Where Do You Hold Anger?

My therapist asks me where I experience certain emotions in my body. Anxiety is in my neck and shoulders. Sadness twists my stomach. Stress sits on my chest. 

I never thought about anger until today. I didn’t have an answer until after my post-therapy walk. 

I hold anger in my eyes – piercing, scrutinizing. If looks could kill, I’d be a murderer several times over. 

I hold anger in a clenched jaw, tight lips pressed firmly together, teeth literally biting my tongue into submission. 

I hold anger in my throat – burning with the equal desire to choke me into permanent silence or release a never ending, agonizing scream. 

I hold anger in my hands – clenched so tight that half moons are creased into my damp palms. Fists shaking, itching to make contact with a person, wall, or my own body. 

I hold anger in locked knees and firmly planted feet that urge me to fight instead of flee. If I flee I prove my worthlessness. But if I fight, I prove my self inflation. 

I am always ready to fight or run. I’m waiting. So, anger is always with me. Even when it isn’t at the front, anger is keeping me safe. 

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Day 9: #30pages30pics

   
I decided to leave as much of my armour as I could at home today.
Wearing makeup gives me an extra layer of emotional defense in my sessions because I don’t want to look obviously emotional if I, say, cry. But today I left it all off my face and entered therapy with willingness and hope if not my usual anxiety.
My therapist reminded me that he is on my team and here to back me up as I untangle my webs and learn to value my emotional needs. 
It’s hard to hear that some one is there for me – hard to trust it – but it’s really nice to hear. 

Day 2: #30pages30picsĀ 

  
Therapy is a space full of unknowns. I’m confronting trust issues and their link to gender and sexuality. This also includes my therapist/client relationship. Today he left me with the question of what do I need from him as we go forward. 
I never know what I need from anybody. I know what I want – but want is about control – need is about asking.

What does it mean to trust someone?

“Do you trust him?”

I am at a loss for words. L’s question strikes right to the core of a silent struggle I wage with myself every week in my therapist’s office. I stammer. I’m silent. I think. 

“I like him,” I say. “I want to trust him.” 

Last week I struggled to connect to emotions of joy for fear of my sadness. I’m hitting my wall. It’s the wall that I keep between myself and any intense emotion that has potential to hurt me. I spend a lot of time avoiding any expression of intense emotion so that I can always seem neutral, cool, calm and totally together on the outside. Meanwhile, I’m screaming in agony inside. 

What does it mean to trust someone? To trust my therapist? My partner? My friends? My family? What does trust look like?

I hesitate to say that I fully trust anyone. Part of what I am working on is to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. I want to stop living in survival mode and find out what it means to thrive. Because survival mode is killing me. I’m always in edge. Anxiety is destroying my body and mind. I figure resiliency can only take me so far before this way of life really starts to show deteriation. 

When I’m surviving I know that I can’t really trust anyone – not even myself but I’m the closest I have. Living this way is lonely and sad. But oddly safe. I don’t allow vulnerability to be part of my life, which I am noticing places my emotional self into a choke hold. 

I’m scared stupid about allowing vulnerability into my life. And I’m not sure how to make myself trust my therapist or anyone else for that matter.