Thursday, April 11, 2013

How to deal with anger?

(Written on Wednesday, posted on Thursday)

True story: last night I ripped my Creighton chart in two. I probably would have ripped it into a million tiny pieces if the little stickers didn't offer some resistance and if the rational part of my brain didn't kick in. I then slammed the piano bench shut (where I keep my charts) and broke down crying and yelling.

So yeah, I think I've got a problem with anger.

I can pinpoint exactly how I got to that chart-ripping point. I was sick (still am) with seasonal allergies, which really wiped me out this time – two days off work and hours lying around on the couch. I've been feeling crummy since last week. Then yesterday was the first time in the last two months that I've seen some good CM. Fertile, or as my sarcastic inner angry self says, in quotes, "fertile." Great timing, right? I'm going through about a tissue a minute and my head is pounding...not exactly a recipe for romanc. Mr. M agreed. No "baby dance" tonight.

Realizing that we were going to miss out on probably the best chance this cycle to conceive, all because the stupid trees outside finally decided to blossom and send my sinuses into overdrive...on top of already feeling crummy and depressed over being was too much to handle. So as I went to fill out my chart and was not going to put an "I" on that day's square, anger took hold. Hence the mutilated chart and the slammed piano bench (which I broke, by the way, although it could be fixable).

And when the tears came, all of the little "jabs" I had been trying to not think about came flooding back with unbelievable intensity.

The fact that my Creighton instructor is pregnant with her 4th baby in 4 years and I have to get yet another chart from her because I've filled up two already. And that I have to talk with her, of all people, about my pitiful CM and our failure to conceive, while she seems to just look at her husband and get pregnant.

The fact that my coworker (in a different department) who got married last April and had a baby this February is going to bring her baby in on Thursday for "show and tell," and that it would be awkward if I didn't go, since we work on the same hall, but I'd rather just shut my door and not have to pretend that I'm happy for her, or (my bigger fear) hear people make comments about honeymoon babies and Good Catholic Families and the like.

The fact that we're probably not going to move into the new, bigger apartment that came available, for a lot of reasons, one of them being that we really don't need more space (read: it's still only the two of us).

And on and on. Just when I think that these little pricks are taken care of, they surface again to kick me while I'm down.


It's so ugly.

It's there in my heart, and when the dam breaks, I just want to lash out at someone – anyone – and release all this pent-up pain inside.

Who am I even angry at? It's not like someone is to blame for our childlessness. Am I angry at my body? At Mr. M? At God?

Last night, I felt like being sick during my "fertile" window was like being slapped in the face by the universe. I don't know how else to put it. I don't believe God causes us harm, but then who?? At least when someone does something nasty to you, you can have an object of anger – and forgiveness. But IF just makes me feel so indiscrimantely angry – pure anger, if I can put it that way. Angry at the way my life is going, angry at my reproductive oddities, angry at our childlessness, angry that I can't control my emotions better, angry at feeling at the mercy of every baby bump and pregnancy announcement, and on and on.

What do I do with all this anger? Especially when it comes upon me all of a sudden. I'm really ashamed at how I acted last night, ripping the chart at all. I've never had much of a temper, but I've gone through IF before either! This is not the person I want to be. I wish I had a punching bag or something – working out helps, doing something else can help, but in the moment, when I'm awash with anger – rage, even – and there doesn't seem to be any outlet, I do inappropriate things like take it out on my Creighton chart....

I need to talk this over with my therapist (that's a topic for another post) to get a handle on my anger. I'm so ashamed afterwards, and I don't want to deal with IF in this way. Not that it's not something to get angry about! But clearly I don't want to be at the mercy of anger and do or say things that I'll regret later.

Not sure how to end this, just to say that any prayers would be appreciated, advice as well, and that I am supremely grateful for the patience of my husband, who always "walks me off the cliff," as I like to say, and for the mercy of our always-forgiving God, who I feel like I let down.

p.s. Thursday - I'm still feeling under the weather, but was non-sniffles enough last night to have a "good night in" with Mr. we'll see if that bears any fruit, ha ha bad pun sorry...


  1. Oh, the anger. Even when we do "baby-dance" I rarely put "I"s on my chart - my instructor and doctor are none-too-pleased with it, but I feel like they mock me. I know full well if we've used "good" days or not...putting them on my chart - well, it just doesn't happen.

    While I certainly can't tell you what to do, having a FCP who has dealt with IF has certainly made my life much easier - have you considered switching - if only for your sanity? I'd be happy to ask her if she is taking new clients (I'm sure she is) - I just do all of my follow-ups on the phone. Send me an email if you'd like me to connect the two of you.

    Finally, I don't know what I'd do without The Man - he's dried more tears, dealt with more outbursts and calmed me down more times in the past 2 1/2 years than I can even begin to count. Our husbands truly are Christ to us in these moments.

    1. Not a bad idea about the "I"s - they do seem to mock us, don't they! And thanks for the lead on a different FCP - I'll have to pray about that, because my current one is also an acquaintance/friend (somewhere in between), attends the same parish we do, and needs clients to get her I'll give that some thought.

      Amen to good husbands!!!! Mr. M's sanity and calmness is such a God-send.

  2. Yes, the anger can be overwhelming sometimes. I agree with Rebecca switch your FCP and let her know why you want to switch, that it is not her it is just painful for you. I would not go to the baby "show and tell" I think it is weird when people show off their babies like that, it helps to make children an idol for me so I would stay away.

    Ok, back to the anger. There have been many times when I have wanted to rip or burn my Creighton chart. Dealing with IF for the last 4 yrs. has Given me cause for much anger. Something that has helped me to work with that raw emotion of anger is to truly feel it. There is a difference between feeling an emotion and acting on it. When PMS is around I sometimes act on the anger but hey I don't think that it is in my control PMS made me do it ;) Other times I try and stop to feel the emotion I am feeling, which requires slowing down my every day life to feel other emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, etc. Slowing down and feeling an emotion has made a WORLD of difference for me. It also helps me to connect that emotion with why I am feeling that emotion. For ex. IF plays on my self esteem issues of fitting in and vanity so when I am angry about it I sometimes remember situations it reminds me of that I dealt with as a child. I then compare it with TRUTH and what I know about God and I allow myself to be angry for however long I need to and let God and my DH comfort me in that. It is important to not that feeling and acting on anger are two different things but sometimes we jumble them together.

    It is not always easy to do this and it takes practice but it has really helped me. This has also helped to really experience other emotions too, not just anger. As well as blogging has helped A LOT :)

    I am praying for you! I am sorry my comment is so long but I have a lot to say on anger and emotions for I am a hot mess when it comes to emotions. You can email me if you want to talk about it more. Sending hugs and prayers your way!

    1. I like your long comment! I like your distinction between feeling something and acting on problem is the acting comes so quickly after the feeling, even if I don't want it to. Comparing feelings with truth is so important! It's so hard in those low moments to not think of lies: "You'll never be a mother...You're not good enough to be a mother...Your life will always be this hard..." and so on. Of course they look ridiculous in the daylight, but in the dark (figuratively speaking) they seem so convincing. But I really like your point about slowing down and feeling emotions - I think being sick and just stressed out in general really added to my moment of insanity the other night.

      Thank you for your kind words!

  3. Me and my mom don´t have such a good relationship so I sometimes find myself getting into arguments with her and then not speaking for sometime. I was once given the advise that since I know this can happen with her, I should always say this prayer many times in my head before I say something I might later regret "Lord Jesús, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner". It´s not a magic formula but it gives you so much peace if you close your eyes and say it, believing it, every single word, thinking about Jesús when you say his name. Invoking his name, making him present at that one moment in your life. And you can say this prayer anytime you want.

  4. Anger? Nope. I have no experience with that.


    I think discussing with your therapist is a grand idea. I know I cannot wait to get in for some counseling, myself, for adoption anger and fear issues.


  5. Your poor Creighton chart. :( It was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. :)

    If you're looking for something to blame, you might try sin or the devil. Not sure if that helps though because it doesn't take the anger away. I sometimes think that disease (including IF) exists because we live in a fallen world, and if our first parents hadn't sinned, we wouldn't have to deal with any of this. I know that thinking about hypotheticals like that doesn't change anything, but it does help me put IF in perspective.

    Oh, and the anger...I've been there many times. It's definitely one of the stages of the grieving process, although it's not like it can't rear its ugly head at any time, even after you think you've passed that "stage." I think this is one of the ways that IF has changed me the most because by temperament, I am rarely angry, but because of IF I can become angry much more easily.

    I hope your therapist has lots of good ideas for you. I'm praying for you.

    P.S. If you've filled two charts with your current FCP, I'm pretty sure you already "count" toward her client count, so if you switched now, it might not hurt her totals...unless she needed you for something else besides numbers.

  6. I can so relate to this. I had some pretty awful meltdowns this last year. A lot of them I'm too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to not feel alone. I think anyone who's going through IF deserves a gold star for holding it together most of the time. Praying for you for peace in your heart.