Self-Care Tip #244 – When emotions and behaviors come without being asked by you, think about the medical reasons.
She needed to keep going, Minka felt hurt and angry. Control and failure nipped at her. She wondered what it would take for her to recognize her own success.
Minka had a child who provoked her. But worse for Minka, was not perceiving progress in their relationship. Minka was bewildered by it. But still and more so, angry. She asked me what she needed to do to be happy and feel like what she did when life was good. It reminded me of the man who came to Jesus and asked,
Teacher, what good thing must I do to have life forever? (And listed off all his good deeds.)
Just as I was thinking about this, sure enough, Minka listed off her self-care efforts, angrily as if they failed to redeem her.
Turning this around in my mind, my thoughts ran over a differential – the 3 C’s, her temperament, her biology, other medical conditions, other influencing stressors and I wondered if Minka was angry in other situations as well. (See The Biopsychosocial-How-To.)
No one really likes themselves much when they are angry. Anger is pulled through the capillaries and passed on until it colors all of us red. It is a confusing emotion; internally preoccupying. Many people don’t remember chunks of their lives during which they said things and did things in anger. It just disappeared into the white noise of the emotion. During anger-binges, people can black-out too, much like alcohol. Often times anger comes without invitation. Often times, anger is not something that will leave by invitation either.
So we know already that the 3C’s apply to this kind of anger.
I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, I can’t change and or cure it!
Minka hurriedly answered that they didn’t work for her but she had tried. It was on her self-care list apparently.
I don’t want to blame my daughter. I know I’m responsible for how I feel but I keep holding her responsible even though cognitively, I know she’s not.
That was pretty big. In my opinion, she could put that on her self-care list and check it off as well. Steller.
Through further disclosure, I learned that Minka hadn’t enjoyed anything much lately – not only her daughter. She was irritable, edgy, felt superior to others and then kicked herself over it. Minka said she tolerated less and less of what life touched her.
I wrap those descriptors in the same nap-sack as anger and mood. They are on the affective spectrum and for Minka, it wasn’t for lack of trying hard enough, for lack of being spiritual enough (it makes some of us uncomfortable to say this), or missing a puzzle piece from her psyche. Minka was medically unable to put her anger aside and connect with her daughter. Minka’s medical condition was isolating her not only from her daughter but most other bits of life touching her. She was ill. She wasn’t choosing those emotions. Now came the job of helping Minka see that and go for help in the right direction.
Question: What is your opinion about behaviors and emotions coming without being invited or chosen? …without a “reason” for being there? Please tell me your story.
- Anger: Individual Variation from Exchange of Realities (exchangeofrealities.com)
- When People Avoid Anger (psychologytoday.com)