ATD Question #16 - Anger Management

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ATD Question #16 - Anger Management

Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 01, 2007 1:56 pm

Pg. 115. “All at once I loathed her, because she had hurt me. This girl! She had torn up my sonnet by Dowson, she had shown my telegram to everybody in the Columbia Buffet. She had made a fool of me at the beach. She suspected my virility, and her suspicion was the same as the scorn in her eyes. I watched her face and lips and thought how it would be a pleasure to strike her, send my fist with all force against her nose and lips.” Let’s discuss….
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Unread postby nebraska » Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:47 pm

I think the pain of being hurt and/or humiliated often expresses itself in anger. mr nebraska has enraged me this morning because something he did made me feel hurt and humiliated. :bawl: I won't even allow myself to think rationally about it at the moment because I need to feel anger to protect myself. I don't want to accept that it was a minor thing and unintentional on his part. Not yet anyway, I need to sit in my "mad" for a while. I think that is where Arturo is in this passage, the rage and the desire to hurt back protects him from facing the pain and rejection that he really feels. He can't allow himself to be that vulnerable.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:21 pm

I agree, nebraska, and am sorry you're going through it now. Her rejections of Arturo were truly hurtful, and he probably needed to work through some rage...which he did. Again, he's dramatically expressing what he feels like doing, but what he ends up doing (after ripping up some majorly nasty and sarcastic sentiments! :eyebrow: ) is helping Sammy, his rival.
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Unread postby Liz » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:33 pm

I guess it is easier to be mad at someone than feel hurt. You feel less vulnerable that way. It ends up being more about the other person than turning the feelings of insecurity or hurt inward. Sorry about your situation this morning, Nebraska. Seems like you have a handle on it and that you understand yourself and your DH pretty well.

I would never think of punching someone, though. These volatile thoughts (and actions at times) seem to come too readily to Arturo.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:37 pm

I know what you mean, nebraska. Sometimes it helps to just have a good "mad" going. Since we are hearing Arturo's inner thoughts we are seeing the worst of him. How many of us have threatened in our heads to do something to someone that has hurt or angered us that we would never really act out?
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:04 pm

Liz, I agree with your assessment of choosing to be mad rather than hurt, if you can. :cool:

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: How many of us have threatened in our heads to do something to someone that has hurt or angered us that we would never really act out?

Though I've never even come close to spanking my kids, I've certainly mentioned some violent actions I said I'd like to take against a few people (not my kids!!). Venting feels good, and no one takes it seriously (in my case, anyway). :dancingpirate:
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Unread postby gemini » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:03 pm

All of this comes immediately after she answers his question about Sammy.
You love him don't you? She says , Not exactly. He replies, Yes You do!.
He feels hurt and recalls everything that he felt was her demeaning him. ( At least in his eyes).
He wants to hit back, it is his way of dealing with humiliation. He thinks she knows he wants her, and is using him to help her boyfriend, Sammy.
His jealousy causes him to strike back at Sammy. Typical Arturo.
"That sick man out in the desert was going to get his too."
After he vents his hatred he reconsiders seeing Sammy as another man in the same struggle he's in but Sammy was soon to die. Now that his rant is over he will be the great writer and help this poor fellow. Again typical Arturo. He is becoming too predictable.

You do describe the scenario very well, Nebraska. First hurt, then humiliation and wanting to strike back, and after a cooling off period, common sense prevails. It not fun during, but as you say you do understand it. I like that line...." I need to sit in my "mad" for a while". That's me too.
Last edited by gemini on Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Parlez » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:23 pm

Yep, better to think it (or write it, as it were) than to do it.
I suppose it shows growth and maturity on Arturo's part, although he still doesn't see the root cause of the problem ~ how his hypersensitive behavior fed into hers. I couldn't help thinking back to their first encounter in the cafe, when Camilla said she wished he'd have a heart attack and die. Both of them are rather melodramatic, don't you think? Their visions of punishment are disproportionate to the crime! :freaked:
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Unread postby fansmom » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:16 am

This reminds me of the discussion of Dante's Inferno a few days ago. The Canto suec referenced describes the fate of the neutrals, those who chose neither good nor evil. That is certainly not Arturo's way! He'll chose one one minutes and the other the next.

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Unread postby suec » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:08 am

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: How many of us have threatened in our heads to do something to someone that has hurt or angered us that we would never really act out?


I certainly have, on a few occasions - but nowhere near as frequently as Arturo! It has definitely been when I have felt threatened with humiliation or emotional pain. I don't have much defence against spite or condescension or the threat of humiliation. So what happens is that my primitive brain, controlling emotion and instinct and the fight or flight response, has decided, "Smack them one, right now!" Immediately, my "thinking" brain, the cerebral cortex, has intervened with "Belay that!" I am very conscious of that process happening at the time. So, what happens is that instead of striking someone physically, I generally have a snarl before stalking off in high dudgeon. Thankfully, I don't indulge in Arturo's way of responding verbally, with nasty putdown remarks. There is, though, undeniably, a general air of aggression. It has been mainly due to my vulnerable spots in the first place, where I felt most insecure, and when someone touched them, that's when I responded in that way, but as I have got older and spots have healed over, I am much more likely to just walk away until I have calmed down a bit. I suppose the primitive brain is more likely to consider flight these days rather than fight!
Liz, I agree with your comment about those moments happening too readily for Arturo. He is a mass of insecurities, really. He also doesn't seem to realise how unreasonably he is behaving at times. I do think it has a lot to do with the nurturing in the first place, where his parents hardly provided a model for talking things through sensibly. After all, as a child, he was the one who had to act as an intermediary between them. But those moments, when he thinks up a nasty hurtful response to someone, where he does undulge in unkindness, those are beyond the pale for me, because it does come down to conscious deliberate choices, where he has thinking time and he dreams up some nastiness, rather than having an angry impulse which he doesn't act on.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:35 am

I agree with you, suec. Even though he doesn't follow through on all his impusles, he can certainly be mean and hurful when he does. I was thinking about this last night and as you say, we can definitely chalk part of it up to his upbringing and his anger at life and also I think his immaturity. Don't get me wrong I'm certainly not trying to excuse him!
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby suec » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:31 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I agree with you, suec. Even though he doesn't follow through on all his impusles, he can certainly be mean and hurful when he does. I was thinking about this last night and as you say, we can definitely chalk part of it up to his upbringing and his anger at life and also I think his immaturity. Don't get me wrong I'm certainly not trying to excuse him!


DIDHOT, I'm with you there.
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Unread postby Liz » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:23 am

Parlez wrote:Yep, better to think it (or write it, as it were) than to do it.
I suppose it shows growth and maturity on Arturo's part, although he still doesn't see the root cause of the problem ~ how his hypersensitive behavior fed into hers. I couldn't help thinking back to their first encounter in the cafe, when Camilla said she wished he'd have a heart attack and die. Both of them are rather melodramatic, don't you think? Their visions of punishment are disproportionate to the crime! :freaked:

Yes, they do feed off of each other. I’m not sure who’s worse. We only hear Arturo’s side, though.

suec wrote:I suppose the primitive brain is more likely to consider flight these days rather than fight!

My brain takes the flight route also, Suec.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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