Lynne’s Letter to Angry People
YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE ANGRY, READ THIS PAGE! (ANGRY GUYS READ THIS TOO!)
Author: Lynne Namka, Ed. D.
There are a lot of mads out there! Some of them may be lurking in you jumping out at the slightest provocation causing pain and havoc in your life.
I’m getting the same letter from angry adults with slightly different life stories. These letters center around young women or mothers who are very angry. And they fear hurting those they love and themselves. Some are so sad that they are being angry with their little children.
So I put this letter together to give you all advice. This way you don’t have to email me your specifics. As I am doing more and more to reach out and help people with my writings, I no longer have time to answer individual letters for an hour and a half at night after seeing clients all day and commuting to Tucson.
So, after much thought and writing to many young people, here is what I have to say to you.
Good for you for looking some way to deal with your strong emotions. With hard work, you can find better ways to express your anger. You are not alone. There are thousands of women like you. Maybe you need to start a self-help movement!
Dear E. and all angry young women and mothers!
It is surprising to me how many angry young women like you are writing to me. Many of them come from abusive homes where anger was expressed by the dominant member often. I get two or three letters a day from young women like you (some of whom are mothers who are experiencing anger with their children) with this same issue.
You say you need help. Education is the way out of anger–that and learning some good anger management skills.
You may have had an angry parent in their childhood, a dysfunctional family and/or an alcoholic parent. Children in these families grow up feeling cheated and angry. The children repeat some aspect of the family pain such as misuse of anger. Reacting to stress with anger is a learned behavior. Some even believe that it is healthy to vent their anger. There is such a cost to those who are “anger outers”– blowing their mads out on others. Venting just adds to the pain of others and creates more tension in the household.
What you may be describing is generational anger. A family’s tradition of anger and abuse is passed down from the parents to the next generation–the children who grow up and pass it on to their children. It is a bad family trait that does not go away until someone decides to break the family tradition. You may very well be that person!
The Drama Triangle is a well accepted concept in family systems theory. The three sides of the triangle represent the dysfunctional family with the aggressor on one side, the victim on another and the rescuer on the third. The rescuer can be divided into two different aspect–the negative part which encourages the aggressor either silently by not acting or by enabling them and the positive part which tries to get help for the members of the family.
Children in the dysfunctional family, school or neighborhood setting take on or internalize the behavior of all three sides of the Drama Triangle. Indeed, all of us have these three components in us to some degree: the angry aggressor or perpetrator, the one who has been hurt by others and the part of us that looks the other way when we witness negative behavior because we do not know what to do. Stressors in a life cause us to jump back and forth between the three roles of aggressor, victim or rescuer.
Gerald Patterson’s Coercion Model of Aggression says that parents who lack parenting skills unwittingly train their children to be angry. His research shows that poor parental discipline skills and coercive management practices cause escalation of child-parent conflict and increase children’s aggression towards others. The child and parents elicit negative behavior from each other. There is lack of choice in the coercive family–there is one message “Do what the most powerful member of the family dictates.” Children feel helpless and sense the lack of justice. Children are traumatized living in a war zone under conditions of threat in these families. They learn coping styles of coercion, submission and enabling in an attempt to keep themself safe.
So think of it this way. You caught your MADS (like the flu) from your parents who caught it from their parents, etc. You, however, want something different for your life and your children.
The way out of the dysfunction is through education and understanding. Understanding ourselves and breaking into our learned ways of blaming others, trying to control them through anger, withdrawal, and intimidation are necessary steps to becoming a fully functional human being. We can shift into more of the healthy part of us that tries to gain resources to help the system by learning about our anger.
You have the opportunity to stop it in your generation! The only way I know of is to rise above the trauma that came with living in your family. To do this, you need education so you can know what is normal.
Books to Read
The classic, The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lernher
If one or more of your parents were alcoholics, read Adult Children of Alcoholics and go to some Al Anon or CODA meetings. Do a web search for this issue.
If one of your parents was selfish, read The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller.
If you were spoiled in childhood and now get angry when things do not go your way, read Children of Entitlement on my web pages. Anger often goes along with entitlement.
If you are a giver who meets other people’s needs without getting your own met, read my book, The Doormat Syndrome.
If you yell and explode at others as a habit, read The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.
My book How To Let Go of Your Mad Baggage is a spiritual explanation of how the energies of anger work. Anger is an energy, an emotion and translates to behavior. This book helps you understand that anger is a normal human emotion and necessary for survival value of our species. It discusses the different types of anger and how to deal with the different kinds. Some angers need expression in taking constructive action (MAD=Make A Difference!) or by taking some form of social action to right the wrong as in revolutions.
Go back to my Articles Pertaining to Anger Management index and copy all the articles on anger. Read A Primer on Anger and Whoosh! to learn about other ways to do anger. Keep reading my web pages and subscribe to my newsletter.
Don’t Go It Alone, Get Some Help!
It’s your time now to really learn about yourself and how you substitute anger for the deeper level emotions you must have lurking inside: hurt, disappointment, shame, fear, etc. Depression is often common in young people who come from a dysfunctional background. Depression can be anger turned inward on yourself with constant self blame thoughts. You do not have to go through life with a depressed mood. You can learn techniques to work your frustration and anger out and release the hurt and pain and resulting depression that lie underneath the anger.
Anger is like a reoccurring multiplication problem: it keeps needing to be worked out. Learning how to do your anger is safe, acceptable ways is a lifelong challenge. I always say, “What better thing do you have to do with your life than become a better person?”
Carl Jung said that what we do not bring conscious in our life comes around to us as fate. In other words, if you do not address your anger and work it through, it presents itself to you whenever you are stressed.
You need help with getting better responses to stress. If you are an “anger outer,” there are other ways to act rather than explode. I’d like you to connect with someone who can help you and not see you as bad. You will need someone to guide you as you do this deep level work. A guide, a counselor or therapist. Think of the person as your “anger management coach.” Talking about your deep feelings is necessary so get someone to help you sort them out.
An anger management class might be helpful also. Co-dependents of America (CODA) holds meetings to help people understand the pain of their childhood. Al Anon gives good support if you have family members caught in addictions.
And if you are having problems with disciplining your children, take a parenting class. I recommend taking a parenting class when your child is two and then another one when your child hits adolescence. Some parents take several classes to keep up their parenting skills.
So if you consider yourself an angry person, you probably are. Think about giving yourself a wonderful gift. Get some professional help. You can’t do it by yourself. Talk it out with someone who cares about you as a person. Education and talking about your feelings is the way out of the old family stuff.
So How Do I Find a Therapist?
There are many new and exciting techniques to break into anger, fears and negative thinking. The mental health field is changing rapidly with the event of the new Energy Therapies. Learn and use the different release techniques that focus on positive intention while working with your subconscious mind to create relaxation and balance the energy in your body.
The Energy Therapies are highly effective in treating and correcting negative emotions and self limiting beliefs, reduce old hurts and create a healthy life. They work with the body’s energy system and relieve emotional pain. They provide release, insight, changes of negative beliefs and shifts in biochemistry. Many of them are based on meridian theory of Chinese Acupuncture and use acupressure. You can learn to apply these techniques at home on yourself! They are effective for stress, confusion, anxiety, phobias, depression, addictions, trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, guilt, anger, physical pain and enhancing performance in skills.
These are new controversial therapies because the research on them is just coming in. These techniques are extremely effective. There are thousands of innovative clinicians the world over using these techniques who are dancing with excitement at the efficiency and rapidity of relief from symptoms that the Energy Therapies bring.
Go to these web sites to check our these innovative approaches that are so easy to use. You can get referrals for your area from most of them. These innovative approaches are so effective that you could do them via phone long distance with a trained therapist.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Gary H. Craig
P.O. Box 398, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
EFT provides a quick, easy way to release anger, negative emotions and thoughts. Gary Craig’s website provides in-depth information on incorporating EFT into one’s life. Gary is my hero! He features the “Palace of Possibilities,” an extended set of essays on living well and using energy psychotherapy methods as a part of eliminating unconscious obstacles to success. You can learn to do the Emotional Freedom Technique on yourself at home via videotapes. I use EFT more than any other technique to help people resolve their stuff quickly!
Go to Just Poke It and do that exercise over and over again. Keep doing it until you can’t come up with any more reasons for being angry. If other emotions come up, tap on your collarbone, around your wrists and ankles. This tapping technique is a short version of EFT which helps you relax. Go back the next day and do it again. And again.
78-816 Via Carmel
La Quinta, CA 92253
Roger Callahan is the originator of the energy techniques with Thought Field Therapy which uses tapping on acupressure spots to release energy blockages. It is very useful with anger and other out of control emotions.
P.O. Box 7000-379
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique) is the sweetest technique. I use it daily and see people change. It focuses on the holding of points on your head while you breathe deeply into the upset place in your body. It is an accelerated information processing technique, useful in the treatment of traumatic stress, allergic reactions, and fixed negative emotional states. It is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine but there are no needles, only feelings of relaxation!
P.O. Box 51010
Pacific Grove, CA 93950-6010
I teach this technique to every client for them to use as a stress reduction method. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, uses movement of your eyes while concentrating on your problem and your body’s tension. The problems starts to shift as your eye movement causes new pathways in your brain to open up.
If you do not have insurance, call Information and Referral at 1-800-642-3021. They can give you their local number that will provide you with agencies that provide counseling at a low cost or for free. What you do in life is up to you. Challenge yourself to be the very best you can be. Be ever vigilant about catching your anger and breaking into it. You can learn to stop negative beliefs and self depreciating statements.
YOU CAN LIVE A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITATIONS IF YOU ARE WILLING TO CLEAR ALL NEGATIVITY.
LIVING WITHOUT SELF-IMPOSED LIMITS CAN GIVE YOU AN EXCITING LIFE. GO FOR IT!
You are worth it! Your family is worth it!
Keep reading my pages until it really sinks in.
You deserve some peace in your life. And only you can make it happen.
And here is a typical response from a young woman:
Thank you so much for writing me back. I am starting to see, I guess that it isn’t shameful to feel this. I really appreciate you taking the time to write and help open up that bleak end of the tunnel a little wider. I’ve never heard of generational anger before. That is very interesting.
And I never even thought of Dependents of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thanks for the insight on that! I really appreciated the section A Primer On Anger. That was really insightful. Also the exercise Just Poke it . . . I wonder if it will work for me?
I will definitely continue to read your site. I’d have to say yours is the most informative, broad based site I have seen that talks to the inner child, the one that is hurt. Other sites seem to speak sort of from a professional psychological soapbox point of view DOWN to the sick person. I feel more comfortable reading your site. And everything fits me.