This article was written a few years back and does not reflect the growth that I've achieved in the past year or so, but I posted it here because I think that some of the concepts are important for us to remember when it comes to anger. It's important to stay in touch with your anger, and not to repress it Some have difficulty admitting they are angry, or feel shame for being angry while others are all around angry people. I know this article has some value, so I'm posting it to help those of you who want to follow along the path to healing that I've gone down. Maybe it will help you.
All my best, Jenna.
It seems my whole life I've been a victim--a literal victim of unscrupulous people bent on exploitation. It hurt me greatly not to be wise enough to know when I was being used. It killed me inside to find out that someone was a monster only after it was too late. It was as though I attracted people with evil intentions. Eventually I gave up and hid in the church in effort to be around nice people who wouldn't hurt me. (Guess what happened next!)
Some may look down on me for admitting that I've always had a weakness for people who are abusive. Even me, I've looked down on myself for being so "naive" or for "wearing my heart on my shoulder." In this way, the abused person is kicked again, every time you try to get up, you or someone else kicks you back down--just for being kicked in the first place. Where is the grace?
The fact is, I deserve protection, I just didn't know it. Based on the way I was raised, I didn't deserve anything besides beatings and humiliation. I know, I know, you've heard it all before... but the truth is the truth, and I'm not denying it or pretending it didn't happen to make you (you know who you are) comfortable. I'm sharing my story, even if it makes you squirm--my self-indignation fuels the fire.
Don't give me that crap that anger is a bad emotion. Such a fallacy! Anger keeps us from being steamrolled. Do you know a doormat? That person is a doormat because she was taught that anger is bad, that her very internal protective system is bad. She learned to be nice to everybody, especially creeps. Screw that! If you're nice to a shark, you'll be eaten!
I used to be a doormat. I thought everyone else was better than me--this was how I was conditioned to believe. Now that I'm in recovery, I'm seeing the truth. Today, as I re-live those experiences, I am charged with the anger I need to kick ass today. I'm allowing myself to experience the pain of being abused and beaten, and giving myself permission to be pissed off at my abusers who stole my dignity from me.
Your anger is a signal to yourself that you are being violated. It is impossible to have emotional boundaries without it. Those who are abused are generally prevented from feeling their own anger, so they repress it and deny that it is there. Without anger, you have no way of knowing when you're being exploited. I had no concept of my own anger, and therefore no emotional boundaries.
Every day as I allow myself to feel my true feelings, I see where I should be mad and where I should protect myself. My anger tells me that I deserve to be protected. My anger reminds me that I am worth shielding, guarding and fighting for. I am a valuable person with beautiful life inside of me. My emotions are good and useful to keep me safe and secure from predators. Staying in touch with the true source of my anger will keep me from projecting it elsewhere in my life today and give me the backbone I need to be confident and assertive.