I want to talk about anger and why I feel like this.
I’m in my 40s now. I’ve been ashamed of my anger for a long time and angry for a long time. I’m working with a therapist to untangle this, and I’m beginning to understand it.
I grew up with a mother who belittled me and made me feel like I was rotten to the core. My father told me to be good and not upset my mother. He made some awful comments about not being a slut with boys when I was 13-years old.
I was shy, awkward and ashamed of myself. Talking to boys was the last thing on my mind! I lacked boundaries, so when I did fall in love with a boy at 18-years of age - I fell into a controlling and abusive relationship for 13-years. I was sexually assaulted after this, and I didn’t tell anyone for five years. Recently my husband had an 18-month affair with a work colleague. I don’t want this to be triggering for any of you. But, I want to share because this is CPTSD. It’s caused by what happens to us, not because we are terrible human beings.
I’ve blamed myself for everything that’s happened to me for a long, long time. I’ve lived with misplaced guilt and shame. And the resulting anger.
My anger is about past complex trauma and becoming a mother. But, a lot is also due to being a woman and the societal pressure and limitations this brings.
As women, we’re expected to be nice, quiet, and compliant. In a world that favours and prioritises men, we’re stripped of our rights, disparaged for our contributions, and groped, cat-called, and killed. We must do it all, be it all, and smile brightly as we struggle, our relationships struggle, we burn out and give up.
I know that for any men reading this - you don’t have it easy under this patriarchy either. You are told to get brave, not be emotional, and not tell others how you feel.
What I have learnt is that anger is often a secondary emotion. When we become angry, we feel marginalised, hurt, unheard, disrespected, vulnerable, or neglected. It’s not the true emotion we're struggling with. Anger is a group of feelings.
If this resonates with you, then you’re not alone. I have cried with anger because I held it in for so long, turning inwards to ongoing depression. Meds and years of therapy have helped me realise that none of this is my fault and there is hope for the future. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to be angry, that I can sit with this and tell others this is how I feel.
A Moodscope member.