People have such different ways of processing anger. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since yesterday when I discussed my approach with a therapist.
There are those who blow up, letting the 4-letter words fly, sometimes saying things they don’t really mean, but ultimately letting everything just slide away. This is probably the healthiest approach for the angry individual, but maybe not so healthy for the recipient of the anger.
There are others, like me, who may not say a lot, but instead internalize the episode, replaying it time and again, but not letting go entirely.
I described my shutdown approach to the therapist, telling her that I eventually tend to come around although not to forget. She asked what the secret to my coming around was and I thought for a moment before saying “Time.”
After our session, I found myself thinking about relationships in terms of elasticity. Over the years we stretch them, sometimes almost to the breaking point, only to slowly release and allow the natural contraction before beginning to stretch again. I marveled at just how far they can stretch sometimes and still remain viable.
I wondered if the elastic of a relationship ever wears out the way the stretchy band at the top of your underwear sometimes does. I wonder if there are signs that a stretch is becoming more permanent.
I shuddered and hoped not.