This morning in the session with my therapist I came into contact with a very young part of me. I want to share this experience with you again, because these kind of experiences are universal. So it’s not just about my process, I hope it will inspire you and give you insights.
The earliest memory I have from my childhood is vague. It’s about sitting on a potty in the living room. And although I’ve cherished my memories for a long time, they faded one by one after I was 10. This is logical because our brain doesn’t have the capacity to make it an explicit and coherent life story before that time. And because you don’t have language at an early age (pre-verbal period) to give meaning to what you are experiencing, how can you remember it?
Yet the implicit pre-verbal memories are still present in us. This became clear during the session, it was about anger, when I noticed that everything around me was starting to get blurred. I literally lost contact with my body (de-personalization) when I came into contact with the pain that comes when someone is angry with me.
The beauty of a therapy setting is that you are kept so aware that it is easy to get back into the here-and-now. At least I managed that with the help of my therapist.
Because I had no language, a number of things had been said before, and the whole process (I have been with this therapist since last November), he almost immediately told me that this is something from a very young age. Something that originated with me as a baby.
This touched me, and I recognized it immediately. I have known this feeling all my life. Immediately after that all insights started to emerge. Suddenly I saw why all my life I have been afraid in groups, afraid of loss and especially afraid of the rejection I experience when someone is angry at me, or threatens to get angry at me. It brings me directly into contact with my existential fear, or rather, it feels like a fear of dying. And that’s not strange because it has its origin in the symbiotic period you go through as a baby, and mother can apparently disappear emotionally. Apparently later in life I’ve linked this to anger, because you can also feel the distance in it.
Then my therapist put anger in a different perspective. He said: Anger is about connecting, it makes you feel the power. It is a warm emotion and helps you to find your autonomy again. And that’s right. In the few times that I was able to fully allow someone’s anger, connection just came into being. Anger is an expression of love.
At least if is the functional side of anger, and not the blind rage that is meant to destroy.
What followed next was that I could feel the (connecting) anger towards both my parents. And in fact, it went even better when I could feel the anger towards the cause of my mother’s mental disorder. It was Adolf Hitler who once started a war and traumatized a few whole generations, including my mother. I also suddenly understood where my sense of social justice came from.
My therapist led me back to myself and I could feel the power of anger in myself. First in my chest and arms, and then in my pelvis and legs. After which it spread over my whole body. This inner strength, this life force, which I fortunately feel more and more, gives the containment to heal my baby pain.
And all this in the unifying way that this functional anger is actually meant for; returning to Love.
May you be able to feel your loving life force as well.