It is so strong that I can feel the tension in my jaw. Sometimes it’s so powerful I’m shaking with it and I feel powerless. So enraged by this powerlessness am I, that it becomes a vicious, vortex. It feels like I want to crack the earth from it’s centre. I believe the rage is powerful enough to do this very thing. Crack the earth at its very core. I’m doing all I can to keep it in check and it’s exhausting me. I could sleep for a week.
I wonder, in a quieter moment, what is driving this. What is at its root?
It is the fight against myself. A fight that involves fear; the fear of change. The fear of becoming someone else. The fear of becoming real. I know what I need to do, but there is a massive part of me, that settles for being settled. Settles for routine, settles for fed. I loathe being hungry. I cannot stand the need. I want to need nothing and no one. I long for freedom, and I will not have this, until I’m dead again. How dare you wake this rage within? How dare you keep me here? How dare you do this and still not listen? How dare you manipulate me this way? How dare you communicate with me through this silence? How have you ever found the courage? I want to crack the earth in two.
The tinnitus is so loud now that my ears are starting to ache. My jaw aches; my muscles ache, my back is burning. And still I wonder . . . And it comes to me. I’m trapped. Trapped by my fear. It’s the rage of a powerless child. It makes me want to weep.
Why does a child feel powerless?
The child is powerless through a lack of resources both physical and psychological. To add to this, there’s often the sense of being overpowered by adults. The adults seem to hold all the cards. When this has been the case during childhood, once we’re grown, and again feel manipulated and powerless in similar ways, we strike out in anger.
Some children learn to repress their rage
The alternative to striking out is to suppress anger. Perhaps we feel angry yet push it down and look to constrain it. We may have learnt that to express anger when young was a dangerous thing to do. Further problems can arise when this is the case. It’s said that depression and a kind of ‘free floating’ anxiety are some of the symptoms of repressed anger.
Dealing with this emotion can seem a complicated issue, however, once we understand some simple rules, on how to safely vent the energy of anger, and then also understand what lies at its root, things become easier. For example, venting its energy, can be achieved through exercise. We can quite literally exorcise the negative effects suppression can have.
Was anger something you were taught to be especially fearful of when young?
We might understand that showing anger is a fear response, and as such, see its limitations. After all, it’s only when we channel controlled anger, does it become effective. Becoming angry, and frightening ourselves and others, can never be useful in the long term.
The answer lies in asking this question: How am I keeping myself in childhood?
What is it we’re refusing to do that gives everyone else power over us? Are we refusing to take proper responsibility? Are we allowing our fear of change to keep us trapped in childhood? More than anything, has our childhood skill, of manipulating the adults around us, started to fail?
When a child can’t get his own way anger is often the result. It’s only when, the greater resources that adulthood brings, are found, does this anger change. Remaining emotionally stunted prevents the discovery of these resources.
In this respect, there is no longer any need for anger, when we know the solution lies within
When we recognise that it’s only us that can change the situation, through taking proper responsibility, we then award ourselves the invaluable resources adulthood brings. When anger is the default response to things not working out, or when we’re not getting our own way, we must look within. We must find the courage to seek out the resource of personal responsibility. On an emotional level, when we’re fully grown, we are actually on our own. It’s those, who understand this, that become the most successful.
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