Through It, Not Over It: On Anger

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Through It, Not Over itI’m at my therapist’s office, the same one as a year ago when I was working through losing my twin boys at 20 weeks. Now I’m here for them and my son who died at 3 weeks old in August. She’s going through my assessment, a weekly checkup to see where I am emotionally.

I can hear myself say, “And angry. I feel really mad, all the time. Mostly just angry.” It’s added onto everything.

She pauses at the end and says, “I’m seeing this time around a lot of anger – much more than the profound sadness that seemed to encompass you before Christmas.”

I nod, feeling terrible that I can’t seem to find a less, well, angry feeling. “I feel angry that I don’t have a 5 month old, that I don’t have my 18 month olds. I’m mad that everyone else gets their baby. I’m mad about everything to do with this. I can’t be happy for anyone, I feel cheated out of the life that so many others take for granted. And I hate that. I hate being this way, feeling like this. It’s overwhelming and I do not want to be this person. I am trying so hard to pull out of this because it feels like a huge weight that I can’t carry. It affects everything.”

I fully expect her to tell me that we need to work on the anger, which is only a symptom of other feelings. That I should focus on being sad, or how it feels to see my friends bring home healthy babies. Anger isn’t the problem, right?

Instead, what she says astounds me.

“You need to be angry. You need to stop trying to find a way around the anger or eventually you’re going to come to a point in life where it comes out in another moment and you’ll have to deal with it then. If you can’t let yourself be angry and really work on validating these feelings – you’ll get stuck on repeat here.”

This makes me even madder for a minute. I hate feeling like this. Of course it’s not normal, no one wants to be angry so much of the time when I think about my sons or life. It’s exhausting and makes me feel like complete crap. I want to just move on, skip to the next grief phase. Fine, let’s validate my right to be angry about the past 2 years and then move on.

But I know she’s not going to let me do this unless I flat out tell her that’s what I want.

Deep down, I don’t want that. I want to heal from some of this; never fully. I understand that. But a little more than I am now, slowly working on becoming a person who isn’t dragging the ball of grief along with her the rest of her life. If I refuse to be angry, genuinely angry, I won’t ever get to that point.

There’s a part in Finding Nemo where Dory tells Marlin they should swim through the trench, not over it. Of course he thinks she’s insane because the trench looks terrifying while the top looks crystal clear and perfect to keep going without interruption. If you haven’t seen it:

A. You are missing a large part of life fulfillment.

B. Marlin finds out they should have gone through the dark, scary trench instead of taking the easy way out.

That’s my mantra right now. “Through it, not over it.” It’s terrifying and uncomfortable. I want to be anyone else but that angry lady who resents everyone that takes home a baby while 3 of mine sit on a shelf. I wish I had the mental power to click “like” on a pregnancy announcement. I want to silence that inner voice that says, “Their baby has nothing to do with yours, so what’s the problem?” and yet it’s still there, asking why?

I didn’t go through my anger enough with the twins. I short circuited it with a rushed, then failed, adoption and a pregnancy quickly after. This time there’s no escape. I have to face my anger to become the woman, mother, wife, friend, human being I so long to be.

Through it. Not over it.


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Diana Stone About Diana Stone

Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Comments

  1. Diana, I just encountered your writing on Simple Homeschool and then I “meet” you again here. I also had three losses after the healthy birth of my daughter, and anger was a constant companion for a long time. I still struggle with it, though not as much now. “Through it, not over it” is a good mantra, not only for anger, but for the whole grief journey. I am praying for you tonight. Thank you for sharing your heart and your faith.

  2. Reading this was like listening to my own thoughts, thank you for sharing.

  3. I love you. I know we can’t be close right now and I so understand that. Just know I’m over here, loving you, praying for you. I only lost one baby and I’m pregnant again but I’m still angry at pregnancy announcements. Especially from people that HAVE a baby or have never tasted the bitter horror that is loss. They just keep birthing healthy babies, year after year. I hope as your ride through the anger, it helps to shorten the duration of your stay in it.

  4. I am so sorry for what you have been though. I don’t know fully what you have gone though but a little bit. I just lost triplets at 20 weeks, 3 weeks ago. So I do understand the anger! Again I am so sorry.

  5. You have so many people cheering for you to come through the other side and ready to hold your hand if it gets too scary. *hugs*

  6. Anger is so not liked and accepted by our society and therefore ourselves… I can relate a lot. I am angry at being angry a lot…
    In a very dark and angry moment I said to my husband: “You at least have the choice to be with me, I don’t have that luxury.”
    I’m sorry for your losses. x

  7. like the song says “I’m gonna love you through it.”

    be angry. be mad. be whatever you have to be, to become the person that you want to be. and through it all, we’ll be here for you.

    XO

  8. there is a quote by robert frost “the best way out is always through”
    it has encouraged me to face a lot of things i tried to run from.

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