Anger is a very normal part of life, yet also a difficult thing for many adult children of narcissistic parents. Growing up, we were not allowed to express emotions, good or bad, but it often seems as if anger is the one that receives the most ridicule if we express it. As I’ve said before, my mother always accused me of having that “Bailey temper” as she calls it. She said that her family doesn’t get mad like my father’s family does. Which seems to be true- from what I’ve seen, they just stuff that anger inside & pretend it’s not there. Yea, that’s healthy…. lol
If you too were raised by a narcissistic mother, I’m sure you heard some similar shaming comments if you showed any anger as well.
The fact is though that anger is going to happen. As you heal from narcissistic abuse, it is definitely going to come up. As your self-esteem improves, you finally realize you didn’t deserve the terrible things that were done to you, & it makes you angry. You realize too that it wasn’t your fault you were abused, which also makes you angry.
Holding anger inside at this point becomes very difficult & even impossible. That is actually a good thing because it is detrimental to your physical & emotional health. It can cause anxiety & depression. It can cause high blood pressure, kidney, heart & digestive problems. Even knowing such things, it can be hard for the adult child of a narcissistic parent to find healthy ways to release anger. At first, it can be downright terrifying. She may feel that if she lets a little anger out, she’ll end up losing control of it all & hurting herself & others. She also may feel that if she lets it out, she’ll never stop being angry.
Dear Reader, these are simply not the case at all! Anger is a powerful emotion that needs to be heard. It demands to be heard in fact. Even so, there are healthy ways to deal with it.
Some people recommend the chair method. This involves standing in front of a chair, pretending the person who hurt or abused you is in that chair, & telling them everything you feel inside about them & their actions.
Some people beat up pillows. It’s a good physical release, & you can’t hurt a pillow no matter how hard you beat it.
Others swear by writing letters they never send. I have done this with a great deal of success. I let it all out in the letters, then usually I burn them. I found something very therapeutic about watching the letters burn. It’s like my anger went up in the smoke. I also kept a couple of them, which helps to keep me remember why things are the way they are. Reading over my letter helps me if I feel weak & wanting to fix things with my mother. It helps remind me that I can’t do all the work- fixing a relationship takes 2 people.
Journaling is akin to writing the letters. No one is going to read what you write, so what better way to let it all out? Although I love the feel & look of a pretty paper journal, for privacy sake, I use an online, password protected one. I am certain no one would be able to read it, so when I need to get anger out, I let it all go in the journal.
Perhaps the most effective way I’ve found to deal with anger though is by talking to God about it. He is such a wonderful Father. He listens without judgment or criticism & offers you comfort. He also helps you to purge all of that anger from you, so you no longer stuff it deep inside.
The next time you feel anger, I encourage you to try one or more of the suggestions above. They really will help you tremendously. You’ll feel so much better once the anger is out from inside you.