In session yesterday my therapist and I talked about introducing anger back into my healing and how maybe now is the time (now that I am at a new place in my healing) that I may be able to get a little closer to the one emotion I am feared by the most - anger! I have never done well with anger. I can't even be around someone who is angry or see anger, never mind express my own anger, or even emotions for that matter.
A couple of years ago my therapist and I really worked hard on the anger, and I have done some pretty big work and have shown some pretty big anger right in session to be seen, but there were still many many walls getting in the way of allowing myself to truly heal the anger - not just expressing the anger.
We left the anger alone for a while, in fact a lot of my work got derailed in the past 2 years due to many hard obstacles I have had to endure over the past couple of years, but we left the anger alone for a while; waiting for another part of myself to be ready for that, and my therapist thinks that right now is the time to let that anger be touched on again - but at a different level.
When we talked about this yesterday I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with fear; fear in realizing that maybe he is right, maybe I am ready for the anger!? My ears get hot even thinking about it.
Last night, hours after our hard session my therapist called me on his way home to check in and to create a connection. We talked for a few moments about the hard session we had, and we talked a little more about the anger and how this will be a way to let go of some of the heavy heavy anger and emotions that I hold that is not only effecting me emotionally but physically my heart as well. "It's time Karen" he said. "it's time we dig a little and get those toxins out".
When we hung up I felt a weird sense of hope and fear at the same time.
As I went to bed I thought more about what he has said, and I fell asleep with that thought, and what I woke to was me struggling to get out of my sleep, screaming out loud "DAD!! HELP ME! DAD HELP ME!, PLEASE HELP ME!!"
When I woke and realized I was having a nightmare, I was stunned by the visions I had just seen.... It was the face of the man who raped me when I was 12 years old, and just how much that rape was where I saw the eyes of anger the most, and it was that day that I saw anger as something I never wanted to see or even feel!
It was the day I fought off anger! It was that day I saw anger in the eyes of a sick and soul-less man! It was the day that caused me to fear anger for the rest of my life. It was the day the lies ate away at any belief I had left as a child.
I saw anger all around me my whole childhood. My father had his anger! I saw my brothers and their anger! I saw anger in the abuse I endured and the many belt whippings, but never did I see anger like the day I was raped by Bill; my fathers best friend who showered me with love for months and months before he lured me in and abused me with wounds and scars so deep that even 30 years can't fade.
In the dream last night I saw the eyes of that angry man.. I felt the anger in the dream, and I also felt my FEAR screaming out to my father for help, because how could my father put such a person in my life who could do such a horrific thing to me? Just like the day it happened, no help showed up! I struggled out of the dream just as I struggled through the rape.
Waking up to that dream showed me just how much I need to be with my anger, and how much a part of that is suffocating a part of who I really am underneath the pain and wounds that I still have.
It's not just the anger from my past, it's about all the anger the I hold.
This dream allowed me to look into the eyes - one last time of the man who raped me and to face that anger and say "you may be there in my dream, but this dream is really about "permission" - MY permission to heal the anger I was never allowed to have, and the anger I feared my whole life because of that horrific abuse forced upon me.
This dream was the voice inside telling both me and the young me "its OK, its time for this anger to find its way out of the covered wounds, and heal the way it needs to be healed"
It was extremely hard to move through the morning since waking up to those images. Everytime I shut my eyes I could see the eyes of that man who took away a huge part of who I could have been. He wounded me into believing that I will never have power over my emotions; that I am owned by the actions of others.
Those are the messages we are working so hard to reverse.
I will be honest when I say that I struggle with the thought of working with this anger, because not only is there anger from the adult part of me, but there is a young me inside; the victim of this horrible abuse and rape that I was put through and its "her" that holds the most anger, it's the adult part that is terrified of it.
I believe that those voices and images that show up in times like this, are the center of a constant circle path of healing.
Whatever shape your path takes, there will always be a core - a center to where you sit and look at everything you have faced before you, and its in that moment you have the empowerment to heal the deepest wounds, because of the strength you gathered along the way.
As horrible as that dream was last night, I needed to look in the eyes of the heartless man who stole whatever dignity was left of the young me who was already surviving the life she was enduring, and now its time to bring her back to life and heal her whole - anger and all.