Healthy ways to deal with anger - could use some tips

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm currently in emotional rollercoaster and anger is one of the big feelings going on. Recently my husband told me something that got me seething again. He was afraid to tell me, because he knew how angry it would make me and he was right. I'm rather proud of myself not staking outside of certain house with very dull knife. That is how angry I am. Thing is that I'm not angry with anyone in my life (well not this angry) and people around me certainly don't deserve to have brunt of my anger. After deciding not to go to stake out with dull knife there really isn't much of anything I could do to those whom I'm angry with. No revenge, no justice, nothing. I have to find ways to deal with this anger on my own, preferably without being PITA to people around me. And while people I'm angry with have no part in my life currently, living at the same area will mean we will meet again sooner or later and I have to prepare myself to deal with that too.

    Last night was awful. I had such a horrible, violent and vivid dreams about most brutal revenge possible that I woke several times and felt sick. But even getting up, having a cup of herbal tea and reading some pleasant book or watching silly tv-show didn't help (tried both.) When I got back to sleep, those dreams were back. At the morning I was feeling miserable and like I hadn't slept a second. Nights have been difficult for sometime but this was worst ever. Few more like this and I don't know if I can even go to work next day.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Exercise. If you can manage it exercise in natural settings, like a run in the woods. Or a kickboxing class to really beat up on something. Cardio exercise would be the best thing to really get it out, rather than something like yoga I think, but that's more of a personal thing. Some people do find soothing exercise better.
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Exercising would be a good tip, but I do that already. Has always been my favourite way to handle stress. I usually start my mornings with 6 to 12 mile run with my dogs in forest and field roads and I also do other exercise. I have now also tried beating punching bag in the gym and that certainly feels good, but hasn't solved the problem (will likely continue to do that still, though, it really feels good.)

    I have also tried brushing dogs (that tends to soothe me too) and this certainly is a good time of year for that. I'm also trying to make my evening routines very calm (bickering with husband over our on-going kitchen reno isn't helping, though) and end my evenings with reading pleasant book just before bed, but right now it's not working and especially nights are bad.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Ummm.... make some voodoo dolls and stab those?
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SuZir, anger is such a powerful emotion. If you are in therapy, it helps to talk it out with a committed listener who is not on the front lines with you. In addition to exercise which you are presently doing, deep breathing helps, when you are in the throes of an anger episode. Writing down what you would like the outcome to be and then reading it when you are taken over by the anger helps. What you want to do is get your brain off of that neuropathway and onto another, one thing that helps me is to stop and start thinking of all that I am grateful for, sort of the opposite of an anger episode, but it can change the thought process and get you off that runn-away train. I think punching the bag is a great idea, as is kick boxing since it gets the pent up energy out of the body. I also go out for a walk and almost stomp my feet, there is something about that that is very satisfying if I am angry.
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Now that is a thought to be considered... ;)

    To be honest I'm little spooked of the intensity of these feelings. I tend to fancy myself as a reasonable and even rational person (if bit neurotic.) But these feelings are making it much more easier to see myself as my parents' daughter - and my difficult child's mother. I have read enough mystery novels, and known some real people too, to know, that rolling on your fury and perceived injustices never leads anywhere good. And now my mind is playing revenge fantasies every time I close my eyes and go to sleep.

    RE: I will have to try those things. I'm not currently in therapy. I did short therapy program for anxiety and sleeping issues at fall, but this new issue has rattled me so much that it may be needed to find myself a therapist again.
  7. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    May sound silly, but you can search Dreams on the internet and get the meaning behind what you are dreaming (a dream dictionary) I often do that and sometimes when you have bad dreams, the meanings make sense.

  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do you also do yoga or other calm types of exercise?

    Do you sing? Play an instrument?
    Have a karaoke machine or game? I'm not kidding. I'm NOT a good singer for sure. But it does distract my mind. I even do it while Q is ranting sometimes.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Suzir, the best thing I can do is to force myself, and it's not easy, to think about something else. When I'm fuming so badly that smoke is coming out of my ears and I'm snorting, I put on some classical music softly in the background and do the best I can to meditate. With meditation, if you're not familiar, you take every thought that goes into your head, acknowledge it, then let it go.

    I am a VERY high strung person who has suffered from anxiety since the day I was born Meditation is often the only thing that helps me calm down. When I'm THAT upset, even a PRN tranq can't help me.

    I had to do this a lot when I got fired from work for no reason because, like you, the people I was furious at were not available for me to even confront. That's very frustrating. You also may want to try therapy. I did both.

    I really hope you feel better soon. It is no fun being angry and it's very stressful.
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I have felt rage, betrayal, hurt, shock, and I really didn't know what to do with those feelings. If I did a brain dump on husband, he would recoil because it frightened and also hurt him that I was so powerless and raw.
    I couldn't talk to another soul about it, so I decided to get a cheap notebook and write my feelings down, no matter how ugly. At first it was a little difficult because my mind was racing, and I couldn't collect my thoughts enough to rationally put them down on paper. Eventually, I was able to do so, and it all spilled out. I hid the notebook after each entry.
    I went from writing every day in the journal to once a week, then so on down to about once a month. It may not work for you, but it helped me expunge all that bile that was eating me alive. I have never gone back to read those entries; it would just open old wounds and wouldn't do me any good, but it certainly helped at the time.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Others have already mentioned these, but... martial arts or punching bag or related exercise, because you can "picture" your "problem" and then beat it up; music - ideally, making music (playing, singing) but if you're not so inclined, listening...

    I don't usually have a problem after I get to the "music" stage, so I don't know what comes after that.
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I do also some calmer exercise enhanced with mindfulness type of thingies. I could try to do more of that especially before preparing to go to bed. During a day I'm mostly successful on controlling my thoughts. When I start to think things that cause me anger, I try to redirect my thoughts other things. Work, what I need from grocery store, planning my gardening for the summer, things like that. Still I'm in little crappy mood all the time. And when I go to sleep, those thoughts come back with vengeance. Last night wasn't good either. My dreams were again very violent and same dream seemed to continue even though I woke middle of it and tried to calm myself before getting back to sleep few times, in the dream I had a hitlist that I continued to execute in the most brutal manner. Not a good dream and again at the morning I felt tired and sick.

    I think I will try writing it out next. I once read from some technique where you write half an hour what ever is on your mind, then stop and close the 'diary.' If I remember correctly you were not supposed to even read them afterwards and I'm sure I wouldn't want to do that any way. Maybe even burning the writing every night would be a good idea. Music or drawing is little tough on me in this. I'm rather critical on myself on those areas (my parents were very disappointed with my lack of excellence in those and while I can play piano and sing like your next person who trained those daily from three-year-old to their late teens and draw like anyone who took art classes twice a week the same time my obvious lack of natural talent tends to just get me irritated.) But maybe listening different type of music would help. I think it can't hurt at least. Maybe listening some punk and darkest Scandinavian black metal combined with beating that punching bag at afternoon and going for softer things for evening would help to release some of this anger during the day so it wouldn't come to my dreams so badly.

    This anger has been building from when I heard about what happened to my son and I think it brought up also other angers and frustration from over the years I have battled for him and on how much I have failed in protecting him. It's very different from when I have been angry with him. That anger is always tweaked with love and compassion so even when I'm really angry and frustrated with him it doesn't cause this kind of violent feelings. However angry I'm with him, I don't dream of mashing his head or killing him slowly with dull knife. Neither have I ever been this angry to anyone and feeling this violent spooks me.

    And while this anger has been building up, what husband told really seemed to switch something to worse. It certainly isn't worth it, what has happened has happened and even if those people would be repentant it wouldn't change anything for anyone. But total, continuing disregard of how that kind of incident hurt my child is just so beyond me. I'm just glad that this parent of one of the culprits decided to call husband instead of me. They wanted a guarantee difficult child wouldn't talk to police, if I wouldn't have gotten a brain haemorrhage from 'hah-hah, boys will be boys'-argument, I certainly would had gotten it from 'it would ruin my son's life' or 'we can consider compensating the value of the stuff that got ruined or broken during the incident' (yeah, broken iPod and broken or ruined clothes and some equipment is of course our biggest concern in this...) and never lived to the final threat on how 'it's your boy's life that will be worst ruined, if it comes to publicity.' Luckily husband seems to have stronger blood vessels and this parent was at least smart enough to call and not try to talk about it face to face or husband would be in jail right now.
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Art therapy might be good, too. Some colors are just "rage" colors. Doesn't have to be pretty art (might well be nothing but angry red zigzags) but it might be something else to also try.
  14. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    The culprit's parent was probably trying to feel husband out to see if husband would tip his hand on what, if any, legal strategy you were considering. I think what hurts victims and their families most in situations like these is the despair over the lack of empathy twd. the person/s that were victimized, and the victimizers' lack of shame about saving their own a**. A heartfelt, meaningful apology to difficult child would probably go a long way in resolving the justified anger you are experiencing. Sadly, he may not get that, and you will have to find a way to cope. I'm guessing that it's probably tougher on you than it is on difficult child right now, because of the warrior mom protection code.
    I kind of feel that if justice fails, retribution often takes its place. So the dreams you're having may be your working out your anger if the legal "justice" aspect of this situation does not work in difficult child's favor. Doing something like that to difficult child is bad enough; not being held accountable is horrible. Totally understandable. Waiting to see how things will play out is so hard.
    You have my support and compassion for what your family is going through.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Aw, Suz. Nothing hurts a mother more than thinking about her child being hurt. Now I see why this is so unrelenting.

    After we found out that the child we had adopted had sexually acted out on our two younger kids...Sonic and Jumper...there was also nothing we could do to him and we also felt very angry at ourselves that we had not figured it out. And, trust me, this child didn't really care about being kicked out of our house so there was no feeling of justice at all. Besides intensive therapy, I used to take all of my pictures of that child and cut and tear them up and I did it with vigor and tears. I also amped up my workout program and let myself cry in my room when I felt I needed it. I also wrote letters to him that I could never send. In time, the anger ran it's course.

    The parent who called your husband sure has a lot of nerve. Did it ever occur to him/her that your son was impacted terribly by his son's behavior?

    I'm really sorry all this happened. I know how horrible and helpless it makes a parent feel.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Suzir, this may or may not pertain to what you are living through right now, but I have found that there are times when the degree in which I am angry is equal to the degree in which I am heartbroken in some manner. Anger is often the first emotion we feel, betrayed, wronged, violated, etc. and the more accepted emotion in many cultures since sadness is something folks aren't as good at feeling or being around. So, sorrow will be right underneath the rage, pushing it up and out, while really, the underlying feeling is one of severe sorrow.

    I recall an incident last year with my difficult child where I was working overtime to protect and take care of, her and we had gone through 2 days of terrible experiences with authorities where we felt powerless, denied access to the truth, manipulated, ourselves violated and exceedingly frustrated.............I left an official site and got in the car and fell apart. All the months of pent up emotions, angers, frustrations, all of it, but I think most of all powerlessness, unable to help my daughter or keep her safe, it all came to a head and I couldn't stop crying, sobbing really, those kinds of moments that the sheer pain of it all overcomes you and the dam breaks and it all comes pouring out. As painful as those moments are, they are cathartic and release all the pent up feelings so that equilibrium can once again reign. That moment for me was hard to feel, but it freed me of those harbored emotions.

    Perhaps, after all this time of you dealing with the incident your difficult child experienced at the hands of others has left you feeling powerless as well and if it fits for you, you might attempt to uncover those buried feelings and allow them to come up, maybe in the form of tears. Crying, although not any fun at all, has been proven to lower the stress levels and bring balance back into the body, mind and spirit. It sounds as if you may have many different feelings going on, all surfacing as rage. Just a thought for you to consider. I wish you peace and send you hugs...........
  17. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I'm sorry, I can't really help you.

    I can empathize, though. Helpless rage is what got me binge-drinking a few years back, and I still have those emotions to process - but by now I get that the vodka doesn't help at all.

    Sometimes I have to go out and just let the anger flow through me. Not interrupt the feeling but let it happen. Burying it or denying it is not "letting go," for me it leads to holding on even tighter.

    Might be, there's someone you know who's with the police, or armed forces, who has experienced something deeply angering (yes, I know people like this too) and talk to them, see how they are managing, what sort of therapy - if any - either self- or therapist-driven has worked for them. If there's a hotline in your area for crime victims, they might have names and numbers of volunteers you can contact for figuring out a path to manage your rage.

    In a martial arts context, I found not simply hitting, but getting slammed into breakfalls, getting thrown into rolling falls, this worked much better for me than just hitting. There is something deeply soothing to muscles tight with stress or anger getting the pressure and padded impact of controlled falls.
  18. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. Last night was bit better, but maybe I was just so exhausted that I didn't really wake up that often. Dreams were back though.

    RE, you may be very right that part of this is other emotions that just mask as rage. The whole thing is just so very highly emotional in many different ways.

    Part of it, and why it is the nights that are so difficult, is likely the fact that I'm suppressing my feelings. During the day I can manage it somehow, during the night subconscious wins over and they are all out there. But I'm currently juggling with too many balls I don't afford to drop to actually let go of that control. Busier time at work, reno, keeping my family standing etc. simply not a good time for me to crack. I have a date made with big bottle of vodka and empty cabin for a weekend to bawl me eyes out but I have had to postpone it both because I haven't had a weekend to spare for that and because I'm currently not at all certain I could get myself back together at Sunday night.
  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I totally missed the part about the parent talking to husband and what was said and personally that just burns me. I'm sure you do have many feelings going on right now that you'll need to sort out, but seems to me that every drop of that rage is justified, too. On top of the obvious insult from them is the underlying one - that difficult child isn't a grown man with a mind of his own that will listen and obey whatever husband tells him.

    So if you spend some time separating out your feelings, go ahead and add rage to the list - and put it where it belongs, on the culprits and their enabling parents, not on you. You know as a parent you can't be there to protect your child from everything that happens 24/7. We can't put air mattress at the bottom of every tree in case they fall out, or prevent every splinter, every case of the flu, broken bone, hurtful words from peers at school, etc. We do the best we can to protect them, make them resilient, make them watchful of danger, and nurse them back to health when something does happen. Because life happens and ***holes happens.
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SuZir, I understand your concerns about letting go and "cracking." The conundrum is that even though most of us feel that way, that if we allow the intense feelings to surface, they will overcome us, it is exactly the opposite. The unexpressed, pent up feelings are what make us miserable, it is all the energy we use to hold them back that is so painful. Once they are allowed full reign, they subside. Think of it like a beach ball and all the energy it takes to hold it underwater, it's the same thing. The difficult part is the holding in part. Once the feelings are permitted to surface, more often then not in the form of crying, they are expressed, it is over. Babies and very young children are a wonderful example of emotional health, if you watch them, they cry, they kick their feet, they are screaming, however, assuming they are healthy and cared for, it quickly subsides. I've been told many times by my many therapists, that emotional health is allowing ourselves to express our emotions as a baby does, honestly, without holding back, without judging our feelings, allowing them to surface without any fears and then it's over. For all kinds of grown up reasons, we often do not follow this. It has also proven that the tears that one cries to release emotion are entirely different kinds of tears then from peeling an onion, allergies, etc. there is a component in that release that is restorative and healing and brings the body, mind spirit back to balance.

    You are very busy, highly stressed, angry and holding in your feelings. These are all a negative recipe which can lead to illness or a stress related issue. Too much is on your plate. You are like a pressure cooker right now. Your idea of a weekend with a bottle seems more like a necessity then an option you can put off. Your dreams are telling you something, I think you should heed the message and find a way to express your feelings in a healthy way. Feelings are not to be held in, they are to be expressed. Gentle hugs coming your way SuZir, take care of YOU now.