I met with my life coach today, via internet, and after speaking with her, I did some soul searching and finally had an epiphany.
The whole reason I go postal and lash out at people when I’m mad is that I’m ashamed of feeling angry, or I’m ashamed of whatever led to the anger (if I did something wrong); and I can’t handle feeling ashamed. Growing up, whenever I’d express my anger, I’d get spanked and made to feel like I was a bad, bad kid, which I wholly bought into. My college counselor spent all five years with me undoing my self-hatred.
I think that’s what’s getting triggered whenever I lash out at someone out of anger. I just need to learn to separate the shameful feelings from the anger itself, and then maybe I won’t overreact. Maybe I could ask myself, do I feel ashamed right now? And the answer might be enlightening.
Shame is a horrible feeling, let me tell you.
I think that’s why my childhood abuse issues get triggered when I’m mad. Because my thought process toward whomever I’m mad at literally becomes, why are you making me feel this way? It’s wrong! Wrong of me to feel this way! And you’re doing it to me because you get off on it, don’t you? Well, here, let me lash out at you and take all that shame and give it back to you, because you made me mad, so YOU deserve to feel ashamed, not me.
That’s probably wrong of me. [Facepalm.]
Anger is weird in and of itself, because of course we blame whoever made us angry for making us angry. That’s the whole purpose of anger. But I need to find a way to accept anger instead of feeling this horrific shame that I have to turn around and pass back to whoever unwillingly passed it to me by making me mad in the first place.
There’s no self-awareness in the moment, not when I’m angry. None. I’m not sure if I can improve that, but if so, I’d need to think, I’m angry, and that’s okay. Yes, person A made me angry, but they’re not responsible for how anger makes me feel ashamed. They might have been trying to anger us, but they weren’t being that sadistic. So separate it, and acknowledge that it’s okay to be mad, and that anyone would be. Now, you can send an email after you’ve thought it through.
Because when I send angry emails, I don’t think I’m just returning anger. I’m genuinely trying to shame the person who made me mad. That’s what I’m doing! Not necessarily to project it onto them, but to get it the hell away from myself! I HATE FEELING ASHAMED! (If you knew my parents, you’d understand. They were wayyyy overly punitive and shaming.)
If anyone out there has any suggestions for how I can add onto this (with the goal being to not lash out when I’m angry), then please share! I want to fix this problem already. On some level, I must think it’s really wrong (like, morally wrong, or something) to feel angry; and I can’t handle the self-hatred it involves. But the way I act only increases the self-hatred. All thoughts welcome!