In New York

In New York

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Strong Emotion

He is angry and that doesn't surprise me. So why was I so taken aback by his rant last night? He has dealt with all of this in such a reasonable, practical way. He is so brave and he is so determined. I have even, on occasion, suggested to him that he admit his anger to himself. So why did I sit in shocked silence when I came upon him in the bedroom, sitting with his laptop, and the rant commenced? It is my business to deal with people's emotions and I pride myself on how I can help and support those who come to me for help. I suppose it's different at work, you're prepared to deal with strong emotion. It's different when it's your spouse. It wasn't directed at me, he wasn't angry with me but I've always found anger very hard to manage. It scares me, it makes me defensive and I wasn't prepared to encounter it in the bedroom.
What led to the outburst? The bloody dragon technology. Now it's making me angry. It took him forty minutes to create a facebook message which should have taken 3 minutes to write. It would not cooperate. He was frustrated and angry with it but it was so much more than that. He is angry with - what? Fate, life, The monkey? It also made me realise how frightened he is. He is afraid he will have to rely on this stupid, faulty, patchy software when he can no longer type himself, when he won't even be able to rant anymore. Yesterday he looked into the future and it angered and frightened him.
I'm sorry Roch, it took me a while to be present for you. I objected to your use of a word we both know I hate, even though it was not directed at me personally. What a basic mistake! That directed your anger at me for a few moments. I managed to to listen and tried to acknowledge how you were feeling and what was going on for you but I could have done better.
Today I think about how frightening the future must be for you - I've thought of that before, but last night was a timely reminder. You are strong and you are determined but you're not superhuman.
One thing is certain, we must make sure that the equipment and software you are using works efficiently and how right you were when you raged at the people who are responsible for fixing it, and haven't. No, they don't know what it means to you, how desperate you must feel, for them it's 'an IT problem' but for you, it's life or death of a sort. So we must focus on how to make sure they (or others if they can't) can get it right.
And RAGE if you have to - I'm there for you - and there may be other places you can bring your anger, and other people who can listen and help.

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