An interesting thing has happened since I started this blog. I have had to face my own suicidal impulses in front of the world so to speak. For example I would start a blog on resources for someone who is coping with suicide. But in the background I would be talking with God about why I am feeling suicidal. Finally I would stop the blog I was writing and write about the conversation I was having with God. There have been several breakthroughs with this technique. First I discovered that I needed to move both my home but especially my church. I found that I wasn’t getting what I needed in either of those situations. Once I made the decision to move the suicidal thoughts left me and haven’t come back. I don’t think the thoughts will come back because since moving to a new church I realize that the lack of nourishment in my original church really made me feel unwanted and unfed. This is nobody’s fault but my own. My unwillingness to face that I needed to make a big change and leave behind what little support I had left me clinging to my old church and unwilling to move on. God used this blog to help me see it.
Yesterday I was blogging on prayer and suicidal thoughts and I sensed my heart wasn’t in it even though it is the central issue for people facing this problem. I stopped the blog and opened a new screen and knew I needed to write honestly about the rage that had come on me in the last few days. I felt deeply ashamed of the rage and though I didn’t want to write about it I felt God was urging me on. I prayed as I wrote, just telling about the rage.
Suddenly an answer materialized as I wrote. That I was in a rage at a former therapist whom I felt deserted me when I needed him most. God gave me that missing and vital piece of information. I had no idea that was the source of my rage. As I continued to write about the situation I kept blaming the therapist but God kept calling me back to my accountability in the situation. From my perspective the therapist let me down but how I chose to use it was up to me. God wouldn’t let me off the hook. Finally I wrote “it is what it is” and the rage fell from me. I am not accountable to the therapist and he is not accountable to me. I could let go of the situation and by the grace of God I did. The rage that was pushing me to kill myself fell from me like a cloak from the shoulders.
Unfortunately I published the blog last night instead of waiting until this morning and re-reading it. In it I said that the therapist is not a good man. I can’t know that. That isn’t even my experience of the man. I don’t know why he did what he did. It may have been with the kindest of motives which I can’t even imagine.
So I ask all of you who read that blog to forgive me for saying the therapist was not a good man. I was not being a good Christian when I published that.
The suicidal thoughts are gone so I am not battling them at the moment. But I almost wish they were back. Now I am dealing with rage. Call it anger, at least anger is more socially acceptable but it is really rage.
I took the dogs for a walk along an arroyo this morning which allows mixed use of bicycles and pedestrians . If I hear a bicyclist coming or someone calls out “on your left”, I step off the trail with my little dogs who like to jump up on people. I keep them on tight leash anyway because I don’t want them to run up to other pedestrians. Usually when I step off the trail the bicyclist acknowledges my gesture with a smile or a thank you.
One woman glared at me when she rode past. I felt rage rise in my throat and before I could catch myself I yelled “you’re welcome” like a complete jerk. She stopped her bike and gave me a lecture about walking my dogs on the trail. I felt a murderous rage at this. I really wanted to hit her.
Just before going for the walk I decided to use the count to ten strategy with my anger. I also realized I feel the anger/rage in my throat just before I vocalize it so I decided to watch for that cue. Well these strategies were not even in play. I lost it before I even remembered them.
I’ve been thinking about the rage all day. The picture in my blog is of my family when I was about five. You can see I was angry that day. I don’t know why. But I have a hunch that anger saved me in a very dysfunctional and violent family. Even at five you might not have wanted to mess with me.
Well I have figured out what I am so angry about and it is ridiculous. I have written before that I went to a therapist for the better part of two years before and after my husband killed himself. As you can imagine a lot of transference took place in those two years and I guess you could have called Brad my good Father. He always seemed so caring and kind. But when I became suicidal nearly a year after my husband’s suicide, I definitely had issues with Brad and acted out with him. On the day I threatened to kill myself he had the police pick me up and hospitalize me and told the hospital he wanted nothing to do with me. I was the names of an incompetent therapist and psychiatrist when they released me and had no one to turn to. Brad never called the hospital to see how I was doing.
What I have come to terms with today was that Brad had no committment to me. I had assumed that by becoming his patient he had a reciprocal obligation to me. But apparently he felt ok to desert me in the middle of the worst psychological event of my life. He said he was doing it for my own good . Of course. There seems that there is no ethic in the profession against deserting a patient. Now I understand. It is what it is. I guess I wanted to believe that Brad was a good man in spite of the evidence. And that, my friends is my responsibility, not his. And now my rage is gone.