Published on 01-17-2014 01:03 PM
Anger is usually perceived as a “bad” emotion. Most of us are taught not to talk about it or even acknowledge it. We are taught to stuff it down into the depths of us and/or force ourselves to “let it go”—or at least, say that we’ve let it go. But these are ineffective approaches to anger. It always finds a way to torment us if we ignore it or pretend to let it go before we are ready. The truth is, anger is not “bad.” It is a normal human emotion that, when channeled appropriately, has the potential to motivate us to better ourselves and protect us from dangerous situations.
Although anger—and its even more intense cousin, rage—can be beneficial, they are also extremely difficult emotions to process in safe ways. This becomes especially apparent when we experience the horrific pain that is inevitable after being targeted, devalued, and discarded by psychopaths. When we realize the extent of the lies, betrayal, triangulation, manipulation, and various other forms of abuse, the shock, shame, and sadness we feel give way and/or are accompanied by a burning rage. It is unique in the sense that it is very overwhelming and intense. It also lingers and comes in waves. This particular rage is also quite frightening because it sometimes seems as if we are taking on the psychopaths’ evil. For instance, during one of my EMDR therapy sessions, I unintentionally imagined myself taking some kind of heavy object and smashing it into the psychopath’s face. This vision was so clear and vivid in all of its gory details, and my anger—my rage—was so strong, that I immediately felt scared, and the vision stopped as abruptly as it started. Did this disturbing thought mean that I had become evil because of the psychopath? No, it did not. I was justifiably and deeply angry about what had happened to me, and my brain was doing its best to work through it, via that vision. Thus, the acknowledgement and acceptance of anger is the first step toward processing it effectively.