Preparation for therapy used to take a great deal of time. Time, fear, worry, anxiety, all that fun stuff. I would set aside at least a few hours for it. I’d think about it for days, planning carefully what I would allow my T to know and what I could bear to share. I would spend time balancing and weighing up the desire to let it out with the potential dangers of dong so. It was complicated and risky and quite frankly, exhausting. It was like I needed therapy to prepare for therapy…Things are different now, I have settled into the routine and pattern of therapy. Even when things are new and different, I am more at ease and even comfortable enough, to mostly let my thoughts flow freely. Preparations continue on a Thursday evening as always, but where it was once pages of writing, it is often just bullet points. I had set aside this time to do just that. Twenty minutes perhaps, to gather my thoughts ready for tomorrow’s therapy. Five minutes in and I’ve already hit a wall. So much going on, endless thoughts of the past, nightmares, triggers, work issues, an anniversary, the body memories that are hurting so much today…. where do I begin. Which do I pick? I know not to force it, but if you know me at all, you will know how hard it is for me not to plan, at least a little. What will be, will be. What needs out, will be released. I have faith in that, in the process, in my T and also in myself. However, it remains difficult to just let go.I hit the wall, decided it was there for a reason, so found myself reflecting on the last week or so and my last therapy session instead. My last session seemed like a waste of time. I was so upset at some work issues which we spent the majority of the session on. Work, vulnerability and fear. If I am being honest now, I think the session last week was more worthwhile than I first thought. I think it is behind a decision I feel I made today. Perhaps decision is the wrong word, I am not sure, maybe a realisation perhaps? I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Whatever it is, it has made me feel a little better. Control and strength and relief at the freedom to choose for myself. I haven’t felt so free lately, quite the opposite in fact. Last week at work, someone shouted at me. I won’t go into the circumstances, they really are not important, but it was a horrible experience. At another time, maybe it wouldn’t have got to me, I am not sure? On this particular day however, it caused great distress. I was triggered and I felt attacked. Attacked, afraid and vulnerable. I cried in front of my colleagues and as crying is something I rarely do because it makes me feel so unsafe, I was left with fears that I had not only lost a coping mechanism (to not react at all to upsetting situations) but I had also lost part of my identity (to always be in control).Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have been beating myself up for reacting to anger with distress, yet knowing full well that it is to be expected. My teen years were filled with anger, hate, aggression and hostility, therefore, it makes sense that anger would cause such upset. I had wondered if it was another goal to add to the plan- to become more comfortable/ able to react appropriately to anger directed at me. Today though, I made the decision that actually this need not be the case and as I instantly felt lighter, I think it must be the right thing for me.Rightly or wrongly, I believe that after all I have been through, I am entitled to a life without anger or hostility from others. Why should I continue to suffer because other people cannot control themselves? Or worse still, because they don’t want to control themselves? I think that I deserve love and peace and kindness, which as a teen was in short supply. I decided I have experienced more hatred and aggression than most, therefore I believe it is OK to want the rest of my life to be free from those things (is that selfish?).Now, I am not crazy (I don’t think), I realise that I can only control my own behaviour and actions and not those of others. I can though, takes steps to minmise it and react appropriately afterwards. I will no longer tolerate anger directed at me, I will not allow aggressive, hostile people to be part of my life. It is time I put myself first for once because you know what? This is not my fault. None of this is my fault. It was not my fault that I was shouted at last week, the same as it was never my fault that I experienced violent, angry abuse. Anger is a healthy feeling when dealt with correctly. I actively encourage my children to feel what they feel.. I have no intention of banning a feeling from my home or my life- heck I am pretty sure I have a lot of deep anger, desperate to get out. No, it isn’t about removing a feeling, instead it is about removing (as much as is possible) those people who make me feel as I did last week, or for much of my teen years. People who cannot control themselves, people who are proud of their anger and aggression, people who choose hostility, people who look for an argument, people who refuse to face and work on their anger issues, people who make me feel threatened and attacked, people who take out their anger on those smaller/ younger than them. Those people are not welcome in my life. I am a person, a real, live human being and maybe you wouldn’t believe that if you knew the way I was treated.. hell, you wouldn’t treat an animal like that, but I am. I am a person with feelings, a soul and a heart, all of which have been trampled on enough. I wrote last week about feeling broken. I do feel that way, because I was broken. Broken and destroyed by other people. I have been forced to rebuild myself and my life from the debris of what they left behind..haven’t I suffered enough?I have been through enough. I have been hated enough. I have been yelled at and screamed at enough. I have been beaten enough. I have been abused enough. Too much, for far too long and I do not ever want to experience those things againI desire peace for myself and my life and that is new, or at least clearer than it has ever been. I hope it isn’t selfish, but I desire peace and I believe I deserve it as well. What do you think?