STRAIGHTEN UP: 

STEP 22 

We are angry even if we don’t know it. When we suffered

from trauma as a child we became angry because we

suffered immense loss. The loss brought us grief, but we

had to bury both the anger and loss in order to survive. As adults, that buried anger and loss manifests as depression. Grief work is the way out of depression and we will cover that later.

 

It’s been said that if you have a strong feeling for more than 15 minutes, it’s because its beginnings are rooted in the past. Many of us have been angry, but we deny it. Why? We deny it because it’s too frightening to acknowledge it for fear that it will explode out of control.

 

Others, however, repeatedly explode with anger but it doesn’t seem to ever get better because they cannot reach the roots of their anger. They only feel shame, and they really want to change, but have no idea how.

 

We look at buried anger beginning with resentments that come with being raised in a dysfunctional family. If we peek underneath the resentments, we can see the losses. There were many losses that took place as a child.

 

These losses might be very obvious, like not having a complete family as a result of parental divorce. However, these losses may also include more tenuous things. For example, a loss of respect from our parents or losing the feeling of being safe around our parents for fear of being shamed for who we are.

 

EXERCISE

 

In the first column you write what your resentment is. In the second column, write how it affected you. In the third, identify how you dealt with it and what your survival trait was. In the fourth column examine what beliefs you developed as a result. In the fifth, acknowledge what you lost as a result.

 

Replicate these columns in your journal:

Owning Our Anger