I am 43 years old. As I look back at my life, I realize that I have had to deal with many persons that had similar psychological issues as my original abuser. This occurred in school, the Armed Forces, and at jobs. These people had some sort of hold over me, and abused their power. The younger I was, the more I reacted as I did at home with my abuser–passive. But as I have aged and been in therapy, I have reacted with more and more anger. And this anger has been difficult to let go, even after the relationship has ended.
I have often found myself daydreaming about waiting for one of these people outside his/her car and beating him/her up. Being a non-violent person, I quickly redirect my daydream to something passive-aggressive. I really want them to be punished for what they have done to others and me. I want them to realize the error of their ways and change for the better. I want them to feel the mental pain I have felt. This is my daydream. It fuels my anger. It makes me rage. Fuck him. Fuck her. Fuck them all. Fucking assholes.
At some point my rational mind kicks in and the daydream dissipates and I go on about my day. There is no “except for when” coming in this blog. If you are expecting one, stop reading now. I have learned that these daydreams are healthy. They are a way for our minds to feel like we have strength and will and life. It makes us feel vindicated and powerful. But we should never act on these dreams, even though we (I) really want to. If we act on them, they cease to be healthy. I have come to realize that acting on these daydreams will not, in the end, make the pain subside. I may garner temporary pleasure, but it will not change the person or make me whole again. In the end, I am actually raging against my OA (original abuser). That’s who I want to make pay. This person has become a surrogate for my rage against my OA.
This past week, I heard some new information about the last bad boss I had (from about a year ago—I am with the same company but in a different location now) that had the characteristics of my OA. I began my PTSD C-PTSD dance of daydreaming and raging. I went home and wrote a heated letter to this person. In one page, I spouted off about everything I disliked about him. I was ready to send it out, but had my wife read it. She said it was hard to follow. Over the past week, I have revised it seven times. While revising, I realized that when I let my anger flow, it comes out non-linear and stratified. What I mean it, that thoughts overlapped on top of each other and were woven through each other in such a way that the letter made little logical sense to anyone but me.
I had to deconstruct all the layers, sort them into like-thoughts, and then reorganize as cohesive paragraphs. This exercise has been very reveling about how I feel my anger. Angers from many sources overlap in my head to make a chorus of anger only I can decipher. It has been an exercise in mindfulness.
I have not, as yet, mailed the letter. I’m not sure I will. I don’t know if it will do any good. It might help me let go knowing that I put on paper all the things I wanted to tell him. It might not. After all, he is only a reminder of my OA. That is whom I really want the letter to go to. I cannot bring myself to do that yet. Maybe some day.