ACoAs – What about ANGER? (Part 3)

angry expressionsANGER CAN BE EXPRESSED
in many different ways!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs – What about anger? – Part 2

SITE: Anger Management Source MANY articles

QUOTE: Anger is the feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind. ~ Evan Esar

BIG PICTURE – It has been suggested that the 2 most basic human emotions are love & fear (Es), which underlie our thinking (Ts) & so our actions (As). All other emotions are considered variations.
FEAR generates : anger, anxiety, confusion, control, depression, guilt, hurt, inadequacy, loneliness, sadness, shame….
LOVE generates: caring, compassion, contentment, happiness, honesty, joy, satisfaction, trust….  (Diagrams in Part 4)

● Unconditional LOVE is the only source of self-esteem!
Healthy Love is what make a child feel safe. Love is the all-powerful healer of wounds. BUT – ACoAs did not experience a genuine sense of being loved, even if our parents said or thought they did.underlying fear
How do we know this? Because of the intense fear under everything we think, feel & do – seen in our S-H, FoA….  (counter-phobia / addiction to excitement are defenses, not lack of fear).

There was too much abuse, chaos, controlling, denial, judgement, lies, narcissism & neglect – to ever make us feel safe. Our main emotion was & still is FEAR. And sooner or later – fear always generates ANGER. Being constantly fearful – with no comfort, no relief, no explanations…. piles up & turns into RAGE.

Normally, all emotions are short-term, in-&-out reactions to some immediate event, & in this form anger is not a problem. In fact, modern psychologists view anger as a mature emotion experienced by everyone at times, having survival value. When understood & accepted, it can often be used to correct life’s imbalances, although not in every situation.

• But when painful ones (anger, fear, guilt, hopelessness, sadness, self-disgust, shame...) persist for days, months or years, our emotions have been stockpiled from many harmful situation, without having:
— permission to be experienced as true emotional responses toward abuse & loss we’ve lived thru
— anyone to listen to us, explain it (give it words) & comfort us thru it
— an opportunity to process the events, so we wouldn’t have to suppress or deny them

NOW, painful emotionScreen Shot 2016-05-28 at 5.52.14 PMs are being held in place by toxic T.E.As:
(T) The WIC / PP’s thinking in the form of CDs, mental obsessions about something unpleasant/ unacceptable, without understanding our interaction or participation in the problem
(E) a pileup of unprocessed pain accumulated from old hurts & unmet needs; suppressing awareness of all that hurt, in order to keep going (denial)
(A) staying in bad or inappropriate situations we know are not good for us; continuing to live in deprivation (not enough company, education, finances, fun, love, rest, self-reflection sex, support….)

— A Physical reaction, usually starting with an adrenaline rush, accompanied by increased heart rate, raised blood pressure & tightened muscles, ready to fight or flee.
Cognitive, the way we experience & think about what’s making us angry, based on  family, religious & societal rules AND all our own past / present experiences
Behavioral, made up of a wide range of possible actions/reactions
HOWEVER – it’s important to remember that: anger itself is NOT an action! So many people write & speak if it that way – which leads to the inevitable assumption that since ‘angry actions’ are bad, one should not be angry.
NOT so.

● There are positive expressions of anger, such as a way to set healthy boundaries:
— Verbal : “Don’t talk to me that way, That’s not helpful, Please move over”….
— Physical : putting a hand gently on someone’s arm, moving, walking away…..

SO – it is the action we choose which is either helpful or harmful, to us & others. Anger-actions can be measured on a continuum of extremes, <—-OK—->, from too little to too much. Ideally we want to stay in the mid-range, only going very hi when appropriate, or very low when necessary.range of possibles

in bi-valance <–> form (opposite extremes):
Behavioral: from withdrawal TO antagonism
Direction: inward to oneself TO outward to others
Duration: brief TO decades long
Frequency: rarely TO very often
Impulsivity: out of control TO being in control of it
Intensity: from weakest TO strongest
Locus: from inside oneself TO always effected by outside events
Modality: verbal TO actions (behavioral, cognitive, imagery, interpersonal, sensation…)
Objective: from doing most harm TO the most beneficial
Reaction: from appropriate TO outrageously inappropriate
(based on work by Ephrem Fernandez )

EXP: In a work setting, the bi-valence (+ TO -) of how anger is ‘allowed’ to be expressed is often determined by each company in the form of directives. These rules will identify & measure degrees of what can be expressed in the work setting (what & how much to say) & what is not (physical actions).
FROM: “A dual threshold model of anger in organizations” (PDF w/ chart) by Geddes and Callister

NEXT: ACoAs – What about anger? – Part 4


2 thoughts on “ACoAs – What about ANGER? (Part 3)

  1. I had to read this twice a few days apart to really realize the awesome big picture stuff being presented here. 🙂 Now it’s become a favorite post of mine – because when I have the big picture, I know a little better what to do to help my WIC.

    “BUT – ACoAs did not experience a genuine sense of being loved.” Yeah, that’s true for me. As a young kid, there was a part of me deep down that knew even my dad wasn’t safe. I think this knowing led to rage (that I expressed on innocent victims – animals…). Then later as a teenager when my dad proved how unsafe he was, I deteriorated further – into a very deep well that I am now doing my best to crawl out of one inch at a time.

    But I am grateful for this blog and the knowledge and validation it provides. It’s another tool to help get out of the well.


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