The following writing really speaks for itself. This woman arrived at group noticeably agitated. It wasn’t at all clear that she would be able to settle into her writing. And yet, she not only found words to channel and name her state of mind; she also was able, in the course of the brief writing, to gain clarity and understanding into her own behavior pattern:
I feel hurt and violated and when I am backed into a corner, then I act like a rabid polar bear. My instinct is to hurt back and lash out and make you feel the same way. I am rabid because my beliefs and values are not being met; and rabid is how off and unexpected I can be.
Then I rant and roar like a bear. I start clawing at you and want to rip you apart, limb from limb, until you breathe no more. Then you can’t violate or hurt me anymore.
I will always take care of me and sometimes, I am ashamed of how I do it. I am used to manipulation and violence as a way of getting what I want. But now that I am clean, I realize that people aren’t listening to me. They just fear me.
So I am trying to be constructively angry so that I can be heard and also help others to be heard and respected as well. It’s a slow process because of 41 years of the same old comfortable ways; but I will learn a new way. My bear won’t be clawing, rabid and scary. It will be soft and cuddly but firm and strong.