I came across this discussion researching some health topics, I know this isn’t a direct reply to Angela’s present situation (what an inspirational story Angela – I’m soooo happy for you, by the way!!!).
I’m adding my comments for people in the future.
I had a therapist who gave me a stellar technique for getting out and “dealing with” big feelings.
It’s called The Tissue Ceremony.
You pick the person who is front of mind, and find a block of privacy – real privacy, sound proof - so you can yell if you want to. You put out a chair in front of you with a tissue symbolizing that person. And then you let it all out for a minimum of 15 minutes (I think I went on for ½ an hour, once I got into it! It feels good when you get it going.).
By let it all out, I mean tell it like it is! All the things you wanted to say but were not able. Each thing you’re pissed off, disappointed, let down and resentful about – all without making excuses for them or rationalizing or understanding their behavior (the symbolic person does not get to reply to you in this ceremony). Just get it all out, let yourself feel completely heard for once.
Then when you’re satisfied and ready to finish the “ceremony” you throw out the tissue (no putting it back in the box to reuse, it’s dirty now).
With one of my parents, I lit it on fire in the kitchen sink (easy clean up that way too! feels good to see it go down the drain). For the other I was inspired to be more crude... I wiped my butt and flushed it. Very satisfying.