Quote Originally Posted by Misty_Mountain_Rose View Post
I'm a little stumped about how to ask this... but I will try by first explaining and then see if anyone has some thoughts.

I'm not exactly sure what is going on with me... nor am I entirely sure if its a good thing or a bad thing. For much of my life, I've been unemotional, especially when it comes to ANGER. I saw abusive relationships growing up, and so I held a tight control on my own anger, and flew away from disagreements and anger from others.

Over the last 3 years since I began taking Kung Fu, I've slowly come to grips with my fear of anger from others, and anger directed at me. I don't have the panic attacks any more that I used to have when people were shouting or arguing. I thought this was great progress.

Lately, say in the last 4-5 months, I've been quicker and quicker to feel and express my OWN anger at others. This is entirely new. The first time was a few months ago when a co-worker and close friend of mine made me angry. In that moment, when I felt angry, I felt it take control of me and I stormed into her office, slammed her door, yelled at her and remained angry for a few hours afterwards because I knew that she was being unfair to me. I felt that I was justified at being angry... but how I dealt with it was ENTIRELY new to me. It scared me a little.

A few weeks ago, my dog kept snagging things from around the house that she knew she wasn't supposed to have in an attempt to get my attention. I would take something from her, scold her, sit back down... and she would grab something else, repeatedly. Finally after about 5-6 times, I grabbed the folding chair at our computer, folded it up, and whipped it at her across the living room. I have NEVER, EVER done something like that. My daughter was appalled, and I think I scared her... which made me ashamed and I quickly apologized for my behaviour.

Now, twice in the last 5 days, I've lost my temper with external things going on around me that would have only agitated me in the past. I flew off the handle at my boss on Friday because of something I felt was unfair. Although I knew that I had my coworkers' support (which they voiced along side me) I later regretted how I had behaved. Today, I became angry with my daughters school because she got a dentention letter home for not completing 5 assignments since the beginning of the school year. (She's in 4th grade) This time, I called a friend to be the voice of reason and give me a different perspective.

Lately it seems like I can't think logically when I get angry. I feel like a little child, testing boundaries and learning what is appropriate... lessons that most people learned long ago.

What is even stranger, is that these outbursts have made me feel BETTER in the short term, before I reflected on how they might appear to others. Before, I would have internalized and rationalized away the anger. There have been times when this took a toll on me, both physically and mentally, because I just never dealt with anything. I let everything roll off of me and didn't acknowledge it.

I'm not convinced that this behaviour is 'stress' related. Things are going pretty well for me in my life actually. But... this change feels so abrupt... my comfort with it seems so effortless now compared to what it used to be, that I have to wonder ... Is there something wrong with me? I don't think I've done anything truly inappropriate (throwing the chair may have been) but it sure is DIFFERENT.

Its as if I've gone to the opposite extreme, and don't think about anything. As soon as I feel that tinge of anger, I act upon it... like a kid who hasn't ever had sugar suddenly moving out on his own and discovering Dairy Queen, I feel like I'm 'over-indulging' in something that has been taboo for me for my entire life.

So I guess the question is: Am I doing something wrong, or am I finally doing something RIGHT by dealing with these emotions as they surface???

I was much the same way, I was repressing all my anger. I was internalizing and taking it out on myself or denying it existed and it came out other ways.

Releasing your pent up anger is good, but don't just explode in anger too much. It is like wildfire, the more you get angry, the more the anger will surface easier in the future.

Before you know it, you are getting angry too much.

"Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."
Friedrich Nietzsche

This is such a true saying. I started getting angry at people's tendency to just explode their emotion without any control or thought about who they were effecting. This started to anger me and I used that anger to attack anyone who was doing this. Before long I started to become the asshole, attacking people for small things which I saw connect to the larger problem.

Now of course, maybe I was right, but it really didn't matter. I was hurting genuinely good people for a small flaw in their character. I was being too negative with them. I have learned to back it off a little, but keep some of what I learned with me.

Now I can more easily get angry when need be, or give someone a taste of it back if need be, without overdoing it.

Another crucial aspect to anger is that it is unhealthy for your body, especially in spontaneous anger bursts. It is very bad, I can't stress that enough (no pun intended).

You have grown as a person and that is great, but learn now to keep that anger in control. Use it as a guide to show you when you need to react more strongly and control it. Someone flying off the hook is nowhere near as convincing and scary as someone who is controlling that deep anger and has that super serious look on their face.

It is like the point right before you explode, if you can stay right there when you get angry and not explode, but release the anger on those who may (unfortunately) need to hear it in a more rational way, you will be so much better off.

You have been spending your life withholding that anger because you don't want to make people feel bad, but some people are not that responsible with their emotions. You will know when you need to act on your anger now, and you don't have to explode it, just keep it under the surface like a pot boiling, and try your best not to let it boil over into rage.