Fear of Anger (Part One)
Even though Fear of Anger may seem strange to you, for me it's so very true. Whether it is someone else's anger or even my own anger, this emotion scares the shit out of me. Anger has been the biggest fear of my life, and it has even ran my life, without me even knowing it.
I am ready to face anger head-on with courage and acceptance. Ready now to make peace with my past and heal so I may step into my authentic self. Healing and seeing the parts of myself that cause me pain or trigger me in a negative way helps bring me into balance of who I really am.
Please know that as I write my memories of the past this is not a judgment of my parents because they did the best they could at this time of their lives. I love them both very much and I grateful for the life that I have.
Rage and anger went hand and hand there was no difference for me between these two words. They were both uncontrollable emotions; this was my experience growing up. There was a form of control around anger for me. Out of the fear of anger, I became the good girl and wounded child (the silent one). I did everything that I was told, then everything would be ok and peaceful. But when I wasn't that good girl there was a price to pay and that would be a slap of the hand, a belt, a riding crop, or if we were lucky the board of education that hung in the kitchen. There are still lingering memories of many things. I've done much work around letting go; that it seems like lifetimes ago, but these memories still haunt my present life in some ways no matter what I do.
There was much turmoil in my house growing-up. My parents fought constantly, screaming and fighting was normalcy in our home. It was like living in a war zone and growing up with PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). They fought almost every night and this was what I heard as I fell asleep! One of the funnier things that stands out was my sister and I were sitting out on the porch because the fighting was so loud and a book came sailing through the window. All we could do was look at each other in disbelief.
I think the hardest part of growing up like this is the silence that was around these behaviors. I remember at a young age I was told; what happened in our home stayed in our home. So we never spoke about it and our family always looked fine on the outside but was very dysfunctional on the inside. Many years later and I joined a 12 step program and heard for the first time we are only as sick as our secrets. Breaking silence is part of the healing journey. This wonderful 12 step program (Al Anon) gave me a life again, that was worth living!
As a teenager I wanted to become independent from my parents as all teenagers do. What had I learned so early on? That I didn't want to be in trouble because rage and anger were terrifying to me and that silence or secrets were ok. Taking this information and being the good girl made it easier to lie and manipulate then tell the truth. But then I would always get caught sooner or later. When the rebel part of me appeared, I acted out even more so. I just made sure what I did was well worth the price that I had to pay. The irony of all of this was; being told that lying was the worst thing I could do but it was what I was taught!
So as no surprise I repeated this pattern, my choices over and over again in my relationships. Always ending up in an abusive relationship in one form or another. Being triggered at my core; with that fear of anger; someone else's or mine. I would still respond as if I was a child, because I was never given the tools for anything different. In some relationships anger was avoided at all costs, to the point of being controlled or a doormat and my silent wounded child would be present. My last relationship we both tried to avoid anger and drama; that didn't work either because in the end there was a lot of anger. Other relationships in the past I would argue, lie and even manipulate being the rebel teenager. But this was all I had to go on, so no blame or no shame. (As one of my wonderful teachers always says)
I have now identified the source of my warped perspective around my fear of anger and where it came from, what now? I want to heal and reach the safe shores of peace. In part two I will talk about what comes next.