Charlie and my (our?) misplaced anger

I have mentioned before that Charlie is the most vocal part of me. He is also the most angry. It’s difficult to deal with him sometimes, and I admit I haven’t been responding to him in the best ways.

I’ve been back and forth with Charlie these last few days. He doesn’t trust the two people in my life who I hold closest. He hates when I talk to them. He hates when I talk about them. He keeps telling me they are not safe. I told him that for now, they are my friends and I’m not just going to cut ties with them because that is what he wants.

I told my therapist in session today about Charlie’s hatred of these particular people. She said it makes a lot of sense and explains what has happened in some of our past sessions. When we engaged in in-depth conversation about one person in particular, I would dissociate. It happened a few times, and neither of us realized that she was the trigger until now. It was probably Charlie’s way of getting me to stop talking.

My therapist talked about communicating better with Charlie. I admitted that I felt that most of the time, I responded to Charlie in ways that my parents responded to me – with anger, hate, and disinterest. I fear that in some ways, I am turning into my parents, that I am repeating the cycle. It’s not just my words that bother me. I have outbursts of anger. I have had them for a long time, since my later years in high school. I would physically hit my boyfriend for no reason. I was fortunate enough in that he understood and didn’t react to my outbursts negatively. The other day, I hit a coworker hard in the arm. Once again, I don’t even know why I did it. He didn’t do anything to provoke it. He was simply walking past me. He laughed it off, but it bothered me.

I hate hurting other people, physically or emotionally. I feel like I have no control when I do it. My therapist asked me if anything happened right before I hit him. But I couldn’t remember anything that happened, or how I felt. I just did it. Then my therapist asked me if I’ve only ever hit men. I thought about it for a couple of minutes, and couldn’t think of any incident in which I hit a female. My victims have always been men. My therapist told me that part of it may very well be learned behavior, but a huge part is likely misplaced anger. When I realized all of my targets have been men, I couldn’t help but think I was somehow misplacing the anger I feel towards my father and putting it on these other men; since I can’t hit my father, I take it out on the closest thing to him.

I also wonder if this anger is coming from Charlie in some ways. I am usually very good at containing my physical anger urges, whereas Charlie is constantly angry and likes to make it known. Is he taking his anger out on these people as well? Is he angry at our father for what he has done? While I don’t know Charlie’s exact age, he is a younger teenager, which is around the time the physical abuse against me increased significantly. It would make sense that he is angry. We all have a reason to be angry. But we need to be able to control that anger, not act out on it. I’m going to have to dig a little deeper into this. Maybe Charlie will feel more comfortable talking to my therapist instead of me, since I’m not so great at communicating right now. I feel so sad for him in a way. He’s just as lost as I am.

My therapist also mentioned that in some ways, it sounds as if Charlie is trying to be my protector. I said “Well he’s not doing a very good job of it.” We both laughed, but I did understand what she meant. He tells me that people cannot be trusted. He doesn’t want me to open up to people. He may very well be trying to protect me, it’s just that his methods are not the best (we have something in common, I guess). But then again, he’s a teenager, and probably doesn’t know any other way. I am starting to think of Charlie in a new way now. Maybe he is my protector. Maybe we both need to listen better.

I’m working on it, Charlie.


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