There are some emotions that are seen as ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ and while this might be the case if they are shown in certain situations, this is not going to apply in others. Every emotion has purpose and a reason for appearing; this not to say that one should act upon every emotion that arises though.
There will be times when how one feels has nothing to do with what is taking place. During these moments, it will be necessary to hold the emotional experience. And therefore not to express how they feel and not to repress how they feel either.
Through doing this, one will be able to keep in touch with their emotions and not have the need to stop themselves from feeling anything in the majority of cases. Ones full emotional spectrum will be embraced and this means they can be a whole human being, instead of a fractured one.
And one emotion that is going to be all too familiar for people who were abused as children is going to be anger. But while they will have felt it at certain points growing up, it doesn’t mean that they have stayed in contact with it.
This could be an emotion that they were not allowed to show as a child and although time has passed, they have continued to cover up their anger as an adult. Or one could be someone that is constantly angry and unable to feel any different.
So whether one is cut off from their anger or consumed by it, will typically be the result of what felt safe during these early years. To express anger at this time might have lead to more abuse and to cover it up minimized how much one had to suffer.
Or one could have been protected by their anger and able to avoid more abuse by being angry. This could have been how things always were or perhaps one switched between the two, depending on what was going on in their environment.
But as one was violated in one way or another, anger, as well as rage, is to be expected. These emotions are there to inform someone that their personal space is being infringed upon and something is not right and that some kind of action needs to be taken.
The trouble is that at such a young age, one is limited in what they can do. They are completely depended and vulnerable, as well as not having the physical strength to stand up for themselves.
And if one doesn’t feel safe, then this anger is going to be pushed out of ones awareness. Instead, one might have ended up feeling fear and anxiety; with this being a pattern that has stayed with them as an adult.
So then, one can either end up becoming someone who is never too far away from being angry. This might stop them from being abused as an adult and yet it could also cause them to abuse others.
The smallest thing could remind them of what happened all those years ago and they then become the perpetrators. The cycle of abuse continues and one is nothing more than a slave to their emotions.
They are in touch with their anger and that is a good thing. What is not good is that fact that they are possessed by it. Anger is then not something that aids them; it is something that has the potential to destroy them and others.
Alternatively, one could be someone who has lost all contact with their anger and this means that they are nothing more than a door mat. With them being walked over and abused by others on a regular basis.
They might pride themselves on never getting angry and this could be part of their identity. But while going to the other extreme is destructive, being completely cut off from ones anger is no better. It might mean that other people are not harmed and yet what one is doing is harming themselves.
Many years ago this would have been what kept one safe and therefore alive. And yet as an adult, this is just causing one to be stuck and unable to move forward. These early experiences would have made someone tolerant to abuse and comfortable with being treated badly.
Deep down, one might even believe that they deserved to be treated in the ways that they were. With shame, guilt and fear being the emotions that stop them from being angry about what happened.
However, in order for change to take place, one needs to get out of their passive state and to get uncomfortable with what happened and what might still be happening to them. The reality is that one did not deserve to be abused and they have every right to be angry.
Anger is way for one to feel powerful and this doesn’t mean they get stuck there and are constantly angry. It means that they use anger to move forward and to put an end to their suffering.
Through being angry, one will be able to go to the next stage. And this will be what they need to process under the anger and the rage that they are experiencing. This can include feelings such as: betrayal, abandonment, rejection, powerlessness, hopelessness, fear, grief and death.
One can then seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer and/or read up about abuse. Controlled anger won’t solve everything, but it will get the ball moving.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.