If I let myself be angry will I ever stop?

I am slowly letting myself be angry.  Bit by bit.

And it is terrifying!

Just like crying, I am afraid that once I truly let loose I will never be able to stop.  I must maintain complete control or I will have no control ever again.

This I got from my parents.  My mother’s bipolar ensured that her anger would explode all over the place.  She really had no control during mania.  Loud noises still spook me.

My father has excellent emotional control.  I knew he was really upset when he got quiet.  Of course, he was also quiet when happy, sad, thoughtful or vacant.  We share a common fear that we will need to yell to save someone’s life but won’t be able to make a sound!

I am afraid to know where to direct my anger.  Is it ok to be mad at people?  People you love?  People you’ve been taught to revere?  People who by their positions of power could have tremendous influence and yet choose to uphold damaging traditions?

I can be mad at myself.  That is acceptable and comfortable.  Many forms of self-abuse were praised at my old church and that is what happens when I direct my anger to me. 

I’ve always admired people who can get mad, do something about it, and then get over it. 

I am afraid that I won’t be like that- I am afraid I’ll just get bitter and mean.  Angry men can hurt things but angry women … what?

Where did I get the idea that women can’t be trusted with anger.  Angry women must be shut down immediately so that they don’t turn into nasty bitches. 

Some of my guy cousins are just angry all the time.  (Not on your side, BF) But if I show anger back I am ridiculed and patronized. 

Hey, that makes me mad 🙂

http://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/Angry%20Woman_22871

21 thoughts on “If I let myself be angry will I ever stop?

  1. Quester says:

    Emotions aren’t easy. I shut mine down as a kid, tried through high school to figure out how to turn them back on, and am still working things out from base principles. I try to expend my angry energy in walking or cycling. I am not confrontational by nature. Almost the exact opposite, really. But sometimes anger fuels passion, which can make change possible.

  2. Snowbrush says:

    Funny that the cartoonist misspelled “beware.”

    I think it’s often true that women turn their anger inward, and men turn theirs outward. Yes, there are a lot of perpetually angry men. My father gave every appearance of being insane due to the way he handled anger. He never once hit me, but he did leave me fearful of men for much of my life.

    Maybe your fear of your anger is like a lot of people’s fear of, for example, stage fright in which the fear isn’t directed at the thing itself so much as it is at being fearful. At least, that’s the thought that came to me.

  3. ain't for city gals says:

    Try to let go of your anger..it really serves no purpose except to keep you on an emotional roller coaster. The past is the past….everything is today…be happy..no worries…otherwise the “church” is still in control…

    • prairienymph says:

      I don’t know how to let go except the way that Quester does- to try not to experience anything in the first place. I want to be mad at injustice! I just don’t want to be destructive with it.

  4. Ahab says:

    After years of repressing anger, it can be difficult to process it and express it in constructive ways. Give yourself time to get acquainted with your anger, and most importantly, forgive yourself. 🙂

    I think talking with a trusted person about this would help immensly. Is there someone in your day-to-day life you can talk to about anger?

  5. Sherry says:

    I think you may have some really important things to say here PrairieN. So I’ll be stickin’ around. PS. I have another blog called Walking in the Shadows. It’s more of my Catholic journey. You may or may not find it interesing. Located at http://witshadows.wordpress.com. Take care! I will load you in my reader to keep up with what you have to say.

  6. Snowbrush says:

    Nymph said: “I don’t know how to let go except the way that Quester does- to try not to experience anything in the first place.”

    Quester’s suggestion brings to mind a question that I would like to address to you. Namely, if you knew a person who could witness injustice and never feel anger, would you respect that person?

  7. Quester says:

    PN: “I want to be mad at injustice! I just don’t want to be destructive with it.”

    SB: “Namely, if you knew a person who could witness injustice and never feel anger, would you respect that person?”

    Would feeling angry encourage or otherwise assist you to fight injustice, or promote justice, in effective ways? I know that last week, I got rather angry about some inefficiencies in my workplace, and it gave me the energy to sit down and document the entire mess and send it off to the people with the power to make a change. Sometimes, though, I get angry at injustice and see no tools to respond effectively, so simply (for example) yell at the news channel and go for a long walk.

    Please note that I wasn’t intending to promote emotionless living as a healthy lifestyle. That was a choice I made as a child for a variety of painful reasons. I’ve been trying to relearn how to feel and express again, sometimes with more success than others.

  8. Snowbrush says:

    Quester, I mistook you for “Ain’t for City Gals” because it was what she wrote that I though Nymph had reference to.

    Anger just is. My father dealt with his in one unhealthy way, and I have dealt with mine in another–also unhealthy–way. Yet, it’s not anger in itself that’s the problem anymore than any other natural and even inescapable emotion is a problem. After all, anger can inspire one to deal with inequities that might not otherwise seem of consequence.

  9. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Oh girl, can I relate to this post. I use to kick the couch cushions when no one was around. Or I’d take my pillows and hit the wall with them. I have been known to kick the odd hard object. I don’t recommend it.

    Have you ever read books by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.? She has a website too. I’ve read quite a few of her books. The one that comes to mind right now is, The Dance of Anger. The following blurb if from the back of her book. “Anger is a signal and one worth listening to,” writes Dr. Harriet Lerner, in her renowned classic that has transformed the lives of millions of readers. While anger deserves our attention and respect, women still learn to silence our anger, to deny it entirely, or to vent it in a way that leaves us feeling helpless and powerless. In this engaging and eminently wise book, Dr. Lerner teaches women to identify the true sources of our anger and to use anger as a powerful vehicle for creating lasting change.”

    Might be helpful for you on your journey.

  10. I take little white pills to deal with my anger. Anger is one symptom of depression, I have learned. Which is apparently a male way of dealing withit but am open to more information.

    • prairienymph says:

      I’ve heard depression described as frozen anger, that women deal with anger by turning it against themselves (conventional depression) and that men deal with depression by attacking others (aggression and atypical depression) It probably describes a lot of cases, but not all.

      This may be TMI, but good sex sure does a lot for dealing with anger and depression 🙂

      • Which is why I am slowly backing off the little white pills. They are also VERY bad for libido.

      • prairienymph says:

        Honestly, when I found out a side effect with the antidepressant my doctor prescribed was permanent depression of libido, I thought I’d take my chances with the other methods which have proven to be just as (or more) effective for less severe cases.

  11. Snowbrush says:

    “I take little white pills to deal with my anger.”

    And woe be unto the people of the Ukraine on those days when Fodder takes his pill in the dark and accidentally pops a black one.

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