Posted by: Marie | December 26, 2012

(770) Passive anger – Part 7 of 7

Post #770
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 about a conversation with my therapist – continued from previous post]


(I wrestled with my terror for a few more minutes, then I decided to risk my safety and express what I had uncovered . . . )

Me: (Explosively, but rather quietly through gritted teeth) How dare you dangle hope in front of me! How dare you dangle this possibility in front of me! Why would you do that? Why would you tease me with something I can’t have? That is cruel . . . why would you do that to me?

I know it is never going to happen for me. How dare you try to make me believe it is going to happen! I know it is never going to happen. How dare you dangle it in front of me and try to convince me to believe in it.

I’m glad that you have your happy life – your wife and daughter – and endless joy and passion . . . but that is not a possibility for me. I don’t get to have that.

How dare you!

(I stopped talking as waves of raw anger and terror hit me over and over . . . I threw my hands up over my eyes and mouth . . . )

Edward: (Very softly) What else?

Photo by Martin Chen

Photo by Martin Chen

(I was almost shaking as I stifled the urge to throw my coffee mug at him . . . I wanted to scream at him, “I hate you! I hate you! Just shut the fuck up! There is so much hate!” But, instead of allowing my anger to explode, I passively responded . . . )

Me: I just feel a lot of anger.

(Apologetically) I’m not angry with you, but I feel a lot of anger . . . and you are sitting in front of me, so I’m projecting it towards you.

Edward: I think there is more for you to say to me . . . can you say it?

Me: I don’t have anything else to say . . .

(After a long pause and more tears) I’m in that frozen, dead place again.

I hate being in this place. I feel dead.

This is why I don’t like going into this stuff because I end up feeling dead.

As long as I don’t go to this place, I can psyche myself into having a little bit of hope that there is purpose in living . . . and I can psyche myself into getting out of bed. But, when I’m in this place, I feel dead.

I don’t want to be alive anymore. I want to die. I don’t want to fight to come back out of this. I want to just die.


At that point, I realized a lot of time had past and it felt like I had lost some time. So, I glanced up at the clock to see if we were out of time . . . and, indeed, we were. In fact, we had run over by maybe five or ten minutes.

I got a panicked feeling as I realized I had to hurry up and pull myself together. I took deep breaths, I blew my nose, I wiped my face . . . I tried to think logical thoughts . . . but, I couldn’t do it . . . I simply could not pull myself together. I was too far down into that frozen I-want-to-die hopeless place. I couldn’t get it pulled together.


Me: Oh, man . . . we’re out of time! I’ve got to pull myself together . . . I have to get back to real life . . .

Edward: You’re doing fine . . . take a few deep breaths . . .

(I would almost get my reality brain back in place, then I would get hit with another wave of emotion and I’d slump back into the hopeless place . . . I’d try again . . . the same thing would happen again . . . )

Me: What if I can’t do this, what if I can’t pull myself together?

Edward: You actually don’t have to pull yourself together . . .

Me: (Angrily) Well, yes I do! I gotta drive home and I have to work – I don’t have to work for a few hours, but you know, I gotta get back into life . . . I’ve got a life I’ve got to live!

(I was thinking, “This pisses me off! What the fuck? What is he thinking, telling me I don’t have to pull myself together? And, how do I pull myself out of this?”)

Me: What if I can’t pull myself together?

Edward: Then, in an hour or so, call me and we’ll walk through it together. You are not alone.

(I kept thinking, “But, I am alone in this. You might be in the room with me, but I’m alone. I’m always alone with this.”)

Me: What if I can’t do it now . . . what if I can’t get off this couch and out the door?

(I was secretly hoping he would say I could just curl up on the couch and sleep while he worked on his computer and ate lunch . . . I knew that was not an option, but I was wishing – and I almost asked.)

Edward: Then, I’m with you . . . you’re not alone . . . I’ll walk through it with you.

Me: I don’t think I can do this. I mean, I know I have to . . . we are out of time . . .

Edward: Just take a few minutes . . .


I couldn’t stop crying. I found myself holding my breath . . . I kept holding my breath – holding it, holding it . . thinking that maybe, if I don’t breath, maybe I’ll just die . . .

Was I really trying to die? Or, was it more about just wanting to be numb, wanting to pass out . . . black out . . . disappear . . . not wanting to have to deal with this stuff in this moment . . . ??

I thought, “Now, that’s ridiculous, this business of trying to die or pass out, Marie. That is not going to work! Just stuff it down, just stuff it down . . . do what you always do . . . stuff it down . . . yeah, stuff it down and then you can go home and eat ice cream . . .”

I think we ran 15-20 minutes over before I got my act together. I was really in a bad place. But, finally, I was able to get emotionally stabilized.

As I packed up my stuff, we were joking a bit to lighten the mood . . .


Me: I started that thank you for your time today, but . . . I felt so good when I walked in here and I feel so bad now as I’m leaving . . . this really sucks . . . (laughing) I’m not sure I can thank you today without being sarcastic!

Edward: (Laughing) You can tell me to fuck off if you want to! I’m okay with that!

(As I stood up) Oh . . . you might want to check the front of your shirt before you leave . . .

(I looked down at my shirt . . . and there was a big ‘ole snot-oogy on my shirt from when I had blown my nose a few minutes before . . . kleenex overflow, I guess. As I wiped it off, I had to laugh at myself . . what else could I do?)

Edward: (Cautiously) So, would you like a hug today?

(I hadn’t even been thinking about a hug – I’d been too focused on my efforts to simply get off the couch.)

Me: Sure . . . I’ll try to not get my snot on you!

Edward: Oh, I’m not worried about a little snot! It’s no big deal!

(After the hug, as I pulled away and started to turn away, he kept his hand on the small of my back for a few moments – he’s never done that before, his hugs usually are a bit passive/reserved, like he doesn’t want to freak me out with too tight of contact. But, his hand on my back felt really good. I really needed that.)

Edward: Marie, I’m here with you. You’ve been alone when you gone through this type of stuff before. It might be not so dark if someone is with you.

Could you call me in a few hours and let me know how you are doing?

Me: Sure . . . I’ll do that . . .


Usually Edward takes a lunch break right after my session. However, today, he walked down the stairs with me to the waiting room. As I was walking out the exterior door, he greeted a lady who was in the waiting room. That’s when I realized he had another appointment, and I realized how careful he had been to not cause me to feel hurried to get out of his office despite the fact he surely was feeling pressure.

I appreciate that.

Quotes 680


  1. Wow. A great session. Looking forward to the next instalment

    • Thank you for your support, Evan!

  2. Getting stuck in passive anger seems to be a fantastically difficult place for you Marie. I wonder what would have happened if you had allowed yourself to express anger with Edward?

    It’s really kind that he gave you that extra time at the end for you to return to yourself. My T has given me an extra minute or two once or twice, but nothing like fifteen minutes. I like how he wanted to ‘walk beside you’ while you were in that difficult place.

    Also, have you ever considered that you might have a boyfriend who is able to clean up, instead of the scenario where you imagine him judging you for not doing so? You might provide cooking, or some other necessity, and he might provide cleaning…..Just sayin, it could happen. :-)

    • Hi, Ellen –

      Yes, expressing anger is the most difficult part of the healing process, I think. As a child, doing so would cause me to be disowned, hit, ridiculed, etc. . . . and when my parents expressed anger, I got hit. So, anger is a terribly dangerous emotion in my experience. Even now, if feels like I can’t survive being expressive in that way.

      Being able to express anger — anger with anyone — is still a work in progress.

      I’ll have to ponder your idea of a boyfriend who carries his fair share of the domestic chores . . . I guess it is possible . . .

      Thanks for your input!

      – Marie

  3. too bad you couldn’t let it all out. i think that’s where most of my suicidal feelings come from… anger that i’m trying to stuff down. therapy is the one place in my life where i’m safe to bring all of me, the scary, ugly, angry, frightened me… i know this was a long time ago but hope you gave him a call later, and started to feel better.

    • I think your point about unexpressed anger being a source of suicidal feelings is right on the mark, at least for me.

      I’m getting more and more comfortable with Edward, and I think I’m becoming more able to let everything come out . . . it just takes so long to develop the knowing that I am safe with him.

      Thank you for sharing your insight!

      – Marie

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