Understanding Anger After Abuse

Growing up with narcissistic parents, you learn many things early in life that most people don’t, such as you aren’t allowed to have feelings.  Often if you are happy, a narcissistic parent will ask you what you have to be so happy about, shaming you into hiding your joy.  If you are sad, you’re told you don’t have anything to be sad about because other people have it way worse than you.  If you’re angry, you’re told you have a bad temper & are crazy.


Because of such things, you learn early on to ignore your emotions.  Stuff them down deep inside & pretend they aren’t there.  Eventually though, after years of doing this, enough is enough.  You can’t physically or mentally handle this stress any longer, & you have to start learning to express yourself.  It feels so strange at first.  Sometimes, I still feel like I’m waiting for some sort of backlash for sharing my emotions, because I’m doing something I learned as a child was absolutely wrong.  It has improved over time, but is still there to a degree.


I think though that anger is the hardest emotion to handle when you learn to share your emotions.  Aside from the messages of shame for feeling anger that you must get rid of, anger seems to have a mind of its own.


When first getting in touch with your anger, it may feel as if there is an infinite pit of it inside you, which is pretty scary.  You must realize that if you’ve been stuffing it inside you for your entire life, there is going to be a lot of anger in there to deal with.  There is an end to it all, but it’s going to take a while to deal with it all.


Also, when you’re not allowed to express anger, it comes up later, even years later.  I get angry with my parents for things that happened 30 years ago sometimes.  It makes me feel like I’m living too much in the past. It can be so frustrating!  Unfortunately it’s also very normal.  You can’t simply expel all of the anger you feel inside at once.  You mentally couldn’t handle that.  Instead, it comes out in manageable doses.  This means you’ll probably have to deal with an incident at a time.  Since narcissistic parents dole out such a great deal of abuse to their children over the course of their lives, there are obviously going to be many, many incidents to deal with, even going back to your very early life.  It’s an unfortunate & frustrating fact of being raised by narcissistic parents.


Sometimes the anger comes up later because you were so busy trying to survive the abuse that you didn’t have time to cope with it at the time.  I had a terrible relationship with my husband’s mother.  Then, my husband defended her to me which caused many problems in our marriage.  I had to fight with him as well as her, & didn’t really have time to process what was happening, because I was trying to survive both of them with my sanity in tact.  It wasn’t until I cut her out of my life that I could finally deal with the things she had done to me as well as the anger at my husband for taking her side no matter what she did.


You need to realize that all of these feelings are normal.


You also need to realize that you have a right to your anger.  Being abused isn’t fair.  No one deserves it!  You have every right to feel anger about that.


You have every right to learn to deal with your anger in a healthy way.  It’s well overdue.


There is nothing wrong with anger in & of itself, so please don’t buy into the lies you heard about that.  Anger is simply an emotion & emotions aren’t bad.  It’s what we do with that anger that can be bad.  Trying to get revenge on someone out of anger is bad, but feeling anger is not.  Anger is a good thing since it lets you know something is wrong.


I know anger is a very scary thing when you never learned how to handle it in healthy ways.  However, you can learn healthy ways to deal with it.  Prayer is the absolute best place to start, I believe. Ask God to show you what to do, how to handle it.  He certainly will answer that prayer!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

12 responses to “Understanding Anger After Abuse

  1. ibikenyc

    Nothing does it like getting baited to Kingdome Come and then smugly told, when you finally snap, that you’re “ALWAYS mad” and that “Anger is a NEGative eMOtion.” I have N Grandma to thank for that one.

    I am still working this through. Mr. Happy just loves to tell me how “EVERYTHING makes you angry!” I have learned, at LAST, to simply agree with him. He loves to call me a “Dumb C*** From Queens” (my hometown), so I just say, “Hey! What else do you expect from the DCFQ?!”


    • Thanks Grandma huh? UGH!! Wonder why you were “always mad”. I’m sure she had nothing to do with that huh?

      Mr. Happy sounds like such a peach. Geez, that’s an awful thing to say to you!!

      Isn’t that interesting about narcissists though? They tell us how stupid we are, but expect us to know everything including how to behave “properly” (their way, in other words.). That’s one thing that’s always blown me away with my parents. Ever since childhood, they’d come to me wanting me to fix their marital problems & basically be their emotional caregivers, but at the same time, they’d let me know how stupid I am. Crazy!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ibikenyc

        You don’t know the BEST parts: She (NGrandma) was a BIG fan of Norman Vincent Peale, Eric Butterworth, and their ilk!

        Five-year-old ME was regularly dragged along to endless lectures by them and expected to sit quietly and listen for what felt like HOURS.

        I do have to say that I am grateful that I was introduced to Metaphysics, which have since come to form the foundation of my spiritual Self.

        Too bad I’ll never get to see her try to tap-dance her way around THAT!


      • ibikenyc

        Oh, I could write a book (maybe you know the feeling; LOL!)

        Thank you for your kind words.

        He called his second wife a “Dumb Jew C***,” so I wasn’t entirely surprised.

        It’s been backfiring on him, badly, though: Every time he starts to tell me about (short version) what’s wrong with me, I listen intently and nod, and then I say, “Well, you know, DCFQ: It’s How We Roll,” or “Why would you expect anything ELSE from a Dumb C*** from Queens?”

        The best he’s been able to do in return is the old (YAWN) “You ALWAYS HAVE TO START IN, DON’T YOU? / THAT’S IN THE PAST! / (other deflection attempt).”

        My response to such, if I make one, is that “Yeah?” like “Yeah, SO?” that HE gives ME in response to MY concerns or, occasionally, that if he doesn’t like the way it sounds, he shouldn’t say it in the first place

        I cannot imagine being asked to solve my parents’ marital problems; my God, Cynthia.

        I did used to hear it about behaving properly, though. When I was twelve or thirteen I got sneered down BADLY because I didn’t know that, when folding a check in half, you don’t fold it EVENLY but rather to the edge of the printing, so there’s an eighth-of-an-inch overlap.

        (Now you, too, know, so you won’t commit any faux pas.)


        • Uh, yea.. I know the feeling. LOL

          You’re welcome!

          Wow.. isn’t he just a sweetheart? My word!

          Narcissists really don’t like it when we give them a taste of their own medicine, do they? Must irk him to no end you say the same thing to him he’s said to you! HA!

          Crazy, huh? I’m going to make a YouTube video soon about parentalizing behaviors, which is what my parents wanting me to solve their marital problems was. It’s not just me- there are plenty of us out there with whackjob parents who did this.

          I never had a clue about that about folding checks. What’s the purpose of that? & seriously.. making fun of a kid for not knowing it? Lovely. I’m 46 & never had a clue!

          Liked by 1 person

          • ibikenyc

            Looking forward to that video. You remind me very much of someone I once knew and liked very much, like an “old” friend, but I can’t remember who she was.

            The check-folding I suspect has / had its place among those who confuse pretention with breeding; don’t feel too bad!


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