Anger with a smile
17 March 2010 2 Comments
The confidentiality clause I signed when I went into therapy was that I was allowed to share incidents that impinged upon me directly, and without revealing identities, of course. So I’m sharing one today — had a really interesting session earlier where I found myself telling off the new guy for appropriating my narratives without sharing any of his! Mars direct in Leo?! Or according to Elsa P.:
The Moon in Aries conjuncts Venus while it squares Saturn and Pluto and your average woman is deeply pissed and frustrated. I don’t know what to say but best not poke her… or best poke her.
Ha! She’s definitely describing me today.
I’m sure the new guy has his own hurts and issues, and that his manner triggered mine. He has the odd habit of compressing (not even editing) his stories until they become nothing: like ‘this and that’, or ‘this, that and the other’, or ‘you know, like all the usual stuff’. Well, no, we don’t know. When asked to clarify, he appropriates someone else’s story, previously told to the group with real feeling: ‘Well, it’s like what you said about your relationship…’ And then he probes for more details out of other people in order to re-make them for his own purposes. So, say I tell my story about my past relationships with commitment-phobic men, and he goes: ‘Looks like you were being played’, and ‘Looks like you didn’t know what you wanted.’ Well, yes, and no, buster! And what’s your stake in all this? What really gets my goat then is the mock-denial: ‘I didn’t mean any harm, don’t take it the wrong way.’
On the one hand, taking it the right or wrong way is my problem — because I have issues with people who hijack narratives for their own power ploys; on the other hand, it doesn’t change the fact that he still doesn’t share his story after that! There is no reciprocity or mutual ownership of one’s own neurosis. Yes, I brought it to the table there and then, and yes, I articulated my position, which is a much more immediate response than I would have mustered just a few months ago. Maybe I’m coming into my own a bit more.
What I need to work on for next time is not to respond with such extreme aversion and vehemence, which takes the other person aback. But I really felt the setting in of psychological claustrophobia, which is embodied as a churning in my gut and a shortness of breath.
What was doubly interesting was, the guy, and the therapist, both said I was smiling ‘winningly’ the whole time I was doing it! HUH!! Now that really got me thinking, because the other woman in the group didn’t notice, only the men, that maybe this a sign of my Venus-Pluto at work?! Jeremy Neal once wrote an excellent analysis of Venus-Pluto nativities which has stayed with me. This is the first time I’ve had it brought to my attention like this.
Anger with a smile. Is that why I so often feel mis-read?!
Images: Borrowed from here.