My marriage ended about 6 weeks ago.
As I stare at those words on screen, I feel completely neutral and detached – as if I was writing about someone else. Yet, I’ve been anything BUT neutral and detached. I’ve been wild and primal with emotion – suddenly screaming into the walls of my car while hurtling down the highway, breaking down into tears in a motorcycle sales shop (I bought a Vespa!) in the middle of a light-hearted banter, laughing uproariously at something not so funny, feeling pure elation and then immediately plunging into bottomless sorrow.
Yesterday, my husband and I were communicating on Messenger and at one point, he wrote “Clearly all the self help is working for you … the anger level is about normal …”. His snide sarcasm aside, the comment prompted thoughts on the age-old topic of women and anger.
Anger is a healthy and appropriate emotional response to this situation – as it is for many situations in life. Emotions are simply electrical currents that get charged and then need to pass through us. Anger becomes toxic and destructive when we suppress it because it then becomes trapped in the body. Repressed anger is then expressed through secondary emotions like resentment or contempt or passive-aggressive behavior – things like “forgetting” to do something for your partner, playing the “poor me” card, avoiding direct and clear communication and giving back-handed compliments are all examples of passive-aggressive behavior.
Habitually suppressing and controlling anger can lead to episodes of uncontrollable rage. Rage-aholics can be extremely dangerous to themselves as others because they can go into a “red mist” where they react and respond with extreme aggression and violence and then don’t even remember what they said or did. Yet rage is not the problem. Rage, in its ‘clean’ primal state, is also a healthy and appropriate emotional response to certain situations, as long as it’s expressed safely and responsibly. Our optimal health depends on our ability to access and experiencing the full emotional spectrum.
We must stop judging emotions as “good” or “bad”, especially as women. If you regularly spend time with anyone who judges you for how you feel, FIRE THEM.Let yourself feel anger, let yourself feel rage, let yourself feel sorrow – and everything in between. Let those feelings flow so you can let them go. Most of the time, people who are pointing fingers at. you are really pointing at themselves anyway.