I'm reading the Dance of Anger book and trying to do some of the work, but I'm so confused. She has you "begin to observe your characteristic style of managing anger," and I'm all over the map with my husband.
I overfunction with my family of origin: I have advice for everyone and move in too quickly to rescue, take over and fix, I pretend I don't have problems and am the expert. I'm the eldest daughter with two younger brothers.
I overfunction with my daughter (move in to rescue, don't want her to suffer, text her reminders at college.) I blame and overfunction with my son (I become uncomfortable when he experiences lots of negative emotions, which is often since he's moody and 15, so I try to fix it, and don't let him suffer consequences enough. Then I also get angry and emotionally reactive with him when he acts too much like me. ;))
With my ADHD husband? I underfunction. I blame. I pursue. I distance. I can't decide which is my characteristic style of managing anger with my husband. The blamer style is probably the one my husband would want me to work on, but the underfunctioning style is probably worse for our marriage, but it's more subtle:
When stress hits in my marriage I :
1. Underfunctioner: Get angry, but then almost immediately start crying, go lie down in bed, become depressed. Start shame-spiraling and worrying about all my character defects, and how it's all really my fault deep down. Feel like an incompetent child. Lose stuff. Get a new prescription. Smoke.
2. Overfunctioner: Blame the ADHD and get really emotionally intense and try to change him. Try to diagnose him, for his own good. Get all one-up. Act like the expert. Have text message fights that last for hours. Have email fights. Have in-person fights. Feel like a parent who has to put up with this DIFFICULT CHILD of a husband.
3. Pursuer: I feel rejected when he distances into work. I take it personally when he's distracted. He loves work/hockey/movies and I'm insulted. I feel needy and dependent.
4. Distancer: When I get really angry about an injustice, I become self-inflated and self-reliant, and puff up like Wonder Woman who doesn't need anybody and can do it all herself, fuck-you-very-much.
How do you begin to untangle your characteristic style and work on it when it's so convoluted?
Anybody else like this, or am I alone?