Working with Anger
My chest feels tight. I can’t get a deep breath. I feel like someone is sitting on my chest.
I feel resentment. Anger. Righteous.
My daughter just told me that she didn’t want me to use her phone to play a silly game, Hey Day. I saw red. After all I do for her! Don’t I get to play too?! I felt shame which I NEVER want to feel. I was in trouble for playing a stupid game in the morning. I admit it, I am addicted. Making the farm efficient soothes me. And my daughter’s words judging me was hugely triggering.
So how can I work with this pressure on my chest?!? How can I not dump it on the next unsuspecting soul that crosses my path? I already gave my daughter the cold shoulder and lots of other unpleasant non-verbals. Then I told her I was angry (at least I owned it), but then I used the guilt inducing phrase, “really, that's your response after all I do for you?!?” ~ now I feel shame for saying that. What “good” mom would say that?
I’m feeling awful. Tight. Wound up. ANGRY. Only now it is fed and stimulated by the My Health On Line rep who wouldn’t / wasn’t able to help me reset my daughter’s account due to California’s stupid privacy laws. What the hell, really? I can’t get an appointment for my daughter when their system screwed up the ID/PW link?!? Now I want to lay into him about the injustice of the world and unleash my pent up anger all over him. Luckily I stop myself and hang up before I say something I’ll regret (this really has nothing to do with him after all). I want to go eat chocolate chip cookies! I want to unleash on someone! I want to justify my actions and be righteous!
OK, use my tools. Use my tools...
Body Scan: I notice pressure on my chest. A weight. It feels hard to get a deep enough breath. My jaw is tight. I have a scowl on my face.
I get out my GROK feelings/needs cards. I am feeling anger and indignation and resentment. And a little shame. I am yearning for understanding. To be seen. I am wanting fun. Reciprocity. Partnership.
The key to all of this is to REMEMBER THE BEAUTY OF THE NEEDS: that those are beautiful needs/values that I can have access to whether my daughter is a good strategy for them or not. She isn’t the only way I can fulfill these values. I can get in tune with their energy and beauty any time I choose.
Self-Empathy/Connection: Yes, parenting is hard. Being human is hard. This morning triggered a huge anger defense. A bigger shame storm. Wow that was powerful. Uncomfortable.
Empathy: I wonder what my daughter is feeling and needing? She is probably feeling awkward and embarrassed that her Mom is so into Hey Day. She is maybe feeling irritated and frustrated that I am on her phone so she can’t use it when she wants. I wonder if she’s feeling wary and self-conscious about what messages may come in for her while I am using her phone. I bet she wants privacy and consideration and ease.
Make a Request: I bet it was scary for my daughter. I want to remember to make a repair after school with her and own my part.
I already feel more spacious as I am understanding myself.
Emotional release: To release the pent up energy/emotion and really clear it, I am going to shout what I am feeling and wish I could have said. Let the jackal howl. Unfiltered! (This is OK as I am home alone or into a pillow, if I wasn’t). Then I’m going do non-lateral movement to Eminem - Love The Way You Lie with Rihanna with lots of arm thrusting energy out gestures. Move all the stuck energy in my shoulders, chest and jaw OUT.
Yes, I still want to work on that community temper tantrum club idea to create the permission and the safety needed to unleash, allow and express all the emotions we repress throughout our days/lives!