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Rage, and validation antigua

Posted by Larry Hoover on April 7, 2005, at 9:40:47

In reply to Re: I don't know where else to post this, so..... Larry Hoover, posted by antigua on April 6, 2005, at 11:12:21

> Sounds like you've found a good way to handle it. I'm still looking. Part of my problem is suppressed rage--I can get outwardly anger at regular things in life (husband, kids, whatever) and keep those in line (usually). The couple of times that I've been majorly triggered, like you said, I haven't figured it out until afterward, but blindsided is the right word to describe how I've felt.
> My biggest problem is that I can't let the rage out. It's all internalized. So part of me is really stressed about when I do blow, will I just lose control entirely? That's my resistance, of course, but I don't get Brownie points for just knowing; someday, hopefully, it will come out and I can begin to heal. Maybe I can heal w/o it, but I really don't think so.
> antigua

I remember that, worrying that the dam would break. I don't worry about that any more.

I think it's a stage in healing, to be where you're at. You know you have a dam, or some solid container, for the old rages. You know that it has outlets, just like a dam, that are controlled.....opened and closed as needed. You've developed what we call a schema, a mental picture of how that part of you is. You're ready to apply it to real experiences, but you haven't managed that (consistently), YET. (I love the word "yet". It's a hopeful word, and keeps me from dwelling on past limits. It lets me look forward, to future opportunities.)

What has come, for me, from that image of a dam holding back the floodwaters of rage, is the perception that I have the control to release rage in appropriate amounts. They open and close floodgates on real dams, and so can I. Most of the time, that image of controlled release works really well.

The thing you have to do is to notice that rage is coming from behind the dam (I mean, in real time, it's happening now).....spilling over the top might be an image that works. Instead, you decide to draw down the floodwaters, by opening one of the floodgates, to make it a controlled release.

My picture is that the triggering experience needs to be addressed in some measured way (it was meaningful, whatever it was), *and* I can personalize the interaction based on my history, by addressing the rage coming out.

Let's say, somebody fails to validate my feelings. I've put myself out there, and I feel that I have been dismissed or trivialized. It's perfectly okay to bring that up. An objective observer would agree this is an issue to resolve. But also, based on my own personal history, I can add to the discussion that I am particularly sensitive to this issue (toss in a squirt of rage from behind the dam). So, I give a measured *personal* response to the triggering issue. And in so doing, I validate myself. My rage is valid. It always was, or I wouldn't have it.

Now, the incident that related to my initial posting was a dam overflow event. (Must have been a storm, yonder, up the valley. ;-) ) But, I think I quickly got the management of the dam back under my control.

What I've found, over time, is that there is less ragewater behind my dam. (Comments about Hoover Dam, or Dam Hoover, insert here.) In fact, the dam itself seems to shrink in proportion to the ragewaters I've been able to release, in a measured way, under my control. That is true because of the self-validation, in my opinion.

That's the dam/rage schema, according to Lar.





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