I don’t know where they get this “one day at a time” idea because for me it was definitely one breath at a time, one step at a time, one hellish… Moment. At. A. Time. Sometimes, I could handle life in increments of 15 minute blocks- even longer if I was engaged in something productive like sessions with my peeps, or fanatical reading- but definitely not full days.
It was probably about 2 months in when rage like no other came on me full force. From my training, I know that “the anger stage” is normal and a healthy part of the healing process. I know that anger is a way to fight for survival; a mechanism of self-preservation. And I know that anger can be the force or fuel that pushes a person forward, to future levels of recovery. (There is that stupid word again. Recovery. Blech. )
Anger stage, okay. But this was rage. The intensity actually scared me. I looked up memes and mean jokes online (that I never reposted). I wrote horrible, mean, nasty letters (that did not get sent). I wanted them to hurt the way I hurt. I wanted God to pay them back 100 times over. I fantasized of creative ways that their misdeeds could fall back upon them, how “you reap what you sow” would grow into a harvest of flesh eating weeds that would torture and torment them until I was satisfied.
My dreams included physical attacks upon those who caused my pain. In my dreams, I was vengeful and plotting. I would laugh when I would carry out my scheme. I would wake up and wonder if I had somehow turned into a sociopath.
But the healing nature of those activities was that it allowed my rage a “safe place” to express itself. This meant that I didn’t have to carry its weight for long. And those dreams were way better than the reliving the trauma ones I had at first.
The anger stage, in varying intensities, lasted a few months. A bit longer than I would have asked for. But this whole process is lasting longer than I would have hoped for, so what can I say? The journey is after all, a journey. I have to believe that the healing is in that very process, and not necessarily in the destination itself.
Photo credit: Google images.
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog