While the hubs and I were waiting for youngest daughter to arrive at the restaurant, i suddenly saw her and enter.
I stood enthusiastically and waved.
My hand went up so fast that it careened over a glass of water, throwing it a foot from the table, and spreading underneath the chairs and onto the menus.
Of course, it was no big deal….we all laughed about it.
But, that incident reminded me of my anger, which can be forceful, spewing itself in damaging ways over every person I love.
We feel emotions more intensely than many non-adopted humans, for we have pre-adoption traumas that affect us right down to the cellular level.
But, isn’t anger supposed to be a good thing?
Yes! Our emotions are a gift, meant to help us.
But, anger can become toxic if not processed.
Anger Can Be Connected to Another Emotion
Anger is often connected to another emotion, such as sadness or fear.
Sadness leads to depression, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Insomnia took over and for five nights I was wide awake. Walking and exercising didn’t help. It was hell.
Everything that came out of my mouth were words of condemnation—at myself. I couldn’t stop myself.
When I was 47, I was hospitalized for depression. The depression was chemical and I was helpless to overcome it. I couldn’t even talk. I spent ten nights and days in the hospital’s lock-down unit.
Never, ever will I forget my husband and adult daughter going through those doors at the end of the day.
I ran after them and learned that the doors were locked.
The orderlies, dressed in professional whites, stood stone-faced.
In desperation, I ran to the nearest sofa and curled up in a ball.
Is it ever hard telling all this. This is the first time I’ve ever shared these details. I do so in hopes it may speak to you if you are depressed.
Because I lost touch with reality, I was given strong anti-psychotic drugs that made me feel like a space cadet.
So, I spent ten nights in lock down, with way-out people. A schizo patient took off her clothes every night and ran circles around the unit.
Why was I put with all these crazy people?
All I needed was a good night’s sleep.
The meds the nurses gave before bed didn’t work.
Finally, I let out a scream.
Nurses came running.
A strong shot enabled me to drift off to sleep.
In the nine days that followed, humiliating group experiences filled my days.
Why, oh why, would they require me and others to play with building blocks?
A man who sat next to me owned a prosperous car dealership in Indianapolis.
Depression can befriend anyone.
Anger Can Kill
While in the lockdown unit, I passed the rooms of patients who were on IVs.
When I asked what was wrong with them, the nurse said that they were suffering from depression.
Isn’t depression just being sad? Isn’t it something everyone gets over?
No, depression can take your life.
Did that mean my life was in danger?
What was causing this?
I had to know.
How sobering to read these stats:
- Emotional issues may place us at risk for developing heart problems (American Heart Association)
- Anger precedes and can actually trigger a heart attack
- People who harbor their anger are twice as likely to have a heart attack, die. (Circulation, May 2000)
There was not a clue at the end of the ten-day stint what the cause of my depression.
The only thing I could concentrate on was: “one foot in front of the other.”
Leaving the hospital, I was determined to find out the cause through weekly counseling.
My personal experience with depression makes me passionate to pass this vital information on to you, fellow adoptees.
Anger Can Be Assessed
We’ve got to make self care a priority, which requires making an anger assessment. Not for anyone else, which is usually our focus.
It’s time to take care of ourselves.
Here are some symptoms of anger.
How many can you identify with?
- My cup is half empty most of the time
- Others are intimidated in my presence
- That bottle of wine isn’t enough to numb my pain
- I use drugs to escape my problems
- I smoke like a smokestack
- I feel guilty all the time and constantly apologize
- I’m can’t lose weight and I’ve had it with diets
- I’m out of control and don’t know what to do
- My anxiety, especially in social situations, cripples me
- I have physical symptoms, but docs don’t give diagnosis
- It’s impossible to get to sleep and stay asleep
- It feels good to cut myself
- I am a people pleaser
- I am loyal to a fault
- I’ve had several speeding tickets
- I use inappropriate humor
- I am sarcastic
- Suicidal thoughts
- Conflicts in primary relationships
- Anorexia or bulimic
- Chronically late to important functions
- My temper flares easily
Anger Can Numb
Months after beginning counseling, questions about my adoption surfaced.
Who was my birth mother?
Would she ever want to meet me?
Where in heck were these questions coming from?
Was I totally losing it?
Guilt flooded me for voicing such curiosities. After all, it wasn’t all supposed to be a secret?
And, no, my mom hadn’t hid things from me.
I was told about my adoption as a young child, along with enticing facts about the people involved in the saga. The doc who delivered me stopped by every week after my homecoming to check on me and there was a soldier who walked by our house everyday, peering in the windows from a distance.
If someone said my anger stemmed from my losing my birth mother at relinquishment, I would have blown them off, like dandelion fuzz.
How crazy is that?
I didn’t even know her.
Just hearing that suggestion was incredibly irritating.
Maybe this is where you’re at…and if so, let me assure you that it’s a good place to be.
The pot has been stirred for the revelation of your incredible life purpose.
Someday, all this will make sense.
Just be willing to work with me, okay?
We’ll talk about that in the next blog.
Stay with me?!
Sign up…right hand corner.