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Old 04-11-2013, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Issues of anger, sadness and disenfranchisement?

I was wondering how many other gay people have such feelings, and how they deal with them. At points, I feel as if I am unable to express my feelings, such as anger, and instead, keep it bottled up. Being gay has never been easy, and with such a polarized political climate, it's hard to just forget and pretend everything is hunky-dory. And yet I feel sometimes that it's not OK to feel angry, it's not something to talk about, and so, it gets turned inward in self-destructive behaviors, a kind of impulse towards death instead of life.

I'd love to have somebody to talk about these thing with in more detail...my last therapist moved away 3 months ago, and I feel the need to let things out to an open ear that comments back.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I relate. Sometimes I write in a blog about it-- not the one hosted here.

I work an ACA program and there's a lot in it about accepting and validating difficult feelings like anger. That might be a place to look for recovery resources on living with anger.

AA has a lot to say about anger and resentment-- how important it is to name and detach from anger/resentments so they do not serve as a rationalization for drinking.

Those teachings are not quite right for me adult child recovering from the impacts of family and sibling alcoholism. The wrinkle is that I need my anger-- I need to not turn it inward, and I need it as strength to protect myself.

For me anger does not turn to the kind of toxic self pity that leads to justification of drinking, I just didn't get that part at the factory. If anger did work that way for me, I would probably be an alcoholic and need to work an AA program.

I recover with a lot of adult children who also go to AA, and it is kind of a delicate thing they have to learn to do, to validate their own anger and not let it turn to that poisonous self-pity.

Hope something here was helpful.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Husky,

I can relate to your post as well. I'm working on anger right now, it's one of my last hurdles I hope... I've had some unfortunate outbursts (some of them right here in SR) that have left me feeling quite guilty and downright bewildered.

So, this is what I've been working on:

Anger is a fascinating feeling. I believe that it's the most misunderstood feeling. Our culture teaches us to basically fear and ignore anger. However, when used correctly, it's an invaluable source of energy, drive and motivation.

You mentioned therapy. What I learnt in therapy is that it's okay to be angry. Always. Every feeling you have needs to be acknowledged and accepted, otherwise you're asking for trouble (for instance, the Chinese believe that depression is caused by anger turn inwards, in my experience that assessment is quite accurate, if incomplete)

The main issue is how to express it. As we're taught to disregard anger, when we finallt decide to consciously deal with it, we're basically in uncharted territory.

Talking about it, I've found, only brings limited results. I used to tell my therapist that I was angry at something, would rant etc and after a while she'd smile and start tapping her foot. Session over, off I went to do something.

The thing is to *do* something (constructive) with it. It's not something that you need to get over/get rid of. the trick is to accept your anger, direct it, feel it, and then allow it to turn into something else. Remember that it's pure, untapped energy and, unlike other feelings, anger doesn't fade away, you might come to terms with the cause of your anger, make peace etc BUT the energy itself remains... and it's up to you to do something with it.

Like Reedling mentioned, writing about it can help. Let it all out on paper without censoring yourself, don't try to rationalise it or elaborate - don't writes a thesis, just allow it to pour out.

I've found that going for a brisk walk, swearing under my breath etc leaves me feeling energised and quite driven for days. Shhhh, lol

Keep reminding yourself that it's okay to be angry. Trust it, it's there for something.

The gay thing can lead to a lot of anger. Bigotry, hate, politics, religion, ignorance etc etc. Again, accept your anger and use it to renew your convictions.

Personally:
My anger towards Christianity seemed never-ending, I ranted, raved and yelled... and my convictions grew, my energy never wavered and I reached a point where, yes, I'm far from impressed with this religion BUT I've learned to accept it and see the good it does for so many people. Not all Christians are Bible thumpers, only the ignorant ones ;-). Some of the nicest people I know are part of this institution, and they can surprise you by actually practicing what they preach: showing compassion, giving unconditional love, offering forgiveness.

So there's a fine line between having strong convictions and turning into a bigot yourself.

What I've also learnt is to do not, under any circumstances, allow it to pile up, otherwise you'll end up *being* angry instead of *feeling* angry. The accumulated anger will fester and become uncontrollable, and that's when you screw up and start lashing out, misdirecting your anger, boiling over, saying things that you later greatly regret, not to mention "expressing" it physically.

It's okay to be angry. It's healthy. Don't be scared. It's up to you to do something productive and constructive *with* it.

Productive anger can give you an "edge", as in... "I mean business". But there's a difference between freely elaborating anger and being an angry person.

And then there is the root cause... as all feelings, anger is always a result of your thoughts, either conscious or unconscious (the unconscious thoughts are especially important here). A situation arises, your thoughts take over and off you go.

f you change your thoughts, your feelings will change too. I'll pipe down now, lol, why don't you check out the tools in the SMART website? They're incredibly helpful.

Then there's this table is from "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns:
Quote:
Characteristics of Destructive Anger / Characteristics of Constructive Anger

1. You deny your feelings and pout (passive aggression) or lash out and attack the other person (active aggression)
1. You express your feelings in a tactful way.

2. You argue defensively and insist there's no validity in what the other person is saying.
2. You try to see the world through the other person's eyes, even if you disagree.


3. You believe the other person is despicable and deserving of punishment. You appear condescending or disrespectful.
3. You convey a spirit of respect for the other person, even though you may feel quite angry with him or her.

4. You give up and see yourself as a helpless victim.
4. You do something productive and also try to solve the problem.

5. You don't learn anything new. You feel that your view of the situation is absolutely valid.
5. You try to learn from the situation so you will be wiser in the future.

6. Your anger becomes addictive. You won't let go of it.

6. You eventually let go of the anger and feel happy again.


7. You blame the other person and see yourself as an innocent victim.
7. You examine your own behaviour to see how you may have contributed to the problem.

8. You insist that you are entirelyright and the other person is entirely wrong. You feel convinced that truth and justice are on your side.
8. You believe that you and the other person both have valid ideas and feelings that deserve to be understood.

9. You avoid or reject the other person. You write him or her off.
9. Your commitment to the other person increases. Your goal is to feel closer to him or her.

10. You feel like you're in a battle or a competition. If one person wins, you feel that the other one will be a loser.
10. You look for a solution where you can both win and nobody has to lose.
Anger is so interesting.. personally, I have so much to learn yet, I'm grateful for the challenge.

Okay, I can't resist to add one last thing. There is one last "solution": cultivate compassion. Always. Both for yourself and for others. That is to say, don't go out judging yourself, others, Life mercilessly. Judgment is Ego, and it creates division and rejection. It's not your true Self.

I believe that everybody deserves to receive love and understanding. Absolutely everybody.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the very thoughtful replies. I need a few moments to organize my thoughts, here. Certainly I've examined my anger with a fine tooth come, and do have some healthy coping strategies...I'll have to go into better detail.

This is somewhat related, but a huge source of tension for me are unfilled sexual tensions...or that I dont have a way to express my sexual self on it's deepest, or even most essential personal, level, and this causes a build-up of tension. Certainly many theories point to unreleased sexual energy turning to violence and anger, and I can say that I literally feel that, especially in that my sexual proclivities are not very common, and yet, I can't simply disown them. And yet I am not violent, nor do my sexual inclinations involve violence.

So this, too, feeds into things, or a state of psychic and physical 'tension'.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow! Husky, are you familiar with the shamefully misunderstood Wilhelm Reich? He's one of my heroes, lol, he took Freud's rustic theory about "sexual pulsion" or "libido" and discovered "orgone" - psychic sexual tension. He carried out fascinating experiments with Einstein and others, until he was detained... by people who refused to believe

If you believe, things will get easier. I don't mean to sound cryptic, just google him, his ideas are hugely interesting.

Do you judge your preferences?
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Actually, I am very fond of Reich, and his theories! Sad, how they essentially locked him away. Now that you mention it, I have a copy of, 'The function of the orgasm' in a pile of books on my desk. I studied psychology and English as an undergrad, and still like to read in those areas.

As for my preferences (aside from simply being 'gay') : I've become quite comfortable with them, yes, and have found some degree to which I can talk about them online, though they don't have any real expression in real-life, such as they are. One might say my sexual self likes the idea of pretending, playfulness, and transformation...without going into any specifics right here!
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Uhmm... Husky, you publicly expressed your preferences right here a few years ago They seem perfectly harmless (in fact I'm a teeny bit curious, lol). I've met several people who are in that synchrony. My friend once included me in his fantasy and later told me about it, it was a hoot.

Just relax and be yourself. I can't resist, here's a little gift to inspire you, from the Goddess herself, complete with Orgone Accumulator:


I still dream of organon



What made it special, made it dangerous
So I bury it and forget

Daddy, the sun is coming out.
Daddy, your son is coming out..

xoxo
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Last edited by Mattcake; 04-12-2013 at 03:03 PM. Reason: reposted video
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Matt...I very much like Kate Bush!

And yes, I do think I posted some of more creative sexual proclivities, now that you mention it!

One thing that comes to mind, that I think builds up inside me, and makes me want to drown it out is that I don't have any means to express them. On one hand, they are rather costly; on the other hand, it's also very hard to find anyone else interested in them, without traveling, or living in say, London or Berlin! By not spending $$$ on drinking, I could bring myself closer to clearing at least the financial hurdle, though, which is some motivation. I was looking at latex fox and puppy suits from this place called Squeak Latex, and it looks like with shipping, it will run about $800-$850.

What makes that harder, is that I would feel a bit guilty spending that money even if I had it, given the number of other issues that need to be addressed: teeth, car, vision...this is what I think overwhelms me, that I look at all the numbers, and they seem almost surreal, in relation to my income, and I think, it could be until I die, even without drinking, until I can fix these things, and then more things will keep breaking, entropy, the process of things falling apart.

All that aside, I do feel that the taking Reich a few steps further, our sexual preferences go far beyond just gay or straight, but are much more detailed and individual...and that finding expression for them brings about a great deal of release, though this is made difficult in a society that still has a good amount of guilt and secrecy surrounding the open discussion of such matters. I have at least surmounted that, though in practical terms, I still feel there is a lot of bottled up energy, waiting to explode.

Thanks for taking the time to talk about all this, I really appreciate it.

I'm doing OK, I only have 4 days, but I'm trying. I'm still looking for face to face support, just hard to find anything around when I'm not working. I guess that's why I've stared to post here, again, so that I have some support and contact with the recovery community.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Husky! congrats on 4 days. You know that you'll always find support here.

Yeah, sexuality is multi-dimensional, just like,say, personality. It's impossible to quickly stamp a label on a person and be done with it, whatever their preferences.

What interests me is the way one's sexual dimension changes over time:

I'm pretty "traditional", lol, but -over time- my preferences have changed a whole lot if you know what I mean. And, recently, I've managed to shock myself by feeling attracted to certain women; my curiosity is piqued, and I don't know where it's all headed, but I'm going along with the orgone flow. Were I to -needlessly- classify myself, I've gone from 100% to maybe 96% gay, lol. See, it makes no sense ;-)

Has this happened to you?

Keep your priorities straight, namely your health, home etc... but if you're able to, I say indulge yourself by getting what you want without feeling guilty.. us recovering addicts are usually in "deprivation mode", we're used to feeling unable to have what we (supposedly) want. The trick is to switch to "freedom mode", I think: to humbly accept our limitations of course, but to realise that not *everything* in Life is off limits. You're allowed to have some level of satisfaction and pleasure, don't feel guilty.

The "cure" for entropy is to manage your enthalpy correctly You can't fight physics. Focus on your recovery and manage your resources well.

Here for you, quirky guy xo
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
 

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See, it makes no sense ;-)
It actually makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It actually makes perfect sense to me.
LOL, Soberlicious, it makes sense to me too (fluidity) but I'm curious about your thoughts about it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
 

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My thoughts about it are this: I don't choose to spend time with someone based on their gender. When the essence of a person attracts me, it is just that. Sometimes that attraction progresses into a physical expression. That is also not based on gender, any more than it is based hair color, build, profession, etc. Even when the attraction is purely physical...for me, there is still not one defining thing that I find attractive. I know this sounds cliche, but it is a je ne sais quoi .

That is why I never, as you said, needlessly classify myself. I can't and I don't want to anyway. Coloring in the lines has always been a problem for me, so I just draw my own lines and the picture comes out pretty nicely. To be honest, I don't think gay people are necessarily any more open to the idea of fluidity (whether gender choices or fluidity of sexual interests) than are heterosexuals. I realize that is a blanket statement, of course I don't mean all gays or heteros, I'm just pointing out that many gays I know are no more "sexually free or open" than the straight people I know. I'm also not saying that "sexually free and open" is preferable or superior, because it's not, I'm just making an observation. Have you experienced a sort of weird reaction if you share your thoughts on having an interest in women?
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Huh, I don't really have sexual thoughts about women, unless I mistake them for boys. Often, I'll see a boyish lesbian, and think she's a male.

And then oddly, I am hardly ever attracted to gay males...or at least in the sense that so many of them act out this or that stereotype, from Will and Grace to The Village People. It's hard to find what I call an 'authentic' persona in the gay world, but I feel it's getting better as time goes on, and gay people live less and less in some shadow world, in gay ghettos, in some underground.

My interests have expanded and developed over time; at first, when I was about 12 or 13 and on into my early teens my sexual feelings were not even about people, but spacesuits, and the feeling of being enclosed, protected, removed, hugged, distant. Then, I began to think of boys being in them that I liked.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
 

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I'm sorry Husky...I was asking Matt about the women. He commented about it earlier.

Totally hear you on things changing over time. I think that can be a really good thing.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No worries! I'm wide open to hearing about everything. I did go out with a girl from Laos when from about 8th grade to 11th grade, who was in my same class. And yes, at a young age we...but it always was like I would be thinking of her brothers...I had very deeply repressed my feelings, at that age...I think, too, I have some anger over why that had to be, the culture that shaped that, that took away some part of my conscious life, as it were. And yet, it was how I grew up, and I'm still here, and I'm not ashamed...I have more of a bittersweet feeling, looking back. She was very sweet, and aggressive. Buddhist family, and not so much western guilt over sex. So I do thank her for showing me such attitudes existed...that sex was, in fact, natural.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Huh, I don't really have sexual thoughts about women, unless I mistake them for boys.
!!!

I think you're right, SL, most of us choose a label and that's that. I sure did.

Since exploring other people's accounts, especially in this forum, I began to realise that I was being stubborn and close-minded . So I let it flow.

I don't find it weird, strangely enough.

I was watching the movie "Paperboy" a while ago (highly recommended!), and I found myself insanely attracted to Nicole Kidman's character. I know that she's just acting, but my eyes were wide open, lol She did this particularly sexually intense scene (think Sharon Stone's leg crossing thing, but much sexier.. and classier) and my jaw was on the floor by then, lol. It was not horniness or lust or desire, just strong attraction. Maybe it was Zac Efron, his wardrobe for the film consists on just white briefs, that's all he wears for 2+ hours, lol.

But on a more serious note, in "real life", I've recently experienced a similar reaction to an old g-friend of mine. Again, it's not "animal drive" attraction, I've just been finding her alluring and... enticing. It's not in my plans to do anything about it, not in the foreseeable future, but still. This would have been unheard of a few years ago.

Who knows where it will end up. I'm not scared, just a bit shocked and ... confused is to stong a word,. "Intrigued", that's it.

And very interested! We'll see. Still,95% gay :p

SL Oh for the record: I've never experienced sexual intimacy with a lady
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
 

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Now I have this song stuck in my head "Free your mind, and the rest will follow" Gotta love En Vogue
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Now I have this song stuck in my head "Free your mind, and the rest will follow" Gotta love En Vogue

Lucky you. No offense, here's what I hear and see in the background when I think of the possibility of dating a lady, I can't help myself lol:




If not downright:




:p
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
 

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Hahaaa
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