Anger. - Olympia,WA

Updated on July 19, 2012
E.D. asks from Olympia, WA
18 answers

I've been trying to name this feeling for days. Grief? Fear? Yes, those too. But tonight, after the kids were in bed, my girlfriend called to check in. And suddenly, talking with her, I realized what this is: I feel so, so, so angry.

This feels like poison. And I want it out. Anger is my very least favorite emotion. Me and grief are old buddies. Fear gnaws at me, but we're working it out. Anger - I don't know what to do with it. This is the first time in years that I've felt angry (resentful, bitter, frustrated, hurt, betrayed - yes. But not angry.) And when I feel angry it actually hurts in my chest, and I cry, and I shake, and my voice squeaks, and my face becomes ugly.

I don't know how to do this; moving through it, acknowledging it, not pushing it away or holding onto it. So tell me about that. How do you get through your anger?

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answers from Honolulu on

I, sort of welcome it if it is there.
It makes my mind clearer actually at times.
I use it as a force, to act on.
Not in an 'angry' way.... but like a muse.
Not in a negative way... but in a deliberately knowing way.
I don't, use it against anyone, not lashing out. But it is me knowing myself and makes clear, what *I* need.

Anger can = resentment
Anger can = frustration
Anger can = unmet wishes
Anger can = remorse
Anger can = regret
Anger can = hate
Anger can = delayed trauma
Anger can = self destruction or growth.
Anger can also... be a way to propel one to self awareness and improvement and clarity. Like an angry artist, who yet creates beauty at the same time.
In a sense, I made a better quality of art when I was younger and more 'angry.' It really is true.

Anger can be a guise for sadness or loss or grief. Another manifestation of it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I tell myself to practice tolerance and acceptance. If I can accept something, I am no longer angry over it. Acceptance does not mean that you agree with something, just that you accept that that is the way it is and you cannot change it - so you accept it. Acceptance takes the rage out of anger.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Hartford on

I suspect this has to do with your last post, and you're justified in being angry. Anger is a natural emotion, and not "poisonous" as some suggest because what matters is how you use that anger.

I let myself feel angry for a while. I give myself time to work out that feeling. If the anger doesn't dissipate and it's affecting all aspects of my life then I try to work it out externally rather than living in my head with it. I'll talk it out with someone objective, kind of like you did yesterday. If that doesn't take the wind out of my sails, I focus the energy generated by the anger into projects around the house. I talk about it therapy and use tools learned in therapy to try not to focus so much on what's making me angry.

But it's so very important to recognize that your anger is justified in this instance.

Part of working it out and feeling and talking about it does help me fizzle it out. I had an issue with one of my brothers, and when I remembered why he does things the way he does it completely deflated my anger. He doesn't even realize what he's doing or how he comes across with certain things. He's obsessive about things. He's OCD, sensory, and autistic. I forget that sometimes. It doesn't mean I'm not justified when he behaves like a tool, but when I remember WHY he behaves like a tool it's hard to hold it against him especially when at heart he's a wonderful person.

Anyway, I know it's two completely different situations, but your anger is also triggering some anxiety. Focus on ways to soothe yourself, and solutions to your perceived (but very real) issues. Use that anger for problem solving. But recognize that it's justified anger.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


You are an AWESOME writer!! Why not write through your anger?

To me? Anger is a culmination of MANY feelings - hurt, regret, fear, love, unhappiness/sadness, resentment, etc. And when I feel angry I need to find out the root of the anger.

You don't say why you are angry. Since you are such a great writer - I would just start writing out my feelings - getting to the source of WHY I am angry.

When I am angry - I ask myself - what will this matter in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years. If the ramifications are bad - I work to resolve it and fix it so the long term is NOT affected.

I admit I harbored a LOT of anger towards my ex-husband. It was the pile of dreams lost, love lost, betrayal, everything that we had dreamed as a couple was gone. I blamed him. i was ANGRY (like Richard Gere in Pretty W.! the bathtub scene? Yeah - I was ANGRY). Then I realized my anger wasn't hurting him. It was hurting me and those around me. I wrote a LONG letter about how I was disappointed that my marriage didn't work, that he betrayed not only me but our daughter, that he betrayed our vows that I thought we both held sacred...then I acknowledged my role in the fall of our marriage...holding his infidelities over his head - ALWAYS questioning him...where he was, who he was with...that loss of trust.. and then I mailed it to my best friend. Not to him because it didn't matter to him. And I let it go. I cried. I cried like a baby and said I forgive you to my ex - in the letter not to his face - and then I forgave myself. That's the hardest - forgiving yourself.

You can and WILL get through this Ephie. I know it. You will push through it and get it out. DO NOT let it erode you. Do NOT continue to hold it inside you. Set it free, honey. You CAN DO IT!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

What an awful feeling. When I'm angry I write. It usually starts out with me writing about the source of my anger and all my true feelings about the situation. Most times that leads to me writing a poem or short story. I always end up feeling better and with a clearer mind. I really hope things get better for you very soon.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Anger is usually a signal that something needs to change. And it is most frustrating when we can't facilitate whatever that change needs to be.

I think you have to acknowledge it before you can move through it. I think, like all emotions, being present within your anger, actively acknowledging *what* it is about a situation that makes you angry... and sometimes, grieving those circumstances, is all you can do.

I don't know if it will help, Ephie, but there's a good book titled "Ambiguous Losses" which really addresses the situation of *not* getting a healthy sense of closure when our relationships with those we were close to change for the worse. (Some of this focuses on physical illness, such as a parent with Alzheimers; where the person we knew before simply "isn't there" anymore.) The reality is that sometimes, we don't get closure or get to say a real 'goodbye', but that person we knew doesn't exist any more, either due to aging, illness, addiction, mental health issues or even simply 'not knowing' (as in MIA soldiers or families that emigrate who never hear from loved ones again).

Being aware of anger is important. And at some point, we have to take a step back and figure out what *our* options are within that frustrating situation and decide (when we aren't angry) how best to move forward. I am sure you already know this. This is what helps me when I am furious-- to be aware of the feelings, to allow myself to feel them, and then--after that good, hard, ugly cry (which is good for us), to accept the situation and then really look at what my choices are. Even *not making a choice, just gonna sit with this* is sometimes a good choice. Sometimes, honestly, my choice is just "I can't do a damn thing about this so I'm going to go take a walk and re-center myself". (As others have suggested, physical activity can help.)

Lastly, when we feel most helpless about a situation, our anger is probably worst of all. In those cases, I try to find other little things I *can* do to make our lives better, even if they seem pretty insignificant. A couple of years ago, a brother-in-law of mine was killed in a traffic accident. Over half of our family didn't show up or even send condolences to my sister, who had become a widow with five children. It was in doing *what I could do*, no matter how insignificant, that helped me to feel better. I couldn't control the actions of others, but I could help in little ways and that's what I tried to focus on.

Sending you strength and little moments of peace.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi Ephie
Anger comes from a feeling that you passionally disagree with someone /thing. It shows that you have fight in you and opinions.
Anger can be a healthy emotion once it is expressed in way that it leaves the body.
If you don't sickness either mentally/physical can occur. I believe in mind/body connection and illness occurring from unexpressed emotion.
It's interesting for me that you wrote this post because this happened to me only recently. I ended up in hospital for 4 days on IV antibiotics from a severe infection in my throat. I had a problem in work where I felt bullying was going on .I didn't have any concrete proof and was gathering evidence. I felt sooo angry at my co-workers and so sorry for the staff member involved. I had to keep it all inside and this I believe led to my sickness.
So get it out someway,shout ,cry, sit down with someone that is good at listening ( not a friend who will send the time bringing the conversation back to them lo ) or write it down and then burn the paper .
Wishing you the best
B. k

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I'm in your neck of the gorgeous woods at the moment... tired, but intrigued by your post...

When I think of my own anger: Gardening (I had a divorce corner at one time), art (fierce painting), hard labor (usually on my house), exercise while listening to loud music (late at night - earbuds)

When I'm not doing as well, I eat it. Chocolate. Or, I stuff it and then it leads to depression. It happens, I realize it, then find healthier ways to be angry.

Sometimes, like today, distraction. It was necessary in the moment because I needed to function for my daughter, so I returned to it at night and sat with it. I figured out what was happening in my body. Anger is physical (all emotion is, of course, but) anger needs motion/action/expression.

Anger is good for some people because it means action. For others, anger is dangerous because it feeds in to itself exponentially. I'm in the former category but can speak to both. With the former, I need to feel it and act. With the latter, distraction, calming exercises, management through withdrawal and reflection is the way to go.

Added: Now that its morning and I'm a bit more clear (a bit) you mentioned poison. That sounds more like resentment. That's when I write and remember what is best for me, who I'm hurting (me) and what I can and what I can not control...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

The shaking, crying, chest hurting, squeaky voice, that's all anxiety. I get it too, when dealing with high stress situations. You have to talk about it. Let it out of you. Don't let it consume you. I now see a therapist a few times a month. It has helped, to a degree. I find the only way to rid myself of the pain is to confront the issue head on. As long as you don't, it just may always be there. Waiting, like lion hunting its prey, waiting to pounce on it. First I would talk to your Dr about putting you on anxiety medication, or finding a homeopathic Dr that can give you something like valerian root or passion flower. Try googling Mind/body techniques for anxiety. Those exercises can prove beneficial if you allow the healing process. Good luck.

Edit: I just remembered this tool a friend gave me years ago. Maybe this will help you. Pretty self explanatory. If not, feel free to PM me.
Emotional map letter:

Dear name,
I don’t like it …
I feel frustrated …
I am angry that …
I feel annoyed …
I want …
I feel disappointed …
I am sad that …
I feel hurt …
I wanted …
I want …
I feel worried …
I am afraid …
I feel scared …
I do not want …
I need …
I want …
I feel embarrassed …
I feel sorry …
I feel ashamed …
I didn’t want …
I want …
I love …
I want …
I understand …
I forgive …
I appreciate …
Thank you, name, for …
I know …
P. S.​The response that I would like from you, name, is …
Thank you, name, for …
I understand …
I am sorry …
You deserve …
I want …
I love …

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You have darn good reason to feel angry, frustrated, and scared.

To handle this, talking will help. Not that anyone can solve this in one day, but as a person that can hear EVERYTHING you want to say and express.

As moms, we have to keep it together around our children. We do not want to frighten them or make the children think we have lost control. They need us to be in control at some times in our lives.

But we are human and our feeling are real.

What helps me is to yes, speak with someone that is not in the house..
and to write it all down.. I usually do this on the computer. I even print it out and read it.

For me this is like a purge.

If this still does not help enough.. I go and see a therapist. They are great at really listening to the bottom line and helping me decide, what am I going to do about this.. and sometimes allowing me to admit, some things cannot be changed or controlled. This of course is my problem. I like to solve problems. I do not like messes. Especially emotional messes. But as I have gotten older
I have discovered I cannot control everything, I cannot change other people, but I can own my feelings and decide how I will handle my own reactions and my own plan.

I have been where you are. I do not like the helpless feeling. I ask for more hugs. I ask for help (very hard for me) and I take care of what I can take care of.

Try to be good to yourself right now. Get some professional help and advice. They will help you with coping through this difficult time in your life.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

anger isn't ugly. the ugliness comes with suppression. anger can be constructive, but not if you are afraid of it. seclude yourself, write letters to those you're angry at. let the tears out, face it head on. then destroy the letters, dry your eyes, and move on. you're allowed to be angry ephie. just deal with it in a healthy way. unresolved emotion (of any kind) IS poison. but emotions are natural. all you can control is how you deal with them. good luck dear.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Many women cope with anger by cleaning.
Scrub something.
Something that will take a lot of physical work - a floor, a bathroom, wash your car or fridge inside and out.
Or you could dig out a new garden bed.
You use your anger for something positive and by the time you are exhausted, really worn out, the anger/adrenaline has burnt off plus you have the fruits of your labor to enjoy.
Everything feels clean inside and out even if your muscles are sore from the workout you gave them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hmm, I was going to mention your writing as Cheryl O. did. I really see a talent in your writing. Do you write for fun?

I've struggled with anger my entire life. Yours is clearly situational, but yes, anger can be very damaging.

Nothing takes away the pain of anger like prayer, for me. For a non-believer, meditation. Not sure which way you lean, but try either.

Ephie, hang in there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Yeah, anger gives me gas. :p Seriously though it does effect me a lot like you describe. It throws everyone off center. Like perceptions, physical, I hate anger. Hate anger, does that even make sense?

I think for me anger is the one emotion caused by that which is not remotely under my control. Like I am hurt because my kids are hurt but I am angry at my ex for causing it. I can't control my ex's behavior and that is what causes anger.

I can be frustrated that I cannot bring something under control but only what I can't control makes me angry. Does that make sense?

I just let it go, sometimes it takes longer than I would like but generally it passes.

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answers from New York on

Depends what I am angry about... and anger is poison, poison to our souls.

Stomping around like an angry elephant, punctuated with bursts of tears helps. I do it while my daughter is not home, so I don't scare her...

After that I just let it go... I acknowledge that whatever it is I am angry about is out of my control (if it is within my control I do something about it rather than get angry) and ask God to help me handle the situation with Grace first and second ask that he help resolve the situation.

In extreme cases of anger, I replace the stoping with seriously exhausting exercise. But for me the most important part is after I deal with the physical side of the anger (exercise / cry), it is the conversation with God.

God Bless, I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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answers from Portland on

Talking about it with my therapist always helps. Writing about it is a close second for me. Just getting the anger out where I can see it helps me quite a bit. The anger is still there for awhile but is diluted and eventually subsides. I also accept the anger without trying to talk myself out of it. Feel it deep, know that it's real and not an emotion you can just push away.

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answers from Dothan on

You didn't say WHY you are angry & for me that makes a HUGE difference in how I handle the anger.

Angry with S.O. in your life, I tell them & deal with it between the two of us.

Angry with kidz, let them KNOW that you are angry & why & how they have disappointed me as a parent & themselves as ppl & eke out the appropritate punishment/talking to.

Angry with phone co., electric co., insurance co. THIS IS FUN...just let 'em have it (make sure to be professionally BITCHY)

Angry with vehicle, kick the DAMN THING, CALL IT DIRTY NAMES & THEN EITHER FIX IT OR CRY (or cry WHILE fixing it)

Angry with YOU, this is an ENTIRELY different matter! I generally do all of the above & then I feel better!

I hope this put a smile on your pretty face & let you into the disturbed mind of a crazed but caring MP member! ;p

Happy Wednesday! (It IS Wednesday, right???)

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answers from Portland on

There are some good resources on practical forgiveness on amazon. I would also look at My pastor has designed a great resource toward that end, but it isn't published yet. It's supposed to come out in August. If you can wait that long, look for "The Forgiveness Workshop" by David Snapper.

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