be angry with me

I told a story on twitter yesterday about how my dad used to give me ‘joke’ spankings for things i ‘didn’t get caught at’, that actually hurt, in front of other people, and people laughed instead of standing up for me. And a twitter friend said something remarkable in response, “you have a right to be angry. That’s awful.”

She affirmed my anger. And the power of that was huge.

People often push others to forgive, to reconcile at all costs. They think separation is some sad thing, when, as Caleigh says in this great blog post, “We need you to stand beside us and to be angry at the abuse…

The abuses that some of our parents put us through are worth getting angry about. I often couldn’t ever be angry when I was young, because it wasn’t safe to be.


Alice Miller, In The Drama of the Gifted Child describes what happens when old repressed feelings resurface, “they are accompanied by intense pain and despair. It is clear that these people could not have survived so much pain as children. That would have been possible only in an empathetic, attentive environment, which was lacking. Thus all feelings had to be warded off. But to say they were absent would be a denial of the empirical evidence.”

So I’m remembering and feeling angry now, and I need support in that. Going through this anger, to come into my true self and my true emotions, is hard work. But the anger must be felt for healing to progress. By feeling angry with me, and confirming my anger, you help me work through it.

Don’t shame the hurt people in your life for feeling angry, instead get angry at injustice with them, because some things require your indignant anger.


4 thoughts on “be angry with me

  1. Latebloomer

    Yes, I agree too! Anger is a legitimate feeling, especially for someone who is/was powerless and whose opinions/feelings are/were disregarded as unimportant or “sinful”. I know I was never allowed to feel angry as a child either (or really feel anything that wasn’t meek and humble). My husband (boyfriend then) was the first person to really express shock and horror about the things I told him about my childhood, things that I explained with numbness and detachment. But after many hours of conversation with him about these things, my own long-suppressed emotions started to boil to the surface. Since my husband was the only “safe” person in my life that I could be really open and honest with, I almost could not contain my rage around him :(. I raged about everything and everyone. Poor guy, married a sweet and quiet and easy going girl and found her inner rage monster. But he was sooooo patient and understanding and non-judgmental thought it. After about a year of that, I felt like I was able to start being a little more emotionally balanced….and now about 5 years later, I’m more in touch with my emotions–I actually recognize how I feel about something right away, and can handle it better instead of always shoving it down/denying it, and can avoid many of the pent-up-rage outbursts I experienced before. Still working on it though, but I try to appreciate my progress rather than feeling shame that I’m not perfect.

  2. Lana

    Good post. I am a firm believer that we need to be angry and admit was happened if we are to ever heal. There is a special place in my heart for this. Just to be clear, I just now read your post, so in no way was my blog post a reaction to this post. It was a reaction to something else.


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