Day 26 of 100 Days of Grief
"Holding onto to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
I'm going to jump into today's prompt because it's been on my mind. Today's post is about anger. I've really struggled with this off an on throughout this process. Anger isn't something that is comfortable to me. I am usually someone that tries to avoid confrontation and try to be the peacemaker. Having anger that was more like rage worried me and I didn't know what to do with it. I knew it was a stage in grief but the amount of anger, and what I was angry over surprised me. I think it's been one of the hardest parts of this whole thing.
There is a paragraph in this book that I loved because it identified what I was feeling angry about. It says, "Logically or illogically, you may feel angry at others around you, sometimes for no reason other than that your baby died and their baby did not. You may be angry at other mothers who are giving birth at the hospital, at pregnant women you see, at your partner for his response to your miscarriage, at your doctor for his non-emotional response to your loss or for not listening to your concerns during pregnancy, or at your mother or best friend because they aren't being as supportive as you'd like."
Yes, to them. Yes to all of them at different times. When I first lost the baby I struggled because I had someone I worked closely with and lived close to who found out she was pregnant at about the same time I was. I was so very angry with her. I knew it wasn't logical but I was angry that she had what I wanted. I couldn't resolve the anger and I became more angry as people told me that it wasn't okay to be angry. It's something that I still struggle with. I remember while trying to work through it because I felt so bad I started googling how to be around people that were pregnant when you had lost a baby. They suggested writing a note or avoiding the person. I tried multiple times to write a text or a note and I couldn't. I was seething with anger and I couldn't explain why. I couldn't write what I was feeling because I didn't want to ruin a relationship. The best solution I found was to avoid. To be honest I still avoid her. Not because I'm angry so much anymore as much as it feels like my heart is being ripped out every time I see her.
I also feel angry about pregnant women I see. I hate this. Because most of the people I know that are pregnant are friends that I love so much. It's hard. I don't want to be angry at them but I've learned that if I don't feel that emotion and do something with it then it festers. And the festering leaves longer lasting pain. I remember in a paper I've received from a friend that it talked about the stages and with anger it said to be so careful with how you express your anger because you don't want to damage relationships. The hard part too is that your anger usually gets pointed at those that are closest to you. Those that you love the most.
I've also been angry at friends and family because they just didn't get how I was feeling. It made me so angry that they didn't understand. In another paper I received at my support group there was a quote about how a mother realized that she shouldn't expect people to understand. People won't understand because they aren't you and haven't gone through what you've gone through and what you feel. But anger isn't always rational. And at times the anger rises and it's hard not to react.
I wish someone had sat me down right at the beginning and told me that yes, you are going to be angry. So very very very angry. Probably more angry than you'll ever be again. But it's okay to have those feelings. Anger is not wrong. It simply is. And not try to fight it because it will burn you. You have to feel the emotions and you have to let it be. But also know that anger isn't wrong but the way you react may not always be appropriate so to pick the way you express your emotion carefully.
I know I've hurt people around me by my anger at times and it hurts me to know that I have done so. I don't want to cause other people pain. But when you're struggling you're going to make mistakes. If I've hurt someone I hope they know that I didn't mean to, I was just unsure of how to deal with my emotions. And I'm still struggling with learning how to express them in appropriate ways.
Todays prompt: Today, if you feel angry, vent your anger through physical activity. Run instead of walk. Go for a hike. Throw rocks across a lake or in a field. Punch a boxing bag. Or if your body isn't ready for strenuous activity yet write an angry journal entry or a letter that you don't send.
I remember there was a week where I was raging. At the end of it I had a list of my to-do list and one of them was to take sand and my chickens wood chips out to their coup. I think it was probably only a week or so after my D&C so I probably shouldn't have done it but I was angry that my body still wasn't working correctly. I was angry that my baby was gone. I was angry at all the things. That day I hauled three, fifty pound bags of sand out to the coup. I was still raging but my body was exhausted. I still didn't have much strength but I was angry so I kicked and shoved and pushed and threw the wood chips all the way to the coup. I'm pretty sure there were yells of anger and frustration along the way.
After I came back inside and cried. My body was hurting and tired and for some reason the physical pain was able to help me release the emotional pain. It probably wasn't the most healthy way of releasing anger because it did some physical damage as well but at least I was able to release some of that anger.
I still feel anger with different things. Different triggers, different situations bring up pain and anger. It is usually the first feeling that comes. I've learned to acknowledge it and talk about it. But it has also helped that I'm running each day and doing my yoga. There are days where it seems pent up and I run as fast until I can barely breath. I'm not sure why but I feel like physical things seem to help me work through it easier.
I've tried writing letters and notes but at the end I still feel this negative energy. I feel like it still is in my mind and body and it causes havoc. Maybe it works for others but it didn't for me.
If I've learned anything it is this: Anger is not wrong, it is what you do with that emotion that determines what is wrong or right.