Sometimes the “be kind to yourself” or the “I’m holding you in mind” do it too!!!

      Note: I did email her and she ended it with “kind thoughts” LMFAO I think she is trying to wind me up now hahaha xx

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  7. Expressing anger has been one of my biggest issues. Never felt free to express it as a child and still not great at it, except with my T. Nobody except him (well, maybe my husband) would ever expect that I have such deep reservoirs of anger and hate (hiding) inside. I don’t know quite how this developed but I feel like I can be my most awful with him. I think of him as a robot sometimes because not much flusters him–even the anger directed straight at him, which I always think is justified until we work through it. (I don’t always agree with him). My therapy with him has never been easy, after more than a decade (sometimes I think it’s time to throw in the towel with him but then another breakthrough). He’s psychoanalytical, which I’ve read again and again is not the optimum choice for csa, but… I can’t seem to leave him ( leaving is a no-no, or as he says, I’d rather leave than be abandoned, which is absolutely true). I’m even thinking of it this week after our session. I used to have a wonderful “good mother” therapist like yours but 1) we decided I wasn’t making headway with my male issues (my perpetrators were all male) and then unfortunately 2) she died way too young. But I always think of her and unlike him, I know how much she loved me (yes, she said it regularly with big hugs at the end of every session) whereas he is a cold robot! Hang in there. You are not alone and your work is appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s (weirdly) comforting to know your T takes all of your anger without reacting. My T has always given me that message but it never felt it was for me if that makes sense? It felt she was telling me a message that was appropriate for other clients but not for me. I didn’t have anger. I didn’t need anger – anger wasn’t something she needed to worry about with me….. until she did.

      I would ALWAYS rather leave than be abandoned too: who wouldn’t with our wounds?

      Omg I am SO sorry and genuinely sad to hear your t died. I literally have no words to offer about that. It’s absolutely beyond my compassion because the thought absolutely terrifies me!!! You poor thing. I’m so pleased you found another t though!

      I’ve often wondered about the male/female T thing…. my csa perpetrators were male but I have so many mother issues that my female T seems appropriate (now at least).

      I am so jealous of the hugs and the “I love you’s” you don’t even know. Like it hurts my heart that I am potentially missing out on that! But I am so glad and happy that you got it – does that make any sense?? Xx

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  8. I’m hugely late to this post having only just found your blog, but honestly I feel these words could’ve come straight from me. I had an enormous rupture a couple of months back with my T about a miscommunication. It’s like the red hot rage that I’ve never expressed came out. Yikes! I’m bringing myself up to speed slowly with your blog, so hope this was resolved! Thanks for sharing. Makes how I feel seem normal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Welcome to my blog, I’m so glad you found it if it’s helped in any way, that’s really great to hear.

      If you do read any more posts, you’ll see what else happened… but it was resolved and hasn’t happened since (I’m sure it will!!). My t has reassured me it’s actually what we SHOULD do as it’s a release for our repressed anger etc.

      If you related to that, you’ll probably quite enjoy some of my confessions of looking her up on Facebook and finding she has daughters etc – that was another horrific time 😂😂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

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