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#421638 - 01/09/13 09:30 AM Suppressing Anger
Clockwise Offline


Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 302
Loc: Pennsylvania
Many people have said that they have never seen me angry. Its true because I very rarely show any signs of anger. I suppress it as much as I can. Nobody likes being responded to with anger and even when I'm steaming mad inside I push it down as much as I can and try my best to move on. For example, at work I've been transferred to a different department than what I'm used to. Its a training department that's basically a body pool who handles menial jobs that other department don't want to do (that's putting it in the simplest terms that I can). I feel incredibly angry at my former department for doing this to me because I'm pretty much learning stuff that I WILL NEVER DO in my daily job when in my real department. I'm forced to be around a bunch of people that I can't stand while waisting time in shit that has nothing to do with my job.

So that's one reason why I'd be upset. But above and beyond that are the people I'm forced to work with. It's like being surrounded by a bunch of fucking sideshow freaks and general assholes for almost ten hours a day. They don't talk, they scream and yell at each other. When they speak to me they talk like a viper striking at its prey. I can never just get a simple answer to my question or be given a simple command, its always like being stabbed with a ice pick, "Go do this NOW!!!!!," or "I don't FUCKING know go ask someone else!" I wonder why I'm there in the first place but people keep telling me that "Its not so bad once you get used to it" but I don't think I can ever used to it.

I was so incredibly angry today. I sat in my little corner "studying" (yeah, as if I can actually get an studying done in that raucous) and trying to keep to myself. I keep my feelings to myself and answer question as respectfully as possible. As soon as I see any opportunity to escape for even a few minutes I jump at it. From the whispers and crosstalk I hear throughout the day apparently this seems to impress them, whatever, I don't fucking care about impressing those fuckers.

But my true dilemma and the whole point of this post is how do you control and expel your anger? How do you get rid of it all?

I tried going for a run after work and getting all of the nasty, terrible thoughts out of my head and for a short while it seemed to work but they soon resurfaced. Even right now as I type this I can hear their voices swirling around in my head, its like their right next to me screaming in my ear daring me to lash out at one of them. But you can't. You can't show anger at anytime because the moment you do you expose yourself as weak. You show that you can be hurt and hurt by words no less. The moment you lash out you suddenly become that guy who "just can't take it." They all see you as weird now and as that guy who lost it that day and yelled at so-and-so even though they talk to everyone that way and nobody else ever got upset by it. Now they look at you differently, like a freak. You become a freak when you show anger. That's what I feel inside and that's why I keep it all inside.

How do I get rid of anger? I ran for a half-hour straight, spilled my guts onto two pages of my journal and drank a glass of whiskey and I still can't get the anger out of my body. What am I doing wrong?
_________________________
Yet another 24 hours.

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#421643 - 01/09/13 10:52 AM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Clockwise]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
It sounds like you are doing all the right things, exercise & journal. Do you have anything you like to do that you can do in the evening?

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#421644 - 01/09/13 10:54 AM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Clockwise]
Jude Online   content


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1565
Loc: New England
Hey Clockwise,

I think your'e going about this all wrong. You don't need to surpress your anger. You need to GET IT OUT. Get by yourself and yell, scream, cry, swear like a sailor, get yourself a punching bag. Give yourself permission to do whatever it takes to express it. If you are like me, there are years of stored up anger that need to be diffused. Take how ever long it takes.

Ultimately we have to learn that anger is a normal emotion, and can be expressed without "becoming that guy who just can't take it." A guy can just say " I am really angry about whatever", blow off some steam, and have that be okay (what a concept).

For me, I have an AA tool that helps when something pisses me off. I say the serenity prayer: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" Since I can't change some things, there's no point using up alot of energy being mad about it. Works for me.

Jude
_________________________
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine.
Sheryl Crow

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#421662 - 01/09/13 06:12 PM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Clockwise]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3452
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Clock - like Candu says, you are already doing some good things to deal with the anger. i think another needed component is - being heard, understood and validated. it is important to not just send our ranting and expressions of hurt - because that is what usually causes the anger - feeling violated or disrespected in some way - into a void. there needs to be a human ear and brain and emotional connection there to receive what we are sending in order for us to feel better. that is what you are doing here.

i hear you, man!
i agree with you!
the situation sucks!
and you have the right to feel abused by it! (that for me is the biggest trigger - when someone makes me angry it is subconsciously reminding me that i am/was a victim.)

hope this helps. is there anyone near you that you can vent to? that might be helpful. someone who will listen and tell you that your feelings are justified.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#422840 - 01/21/13 06:20 PM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Clockwise]
Ninja_Turtle Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/22/12
Posts: 25
Loc: USA
I really sympathize with your difficult situation. I find work incredibly stressful, but it's not nearly as bad as what it sounds like you're dealing with. I'm sure you've already thought of this, but I wondered as I read, can you work anywhere else? Don't subject yourself to people treating you like crap if you don't have to. The reason that you are angry is that you are being treated poorly; maybe your heart and body don't want you to stay there and take it if you don't have to and so you are having trouble resigning yourself.

I think that it's really insightful when you mention that the problem is that you can't show anger because it shows weakness. I HATE the fact that people have the power to make me angry. It makes me feel like they have the ability to control or manipulate me. In the same way I hate when women are attractive to me, in part because I was abused by women. I can't simply decide to ignore them or not be attracted to them, and even though like anger it's a natural reaction it makes me feel controlled. This is part of the general PTSD complex, if you haven't thought about the possibility that you have that (of course maybe you have). People associate PTSD with raging, but avoidance is also a way that it manifests.

My situation is a bit different than yours, in that I am wired to repress by often simply not really feeling the anger in the first place, rather than by feeling it and holding it in as you seem to experience. Then if I don't address the anger that's under the surface I get sick with migraines and other things. Some of this may not be relevant to you, but in case it is I wanted to note what I have learned.

When you're someone who has the anger driven down deep, as I was and still am to a large degree, sometimes there are even physical reactions that will interfere with your ability to get angry.

I try to vent my anger to my wife as a healthy way of getting rid of it. She has noticed that when I have something to be angry about, I fall asleep. In some cases all she has to do is mention a certain person or thing that was done to me, and all of a sudden I'm out on the couch or what have you. From my end the sensation is one almost of being drugged. I'm overcome with drowsiness with shocking quickness. I tend to come out of those sleeps with a migraine, and I've learned that when I have a migraine it always means that I'm repressing anger about something.

As a child I'm sure that it was dangerous for me to be angry because it could have led me to do or say things that my abusers would have retaliated for. So instead I would go to sleep to protect myself. Now as a grown person the habit is so strong...

Anyway, I find that myself sometimes I dislike when people (with good intentions) tell me "Express your anger!", because it's so hard to get in touch with it. I can't imagine screaming or using a punching bag or those sorts of things. If someone tried to have me do that I think that what I would experience is an eerie calm, rather than anger, which I'm sure is again a defense.

The way I am finding around that is to have my wife point out for me what I should be angry about and why. That will sometimes get me started.

If not, another thing that's sometimes shockingly helpful is this. When I say something like, "I just don't feel angry, I don't know why I (have this migrane, can't relax, whatever)", my wife lightheartedly says something like, "That's a bunch of crap, you're completely enraged, you just can't admit it." Weirdly enough, this will often make me laugh hysterically, which is the defense releasing and the proof that she's right, and then after that the anger will start to come out. It works for repressing things other than anger too.

All the best,

Ninja_Turtle


Edited by Ninja_Turtle (01/21/13 06:21 PM)

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#422849 - 01/21/13 07:07 PM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Ninja_Turtle]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3452
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: Ninja_Turtle
My situation is a bit different than yours, in that I am wired to repress by often simply not really feeling the anger in the first place, rather than by feeling it and holding it in as you seem to experience.
...
When you're someone who has the anger driven down deep, as I was and still am to a large degree, sometimes there are even physical reactions that will interfere with your ability to get angry.
...
As a child I'm sure that it was dangerous for me to be angry because it could have led me to do or say things that my abusers would have retaliated for.
...
Anyway, I find that myself sometimes I dislike when people (with good intentions) tell me "Express your anger!", because it's so hard to get in touch with it. I can't imagine screaming or using a punching bag or those sorts of things. If someone tried to have me do that I think that what I would experience is an eerie calm, rather than anger, which I'm sure is again a defense.
...
If not, another thing that's sometimes shockingly helpful is this. When I say something like, "I just don't feel angry, I don't know why I (have this migrane, can't relax, whatever)",


the parts i quoted above really speak for me, too. i may know i am angry or should be - but don't necessarily feel it. i feel upset and often shaky. i can't do anything physical or violent to express it. it is just not me.

what i can do is use words to express it. i can write it or talk through it. that is what helps - and as i have to struggle to pin down exactly what i mean - i start to realize what i am experiencing - not the stereotypical ways that other people recognize anger or demostrate it. my own method - but it works for me.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#426306 - 02/24/13 12:33 PM Re: Suppressing Anger [Re: Clockwise]
Zug Offline


Registered: 02/18/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Progress
I feel like I can ask the same question and post a little more rationally now. Anger is an issue for me as well and I need to find strategies to deal with it. I do have a punching bag, and I use it. I have never had trouble expressing anger, it always came to the surface through fighting, usually with my peers. I was forced to move, many times and learned to be both never make or trust friendships and deal with bullies and use controlled, directed rage at people that tried to harm me. This has been repeated again and again in my life. I have the impression from recent memories that I fought abuse as a very young child, and paid the price. I also know that my resulting anger and ptsd symptoms were used as an excuse by the very people that caused them (much like my childhood)and used to shame/blame/isolate me. This has been a devastating set of circumstances for me. I have always had to protect myself, at all costs, even against people I should have been able to trust. The cold, detached feeling that Jude describes to me is a scary place, its how I've felt when physically threatened and what it means to me is this; "I will not lose, no matter what" I have this reaction due to experiences throughout my life. Anyone who has experienced it knows what I mean, I think. My point is this; I feel like Alex from Clockwork Orange when I think about giving up that part of myself, the surviving; I don't care if you hit me in the face with a brick, I will get back up-part of myself. That has served me so well, I would be dead without it. I am also no monster and do not want to alienate people. I struggle with feeling safe (on my own terms, knowing what I am really facing from perps, etc,) advocating for myself (I don't know how to pick people to trust, what is appropriate for friendships, reactions, etc.)and not alienating people or standing in the way of my own recovery. I don't know if this post makes sense, but I did my best.
_________________________
"what matters most is how well you walk through the fire"
-Charles Bukowski


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