Tea and A Tantrum

Hello!  Thanks for coming.  Please come in.  Have a seat.  Would you like some tea?  And perhaps a tantrum?  Please take as much as you like there is plenty more where that came from. 

photo attribution: aromateashop.com

Don’t you love it when something you’ve been working on suddenly comes together?  You know, a EUREKA, I’ve got it moment.  I had one of those today in therapy.  I think it would be boring (even in the skilled hands of a writer such as myself…snicker) to explain the blow by blow conversation.  It’s a conversation we have had in various mutations on many occasions.  So I’ll give you the conclusion (tea) and what comes next (tantrum).

I have felt for a while now that I have become very introverted, meaning in my definition: prefering to be alone rather than with people and keeping my thoughts to myself.  I used to be very extroverted.  I loved people.  I loved being with people.  And I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas with people.

While I miss being an extrovert, this new hermit life of being introverted is all I can handle right now.  I didn’t know why until today.  The reason….drum roll….is because I am so angry.  I know I told you I was over that but I was lying to myself.  I don’t go around kicking my dog (though the thought does cross my mind at times) or yelling (I’m not a yeller).  Still I have this fire simmering all the time, and when there is a trigger then I get a “flash fire” that burns me up inside.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, anger is a difficult emotion for me to understand, to acknowledge, and to overcome.  Remember it’s like the Dragon in the Cellar, breathing fire, nearly burning down the house, and yet, how do I get it out of there?

Today I told my therapist that I can’t blog anymore (something I previously enjoyed) because I am too angry and I am afraid that it will come out in my posts. 

“And so?”  he asked.

I couldn’t believe that he couldn’t see how catastrophically terrible that would be.  People might be shocked.  They might turn away.  Worst of all they might feel disappointed in me. . .

He suggested that I ask YOU if you ever feel anger and how do you deal with it.  So I’m making the request.  Please leave me a comment here, on FB, or send me an e-mail at lesliesillusions @ gmail.  (you know the rest).  Do you get angry?  How do you deal with it?

I have known that I felt angry for awhile.  What I didn’t realize until my therapist pointed it out is that I don’t want to let go of that anger yet.  I thought about that and it really resonated with me.  I said, “You are right.  Dammit, I have a right to be angry.”  As I said it, I instinctively clenched my fists.
My therapist smiled, “Good.  I like that.”

I couldn’t believe this either.  I was expressing anger and he was pleased. 

With a bit more pondering, I realized that a big part of the reason I fear anger so much is because of the way I experienced it as a child from an abuser.  BUT suddenly it occured to me that “normal people” express anger all the time.  They rant about politics, or traffic, or whatever they feel like ranting about.

EUREKA…that is when it all came together.  Instead of witholding my anger from you, my readers, in fear that you will shy away…I’m going to express it.  Share it.  Vent it.  Own it. 

Dammit I have a right to be angry.

Man that feels good.

I hope my anger won’t “scare” you away, but it’s a chance I have to take.  I’m going to free that dragon from the cellar once and for all.  I hope you will stay by me for Tea and Tantrums.  (Although I will understand if you don’t…)


  1. You go, girl! This post is aptly timed for me. Just today, I was talking to my sister about the fact that I've felt more introverted lately. Like you, I used to love being with people–and I'm not sure why the thought of socializing right now makes me tired. You're experience has given me a good jumping off point. And, yes. I get angry. Sometimes I yell, but in the end, I'm usually crying. Or speaking through clenched teeth. You should try it sometime. 😉

  2. Amanda! Thank you. Your comment means a lot to me. It is comforting to know that I'm not the only reluctant introvert, and I love the clenched teeth idea.

  3. I've been thinking about what comes next, after my first reaction to your post.I remember having this all worked out one time, what I wanted to learn to do about anger, but now I've lost track of some of it. I'll just tell you the bits and pieces I can remember.- I wanted to learn to welcome all the feelings and thoughts that came to me in moments of anger, as friends supporting me in whatever I'm up against.- I wanted to learn to put "maybe" in front of all the thoughts that came to me in moments of anger.- I think of anger, and the feelings and thoughts that come with it, as part of our emotional defense system, like fever, swelling and inflammation are part of our physical defense system. I imagine they're doing something to help me somehow, or at least trying to, and I don't necessarily have to understand what they're trying to do, in order to get the benefit.- I wanted to learn to cry again. I thought if I learned to cry again, in response to extreme frustration, I wouldn't be tempted to rage so much.- Long ago, I sometimes pounded on things, threw things, bit my fingers, in moments of extreme anger. Once in junior high I threw one of my shoes and destroyed my insect collection. Some time ago I experimented with pounding pillows and various other ways of venting physically without doing any damage.- I wanted to learn to use my anger about injustices in the world, to strengthen my resolve, in my initiatives to help change the world.

  4. Amanda, I like it that you mentioned crying. I want to learn to cry again. I used to cry sometimes, a long time ago, but I rarely do any more. I think if we all learned to cry more, we would rage less.

  5. I just remembered another idea. Complaining and faultfinding are substitutes for action, that do lots of harm, and no good. When I resist the temptation to complain and find fault, it helps me use the anger to launch me into constructive action. That applies especially well to my recurring anger about injustices in the world.

  6. When I get angry I rant to whoever will listen about what makes me angry until I figure out why I shouldn't be angry. I tend to get angry whenever anyone tries to exercise unrighteous dominion over me or anyone else.

  7. Years ago I had a good friend who had grown up in an abusive household with a mentally ill father. She was amazingly sane, but after having a miscarriage and with five little boys, one of them with Asperger's Syndrome; and with a totally passive husband who never disciplined and worked long hours at Microsoft she found herself yelling a lot. Her husband became "worried" about her being so out of control, so she went to see a therapist. (BTW, with each birth she ripped from stem to stern and had HEAVY flow for the full six weeks afterword, making her exhausted and anemic.) After the therapist heard all that she was dealing with he looked at her in amazement and said something like "With all you have going on, you think yelling sometimes is unreasonble? It's amazing you're not in a padded room!" His diagnosis was she needed some time for herself, so we went once a week to the food court of the local mall and sat and talked for a few hours about whatever we wanted to. She had to fight for that time, but it was so worth it.

  8. Dude. I'm with Jenny. I'm all about the yelling when I get angry. I'm also about the slamming of doors and the throwing of objects. I also have a tendency to want to hit, but I try to reign that one in (or at least focus it onto my husband who can take the abuse as long as he knows it's not really directed at him).And I also like your swearing. I grew up in a household with a whole lot of it, and always vowed I would NEVER swear. Now that I'm older, I have come to the conclusion that a good swear word is occasionally the best way to relieve some of that tension.

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