Anger to me was the most difficult emotion to understand. On one hand. it has protected me and has become my self-defense from pain and betrayal. Heck, it has even stopped me from physically hurting myself. Yet on the other, it has also stopped me from feeling relief from the pain that others have caused.
Throughout my journey (as it yet continues), I've written phrases about it that I wish to share with you. I wrote them down as they were my light bulb moments:
- Anger can be directly and respectfully addressed
- Anger can hijack and take hostage of myself....of yourself - it's called rage, or explosive anger
- We have every right to feel anger. It is what we do with the anger that isn't always okay
- Anger is real and no one is allowed to invalidate our feelings of anger. However, we are responsible for our emotions.
- Persisting anger and blame can eventually lead to shame which will continue to spiral to anger, then blame then shame. It is a vicious cycle. However, it can stop. It is not permanent. It takes courage to move past that cycle. But it is not forever because we all have a choice. It really just takes a lot of courage to face it. Yet when we are ready for that change, we know, because somehow we are tired of being in that cycle.
- Function of Anger:
- To motivate a change.
- To protect or warn us when our moral boundaries or beliefs have been violated
- Anger can help us determine if injustice is going on, we can ask ourselves if we can fix the situation, address it or must it be radically accepted that the abuser will never take responsibility for it, so we must move on for the sake of our own self - not them the abuser!
- Distraction can help with anger. One may say that distraction is only temporary. I agree, but it can help delay and can help us from exploding. It can stop anger from taking us hostage. Distractions can either be:
- activities (sports, exercise, arts and crafts, places to go, books, puzzles, games, cooking etc)
- feeling other emotions by assessing your entire experience which can be done by validation and understanding
- pushing away and leaving the situation. Avoiding.
- alternate thoughts, being mindful. So instead of saying, "I can't stand this", challenge your thoughts into "I can do it" or something less painful like "just breathe" or a more truthful approach and self evident like "I know who I am, and that's not me" or "I've come from worse times" or "I would never hurt anyone"
- self soothing sensations using your vision, touch, hearing, smell and taste
- connecting to environment (calling someone, making eye contact, honesty with treaters, volunteer, pet animals, go for coffee, asking someone and being interested of other's well being, hugging someone)
- Some people deserve to know about our anger, especially our abusers and/or the people who have betrayed us. However, I've painfully come to realize that some of them don't really care about our anger and pain because they emotionally and mentally can't. Which gives it more evidence that they don't deserve any part of me, of us anymore. They don't deserve anything, not an ounce, not a second from us. They are simply suffering and sad human beings who are far more lost than we are. They live in a world with much more pain and that is why they can throw pain at us without any thought. They are thoughtless, and heartless and numb. They are farther than we are in the healing process. They are in pain just like we are but they are far more suffering. You may want to help them and give them chances, but ultimately, if they aren't ready for a change, as they have shown on how to handle our honesty and courage, they will continue to hurt us. Radically accepting the pain that they threw at us could possibly be the only way to heal and forgive. Accepting the fact that we may never hear their apology and feel their remorse. Forgiving them this way is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. We are accepting that it is not us to blame but them, yet at the same time, accepting that we can't change the person who made us feel this way. But we can change our own path, our destiny, our future so we can live our own lives how we want them, by our choice, not theirs. We make the decision to heal and move on for ourselves, not them. They can't stop us from feeling joy. We matter, not them.