I grew up in a very hostile environment, it came along with having a narcisstic mother. I look back at childhood memories in confusion because it felt so normal to me.
My mother and I had a nice relationship when I was too young to realize her emotional issues. My anger started showing itself from a young age. I started stealing like my mother did and I was physically abusive, not only to myself; but others. In my spurts of anger, I would fight with people, bang my head against walls, cars, everything and I even threatened my mother(and self) with a knife a couple of times. I remember it scared her so much, she threw out all the sharp knives. There are worse things I did and I’m not proud of, but I could go on and on.
My father is a really great man, but he is so logical sometimes it comes across as negative and he’s very controlling of his environment. While this was happening, he tried his best to make her happy and provide what she needed. I know it broke his heart, and he couldn’t handle her. A lot of the responsibilities of her fell onto me and I felt obligated to heal her. I internalized that guilt for a long time, until I finally cut her off. She was never happy with my father because she was never happy with herself, I see that now. I’m not sure if he does, but I know deep down that’s what happened.
Both of my parents had very negative, worrisome outlooks which took a toll on my outlook on life. I was scared of people, I felt like I needed to constantly be on guard. Sometimes, I still feel that way; but I can manage it and I remind myself I’m safe to be vulnerable and to express emotions.
Crazy to think back, It’s so opposite from who I am today. Living in a household where everyday is a melt-down and taking care of someone’s needs, but also trying to handle my own was a battle. All the while being emotionally abused and sometimes physically in really bad fights. It was difficult to develop my own personality and I don’t remember fully developing until I left my household. I remember trying to assert my independence many times throughout my life and being shunned for it.
I forgave myself for the things I did in anger because I know exactly where it stemmed from. I discovered this anger wasn’t MY anger, it was anger I held onto and internalized for someone else. It was anger for decades of abuse, it was deep down pain. Hurt. Vulnerability, yet trying to stay tough in the face of it.
I’ve suffered from a lot of emotional ups and downs, but I’ve managed to deal with my emotions without medication. I’ve learned to ride the waves and handle myself when my personality becomes destructive. I stayed away from medicine that treats depression and while some do truly need it. I was given the chance to become extremely self-aware. I love being able to explore my depths and I hope to help others do that too.
Sometimes, you need the madness to help you see a different perspective. I don’t regret any part of my life, even those times I made a fool out of myself slaving for my anger. It’s important to see the difference between allowing positive emotions to drive you vs. negative ones. Positive emotions are great, but honoring your negative emotions is imperative so that they do not run the show. Allow both to flow freely through you, but do not allow the angry, mean emotions to cause destruction in your life. See what lessons they have to teach you and allow them to float away into earth. Most of these negative emotions come from a space of lack, or inner turmoil, and while you think you’re happy. You’re really miserable and crying out for help. The trick is turning the negative into a positive long-term. Channeling that energy, and creating something amazing from it.
I’m crying as I write this because it brings up a lot of old feelings I haven’t thought of in a long time. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for life itself. There are many like me who have conquered deep pain, but others who have yet to and repeat patterns. I hope to help everyone I can by expressing myself. Sometimes, it’s hard to express those feelings because of loyalty and family secrets. The reason I burst into tears when I express it, is because part of me still wants to hide and protect my abusers because I know deep down. They were hurt too, in worse ways a lot of the time. It never excuses the behavior.
The few ways I manage my anger are:
- Find out what is driving that anger and where it’s coming from.
- Write all your anger in a journal, write your little heart out Don’t worry about it sounding crazy, just write all your aggression down. The best thing about writing is eventually the underlying emotion from your anger comes up. Once you understand your anger, you can control it.
- Go out and do some physical activity(running, walking, hula hoop, jumping jacks) to burn off energy
- Never deny yourself of your emotions, always embrace it and allow to see the hidden messages.
- I’ll take a bath, light some candles and try to soothe myself before the day is over. Your adrenaline gets jacked up when you’re angry so it’s nice to do something kind for yourself.
- If you feel tempted to hurt others or yourself, please don’t be afraid to call for help. Sometimes emotions make us feel powerless, but you have the power .
And remember if you revert into your old patterns, forgive yourself. We all do it, and we all make mistakes. Try to do better next time.