Thoughts On Anger While Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Recently I wrote this post about the time my mother tried to kill me, & the tough time I’m having regarding this incident.  I wondered something.  Why now?  Why this year?  Every other November 28 since 1990 when it happened hasn’t been this hard.  Difficult sometimes, sure but not like this.  So what is going on?!

A thought crossed my mind that answered that question.  

A couple of weeks ago, my husband & I went to dinner at this little local bar/restaurant we like.  As we ate, someone started playing the juke box.  The song “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” by the Kentucky Headhunters came on.  It immediately made me think of a story I told in this post last year.  The abridged version is this… 

The day of my father’s funeral,  I asked my Amazon Echo Dot to play music by Wham! since I wanted something light & fun, but instead it mysteriously played Waylon Jennings’ song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”.  I just knew in my heart that God & my father wanted me to know that song is kinda how my father felt – trapped & unable to protect me from my mother.  I thought about my father’s notes I’d found documenting some of the abuse my mother inflicted on me & terrible things she said about me as I listened to the song.  I read them that day & it was pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Anyway… when the song played at the restaurant, immediately I felt transported back to that experience.  It triggered a ton of intrusive memories of abuse & naturally a big C-PTSD flare up.

Later, I prayed about it all & asked God what was that about?!  He clearly spoke to my heart & said, “This was a gift from your father.  He knows you have a lot of anger inside, & rightfully so.  He wants you to face it & heal.  He knows you’re strong enough to do that.  I agree.”  

Since then, I’ve been getting very angry about things as they come to mind, & my mother’s attack on me is no exception.  I never realized before that I hadn’t been overly angry about it.  Why?  Because I felt I had to be more concerned with how others were affected.  

My father complained about my mother locking him out of the house when he left the night she attacked me.  His keys were in his pocket!  He could’ve let himself back in at any time!!!  But that was what was wrong with the situation, not my mother trying to kill me.  Years later, my father complained to me about having to fix the wall my mother threw me into.  He expected me to apologize.  That did NOT happen & I told him it never would.  Not my fault she broke the wall with my back.

When it happened, my ex husband was upset about it, but not because I’d been hurt.  It was more because it upset him that she did this, rather than her actions causing me harm, if that makes sense.

Both my father & my ex wanted me to comfort them.  As a result, I did (I was only 19 & knew nothing of NPD obviously), & ignored my own anger.  That anger is now at the surface after 28 years & it’s time to face it.  

I’m seeing more & more how valuable anger can be.  Yes, we should forgive, not be full of anger or try to get revenge on people, but at the same time, anger has its place!  It is an excellent motivator for change.  It is also a big part of the healing process, & should NEVER be ignored!  The only way to heal from anger that I know of is to get angry.  Feel it.  Yell, cry, write hateful letters you never send, or whatever works for you, but feel that anger & get it out of you.  Then you can release it fully.

Forgiving too easily or early is an issue, like it was with me.  Once I became a Christian in 1996, I heard a lot about forgiveness.  I thought I forgave my mother for her attack, but what I really did was just ignore the anger that I felt.  I think many victims of narcissistic abuse do the same thing.  

I believe one of the best things you can do for yourself when trying to heal from narcissistic abuse is to decide early on that you will forgive your abuser, then face your anger head on.  It’s miserable to do, I know, & scary when you’ve never really felt anger before, but you have to do it.  Remember that anger is from God like all of our emotions, so that alone proves it is valuable.  Feeling it helps you to cope with injustices done to you & motivates you to make appropriate changes.  It also helps your self esteem when you get angry about what was done to you because it’s like it shows you that you are valuable!  You deserve to be treated right!

 

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12 Comments

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

12 responses to “Thoughts On Anger While Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

  1. WOW. Wow wow wow. How you can take the horrors of your life and turn them into something beautiful, healing, and true. Wow.

    And oh, I am angry at your mother, your late father, and your ignorant ex, right along with you!

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  2. This is such an important thing for abuse survivors to know. So many of us never learned that we are supposed to be angry when others hurt us. And if we’re Christians we are often taught, incorrectly, that being angry in and of itself is a sin. But nothing could be further from the truth. God built anger into us for a purpose. It tells us that we’ve been injured and need to get away from the source of that injury to treat the wound and heal. It’s analogous to physical pain, as when we get too close to a fire and feel the pain of burning. We need to get away from the fire, treat the burn, and stay away from fires so that we can heal and prevent further injuries. Righteous anger with abusers has another important purpose. It’s to tell us to stand against evil by stating what was done and how it was wrong, immoral, unethical, and sinful. By doing that we refuse to enable sin and sinners. The abusers don’t have to stop and repent for this to be a valid action for survivors to take. It’s not primarily for us that we take our stand, but so that we don’t enable our abusers to continue sinning against us. That is how we show love for them, not by continuing to be their target.

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  3. The best quote I have ever read on this subject and its from Alice Miller She wrote that true forgiveness does not bypass anger but faces it directly. We need to get ourselves back and my therapist always says anger is always a cry from the true self. In time I believe it burns itself out. We need to find acceptance but its a journey as we both know. When we are strongly enough centred in our soul truth my experience is that forgiveness just rolls in like a flood, sweeping all the ashes of anger away.

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    • I completely agree with you! Very well said!

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      • I also wanted to say thanks for posting thid because the comments that followed on really made me think. I know no one is perfect and many times Ive been hurt by others lack of empathy but the I see more now when I lacked empathy too for the defences of the marcissist. Its just when they seem to deny protect project or try to evade the consequences of thise defences that things stay painful and that fuels mire frustration and anger.

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        • Good! I’m glad the comments got you thinking. That’s what this blog is for- helping & teaching, & it doesn’t always come from me. It often can come from the insightful people who comment. 🙂

          It’s impossible not to be angered by things like that, I think. Narcissists love making their victims angry & are super skilled in doing it

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  4. Forgiveness isn’t an emotion; it’s an act of the will. It’s the decision not to seek payment for the debt owed to us by our abusers. The debt is repentance and apology from them and justice for the acts of cruelty they inflicted on us. Justice could come from the law if they broke the law when they hurt us, from the natural consequences of the decisions they made to hurt others (such as NC), and from God if they face Him, unrepentant, at the end of their lives. Making the choice to forgive, to not seek payment of the debt they owe us, is what frees us from bitterness and anger and enables us to move on with our lives. In time it can enable us to feel nothing about them, except, perhaps, pity. Does anger ever “burn itself out”? I hope not, because anger that is righteous always has a place in our lives. It helps us to protect ourselves, other innocent people, and the society in which we live, from those who stop at nothing to gain power and control over others.

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    • That is so true about forgiveness. It’s what I hope & pray people learn instead of that whole “forgive & forget” mentality that is so common, & so messed up.

      I have found anger to “burn itself out” to a degree. Entirely? Absolutely not, but about certain events. I no longer feel it towards my ex husband. Once in a while though, I remember something else he did & get angry about it, but once I process it, the anger leaves. In general though? I’ve never found anger to burn out. It’s there & rears its head at injustices pretty quickly for me anyway.

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      • One of the things about me that my CNM criticized is that I see things as either right or wrong. Of course that didn’t suit her because she preferred to be able to do and say what she liked without criticism, exposure or consequences. She just wanted me to keep my evaluation of her conduct to myself and allow her to continue to project the illusion of the perfect, loving mother who is adored by her children and grandchildren. But the righteous anger I felt at the injustice of that, and of all the awful things she’s said and done, is what finally convinced me to go NC. And NC is what is allowing me to heal and to live in peace.

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        • UGH! These narcissistic mothers.. I swear, they’re all alike. You’re only “acceptable” when you are their willing victim.

          Anger served its purpose in that situation as it should have. I don’t get why so many people think it’s a bad thing. It isn’t! It can be but as a general rule, it’s a good thing because it encourages change. Like it did with your mom. It did with mine, too. If I hadn’t been so angry about not being able to tell my parents I nearly died in 2015, I doubt I would’ve gone no contact.

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