LET YOURSELF BE ANGRY

June 1, 2018

Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been struggling quite a bit with feeling like I could be stuck in a place of sadness that won’t get any better. Some days it feels like I’ve reached a plateau in my healing process, and those days have been really hard. I want to continuously feel better all the time, but that’s just not been my reality.

I went to counseling this morning, and we talked about the specific emotions I’ve been feeling lately. Sometimes I feel weak for still needing to go to therapy as much as I do. But, I think it’s really important to note that seeking help is not weak — it’s actually one of the strongest things you could do when you’re in a season of pain. I know that there is still a bit of a stigma surrounding mental health issues and seeking help for them, so it can be hard for people to talk about. But, I know that there are more people struggling than we realize. That’s why I am so open about the fact that I go. I have to remind myself that I have emotions like every single human on the planet, and right now I’m going through an especially hard time. Sometimes you just can’t deal with it on your own. Right now, I can’t. It’s good to be able to open up to someone and gain insight that you may not have had before. Therapy is great! Everyone should go to therapy!

A bit of a side note. Anyway.

My counselor asked me about what my overriding feelings have been. I told her that throughout this whole thing, sadness and confusion have been the most prominent. She asked me how often I get angry (in regards to the situation), and when I thought about that question, I realized it hasn’t been much.

I’ve been angry at God, for sure, and I’ve been angry at others who have invalidated my feelings in some way. But, I’ve never really directed that anger where I have every right to be directing it.

I think I’ve avoided getting angry about my situation for a few different reasons. One of them being that I still have hope for this situation — no matter how slight it may be, it’s there. For some reason, I’ve felt like if I get mad then that means I’ve let go of the hope I have in a way? I honestly don’t know how to explain that thought, because it really doesn’t make much sense. But, in my head I’ve felt like getting mad about what’s been done to me is essentially implying that I no longer hope for the situation to change for the better. Which is very much untrue.

Another reason that I think I’ve avoided getting angry is because I really don’t want to victimize myself. I don’t want to adopt a mentality of self-pity because I know that will never help me move forward, and I’ve always hated when people act like they have no control over their negative situations. Because, most of the time, we do have some form of control over some part of our situations. I’ve felt pretty powerless over what I’ve been going through for the past few months, but I’ve definitely been taking control where I can. I know that I’ve had a choice to move forward or stay stuck in a low place, and I’ve been doing my best to choose the better option every day. I think I’ve just assumed that getting mad about the ways I’ve been wronged would keep me stuck, so I’ve pretty much avoided it entirely — even when it’s been warranted. In many ways, I’ve minimized what’s been done to me and at times I’ve even downplayed my emotions to avoid putting any kind of blame on anyone else, because I thought that was wrong to do. Instead of getting upset about the feelings that I have right now that were caused by the actions of someone else, I’ve tried to find ways to justify those actions and ultimately have put so much blame on myself for having negative feelings. I’ve told myself that I’m just too sensitive, or that I must have had a wrong view of my situation all along to feel as hurt and betrayed as I do now.

I’ve been so unfair to myself. My counselor pointed this out to me today, and I realized that she was completely right.

Just as it’s important to take blame where warranted, it is equally important to recognize where you do not need to take blame. I’ve had a hard time seeing the line between the two.

My counselor told me today that maybe one reason I may feel like I haven’t seen much noticeable improvement in myself in the last month or so could be because of the fact that I’ve been more sad about my situation than angry. I haven’t let myself see this situation for what it really is in some ways, and she implied that if I viewed things a little differently, maybe it would help with my healing.

I’ve been treated poorly, I’ve seen big promises broken, and I’ve been forced to figure out how to move forward after feeling so sure of something for so long — none of those things are my fault, and it’s okay for me to be mad. My natural reaction when thinking about this situation is to cry, honestly, because it still really hurts. It’s still so hard to think about. I still want things to be different. I still feel lost. But, my counselor encouraged me to try and think about my situation from a different perspective and to allow any emotions that may come with that.

I can be mad because of what’s been done to me. I can be mad because of the way I’ve been treated. I can be mad because I know that the Lord can turn a situation around but I can’t make anyone else see that. I can be mad for a lot of different reasons.

There’s a part of me that feels like I shouldn’t even be saying these things, but I know that it’s because I’ve spent so long not allowing myself to be angry about things that I am completely entitled to be angry about. I’m definitely not saying it’s okay to turn hateful and start blaming other people for every bad thing that you’re going through, but I’m realizing that it is important to recognize when something isn’t your fault, and it’s important to react accordingly in that sense and recognize that anger is just as valid of an emotion as sadness. 

Anger definitely doesn’t override the sadness I still feel, but it helps me not to turn so much onto myself. I have enough of a burden from grieving what I’m grieving as it is. I should not spend all of my time feeling sad and ignoring the fact that I’ve been wronged in ways that I should not have been.

It really hurts when things change or people change in ways you never expected. It really hurts when you have no control, and there are a lot of things in life that we really don’t have any control over. But, it’s good to remember that the emotions we feel as a result of our hurt are all completely valid. We do have control to let ourself feel those. Sadness is not the only emotion we’re allowed to feel. Sometimes, anger needs to be embraced, too, and that’s okay.

Let yourself be mad if someone hurt you. Let yourself be mad if someone lied to you. Let yourself be mad if someone promised you something that they went back on. Let yourself be mad if you need to! It’s important to really feel all of your feelings. It might not make the situation better, but at least you are being real with yourself.

Remember, God knows where you’re at and he knows what you want. He knows if you’ve been hurt, and he knows that there are so many emotions that come with that. It’s okay to get angry. It doesn’t change what he’s doing. Maybe he has plans to restore your relationship with the person who wronged you, or maybe he has plans to help you grow from the pain you’ve experienced that was caused by another person. The outcome can only be good. I’m trying to remind myself of this every day.

In the waiting for whatever God is doing, though, feel what you need to feel. He is right there with you through every wave of sadness, confusion, and anger.

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