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Love and anger

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Hopeful917, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Hopeful917

    Hopeful917 New Member

    Due to being bed ridden for the last three weeks and few days, I've constantly been pondering why I may have so much repressed emotions.
    Finally today, seeing my mother today gave me some insight as to why I cannot release my emotions.
    I've always been protective of my mother. Even when I was young I always saw her as someone not at strong as I was and in need of help. This is probably due to her struggles with depression throughout my adolescent years. My sister and I knew that she could not be bothered with other problems but her own. There had been times when I was scared to death that she may not be home when we returned back from school. Over the years, The Lord blessed her and she's doing much better. She just came by to bring jars and jars of food to last me through the week so that my husband won't need to do any cooking. Of course, my sister was the chauffeur to my house.
    I love my mom dearly. She has so much love for both my sister and me. However, I'm angered by the fact that I cannot let my self be of anyone's concern or worry. I feel bad but I think growing up in my mother's house has something to do with it. Growing up, I had to be extra cautious, be extremely well behaved, never get in trouble to be unnoticed and unseen. Even when I had an acute pancreatitis and was hospitalized for six days and had to have my gallbladder removed, I didn't want my mother knowing until the day I was scheduled for the surgery. I knew she'd be upset if I didn't tell her but at the same time, I didn't want her agonizing over a week over my condition. Her agony will further put me in distress.
    My husband has been very instrumental in helping me understand that families and loved ones are there to worry, love, and share the burden of hardship with you. He's been trying to tell me that loved ones can and will happily share the burden of hardship.
    Of course I didn't tell my mom that she unknowingly encouraged my repressed emotions but rather I repeatedly told her that I love her and will heal soon. I don't need to tell her anything more than that. I just need to acknowledge these things to myself. Hopefully this will take me one step closer to healing.
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    You have all the knowledge as what to journal about. When you finish your pressures journaling then remember to end the journaling on a good note or even find yourself another journal and journal a good memory for every bad memory you experience. You will notice that this will help you soothe after you have faced your repressions.
    Welcome aboard and Bless you
    Lavender and Hopeful917 like this.
  3. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi hopeful,

    I think you've shared some very powerful insight here. Many of my clients have faced a similar dynamic: the presence of a family member whom they feel they have had to censor or protect from emotion and disruption. While this is often undertaken through love and care, when we censor ourselves and feel that our emotions are dangerous it can create powerful messages to our subconscious that result in repression. Being able to see and understand this dynamic and how it plays out personally is a powerful achievement so please remember to give yourself credit!

    One way you can help to undo this emotional "training" that you have put yourself through is to works taking a loving and caring stance toward yourself. Give yourself the unconditional love you deserve. The message that you took on as a small child was that your feelings and needs were not important as something external (your mother). It is now time to acknowledge and legitimize your feelings as being important! This is something that will take practice. You won't simply be able to start accepting and feeling all these things right away. Just like exercise, you can't go out and do a marathon the day after you decide that you want to start running. So have patience with yourself and acknowledge all the hard work you are putting in! My mentor Alan Gordon breaks down this process very succinctly in the Part II of the TMS Recovery Program. If you aren't familiar with it, you can find it here: Part II
  4. Hopeful917

    Hopeful917 New Member

    Thank you for your kind words and the link to Part II. You are so right. It took 30 years for me to learn the things I've learned, I need to be patient to unlearn those things. I need to tell myself that things can't be unlearned overnight, although I wish I can.
    I've always kept myself distracted from feeling bad, sad, mad, angry but now I need to give myself a chance to feel all those things out and not deprive myself of the emotions that are in need to be felt.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Alex, I wonder if you could give some advice on guilt regarding caregiving my mother.
    I tried real hard to be her only caregiver for two years, but she was so impossible to please that
    it was impossible for me to continue. My older sistehad earlier given up as her caregiver and our older
    brother never even tried.

    I've journaled about it and mentally feel I've forgiven her and me, but wonder if I have totally
    forgiven myself. What does it take to finally forgive myself for my feeling of letting her down?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hi Walt,

    Please excuse my delayed response, I have had a bit of a hectic week and have not been on the forum for a few days!

    Family relationships are so often sources of guilt, shame and frustration. Even more so because they are "supposed" to be the exact opposite! We receive messages through media, social circles and society at large that family life is meant to look a certain way and when things don't line up with that vision, people often blame themselves and use it as a source of self-abuse. Hopeful was generous enough to share her experience and insight with us, demonstrating that even the best of intentions, when undertaken at the cost of your own needs, can result in increased suffering.

    It seems as though this mirrors your own situation to a degree Walt. You sound like you are still worried that you did something wrong and that you need forgiveness, that you are getting down on yourself for how you related to your mother when you felt a responsibility for her care. I think that perhaps instead of wondering how you can forgive yourself for doing something wrong, you could look into a more basic premise: did you do anything wrong in the first place? Being someone's full-time caregiver is an immensely difficult task, one that demands that you totally de-prioritize your own needs for someone else's; this is made all the more difficult when they are acting antagonistically. Let me ask you something: How do you look on the actions of your siblings? Do you judge them for how they acted towards your mother? Are you judging yourself by the same standards or more stringent one's? And finally, do you think that it is reasonable for you to completely abandon your own needs and feelings for someone who is not grateful?

    While this stance I am hinting at may sound harsh, I am not trying to shift judgment from you to your mother. I am sure there are reasons for her behavior. The goal here is to help you realize that the harshness that you are directing towards yourself ultimately doesn't help anyone. Feeling guilty was not helpful to your mother and more importantly it is and never was helpful to you.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson and Ellen like this.
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Your reply is very helpful and gives me thoughts to ponder. I will save your reply and give it the time it needs.
    Thanks very much.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    It may be that in searching for repressed emotions this one about caring for my mother has taken on
    more importance that it should. I will think about that, too.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  9. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forgive and let go has always been my motto.
    Forgive others and myself and go on from there.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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