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Somatosync » Touch Triggered Anger in Flashback

Touch Triggered Anger in Flashback

Touch Triggered Anger in FlashbackIt was the holidays, Thanksgiving to be exact.  Not my best time of the year.  Difficult beyond comprehension, and it has been that way for a long time.  I could go into the details, but having to stop the family contact is where this time of year really came to a head for me many years ago.

Thursday, November 26, 2015, I was making it through the day.  It was wearing me down, but I was surviving and wanting it to be over.  As I was texting some relatives, “Happy Thanksgiving” messages, I got a reply back that one of my family members would be coming to town.  I was asked if I wanted to come over to their house.

Immediately, my anxiety level went to about one million on a scale of 1 to 10.  The rage within me grew.  Yet, while I understand the reaction, I didn’t realize at that moment, just how much it was impacting me and bringing out a struggle I had been dealing with in my life.

The next day we hung out with friends, and meeting this family member was weighing heavily on my mind so much that the anxiety remained pretty high.  My significant other partner and I were being flirtatious on the way home.  When I got home, I tried to give him a hug.  Of course, I wasn’t paying attention to the timing and he ever so innocently pushed back and asked me to give him a second.

At that moment, life changed in the blink of an eye.  I became furious with him.  I did not know why and I could not even verbalize it in that minute.  My demeanor changed and I just wanted to be left alone.  I became very angry at him, but held it in and would not even communicate with him.

At that moment, I was so furious thinking that he was rejecting me and yet, I could not verbalize any of this and I could not even form a thought as to why I was feeling this way.  In the moment, I thought I was right and that somehow he had done something wrong to me.  For the next couple of days, I sat in silence suffering and angry and feeling all alone.

I felt my body shutting down.  I could hardly get words out.  I struggled to make sense of anything and I was left dazed and in a fog, wanting so badly to be able to say what it was, but struggling in my mind to make the connection.

Then, it happened.  The flashback came into full view.  I was shocked and stunned.  I was angry.  I was hurt.  I felt powerless, emotionless and as if I had no control over the events playing out.

Fortunately, we were on our way for a healing bodywork session that had been scheduled a couple of weeks in advance and the timing could not have been any better.   There was so much anger in me and while it is something I struggle with, it was much more than normal.

Through the morning session, my partner had so much anger coming up and when we went to lunch, it is when it started coming to the forefront.  I knew he wanted to share something with me that was difficult, but it was very hard for him.  So I encouraged it, not really knowing what was coming next.

In an animated fashion, he was able to tell me that my angry outbursts were causing great stress with him.  I tried to listen to him, but it wasn’t easy.  I tried to honor and respect him, but part of me wanted to claim he was wrong and I knew everything.  The only real response I could finally get out was “you’re probably better off without me in your life.”  He didn’t agree and so we decided to talk to Dr. Canali when we went back for our afternoon session.

I was finally able to share that the flashback was of my Dad slamming my little 8 year old body into the wall because I would not do the sexual things he wanted me to do with my older brother.  It is hard to write this without all the pain and tears and anxiety coming up.  Not only did my physical body hurt badly from this experience, but I had no control to stop it.  The whole connection between sex and touch and love and people close to me got screwed up.  This wasn’t the only time an experience like this happened.  The flashback was so real, it was almost as if the moment he pushed back on my hug, I felt like I was being thrown into the wall.

He happened to be the human body in that moment that brought the flashback on.  It wasn’t his fault, but he just happened to be there at that moment.  Fortunately I was able to hold my composure and not strike out.  It pains me though to think of how my anger outbursts affect my partner who I love dearly.

Here I thought I was making progress in this area.  At one time I would never show anger and while I don’t hit or cause any physical thing to happen as a result, just the outbursts of anger cause him so much pain.  I’m saddened and so sorry that I’ve been doing this.

What’s more frightening to me is that I didn’t realize fully that I was having these angry outbursts.  I thought I had my life under control and it took him sharing this to wake me up.  Believe me, it wasn’t easy hearing him tell me this about my life, but I’m so thankful he did.

While I was feeling very vulnerable about what had happened, I really became scared that day in my session.  You see, if I allowed myself to be vulnerable in this way, this knowledge or information was then used against me.  It was used to manipulate and control me.  I had just displayed the flashback and all that had taken place for all to see and I became very frightened.

Throughout the afternoon sessions, both he and I had very big moments of release that helped shift everything.  It was like the 1000 pound gorilla was no longer in the room.  It was like we had a renewed sense of being a couple and I had a new glimpse into a dark side of my own life.

We came up with a word that if things get rough for me and I’m having an anger outburst, we can use that to hopefully shift what is going on.  It is designed to help me to be conscious of the moment should it arise.  That’s the thing, the anger outburst comes at moments when I’m not fully conscious and that’s what I need to change.

I’ve had flashbacks all my life and I’ve almost put my fist through a door before. Trying to commit suicide has been something that I tried in the past.  I’ve been through hell and back in my life and sometimes even as far as I have come, I have those real rough moments.

I know that I don’t need to hold in anger because it will ruin the body and mind.  However, I’m not exactly sure how to deal with this.  It is a different place and level with me.  I will be doing the things that were recommended to me, but to say I am frightened that I can do this, would be an understatement.

Growing up, we never saw the healthy way of letting anger out.  My dad was one angry person and he would throw temper tantrums and he would hit my mom and us.  If things got too bad, he would disappear for hours at a time, coming home long after I had gone to bed.  I’ve been hit with shovels and hoes and boards and belts growing up.  Some days I’m not sure how I survived.

For a long time I would go outside or down in the basement and find things to hit myself with when I got angry.  I would continue to hit myself until I grew exhausted.  It was the only release I knew.  I had no comprehension about how to get angry.  In fact, if I showed my anger towards my dad, even in a facial expression, it often meant his anger got unleashed on me.

I can still remember when I told Dr. Canali a long time ago, that it was wrong to show anger because of how I saw it come out.  While he tried to tell me that anger in a healthy expression is a good thing, I would argue that you could not show anger.  My argument came out of my experiences growing up.  Now that my body and mind are waking up, it is time for me to find more healthy ways to express this anger.

Flashbacks are probably going to show up when I least expect them and the holidays are a rough time of year for me.  If anything is going to come front and center, it will be at this time of the year.

I’m thankful my partner is a loving person and one that loves me in spite of myself at times.  I’m thankful he found the courage to express what he did to me the other day, because I think if we would not have gotten to that point, we might not have made it in our relationship.

Once we were able to go in and identify this, bring it up and then release it, our relationship shifted dramatically that day.


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