Working on my Angry Child

My last group therapy session was massively hard but really rewarding. One of the biggest modes in schema therapy is the Angry Child mode and we were looking at that, why it’s there and how it can be controlled.

I think I’ve said before that I struggle with feeling anger a lot of the time. If I do I feel guilty or I turn it around on myself and self-harm or berate myself. Otherwise I just feel scared, confused and anxious. I had an episode recently where, when I was treated unfairly, I tried to stand up for myself, but people are so unused to me being assertive that I was made to feel silly, thus making me not want to stand up for myself even more.

So why is anger important? It let’s others know that they’ve gone too far, they’ve 1d0196f0ae9aff5cf33c328c879b771churt us, pushed our boundaries and that we won’t stand for that. It stops us being taken advantage of. It’s sometimes misplaced but at least it airs how you feel, it doesn’t bury who you really are and let you get more hurt. It can go too far and needs to be controlled and released gradually, rather than bottling it up and exploding.

I grew up in a family that was very British about anger and was used to it going unexpressed. When I was with a bullying boyfriend, I learnt that just surrendering to his anger got me less hurt than standing up for myself. I learnt that I didn’t deserve to feel anger as it was usually ‘my fault’ and I was of lesser importance than him, that I was emotionally irresponsible and needed to be taught.

So we used some role playing to let the angry child be heard about the punitive and demanding parents. And although I found I could voice the parent modes and not the angry child, I did learn that it was my lack of anger in the past that caused me to put up with being abused (ha, very simplistically – obviously not entirely that) and that it makes me afraid of conflict now so that I often run away from difficult situations or take them lying down. I want to please people so badly that I will try and make opposing parties happy and get stuck in the middle.

I guess I’m scared of becoming negative and overly selfish but…well, I’m a work in progress!

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3 thoughts on “Working on my Angry Child

    1. Glad it meant something to you. But not very well! I crush it down and don’t let it have a voice so I’m afraid I physically hurt myself or go numb. I’m working on it though! Anger in myself and others scare me, while I know others in my group boil over at the drop of a hat so we need to meet in the middle somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Suppression. It’s a classic response of someone who was always bullied into silence. 😦 Sorry to hear it!

        The ones that boil over at the drop of a hat need to learn to control their anger. Maybe they should learn violin to help let it out. :-D. It helps people like us too, to express ourselves.

        Like

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