Anger and Frustration


My Life of AngerA few weeks ago I came home from work and found my family gathered in the living room discussing the hot topic of the moment: The soap about my daughter’s driving license.

It all started months ago, when my daughter filled in a form on internet to declare she was physically fit to drive. Unfortunately she made a wrong selection on a question declaring she had a specific medical condition. Only after receiving a request for providing medical files we found out about the mistake. Calling the institution that takes care of these procedures learned we had to provide a declaration by our GP our daughter was fit to drive and that the question was erroneously set to Yes instead of No.

We asked the GP and we found a Physician willing to fill in the paperwork. Unfortunately she did her work according to her interpretation of ‘Doing it properly’ and stated my daughter has had a psychiatric treatment…

“A What?”, was my partner’s reaction after reading the statement. The physician mixed up psychiatric with psychological, not taking into account the second was an imposed ‘treatment’ after a rehabilitation and was irrelevant in the context of the question. The institution was puzzled by the answer and requested even more information. They contacted the physician who decided to give even more medical information, without notifying my daughter first and therefore breaking the privacy rules and causing an even greater confusion. To make the whole thing even worse, at the GP the head physician had told my daughter they were not willing to collaborate and not willing to provide any statements related to this case and driving licenses. Remember, it all started with a wrong click on an electronic form…

After these last developments I became angry and frustrated. In this mood I decided to write a letter to the GP office to set things straight.

That same evening I had a chat planned with my DIP buddy and discussed this point. I am glad we did! After a few minutes I could see I was into a huge reaction, not the best mood to work on a constructive solution.

Writing a letter in reaction, where the purpose was to blame the GP for not collaborating and telling them that they should take their responsibility for their actions seems right in the first place. But, if you realize it all started because of a mistake on your side… there is no point is starting to blame the other, even if their actions caused more troubles. The only commonsensical way to go from here is not to go into reaction, since it will decrease the chances of cooperation by others.

Since there is no way to go back and ‘correct’ the points that went wrong, the only way forward is to assess the actual situation and start from there.

Well, we did! We found another physician willing to check my daughter and declare her to be in good health. So, that hurdle is taken and the process can now go on.

End of story…eh, not really. Since this experience is perfect to have a look at my reactions, my buddy helped me through a series of points.

Why was I so angry when I learned the physician refused to cooperate? Winding back to the starting point:

Was I angry when I found out my daughter made a mistake while filling in the form? “No” was my first answer. My buddy pushed the point to make sure I was self-honest on this. I am glad he did. Going back to the very moment I learned about the mistake I see I was not allowing myself to react in anger or react at all. I suppressed any emotion in a split second and started thinking on a (quick) solution to the problem.

While analyzing this very point I learned I was dealing with fear, very obvious fear about the possibility my daughter wasn’t able to get a driving license and all the consequences, not only her not being able to travel on her own but also self-interest while having to drive her to her appointments.

All this in a split second! But it was there and if I am not dealing with it, the possibility is high I will go through a same kind of experience the next time something similar comes up.

So, my anger was a consequence of fear resulting in frustration. What to do about it?

The answer is self forgiveness. By forgiving myself to have accepted and allowed myself to accept all related dimensions I am able to pinpoint the source of my emotions, understand the triggers and stop the consequences. The next time I am in a similar trigger situation it will be easier to see how and why I react and eventually suppress feeling and emotions so I can direct myself in a more effective way and avoid going into a loop and repeating my experiences again and again.

In my next blog post I am going to write out the self forgiveness points related to this story.

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