Need suggestions for dealing w/anger

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Need suggestions for dealing w/anger
Tue, 06-17-2003 - 6:47pm
I'm having a pretty hard time right now. I am working on allowing and acknowledging my emotions, and accepting them for what they are, not labeling them as right or wrong.

Anger is particularly difficult for me. My counselor has pointed out to me that I wasn't allowed to be me growing up. It was wrong for me to be upset, and that has affected the way I handle my emotions now. I avoid conflict as much as possible. I generally don't want people to know when I am angry because I don't want them to not like me. I usually tell myself I have no reason to be angry and that I'm overreacting and look so far for the other side that I convince myself I was lacking in judgment. When I do get angry there is an immediate internal conflict between truly feeling angry and telling myself I shouldn't be feeling that way. It's immediately followed by guilt and shame. By the time the whole episode has passed I'm completely depleted of energy; totally exhausted. And I still feel bad for being angry.

I would appreciate any suggestion any of you here can give me on ways you deal with anger. It is a scary feeling for me. Besides any self-talk you may do, what do you do physically to deal with this emotion? The last couple of nights I've walked FAST.

It seems like since this has been addressed in therapy as something I need to work on, I've had a lot more incidents where I've been upset than I usually do. It's wearing me out.

Thanks, Heidi


co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2003
Tue, 06-17-2003 - 9:31pm
Personally, I've been trying to: (1) figure out what I'm angry about at the moment, (2) see if its something that happened in the past or "in the moment", (3) I pray about it, (4) if the situation is still bothering me, I address the person or the issue in a reasonably calm manner. That way, I don't lose control and feel even angrier for going over the edge, yet I address what in the world is going on.

I've been doing more of that lately, and it has really calmed me down. I would be angry and hurt about something and feel stupid about being angry and hurt. I was always trying to avoid a big confrontation, since I lived in a home with regular emotional confrontations. Also I was one of the "I don't want to bother anybody" people. I found myself dying emotionally lately, literally shutting down and no one knew because I am a "don't want to bother anybody" chick. So now I'm telling some people what I'm going through and how I'm trying to handle it.

It's starting to work, although I have a long way to go. Hope some of the suggestions work for you too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 5:59pm
I guess I have never particularly steered away from anger. I tend to harbour it inside. It is a double edged sword; on one side it gives me a bit of strength when I hold it. at the other end BECAUSE i hold most of it escapes in unintentional bursts of rage (but that could be the PTSD, Ok both). I hate those times. I feel like they are not me. What I tend to do; (my other half is a bit controlling and there is no room for two tempers) I put on a walkman with a mixed tape or cd that particularly nourishes justified rage, and clean house. I tend to do this when no one is home and sing along as loud as i can. Head phones is best for this if like me the sound of your own voice is frightening lol. Creed's Weathered LP is a favorite of mine. And one of the last songs could be a Survivors theme song, "Don't stop dancing." it is kind of like an exsocism for the soul, at least for me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 12:54pm

I posted a question like this several months ago, and also did not get a lot of responses. I've been watching this thread hoping for some insights. I'm not sure why this subject is one that doesn't really get talked about all that much. I know that for me, there's a lot of shame around my own anger (because I feel like my abuser when I am angry--he always abused me in anger), and I am fearful around others when they are angry.

The way I have dealt with my own anger--which was very hormonally-based and came every month with PMS--is to take anti-depressants during that time of the month. For the last two months, my anger has been "normal." I have not felt out of control. I have felt like myself. It has been great.

Some ideas I've heard on OA tapes--beating the couch cushions, stomping your feet around the house, crumpling paper bags, writing it out in journals, drawing pictures. The only one that's ever really worked for me is writing, and even that isn't a magic cure-all. I wish I had more answers for you! Then I'd have them for me, too!