My mother told me that as a child that it was very difficult to connect with me or to understand what I was feeling, as if I didn't show any emotion at all. If I did feel anger, I didn't know how to express it until very recently. I started to tell my psychotherapist that I was 'angry with her' and she was absolutely thrilled because it was an emotion that I had so far been so out of touch with. I was able to communicate anger a few times in a row, then it started happening regularly at work that I was possibly feeling anger, and I started to contemplate what I was experiencing physically. I started to feel a whoosh of heat, a tight chest and as if my arms were wired. Then it appeared that I would cut out and dissociate without discharging any of the anger. Although this wasn't so good, just acknowledging what anger felt in my body was a good starting point, whilst communicating the feeling. I told all this to my SE® Therapist (T) and we decided to work on it during the session.
T said that was really, really important for me to feel the ground and to be 'grounded.' T got me up on my feet and told me to relax my knees and to feel my quads really working. After a short while I found my angry pose. T asked me to think of something that had made me angry (I recalled something from the day before) and took a pose of anger with the whole thing effecting my eyes and my breathing became deeper and I became hotter. T then said to stretch out my arms whilst holding on to my fists, making a holding pressure of at least 7 and then very slowly release the pose and the pressure on my fists. We did this several times. I could feel how the anger was so held in the pose, but how the feeling gradually ebbed away as I released my fists and relaxed the pose. It felt good, and something I felt I could definitely practice over the week.
T explained to me that because of my autonomic nervous system - sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system out of kilter, with an overriding sympathetic nervous system - that at the moment my anger container may only be (T's figure) capacity of 23 before I trip switch and dissociate. By doing the exercise T suggested, over time my nervous system would learn how to manage and feel it and that my anger container would increase and increase with less dissociation. As usual with T, this all made sense. I left the session looking forward to feeling angry.
I was rewarded two hours later when I had waited over half an hour for a friend to meet me and I was feeling very hungry and increasingly angry. I shouted at people in the tube, before trying the pose somewhat. I wasn't entirely successful, but of course that was my first attempt. I am sure I will get plenty of practice in the very near future, and I look forward to seeing how I can discharge my anger, whilst acknowledging it. T also suggested that I could of course dance it - by doing lots of heavy and grounding type moves. This was something I discussed I had already done. I will be interested to see how I mange my anger, but it has got to be a lot healthier to discharge it rather than bottle it.