Archive for December 2nd, 2010

My email is down right now, so I cannot access the email or comment that gave me the idea for this topic. Someone asked me to write about feeling aggressive or angry toward a therapist or trusted friend. This is an issue that I sometimes deal with, so I am sure I am not the only one.

Up until a few years ago, I did not trust anyone. I took an enormous amount of strength to break through my inner walls and find the courage to say the words, “You are becoming a good friend,” to someone. Since then, I have managed to open my heart up to a few friends in ways that I never dreamed possible. One friend in particular has gotten past my defenses, and I fully trust her to accept me, in part because she is very closed-off herself and has trusted me with the inner sanctum of her emotional self. We have a very balanced “give and take” friendship that works very well for both of us. We can be intense or silly and enjoy ourselves the entire time.

So, you can imagine my surprise the first time I felt pure hatred toward her brimming under the surface. She had done absolutely nothing to warrant this reaction from me. I just wanted to throttle her, and this feeling came out of nowhere. Everything she said and did majorly annoyed me, and I felt rage welling up inside of me.

I was taken aback by this reaction in myself because I knew that she had done NOTHING to earn this reaction. I did not have any conscious thoughts about a possible betrayal – I completely trust her not to betray me. I chose just to observe this reaction in myself and not react to it in any way.

I realized that this internal rage was being triggered because I trusted her. Emotionally, I had let her in closer than I had ever intended, and part of me was not comfortable with her having access to that part of my heart and spirit. She was a “threat” because I trusted her, and the rage was in reaction to that threat. The last time I trusted that completely, my mother/abuser betrayed me. A part of me is afraid to open myself up enough to be that vulnerable again.

Now that I understand this reaction in myself, I am no longer bothered by it. I rarely experience the rage anymore. Instead, I will sometimes experience internal nitpicking, such as scorn toward how she pronounces a word or something equally as stupid, but I choose not to react to it. I understand that this is just part of the process I am experiencing as I give myself the gift of trusting another person in an emotionally intimate relationship. Believe me – the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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