Secretly Angry “Nice” People (Intro-c)

angry inner childI DON’T LIKE
having these feelings!

PREVIOUS: Secretly-angry (Intro-a)

SITE: Emotions are NOT Bad Behavior
(What we needed as kids)


Ways we AVOID feeling anger :

• Ignore all uncomfortable emotions // Pretend painful things haven’t happened to us or our loved ones // Ignore RED flags in others
• Live in our head, obsessing // Constantly intellectualize, analyze
• Keep all our conversations superficial, only talk about what we’re Do-íngdistancing
• Talk about everyone else’s business
• Bury A. under a guise of ‘spirituality’/ good works
• Keep so busy we never stop to notice emotions
• Cling to bad relationships, keep everyone at arm’s length, or avoid all
• Constantly think about self-improvement, but never risk taking action

• Overeat /choose sugary & fatty foods
• Excessive use of alcohol, recreational or prescription drugs
• Any compulsive behavior (internet, smoking, sex, exercise, shopping, gambling …..) that distracts & numbs us
• Tight muscles, causing headaches, back spasms, shoulder pain, teeth grinding….
• Chronic/ auto-immune  illnesses, that keep us weak & debilitated

– like other Es – can be caused by many different internal & external circumstance (10 posts), in some cases an appropriate emotional response to various kinds of harm, & in others cases an over-reaction to a current event that triggers unhealed childhood wounds.

Fear is the survival emotion we feel in our nerves & gut when actually in a dangerous situation, like being high up somewhere, being yelled at or slapped,fight/flight suddenly get a serious illness, in a car accident, being fired…..

— future oriented: 
It’s what we feel leading up to a (real or imagined) dangerous, stressful or threatening situation – like anticipating going to the dentist, waiting to see the boss, in line at the airport…. And some people are born with a particularly sensitive nervous system, predisposing them to be more intensely affected by stressors, especially as children

— past oriented: It’s the suppressed psychic energy of rage & terror from years of living in chaotic, dangerous environments, which is now stuck in our body. This  backlog then fuels the fearful thoughts that are behind so much of our present-day worry. So we can connect Anger & Anxiety, 2 sides of the same coin, even tho on the surface they seem contradictory, because Anxiety is usually associated with fear, which can make us timid (Flight), while Anger tends to temporarily energize, fueling actions & reactions (Fight).

INTERESTING: Anxiety is far from a new thing. In the 4th century BC, Hippocrates wrote that anxiousness is “a difficult disease. The patient thinks he has something like a thorn, something pricking him in his viscera, and nausea torments him.”

EXPs of the anger-anxiety connection
• Irritation: 
Being anxious all the time can make us annoyed & miserable (“Don’t bother me!”), which can lead to more frustration & anger

Overwhelmed : the anxiety of having too much on our plate, with little or no  help, & already feeling inadequate – can eventually turn to hopeless-silent-anger, at ourselves or at others, or both

Loss of Control
: Being out of control for a long time is very painful & draining. But having to suppress our rage about it for many years creates its own anxiety – making us scared of ‘loosing it’, of not being able to hold it all down – because if were to let the rage out it would severely hurt others

Continually being in unhealthy relationships leaves us with plenty of anger. If it’s unsafe to admit or expres it, it gets turned in on ourselves as S-H. When this becomes too great to bear, it gets projected out onto the world – usually towards everyone except the ones who originally injured us – passing blame for our woes onto others as a way of explaining the anxiety.

NEXT: Issues for angry-nice people #1

ACoAs & Anger (Part 1)

walled up angerI WALLED UP MY ANGER –  now I’m afraid to open it up

Anger Triggers (#3)

SITEs: “8 reasons why we’re afraid of anger (scroll down)

ACoAs: For those of us who grew up with physical or sexual abuse, &/ or others kinds of verbal & emotional cruelty – snide remarks, making fun of, insulting, dismissing…. most of us will do anything to not be like ‘them’.
Even as kids we figured that if we could just be a good enough “good-girl or boy” we could tame the troll (us), to get the love & safety every kid craves. But no matter how hard we tried, we never succeeded in assuaging the beast (them), never feeling truly safe.

CHART  –  a shorthand way to look at the range of possibilities – from the most frightening (chaotic) to the safest kind of parenting. For most of us it wasn’t just one parent causing all the problems, but some combination of many adults we were stuck with.(“Parenting styles”)

No matter what personality we were born with, all children need stability, to have a reliable base from with to experiment, learn & risk as they explore themselves & all the newness of the world.
BUT most of us lived in chaos, which was terrifying.

Terror inevitably creates anger, & if the scary, painful, unfair, crazy-making circumstances go on for years, the child’s anger at the abuse & neglect will eventually turn into rage. Living in chaos is always harmful to children, regardless of our family’s intention. 

• all anger is bad / dangerous & inevitably leads to violent behavior
• being angry at anyone means we are bad
• our anger can kill others, even if we don’t express it – just by feeling it – so we can never be angry at our parents, no matter how hurt by or frustrated with them we feel
• we have to protect others from our rage, no matter the cost to us
• if ‘they’ knew how angry we were they’d never love us, & then we’d die, floating alone in the cold outer reaches of black space!

AND some of us have had the experience that expressing our anger at them got us beaten, hit, old-shouldered, verbally attacked (“How dare you ___! Don’t talk to your___like that!”)….. So we shut as much of our anger off as we could, & stuffed more hurt into the POT.

Re. OTHERS – We assume anger PROTECTS us IF WE:
• are angry all or most of the time (keeps people away)
• are angry first, to preempt anger from others
• retaliate with personal attacks
• cut ‘them’ out of our life completely
• play the victim to make others feel guilty
• tell others how awful this person is (for being angry at us)
• say it’s ok if someone’s angry & then punish them when they do
• are SO good that they can never find anything about us to be angry over (we think)
• insist /demand that others never get angry at us, because we’re too delicate / can’t handle anger / it’s un-spiritual (not pleasing to God) / we don’t deserve it…

IN CONVERSATION, when someone gets angry at us, ACoAs may:
• Completely ignore both the anger & the issues, & change the subject
• Respond stoically, logically, ‘deal with it’, placate (“I understand / Oh that’s OK….)
• Immediately feel guilty, take all the blame, apologize profusely & repeatedly. Try to make up for being ‘bad’ or hurting the other person
• Feel such terror that we blank out & can’t think at all (dissociate), so don’t answer, but only think of something to say when it’s too late & then hate ourselves for being stupid or a wimp
• Feel terror but try to justify our position, thinking: “I know I’m too sensitive, I’d never do what you’re accusing me of, No one else feels this way about me”
• Be defensive – over-explaining (most common ACoA response to criticism, anger, insults….)
❥ That’s not what I meant, it’s just that_____
❥ No, really, I tried to ______
❥ The reason I sangry dog chasing manaid that was because____
❥ I couldn’t because _____
❥ Well, you see _____
• Be defensive – throwing it back on the other:
⚡️ Why didn’t you tell me before?
⚡️ You’re just jealous, selfish….
⚡️ Well – YOU did ______ to me
⚡️ You’ve been sitting on this for how long?
⚡️ You’re just confusing the issue
⚡️ You’re not making any sense

NEXT: ACoAs & Anger, #2