It all started with a text at 4 am that woke me up. It really could have waited until after 7am because it was not urgent. I could have waited to get up to do what they were asking me to do but, since they had already woken me up…I got up. There was a problem with the site I was on. Then I realized after a frantic search my license was missing. Magically, the site fixed itself and I was able to do what the person was asking me to do. Now, back to the license, I tried to enter my number and it just would not take it. I texted my friend at a decent hour because I knew they were up and they knew about the DMV and he asked me if I had 0 in front of the number. I tried that and it worked.
During this small window I was ANGRY. I was beyond ANGRY. I was unnecessarily ANGRY. You get the picture. After two meditations and half an affirmation, I began to calm down but, because I am analytical, I wondered WHY was I SO ANGRY. I should have been irritated perhaps but not ANGRY. Frustrated, yes. ANGRY no. And what exactly was I really angry about? Therapy has helped me to get this far in understanding my emotions and actions but, at this moment I am in search of a new therapist because mine retired. So….WHY? What’s the real trigger?
It wasn’t the text. It wasn’t the site. It was the loss of my license but, why? I can get another one even if I have to go there physically. It was finances, also. It cost me to do what the person asked me to do and I felt irresponsible for losing my license. Here is what you have to understand, the trigger is anxiety that surrounds finances that started when I became really ill and lost all of my savings. I was struggling going through the disability process. The irresponsible feeling really is from a feeling of YOU ARE ALWAYS GETTING IT WRONG OR CAN’T GET IT RIGHT that comes from childhood. You’re creating a problem and you are a problem because you create problems and this time with your “irresponsibility”.
No matter what it is, it is my fault. Getting sick and having a disease, my fault. Having anxiety around money because I could no longer work for 3 years and struggled, it is my fault. These thoughts are not reality. These things were out of my control. Although I AM responsible for managing my finances and keeping up with my license or important documents, I do not have to feel the huge weight of “fault”. We all misplace things. I am not the only person to have some unexpected expense or expected expense that impacted my finances. And that feeling of FAULT really is derived from GUILT. The guilt of not having it all together since my illness. And once again, why don’t you have it all together by now? You’re a problem.
But it also comes from me in the present having an overwhelming schedule of things to do and it’s not all related to the past. The feeling of I don’t need anything else on my plate! The inconvenience of it all. The waking me up, the site not running smoothly, the problem with the DMV site first thing in the morning sent me into ANGER.
So, as you can see, it’s complex! You can see where you may need some professional help to not only understand it but to create an effective plan to help you to put things in perspective and when you do that, you can learn to adjust your emotions and have the appropriate feelings. GOOD therapists are a gift to this troubled world. It’s four hours later and I am using my skills learned in therapy to put things into perspective and change my emotions. I am almost at a good place. There was a time when something like what happened this morning would have taken me all day or days to get over.
I am telling myself, “It was irritating getting that text. It broke my sleep and sleep doesn’t come easy for me. I was irritated. It was frustrating because the site was slow and logging me out. It was frustrating when I couldn’t enter my license to get a new one. I felt overwhelmed because I have quite a bit on my plate. I felt anxious about money coming out of my account.” I can see it now. I can understand it now. I don’t have to be angry but I can be these other things and I can let it go.
One thought on “Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Understanding Anger Triggers”
I am sorry you got up angry. Wow I hate it when that happens. I mean it used to happen why more frequently but these days as a retiree, I have less frustration. Still reading your blog reminded me of those many days and nights a long time ago.