Anger

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OceanStar

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Anger
« on: June 25, 2020, 06:53:45 PM »
Today I was angry.
That is an achievement for me because I knew I was angry. Before I didn't know what anger was I, I had to google it. It sucks tho as I had to be angry to get that I'd achieved something.
I am trying to sit with it now, that feeling. I don't know why I was unable to remain calm, previously i would have been. Something triggered me, I have no idea what it was. Right now I hate myself for the hurt I caused others when I was angry. It's really getting to me as I have no idea how to stop it happening again and be kinder to those I love.

What do other people do when they are angry? How do you work out what makes you angry? Any other thoughts/ comments/ ideas etc would be great to hear as I am struggling with this.

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Rainagain

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Re: Anger
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 04:08:19 AM »
Anger is tricky for me too, I've been thinking about it this week after I became very angry a few days ago.

For me it's about boundaries and thresholds.

I try not to become angry, I try to remain calm and reasonable, especially so when I can feel the anger building up during a situation with someone else.

But sometimes it flares up and takes over.

This time I just left immediately, if my boundaries are trampled I withdraw to put them back in place by physical distance.

If I couldn't withdraw  I could get quite dangerous, the anger is huge and fight/flight takes over.

I know I carry this excessive explosive anger inside so I prepare to withdraw as soon as I feel it building up.

I live with it as I recognise it and although I cannot control it I can manage it so I dont end up on the news.

A big worry is perceived direct aggression from others, that gives me next to no time to get away.

It's a big reason why I live alone and have little social contact.

I think understanding your anger, especially its early signs is key.

For me it starts as a body response, preparing to fight, adrenaline and hind brain taking over. Afterwards when I'm away from the situation the adrenaline burns off as muscle trembling.

I dont know how people conduct angry arguments with others, If I can't escape then i just want to physically attack not shout, argue or be 'normal' angry, can't do that at all.

The good news is that I manage it quite well, I had one incident where someone physically threatened me a few years back and it all went badly for them, but afterwards it turned out that i hadn't reacted excessively after all, just explosively/instantly to stop the threat, which shocked everyone around at the time.

I think that was just lucky for me as I wasn't in control of myself at the time so anything could have happened really.

It can be managed and controlled so it doesn't become a regular problem, but knowing when it's happening is important.

I really understand how bad it makes you feel, it worries me a lot.

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Slim

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Re: Anger
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 12:46:29 PM »
Anger really sucks the life out of me. And people around me also.
I hear sayings like 'use the anger', but I don't get it.
I wasn't allowed to feel or think for myself, so when I started to have my own feelings in my 20s, I did not know how to manage them.
I get angry instead of sad, instead of shame, instead of fear, instead of excitement.
It's a bit of a mess for me.
Sorry I do not have any answers except to share my experience.
Slim

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saylor

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Re: Anger
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 07:29:17 PM »
What do other people do when they are angry? How do you work out what makes you angry? Any other thoughts/ comments/ ideas etc would be great to hear as I am struggling with this.
Youíve got me thinking...
I think I have probably had a lot of anger under the surface throughout life, but I only really started expressing it in my 40s, and only really started to realize that it was a big factor in the last couple years. I think what is most likely to trigger anger is when I perceive Iím being belittled or disrespected out-of-hand by someone, or just generally ďdehumanizedĒóreminded that I donít count and donít matter, etc.

Iím pretty sure my pent-up anger comes from the fact that I had to keep swallowing my emotions in order to try to appease my abusive F (since there was an unspoken zero-tolerance policy in our household with respect to us children expressing anything other than contented, unquestioning acceptance of what was being inflicted on us). I think also that the fact that my F was never held accountable in any way (except through my and my siblingís eventual estrangement from himówhich made him indignant) for his crimes against us has left me with a sense of unresolved injustice, which also produces anger that has nowhere to go. Itís like, either I somehow magically will myself away from feeling all the anger (but how?) or I let it keep eating me alive. But one thingís for sure: there will never be any justice.

As Iíve started to recognize how much anger I feel, Iíve begun to try to avoid letting it seep into my relationships with others. I think Iím mostly doing OK at it, but sometimes, if I make the mistake of talking about my F to someone (I very rarely do, but sometimes the floodgates open, with certain people whom I feel I can trust), I know I can go into an EF. Maybe the answer is that I need to avoid talking about my F at all costs (except, I guess, in a place like this where itís safe to process the angeró?)

One thing that I think has helped a little, is to recognize that if I go into fight mode because Iím triggered by a memory of my F, itís a good idea to try to ďburn offĒ the adrenaline thatís flooding my system with vigorous physical activity. I just have to have the time and capacity, and I have to recognize the EF and pull myself out of it in time, in order to try to manage whatís happening.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 09:31:46 PM by saylor »

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rainydiary

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Re: Anger
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 07:44:03 PM »
Anger is difficult for me too.  I also googled how to feel angry.  I know that I feel anger but I think that the second I do I try to stop it.  I was punished for showing anger (or really any emotion) as a child.  I think it has all gotten trapped inside of me and fuels my inner and outer critics.  Iím still finding my way with this and appreciate this thread. 

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OceanStar

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Re: Anger
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 08:31:51 PM »
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me.

I hope it's ok for me to ask you all more questions about your posts.

Rainagain- What does that adrenaline response you mentioned feel like, how do you know it's happening?

Slim- I had no idea that anyone could be feeling anger instead of, or perhaps along side, another emotion. I wonder how that works? How do you know if it's happening?

Saylor- Thanks for the exercise link, I'd not really thought about it before but it makes sense. I often pace a lot when I'm feeling something. I am wondering if that's a link I should look into further.

Rainydiary- Thank you for you post, and in particular sharing that you googled too. I felt so stupid when I did, like I should know. I'm sorry you had to google too, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

Thank you all.

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Slim

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Re: Anger
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 06:04:11 AM »
Slim- I had no idea that anyone could be feeling anger instead of, or perhaps along side, another emotion. I wonder how that works? How do you know if it's happening?
At the moment, I feel angry, frustrated, and destructive. Nothing going on at the moment that would make me feel angry. I am anxious about visiting a friend today, and that makes me grumpy...I am apprehensive. When I get angry, I lose my empathy and I break my connection with someone else. It's horrible.
I grew up with adopted parents who were not emotionally mature, and I copied them, I think.
Slim

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Rainagain

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Re: Anger
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 10:04:49 PM »
Wow OS,

It's interesting that you dont know the physiological anger responses, the 'fight' part of fight/flight, it's such a hard wired part if me that it's like the clothes I wear.

I was trained as a biologist so I know them well I guess.

The usual anger/aggression response in people is warning signs such as agitation, red face, expansive gestures, pacing about, raised voice with perhaps jumbled speech followed by the main event when the hind brain kicks in, the danger signs then are the face gets pale, fixed stare, lowered head (to protect throat), little or no speech, shallow panting. The body is preparing to attack and everything unrelated to fight/flight shuts down, higher brain function, digestive system etc., blood and adrenaline and sugars divert to the lungs and muscles.

Some people anger easily but dont go into the true final physiological response phase of fight/flight.

I dont anger easily but when I do i dont do the warning signs, I dont get obviously angry with the forebrain, I suppress it until the hindbrain takes over control, it can happen very quickly if I am threatened and I cant get away.

It feels like my chest is tight, my arms are rigid and a pressure is building up inside.

I worry because my perception of threat is skewed so I might react inappropriately.

I did once have someone who was triggering me like that notice what was going on with me, they were talking at me, pushing my buttons until they suddenly realised it was all going to kick off in a matter of seconds and they stopped and backed off completely. I hadn't said anything, it was only when they stopped talking that I realised I was poised ready to jump at them, it had happened without me realising, i was gauging the distance between us which gave the clue to the other person.

Sorry for the lecture, i think about this body response a lot.