Avoidance

by Heather
(USA)

I came from an abusive childhood, I was abused, neglected and abandoned. I was alone and felt alone, worthless and deserving of the pain.

Retrospectively, perhaps I can see the opportunity for confiding but that would have taken away the only person that I knew as a parent. However dysfunctional, she was all that I had. I avoided my feelings because I didn't know how to express them. I avoided my emotions because I was overwhelmed by them. The only thing that I felt comfortable with and feel comfortable with is crying.



Decades later I continued to live in this coping...with sporadic episodes of loss of control. I started therapy to stop crying and now I am in a heightened state of anxiety most of the time, I feel these emotions bubbling to the surface, anger is taking control of me.

So I avoid. I avoid EVERYTHING. Name it and I avoid it. I avoid it so that I don't spew my anger over the few people that do cross my path. I use crying to avoid expressing and dealing with my emotions.

I feel so angry, frustrated, sad, rageful... like someone just shook my carbonated bottle and the cap is only struggling to stay on. I use crying as a "slow release" to avoid that spill over from my bottle.

I know that I have serious anger issues, and I am fighting everyday to avoid my avoidance. I want to stop doing therapy because I feel worse than ever. I am fighting to continue, it's hard to deal with this response.



Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Heather, and thanks for telling your story here. I am touched by your story. Because of the clarity of your writing and your expression, I can feel something of the depth of what you're going through on a daily basis.

First, I consider you to be an amazing human being, simply to have survived what you've been through. I find myself thinking of the indomitable spirit within you that has kept going through all of this--your childhood, and now your adulthood. There must be a strong will to live, and a powerful desire for healing and goodness within you.

I don't know if the recommendations I am going to make will be a fit for you, that's for you to decide. I hope this helps. You are worthy of some relief, and some emotional peace and well being.

Not knowing what work you've previously done, I realize I may be suggesting something you've already done and decided that it doesn't work. I will just make the suggestions, and you do with them as you will.

I think you're very bright, and I think that these writing exercises will be very healing for you, if you'll use them.

Start by telling the story of all of the pain and abuse of your childhood (for no one's eyes but yours), using these guidelines. During that process, you will ideally be able to relieve yourself from the responsibility you felt for the abuse.

Simultaneously, I suggest that you begin keeping an anger journal, which is also described on that page. This gives your anger a safe, acceptable form of expression, that will hopefully give you some relief from the stress you're under. It is also a way of honoring your anger. It is your protection, and it deserves honoring, but as you know it doesn't help with communication most of the time.

Hopefully, this will help you to connect with your innocence as a child, and begin healing your shame and your sense that it was your fault. It wasn't your fault.

These are powerful tools, Heather. If you use them, they will benefit you.

Please write again on this site, with further questions, or to let us know how you're doing.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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