Rage, Anger, Negativity

Every fiber of my being is consumed with the compulsion to strike. My innermost being feels twisted in knots. My thoughts are only negative continually. I see her eyes boring into my soul as she deliberately, with cold calculation presses each button in rapid succession until her lips smirk in cruel satisfaction at the fire she has produced in my eyes. She seeks, nay craves, negative attention and will not feel the taste of bitter victory until she has succeeded in wrenching it from me.

I want to love this child. I do love this child. It is my own inability to control my own response to her manipulation that I loathe. Lord, help me bathe her in Your peace, mercy, grace, and love, until that demonic self-hatred in her is cast into outer darkness, never to return. Calm my spirit, Lord, that I may defeat the enemy that seeks to destroy this child, this child who is incapable of letting You win at this point. Help me remember that her manipulations are produced by fear of rejection. She strikes first, believing she has the upper hand when drawing first blood. If only she could see that the person bleeding the most is her.

She delights in seeing the carnage she scatters around her; yet it leaves her empty and alone. She has entombed herself in Amantilado’s cask. She shrieks and cries to get out, yet the door is not locked. She pushes people away, thus rejecting them before they can reject her, then walks away feeling satisfied that she was right in believing herself to be unlovable.

To Vent or Not to Vent

Yesterday I copied an article about how repressed anger affects women. The article seemed to advocate just letting it out; don’t worry about the casualties. I understand that we need to express our feelings, but there is a right and a wrong way to do that.

How many of us like to be yelled at? When someone is yelling at you, do you listen, or do you tune them out? Do you listen more to the tone of voice, or the words? We all have differences of opinions. We all have times when we get angry. But how do we express it?

I’ll be honest–when I get mad I tend to throw things. Usually I get mad at situations, or at myself. Rarely do I get mad at people. When my husband was in the Coast Guard we were in Yorktown, Virginia for several months while he went to engineman school. He was learning to be a diesel mechanic. I’d like to blame my temper on the fact that I was pregnant, but that’s really only an excuse. I was an angry young woman at the time and very immature. Anyway, I had put two pot pies in the oven for supper. My oven mit had a hole in the tip of the finger and I didn’t notice it. When I pulled them out of the oven my finger touched the bottom of the cookie sheet the pies were on and I immediately dropped the pan. They landed on the floor upside down.

We lived in an efficiency apartment in a motel so there were not a wide variety of targets at which to throw those pies. I picked them up and threw them at the sink. They landed on the wall and part of the window behind the sink, making a big mess for me to clean up. We laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny [to me] at the time.

I used to yell a lot. When I gave my heart to Jesus and asked Him to take away my temper and replace it with His peace, I calmed down. The Bible has some things to say about anger: 1)Be angry and sin not. 2) It is better to dwell in the corner of a rooftop than in a wide house with a brawling woman. 3) A nagging wife and a dripping faucet on a very rainy day are very much alike. 4) Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. 5) Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. In other words, don’t say something just slipped out. You may not have meant to give voice to the words, but they were already in your heart, and so are at least a partially accurate representation of your true feelings. 6) A soft answer turneth away wrath.

Number six reminds me of another funny anecote. One day, again when my husband was in the Coast Guard, we were stationed in Chincoteague, Virginia. I don’t remember what all happened this one morning, but I was having quite a temper tantrum when my husband got home. I was ranting and raving and he just laid on the couch with his eyes closed and didn’t say a word.  At some point I ran out of steam and I looked at him and said, “Well, say something!” He never opened his eyes but he said in a very calm voice, “What for? You’ve already said it all.” It totally took the wind out of my sails. There was not one word I could say. My mind went completely blank.

Finally, there is a verse in Proverbs that says something like, “A wise person bridles his tongue.” It’s okay to be angry, but choose your battles carefully; think before you speak; and don’t get into a discussion about the situation until you have considered both points of view and can discuss them calmly.

Suppressed Anger Could Be Fatal

Copied from a newspaper article several years ago, provided by the Associated Press.

Women who hold in their anger may think they are acting polite, but they are also risking their lives, a University of Michigan researcher said Monday.

Mara Julius, a researcher at the university’s School of Public Health, presented her findings over the weekend at a meeting of the Gerontological Society of Ameria.

Her survey of 372 women and 324 men revealed that women who habitually stifle high levels of anger had a death rate during an 18-year study period threetimes higher than women who release their anger. However, this did not hold true for men.

Those surveyed ranged in age from 30 to 69 in 1971 when they were interviewed to study their behavior characteristics and whether they tended to hold in their anger or let it out. Follow-up  mortality studies were done in 1983 and 1989.

Anger suppression seems to affect the mortality rates of only those men who have high blood pressure or chronic bronchial conditions, Julius said.

“Suppressed anger is a significant. . . predictor of mortality risk among women,” the study said.

Julius said she could only speculate on the different results between men and women.

“We are definitely trained differently,” she said. “There are different norms of expectation of how to behave.”

While women are expected to show some emotions, anger tends not to be one of them, she said. Similarly, anger tends to be more accepted among men, Juliius said.

Julius said she did not know if it could be proven that suppressed anger directly causes death, but “its an independent risk”

The results “clearly supported the inference that gender is implicated in the relationship between mortality risk and anger-suppression,” the study said.