ANGER CAN BE EXPRESSED in many different ways!
ACoAs & Anger – #1
SITE: Anger Management Source – MANY articles
QUOTE: Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind. ~ Evan Esar
1. ACoAs are terrified of anger (even the angry ones of us!)
a. of OUR own, afraid if we let it out we might kill someone (since we really want to).
It’s a deadly combination of their anger which we absorbed, along with what we built up in response to being neglected & abused. So our emotion POT gets stuffed to the gills, & we do our best to bury it all, then sprinkle it with the pretty flowers of fake niceness. Even so… it leaks out!
b. of OTHERS’ anger, because the WIC assumes they/ it will kill us. It makes sense, since many of us grew up with raging adults (especially when drunk), as well as that of siblings or other family members.
We may also have been stuck with other adults who were too weak & fearful to protect us against those ragers.
And there was no one to sooth us when hurt & terrified, or explain that none of their behavior was our fault.
So we never learned to comfort ourselves. (See also 8 other posts)
We were also never shown or taught how to handle our anger – neither how to think about upsetting situations nor how to behave successfully. We were left alone with our pain, and punished for any display of our reactive anger.
We may have chosen to copy the long-suffering parent, forever living in fear of everyone’s disapproval & anger. But ACoAs who are still in their victim role are just as intensely angry as the overtly volcanic types.
While anger may be pushed out of our awareness, it still shows up as :
◆ staying with others who are always subtly displeased, emotional manipulative, or blatantly attacking, who blow up too easily (see Emotional Abuse )
◆ relentless S-H & deprivation in all PMES areas, copying our original abandonment, then fueled by a current helpless, hopeless rage aimed in the wrong direction – at ourselves
And if we were designated the Hero child / ‘Good One’ / Golden Child – in the family, then we definitely were not allowed to be angry.
Added to that, many of us received religious injunctions against such an ‘evil’ emotion!
It’s not surprising then – that we have trouble even knowing we’re angry, or that we should be angry when mistreated (T), much less actually feeling it (E). Instead it gets ‘intellectualized’ into resentments – several steps removed from the actual bodily experience of the anger itself!
2. ACoAs – who are SO angry
• dome of us grew into overt ragers ourselves, copying the dangerous adults
• we may still be walking around in a fairly constant slow burn
• Some know that we are, with varying degrees of acceptance about it, OR
• are genuinely calm & peaceful much of the time with only occasional flare-ups – from doing a great deal of FoO & rage work
3. ACoAs – who DENY being angry
Many will insist they’re just not angry, or have gotten past it all, that they’ve forgiven the family, & moved on.
OK, THEN check how accurate you are :
Qs: How do you talk to yourself, internally?
How good is your practical self-care?
❖ Are you consistently comforting, kind, loving, patient, self-respecting, validating ….. toward yourself?
OR is the PP inner voice harsh, impatient & perfectionistic, while you ignore the WIC completely?
❖ Do you take as good care of yourself, each day, as you do other people & pets in your life?
OR are you only focused on others, co-dependent & people-pleasing?
❖ Do you stand up for your rights & ask for what you need – from your Adult ego state?
OR do you over-react when something doesn’t go right
OR passive-aggressively wait for someone else to figure out what you need?
❖ Do you feel comfortable in business & other social settings, because you are calm & confident?
OR are you anxious when in certain social /business settings?
OR do you isolate & assume everyone is going to judge you? (projecting your anger out on to others)
❥ If you are more like the second half of these questions, then you’re still very angry – but suppressed – sitting on a volcano & taking it out on yourself & others (depressed, passive-aggressive ?), while pretending you’re not in a rage at all.
NEXT: Anger & Co-dependence, #1