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How to Deal with Deep Anger?

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  • #86129
    Rosa
    Participant

    I grew up in a very disfunctional family, our father was a brutal man. For years I have worked on healing myself and all the issues involved with recovery and becoming healthy. I thought I was doing well until recently when during a healing therapy session I experienced anger that just welled up from somewhere deep. Then last night I had a bad dream which due to its content was disturbing to say the least and almost certainly connected to my relationship to my father.
    I dont usually like to discuss personal things, I would really like to read about how others might have healed themselves within Buddhism.
    Generally I am a happy and contented person, I am grateful for my many blessings and I love to be of service. Having said this I am grateful for the opportunity to heal this at this stage, and for any words of wisdom anyone might offer here.

    #86131
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Rosa:

    Buddhism principles: awakening, seeing what is, peeling inaccurate projections off what we see, being left with seeing what is real, the bare minimum; being mindful, calming the wandering mind, these Buddhist principles are well incorporated into Western psychotherapy these days and for some time.

    I used to feel very guilty for feeling so much anger so often at my mother. I believed I was a bad person for feeling anger toward her. It was a long, long time before I realized what my anger meant, what message it carried. It is okay to be angry, or fearful, or … whatever we feel is okay, each emotion carries a valid message. If we see the valid message we learn that we are okay for feeling what we feel. When we get the real message behind an emotion, the emotion- having successfully delivered its message- drifts away, weakens and dissipates, it has done its job.

    Our relationship to our emotions is crucial to our mental health. Fearing fear–> anxiety, panic, misunderstanding anger—> unjustified guilt, and so forth.

    Would you like to share what is your relationship to your anger? Do you see a message in it? What is it?

    anita

    #86176
    Rosa
    Participant

    Thank you Anita for your wisdom, it has given me much to think about.
    As children we were never allowed to express anger even though we lived with so much around us, as the eldest of six I often found myself in the role of protector and pacifier. My parents are dead now and I suppose that having kept a lid on the anger, I feel now that it has found a way to come out…at last! 🙂
    I am reassured by the fact that you say it is ok to feel it and I think that maybe my relationship to it has really changed into something more healthy now…although I am sure that I still have work to do to ensure that it remains so.
    I am aware that anger is a natural emotion that has a positive side and I will work towards making sure that I channel this emotion for positive use.
    Thank you again.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Rosa.
    #86198
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Rosa:

    You are welcome. I used to feel very guilty about feeling angry at my mother. The intensity and longevity of my guilt was very destructive in my life. That was my relationship to my anger at her- feeling guilty, that is believing I am BAD and WRONG for feeling it. Decades later, I realize, now I realize that I was not bad and wrong for feeling anger at her. Now I know that the real message, the VALID message behind my anger is that what SHE was doing to me was wrong and bad. The concept! And that is not all the message was and is. It is also: I am okay and of value. The anger, that energy in motion, the energy to fight for myself, why would I have that energy, that motivation, if I was not WORTHY of fighting for? Well, I am.

    As I write this I feel no anger toward her. Ah, message or messages successfully delivered!

    anita

    #86204
    Rosa
    Participant

    Dear Anita, I’m so glad that you find yourself in a place of contentment regarding the anger you felt about your mother, it’s so good to feel peaceful isn’t it?

    My parents did their best for us given their limited capabilities, they were emotionally damaged themselves so I don’t usually hold any anger towards them. It came as such a surprise to me that this surfaced recently…just another layer to peel away on the journey towards wholeness. I wonder how many more there are… 🙂

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Rosa.
    #86207
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Rosa:

    There are more layers. There are. You know you are on the path of healing when you find out another layer and then another.

    If I may point out to a layer to yet be … un-layered: you wrote above, a few posts above that your father (now dead) was a brutal man. In the last post you wrote that (your father) did his vest for you. Well, the two statements are not congruent. Was his brutality his best?

    I am supposing this thought is disturbing, that he did not do his best, that he was a bad father, that he was wrong. So you place the thought (that layer) back in its compartment so to get rid of the distress.

    Only later, when you are ready.

    anita

    #86213
    Rosa
    Participant

    Thank you for pointing out my contradiction Anita. I suppose what I meant was that he thought he did his best.

    I know he could have done a lot better, he had such potential to be an excellent father. I think his brutality was originally born of his frustration through his lack of achievements in life even though he was a very intelligent man. His brutality was his best at times, in the worst kind of way of course, I make no excuses for him though. He was a very selfish and self centred man which also contributed to his cruel ways.
    Now, when I look back I think that he missed out on so much by not having any kind of faith to teach and sustain him. He could have been so very different.

    #86230
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Rosa:

    I am sure your father had the potential to be an excellent father. I also believe that SS Guards in WW2 in concentration and death camps had the potential to be good people. I am sure that their frustrations had their reasons. Same for serial murderers.

    The bummer, the mind boggling challenge for a child, be it an adult child, be it even when one’s parents are dead, the mind boggling thing is that we loved/ love our parent, no matter how brutal, so much, so deeply, so desperately that we are willing to overlook anything, excuse anything, delude ourselves thinking any which way- just so to see that parent in the very best possible light. And by “possible” I don’t mean a true way of seeing, I mean any which possible way of minimizing, denying, excusing etc. It is truly mind boggling to me. I have done it. We, children, do it again and again.

    anita

    #86232
    Rosa
    Participant

    What you say is true Anita.
    I am under no delusions about how truly awful this is for children, how awful it was for us. He’s gone now and can do no more harm and I am not trying to remember him in any way that is unrealistic. What I do want to do is to resolve the anger that rose up so unexpectedly.
    I liked what you said about about the message and energy that can be derived from anger. I intend to find where this sits within me so that I can heal it and then use that transformed energy in a positive way. I have much thinking and healing to do. Thank you for your words here.

    #86270
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Rosa:

    You are welcome and when some new thought or development happens in you, please post on this thread or start a new one. Please do remember (when you forget) that anger is not a bad thing, is not a disease, but a natural emotion we need. It carries a message, something we need to realize for our own well being.

    anita

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