I was hurting and I was angry. And I had no idea what to do with it. The situation was complex, my emotions in turmoil. Pain at the forefront. And anger. And those I tried to talk to it about were at best well intentioned but lacking in understanding (I barely understood everything myself so how could I possibly expect others to? Embarrassment and confusion meant I couldn’t even articulate the situation to them accurately and I didn’t at that stage have all the information I do now. Recall the deceit involved) and at worse superior, dismissive, laced with judgement and sometimes even nasty.
The result was my anger turned inwards and ripped me to pieces. And my attempts at getting it out were unrefined, coarse, vulgar and often spiteful. Juvenile. I debased myself. Got myself a legal slap on the wrist (much to my mortification) and damaged my relationship to boot. I went into self-destruct
Anger was burning me up from the inside
And now here I am. Facing potentially lifelong repercussions of an all consuming anger and pain that could not find an outlet and was met with stigma
Had I been met with understanding and compassion during the early stages and offered a suitable outlet I strongly believe I could have dealt my anger and pain in a less harmful manner
Over the years I have found that talking to individuals capable of understanding and offering relevant insights and suitable advice helps. This blog has been cathartic. So too is primal screaming on occasion (to be done when and where appropriate. Preferably in a secluded spot or in the privacy of your own home, when it’s empty. When your elderly neighbours are out…!). Primal scream therapy should be a thing…Is it a thing?
Some people take up boxing in various forms though I don’t think this is for me. Some turn to art. I read that Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park released a new EP the other day that addresses the anger he felt in the wake of the loss of his friend and band mate Chester.
The point is there are many possible ways to vent our anger so that it doesn’t turn on us and bite our ass.
But finding an appropriate outlet is hard in a society that is repulsed and afraid of anger. One that shames us for feeling angry so that it’s almost impossible to discuss it openly and constructively. In a society that currently all but worships anything construed as positive
Why is there such a stigma attached to the feeling of anger? Why is this very natural normal human emotion demonised so vehemently? Why is it taboo? Why are we not allowed to be angry, despite it being a completely natural reaction to upsetting situations? Why is anger considered repulsive and undesirable when it is fact normal and often understandable and justified?
Anger is so stigmatised in our society that we tend to deny feeling it even to ourselves leaving us suppressed frustrated conflicted and generally yuck and often unable to identify it. We’ve become afraid of our own anger not for fear of what actions we might take in response to it but because we’re afraid that if we were to admit we feel angry people will reject us or think less of us.
We no longer know how to deal with our anger and the more we try to suppress this emotion, for example with the sharing of internet quotes about how “the mighty Phoenix rises above” that suggest that somehow one is a superior being for not “allowing themselves” to be angry *eye roll* , the more damage it does us.
Why are people shamed for being angry? It doesn’t make you a lesser person, it makes you a human person.
What would happen if we allowed ourselves, and others to be angry about the shitty things that happen? And if instead of demonising it we treated it with the same understanding and compassion we treat sadness with?
Why is it ok to feel sad but not angry?
Feeling anger is not an issue, addressing it effectively and appropriately is. We need to learn how to recognise it and, crucially, admit it. Indeed, anger when channeled correctly can be extremely progressive, socially aswell as personally. Finding a suitable outlet for our anger is key; Anger with no outlet turns in on its host leading to further complications such as, over time, mental health issues. On this I can confirm.