Saw Laura, my therapist, tonight and talked a lot about the anger issues I spoke about earlier this week. I was saying that my anger – at my mom, at my dad, at the universe – feels profoundly useless. Addressing it doesn’t seem productive, it won’t change anything about the past, and I just don’t see the point.
Laura said that the “point” of addressing anger is that is you can’t get past it unless you do. Addressing anger won’t change the past, but it can change the anger itself. (At this point, I accused her of a circular argument: Addressing anger is useful because you can’t address it unless you do. She laughed, but said rephrasing it to sound silly doesn’t make it not true.)
More to the point, she said I should tell my mom all of the things I’m angry about. That my mom might actually feel some relief, because she’s said she feels guilty about not helping me transition sooner, not realizing I was trans until I told her. An so acknowledging that, yes, it does hurt, might help us both get past it.
Which is really scary for me. I totally recognize what Laura is saying as a reasonable idea…for other people. But applying it to myself just brings up all of the same insecurities that prevented me from saying anything, or from actually transitioning, earlier than I did. That speaking up will bring down hatred and ridicule. That it is my fault.
I also have a major problem with anger. (As I’ve said before, and even at the beginning of this post.) I don’t like anger. I think it’s stupid, and that expressing it doesn’t accomplish anything useful. (What ridiculously subjective terms, huh?) This is, in part, because I don’t have a good framework for being angry. Or any, really. The little arguments and spats I’ve gotten in never end satisfyingly; I just get frustrated. And for things like this? For the really important stuff? Well, being angry won’t change anything, so I just suppress and deny that I feel angry in the first place.
The idea of expressing anger, of saying “I’m angry at you for not knowing I was trans, knowing what to do about it,” also makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. Because…because something. I’ve been trying to finish that sentence, even though I know that it does make me feel vulnerable. (Have I mentioned I really don’t like emotions that seem to not have a specific, identifiable source? And that estrogen has not been good to me in this regard?)
Expressing anger – particularly in such a conscious way as I’m contemplating – also makes me feel selfish, and self-indulgent. This goes back to “Being angry isn’t going to change anything, so why bother?”
And I would very much like to be past this anger; to be looking more to my future than to my past.