According to Facebook's quiz of the day, I need anger management. I honestly didn't need a Facebook quiz to tell me that, I just think the quizzes are amusing although I do admit I have a morbid curiosity about their accuracy.
Not long after James died, I was put in touch with a therapist who was also widowed at a young age. She has been a great help to me because she GETS it. She has walked this road so she can relate to me by sharing her experience instead of the canned "and how does that make you feel?" response to everything. She has also really helped me accept myself as a widow when in general society does not. It's such a relief to not have to justify my feelings to her. In fact, whenever I say I am not a real widow, she always says to me "actually, you are." I really just need to stop caring so much about what label others want to give me-after all, no one other than James and I were active participants in our relationship and therefore have no right to tell me how I should and shouldn't feel.
At my last appointment with her, we talked about my joining the YMCA and that I have started going and that I was starting to feel some positive effects of it. The one thing I told her I was concerned about however was that I felt like exercising was bringing up my anger over James' death, but I didn't feel like I was releasing it and I didn't know what I needed to do to get it out. She asked what I was angry about.
I didn't know how to answer that. She asked if I was mad at James. I told her sometimes, when I am facing big decisions, or at the vet's scared because I don't know what is wrong with one of the dogs and I can't be scared because I have to stay strong, but it is hard for me to be mad at him because I know this wasnt' his choice. He would never have left me without saying good-bye; he would have known I would need him to tell me what he wanted for the rest of my life first. I told her I was more angry at God because I don't understand why James had to go. I'm mad because he died-he left after telling me for years the only way he was ever going to leave was if I showed him the door. I am angry because he knew how afraid I was of being alone and he PROMISED that was never going to happen.
I told the therapist that because I was just starting out at the gym, I wasn't really pushing myself that hard. We both thought that maybe if I pushed harder, that would help get out the anger. So today, I pushed myself like I never have before. I didn't even want to be there in the first place and I wanted to stop many times during my workout. But instead I pushed and pushed and worked my ass off (literally-I was doing an elliptical program that focused on the gluts).
I felt the anger rise and I didn't know what to do. I now know part of why I am not releasing it is because I don't want to show a huge display of emotion in such a public place (I do enough of that at work). But I also know I have to work through this-I have to get it out of my system. So, today when the anger started to well up, I started to think about what I am angry about.
I am angry that James died.
I am angry that I feel so ugly and unattractive. (I know they are the same thing. I just feel that ugly).
I am angry that I feel so worthless.
I am angry that I feel like an insecure 15-year-old. It isn't any more fun this time around than it was the last time.
I am angry that it seems like all my widowed friends are moving forward and I'm not.
I am angry that I don't have the patience for this.
I am angry that I can't make myself "better."
I am angry that I no longer have any sense of my future.
I am angry that I rarely dream about James and when I do it is using unpleasant.
I am angry that I don't feel like he is still with me.
I am angry I didn't do better when he was alive.
I am angry I didn't get to say good-bye.
I am angry that I don't know what he wants for me.
I am angry that I have to be so damn strong all the time.
I am angry that I don't know what to do with all this anger. I just want it to go away.
I just want it all to go away.