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Anger & Forgiveness

Anger & Forgiveness (10)

27 Jan

A while back you posted a story by a corrections counselor, and this inspires me to share another story.  I, too, am a social worker who works with incarcerated youth.  They are all being tried as adults.  The jail where they are being housed has started to let one inmate listen to an imagery recording on anger and forgiveness.  He is on lockdown for fighting with another inmate who ruined his food.
 
He had only begun to listen to the audio, and maybe had heard it three times.
 
He became very angry about his situation and began pacing back and forth in his cell, trying to decide what to do.  He wanted to charge his peer when his cell door was opened.  He paced and paced, then he lay down on his bunk and continued to ruminate.  (This alone was progress, as in the past he reacted so impulsively, he would not have ever thought about his actions and consequences before acting.)

20 Jan

Dear Belleruth,

Right now I’m really struggling with a really rocky roller coaster. Yes, everyone deals with a roller coaster but it’s really hard on me because I am a mother and a father to my son. I want the best for him and sometimes I catch myself wanting to scream at him. He’s only ten months old - he doesn’t know the difference. And then again I have days like today... I can’t stop smiling even though yesterday I wanted to yell at him for doing the same thing he’s doing right now.

Being a single parent is awesome but when I get frustrated I just wish his dad was around to help me. I’m really just lost and confused... Don’t know what to do now... I quit smoking two weeks ago and I can already tell that I’m happier. But now I don’t know how else to relieve my stress...

I feel as though sometimes I could be diagnosed with bipolar disorder... It’s really hard to talk to family and friends about this, ‘cause they don’t see what happens behind closed doors and they wouldn’t believe me if I even tried to tell them... they would just say, "Oh no... you’re a good mom..", but sometimes I wonder if that’s really true..

Andrea

05 Aug

Question: 

I was wondering if there is a CD out for trying to stop controlling everything.  I need help with patience.  I get easily angered.

John

Answer:

Dear John,

Usually impatience, anger and a strong need to control things have a lot to do with anxiety, depression and sometimes even posttraumatic stress.
 
Sometimes, it just comes from unconsciously adopting the style and psychological defenses of a parent who was like that. It’s more like a stable character trait than something that’s coming from the environment.

Often the roots of it can lie in the past, from a difficult, punishing or abusive parent, spouse or sibling, and we hand the “bill” to the wrong people in our current lives. 

Sometimes the reasons are more contemporary – like from being stuck in an untenable situation that has you feeling trapped and frustrated – and you may have been in it for so long, you no longer even recognize it as something that generates anger.

04 Mar

In looking through some old files, we found this letter from a man, already incarcerated for 19 years in a high security mental institution, for having committed several murders.  

It speaks to the unexpected and moving ways guided imagery can reach people, even those off the grid of what we consider to be ‘regular’ living.

Dear Belleruth,

“Thank you” does not describe the deep gratitude I feel for your beautiful Anger & Forgiveness CD. Every time I listen to it I feel like I’m listening to a great friend. I’ve been listening to it for about 2 months, 2-3 times a day.

I’m a 60 year old Afro American male.  I have been incarcerated in ____ Mental Institution for almost 19 years for committing 4 homicides.  My actions affected the lives of 4 different families for the rest of their lives, their friends, their communities.  I cannot go back and change it.

19 Feb

Belleruth,

I suffer from PTSD from a very unique trauma. My mother has Borderline Personality Disorder and destroyed my path in life a very long time ago. She made me leave the man I loved, that was her main goal.

Although I am lucky to have found another great man and have been married for almost 22 years and have 5 amazing kids (triplets and twins!!), I am still experiencing the pain of this loss.

We never broke up with each other, as we loved each other and wanted a future together.

My mother broke me down in every way until I felt that suicide was the only way out of pain. My boyfriend felt the same way.

Didn't she ever read Romeo & Juliet? I guess not.

Anyway, I was referred to you regarding PTSD and I would like to know what kind of self help I can use to help me with this unusual loss in my life. Thank you!

Alana

03 May

I am a psychologist who works part-time in a high security prison environment.  (I am convinced this job keeps me real.  My other part-time job is in a private practice in a wealthy suburb.)

I want to report consistent success with the Anger & Forgiveness imagery with my men. I would not have anticipated the dramatic and profound responses I have seen in group.  Several men have had breakthroughs that led to changed behavior ever since.  Many have started to feel emotions again (something other than anger) as a result of the imagery experience.  Much pent-up grief and sadness is expressed.  It sits right under the anger.  The group cohesion has grown just from the experience of listening together.

08 Feb

Question:

What is meant at the end of Affirmations about being safe? Usually I would think of something like a protective bubble around me.  If you’re in Gaza what does safe mean? Unemployed, what does it mean? Safe conveys to me the idea of no harm.  Explanation, please.*
William M.

* The writer is refering to the controversial line, “I know I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe.”
 

03 May

Dear Belleruth:

After being married for 33 years to the same man since I was 21 years old, I have asked for a divorce. He has been unable to change his emotionally & verbally abusive behaviors, in spite of counseling. In October, I discovered he was having a sexual affair (2nd time) with a woman younger than him (he is 58, she 45). He said he wanted a divorce, that he has been unhappy a long time. I said fine, I will make this happen.

I am fed up with him, but I feel so sad, heartbroken really, in spite of the problems.  What do you suggest for all the emotional upheavals? Please change my name to Kathie. Do not give my last name or email.

-Kathie
 

29 Nov

Question:

I love your tapes. I use Anger and Forgiveness in dealing with my feelings concerning my husband’s ongoing battle with alcoholism. He is sober for 8 or 9 months and then back out again.. I wonder if you have any other support for the person married to or dealing with an alcoholic? I am in desperate need of more support... I use Panic Attacks and Depression, but wonder if you had anything more specific or would be doing something like that in the future.... Thanks.

15 Feb

An incarcerated man with severe mental illness, who was convicted of four murders two decades ago, attests movingly to the unique power of guided imagery to help him heal and grow