My last two Seeking Safety groups have been devoted to the subject of anger, healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with it, and turning anger inwards or outwards. These were not easy sessions for me, and I found myself badly triggered and wanting to hurt myself. I didn’t. I’m proud of that.
I have a serious problem with anger. I don’t like anger, don’t like conflict, will do just do about anything to escape the feeling. Apparently I’m not alone. According to the therapists, and this was backed up by other people in the group people with PTSD and substance abuse are a pretty angry bunch. Well that’s me – sort of the energizer bunny of rage. But you’d never know it, because I keep it very tightly suppressed and turn all my anger inward and whenever it gets overwhelming enough I do something self destructive to replace the emotional pain with physical pain. This is not the healthiest coping mechanism on the planet.
My anger scares me. Directed outwards it can be unpleasant – I have the ability to verbally rip your head off, and I’ve done so many times, only to have to apologize the day after. And I know I am capable of physical violence, although it’s been years since I’ve been in a fight. It’s the potential that scares me – that if I unleash the rage that’s inside me, it will overwhelm me like a black wave hurting others or myself.
But I can’t keep it in. It’s in my way of moving forward.
For those of you who follow AA philosophy, I’m starting my 4′th step which I hope will help me safely deal with some of my anger. For those of you who follow the medical model, I’ve been referred to an anger management program at NYGH. I hope that I’m able to do it.
I’m not really sure what’s going to help me at this point – I just know it’s time to let it go.