Saturday, October 13, 2012


Years ago, before therapy, I would tell folks that, "I never get angry".  And I'd mean it.  There were only 1 or 2 incidents in my whole life in which I had raised my voice to anyone.  I couldn't remember a time when I had even openly disagreed with a person.  It wasn't my style.  "I was just an easy-going person". 

However....whenever my therapist heard me say this, I'd get a raised eyebrow, a small smile, and sometimes the comment that, on the contrary, I was a very angry person.  I didn't argue with him (because, as we all know, therapists can see into our souls), but I totally disagreed with him.  I really never felt anger! I just didn't get "mad" 

So........from early childhood, I had been raped, abused, lied to, and manipulated by those whom I should have been able to trust...and I felt no anger!  How could this be?  Why didn't I feel this most understandable emotion? 

One of the reasons is that anger, as well as other strong emotions, was forbidden in my family.  In our household, only a "bad" person showed strong emotions, and only a foolish or stupid person strayed from the family paradigm.  In either the case, the punishment was to be shunned, rejected, and ridiculed.  Even as adults, all of my siblings and I get extremely uncomfortable around boisterous or outspoken people.

Of course, the anger was inside of me.  It manifested itself as sarcasm, "sniping," secretiveness, manipulation, self harm, and sickness.  I was passive-aggressive.  I would guard myself against intimacy and maintain a secret world, hidden even from my own conscious mind, of mistrust, anger, hatred, fear, and silence.  I would look for people's weaknesses so I would have a bit of power over them if I felt threatened.  I was a very angry woman!  It was very difficult for me to admit to this and to and accept this side of myself.  It brought a lot of shame and a lot of fear.  Anger equals bad, right?  If I was angry, I must be bad.  The old family rule. 

Slowly, I learned about degrees of anger and how to manage my feelings and how to allow ever stronger emotions into my comfort zone.  I learned that to be angry at someone is not to hate or despise them.  The emotion of anger passes, it can be resolved. 

I still have a tendancy to turn my emotions inward and to keep my opinions to myself, and I pay for that physically.  My immune system doesn't like that at all!  But, I'm learning.  Most of the time, I like myself just fine.  I even admire myself at times.  I would no longer characterize myself as an angry person. 

But now, unlike before, sometimes I just get mad......for a while. :-) 


  1. Very well written. I enjoyed that, keep em coming.

    1. Thank you, Jessica. I plan to keep writing until I have nothing more to share on the subject. :-)


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