Revenge is one of the high-octane feelings that we like to avoid but also very human emotion: not noble but human. We, survivors of trauma, feel it often although most of us deny it. It was two days ago, I was feeling revengeful towards a therapist that dropped me over email after 2.5 years because I got angry at her for the lack of progress and her on several occasions suggesting more sessions because it benefited her financially. I wrote her few not flattering but honest online reviews. The thing is I wanted to hurt her and get even at least a bit.
Instead of denying that I am doing it out of a feeling for revenge, I decided to acknowledge the feeling. I kept telling myself: It is normal to feel revengeful, revenge is a normal human emotion after we’ve been hurt and betrayed. Things started changing a bit. I message a friend that comes from a healthier family than mine and asked her if she feels revengeful and she said yes. She too has problems sometimes letting go of feelings of anger or revenge towards people that have hurt her in the past. My first thoughts were: I am not alone, there is nothing wrong with me. Afterwards, I felt a natural state of high and connectedness. I could not believe the difference these few text messages made in my mood. She did not give me a preachy answer instead of an honest answer and I felt less alone.
I managed to work through some of the feelings of hurt and betrayal caused by this so-called trauma therapist. A big one was that in a moment when I felt very vulnerable crying and realizing that my mother was a really sick person she asked me “Do you want to have her back in your life?” This was a poor therapeutic intervention. I spent so much time telling her the horrible things my mother has done. I went no contact with my parents after few months in therapy and I assumed that she as a therapist will have my best interest in mind. Instead, she betrayed me by suggesting I should have that monster in my life.
I don’t know if I am done with feeling revengeful towards this therapist but I know that talking about revenge helped me let go of some of the pent-up emotions. I’ll talk to my really good T about revenge next time. He manages to resolve things in few minutes.
I leave you with this quote by Rudy Giuliani:
Revenge is not a noble sentiment, but it is a human one