I have been slowly taking in this great book for about 6 weeks. While I am digesting and praying about issues that seem to come about in me, I see myself growing and learning to be focused on being positive and learning to communicate better. Chapter 14 in Codependent No More is about anger, something I have a lot of experience with, here is what I have gleaned and learned about anger:
Grief, rescuing, care taking, being reactionary, hurt, fear, sadness, being afraid and guilt can all become anger.
Some people prefer to stay angry because it makes us feel more powerful and less vulnerable.
Most people don’t know what to do with their anger. They might stuff it, swallow it, bite their tongues, stiffen their shoulders, let it rattle in their heads, run from it, medicate it or bribe themselves to get away from it and then anger turns into depression.
Many times our anger not only makes us feel guilty, it can help others feel guilty or angry too.
Repressed anger will be released one way or another; losing our temper over little things and hurting people and things.
Dealing with Anger
- It is ok to feel angry.
- Feel your emotions.
- Acknowledge all thoughts that come with anger.
- Examine the thoughts for flaws to be corrected or patterns to change.
- Make a responsible decision about what you need or what action to take because of the feeling of anger:
* Does our anger indicate we need something from the person we are angry with?
* Ask that person for what you need.
* If they can’t give that to you, figure out how to do it for yourself.
- Don’t let anger control you. Anger is just energy. Stay in control of yourself.
- Honestly discuss anger. Express what you need at the right time.
- My anger is my responsibility. Your anger is yours. You can’t make me feel anything I don’t want to.
* Use: I feel angry when “this” happens…to express yourself.
- Talk with someone you trust about your feelings.
- Burn off anger energy by doing something: dancing, singing, cleaning, walking, etc.
- Don’t beat yourself or others up because you are angry. Physical abuse is not ok.
- Write letters you don’t intend to send to help express and examine emotions and make decisions to change actions or thought when needed.
- Deal with any guilt. God forgives everything we ask Him to forgive. (We might still have to live with the consequences of our actions.)
- Be gentle with yourself as you learn to deal with anger. Old anger might come out. Being angry is ok in the moment but we don’t want to stay angry.
When I feel my anger I express it to Jesus, Karen or Jamie. I journal. Sometimes my anger is very big and I become anxious because in the past some people, who enjoy drama and fighting, would push me until I blew up and lost control of my actions.
Anger is a natural response to being taken advantage of or neglected. Anger can be a gateway to verbal or physical violence if it gets out of control. Anger is contagious and can give others a reason to become unreasonable. In its pure state, anger can let us know something is wrong and needs attention but people who don’t deal with their emotions can be or cause others to become victims while using anger as a reason or excuse; they use it as justification to bad behavior.
In the past I have lost control of myself in anger and been victim to people who have done the same. I have left relationships and had people do the same to me because of the way I felt about my anger or the anger of others. Sometimes people get angry because they were lied to by their misperceptions or because they were lied to by others. In the past I believed that if I was angry with someone, they needed to change but I didn’t tell them what I needed or if I did and they didn’t care, I didn’t take responsibility for my needs. In the past I have been punished by others for their anger at me and I have punished others for my feelings toward them and others. In the past I have broken things to relieve anger. In the past I have been physically and verbally antagonizing and intimidating because I was angry. I am learning new ways of dealing with my emotions because hurting myself and others is not loving and Jesus does not hurt people and He doesn’t want me to hurt anyone.
In my house, Karen and I take the time to feel our emotions and talk about them. When we are angry we discuss it and talk with God about our feelings. Sometimes we dance, exercise or clean in order to burn the energy. We try to consider what needs to change whether it is an action or a thought. We always come from a place of love when we deal with each other and say kind things about and to each other while we deal with our emotions. We give each other time to process before we come together. Our goal is always to come out a stronger team. This was not modeled for us in our homes growing up. We learned this through God, counselors, friends and books.
In my family my parents could become physically and verbally violent, they could isolate themselves or me, push people away, guilt could cause great division and encourage unhealthy addictions and habits. They have cut people out of their lives because of their anger. My siblings and I have all learned and expressed our anger the same way. For most of us, anger is never let go. It has festered to bitterness and resentment and we don’t know how to express it, deal with it and move on. Anger and guilt are served at every family gathering.
Right now, I am being cut off by people in my life and many probably misunderstand my stepping away so I can deal and heal from my anger, as cutting them off. My counselor has even encouraged me to cut my family off, but after talking to Jesus, Karen and Jamie, I know I can’t stop loving and missing my family. So right now I will deal with me, pray for them and look forward to new experiences when the time is right.
When I am with my family I don’t feel I can express my feelings or needs. Since it is not my family’s nature to deal with emotions, my emotions and needs are taken too personally. If they can’t deal with their emotions, I can’t expect them to be able to accept mine or that my emotions don’t change my love for them. On the flip side somewhere along the way, I learned to isolate myself. I am incapable of feeling love from my family and most people. I am often overwhelmed by God’s love or Karen’s love. I am a work in progress so I can’t expect my family to understand me. I probably don’t understand them.
Love really isn’t enough to hold a relationship together. Trust, companionship, honesty, compassion and personal responsibility are a must and if I can’t consistently do that for myself, I can’t expect others to do it. But I am trying.
I have repressed so much that I leak sometimes. Right now it is safe for me to spend most of my time with God and stay quiet so I can hear the next step. God is a great personal life coach! He never tires and is always working for my good because He loves me and wants to be in relationship with me.
Feel free to leave your comments below!
My name is Summer. That is how you can call me. I hope that I am a blessing to you. I am not perfect. I will fall again. But I am forgiven.
Do you know Jesus? Do want the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you understanding and salvation? Ask Him. Want someone to pray with you? Contact me.
If you would like to know Jesus as your friend, but want to make this amazing commitment by yourself please pray something like this:
Thank you Jesus that You are the Son of God, the God that created heaven and earth. Thank you Jesus that You came to earth in the form of a man so that You would be able to empathize with my humanity. Thank You that You did this in order to fulfill the promises You made at the foundation of the world.
I realize that I am a sinner and do things that hurt myself and keep myself away from you. Thank You that You died for my sins so that You could defeat death and bring me into Your life. Please forgive me.
I ask You to be Lord of my life. I ask you to heal my hurts and show me what my new life, empowered by You looks like. Thank You for Your mercy.
The Lord is with you always.