provoked anger versus psychological anger
I was talking with a new friend today, telling her about my blog and book and my story over coffee, and she brought up an interesting question about anger. I was telling her how I started out my journey to overcome child abuse issues as a very angry, hateful, humiliated person, and how it was only through a process of therapy, reading, blogging, lots and lots and lots of forgiveness, tears and pain, that I have been able to emerge on the other side of this journey not just intact, but vibrant and happy and living life on my terms. Which is wonderful.
But, there are days….where I am still filled with overwhelming rage, where I would like to throw things, say hateful things to people, hurt people who annoy me, etc. You know, I’m basically a righteous b—ch. It is what it is. These arethe days I have blogged about, when I say I am unfit for human consumption, and I very carefully quarntine myself in isolation.
And she said, well, as a mom, there are days when my kids just push and push and push, and she gets angry and has the same kind of rage, and isn’t it basically the same thing?
So I thought about it for a bit, and my answer is NO. No, it’s not the same thing. Everyone gets angry, absolutely. Emotional triggers, fights with your spouse, remembering abuse, remembering painful events….you will get pissy cranky, no doubt.
But the difference between being provoked by someone or something, versus just waking up angry, is a different thing. I can speak to no one’s experience but my own, but for me it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It’s a serotonin thing. I WAKE UP ANGRY. Yes, ALL CAPS ANGRY. Ready to throttle someone angry. And there is absolutely nothing that triggered it, nothing horrible is happening. I just wake up ANGRY, ANGRY, ANGRY. PERIOD, END OF STORY.
And I know with the caps I am yelling at you. Well, that’s what’s going on in my head. There’s an angry voice (mine) inside that is yelling and screaming….and trust me, nothing’s wrong in my life.
I’m extremely fortunate in many ways. I have overcome abuse and addiction. I’m happily married to my best friend for over 17 years. I have a successful business, and know I am loved and appreciated by people around me. I know my words are helping people, and I have faith that my book will be well received. I travel and I have freedom that many people in the world only wish for. So why the hell am I angry?
Nothing, again, nothing provoked it. Yes, you can get angry at something that happens or what someone does…and rage at your spouse, friends, kids. You can feel like you want to throw dishes or have road rage. Yes, you can. But again, the difference is….that kind of anger is provoked.
Provoked. Something caused it. Not you just wake up and it’s already there before you’ve even gotten out of bed.
Luckily for me, due to therapy, medication, understanding….those days don’t happen so often. My entire life was one long day of anger before I started healing and facing my pain. Every day I woke up with a hate-on for the world, knowing I would have to take so much psychic energy just to clamp down on it so I could put on a professional smile and go about my day. Now, these days are fewer and fewer in between, and I have an extra anti-depressant to take on those days to level me out.
Medication is not for everyone. You have to find your own solution, and the only way will be to explore the dark placesn with a flashlight, as the imitable SARK says.
But there really is a difference between provoked anger and psychological anger. Psychological anger exists, and simmers, living like a heartbeat in your body. And if you have that pulsing in your body, you need to work to minimize it, so it doesn’t eat you alive.
Is it possible to do this? Absolutely. I am living proof of it. I can’t tell you how angry I used to be, and how much more peaceful and forgiving I am now. It is possible. You CAN overcome your pain.
I wish you well on your healing journey.