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Anger .. Seeping out

  • Primo
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03 May 14 #432239 by Primo
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Anger! Where does it come from? What drives it and why, at times, does it overwhelm us?

I must admit that I feel angry. I’m angry at the fact that I have lost my ‘wing man’ because my ‘wing man’ thinks I am not good enough for her, I am angry at the fact that I will henceforth be denied the right to see my children wake up every morning and good to bed every night and that I will be cut out of a large part of their lives, I am angry that the last 20 years of my hard work, blood sweat and tears is now being reduced to rubble. I am angry that all this has been forced upon me through no fault of my own and I have no control over it. Yes I am angry. Very angry.

However, I think that anger is a symptom of a range of emotions. I think emotions such as frustration, grief, loneliness, despair, fear, etc can sometimes merge together and form an outburst of what we call ‘anger’. As such one cannot deal with anger unless one can identify the driver(s) behind what is causing it. Does that make sense?

I may have written before when I was younger I was quite a high level athlete. The sporting arena is always a good place to observe extreme emotional responses in humans. Here you see emotions such as nervousness, lack of confidence, stress and pressure. The signs are telling on peoples faces.

Me I was never a ‘natural’ (that is to say I was never inherently super talented) in my field of sport. People used to ask me what my secret was. Well I’ll tell you. Whether in training or in competition I used to take all the negative feelings I had (stress, nervousness, pressure, etc) and push them into the pit of stomach. This started a fire within me. Then psychologically I would over exaggerate these feelings so that adrenalin started pump: you know that feeling when your heart starts to pound and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. That adrenalin would stoke the fire until it built into such a rage that it was released in a form of pure aggression and anger which was channelled into the perfect execution of what I was doing at the time. It was sheer anger and aggression that took to me to where I wanted to go. Nothing less. Nothing more.

What is the point of me telling you this story? Well the point is that the ingredients which cause anger lay dormant within all of us. More so in our cases. At any time they can converge, bubble over and if adrenalin levels are not controlled cause outbursts: a bit like Declan describes. This is a fact that people in our position cannot run or hide from. We just have to accept it. People say that we have to simply get over our anger. This is much too a simplistic analysis. What we have to do is learn how to recognise it, control it and channel it.

So how do you learn how to recognise it? As I have said anger doesn’t exist on its own as a separate entity. It is a culmination of emotions that mix together. Ever get the feeling that a storm is brewing inside of you? That clouds are converging and at anytime you are going to blow like Krakatau? That is the ingredients of anger being mixed in a bowl ready to be put in the oven to be baked. The identification of this feeling is the first step to controlling your anger.

Even though you may be able to feel the warning signs that is only the first step. One must then learn how to control it. There are two parts to this.

Firstly, if emotions are the ingredients for anger then it makes sense to always try and identify what are the overriding emotions that are fuelling the volcano. Is it tiredness, frustration, boredom, loneliness, grief, etc, etc. If you can catch this early on then you have half a chance of suppressing anger. For example if you are frustrated and feeling lonely then it makes sense to stop what your doing and go and see someone (even if it is just for 10 minutes) who brightens up your day. Get my drift?

Secondly, if emotions are the ingredients of anger then adrenalin is the oven. One must learn how to have control over adrenalin. It is fundamental. A quick exercise for you to try. Sit in your favourite chair, turn off all the lights and the television and close your eyes. Now think of something that really annoys you. Not something that fleetingly irks you but something that really goes right to the base anger. What are you feeling? Heart rate rising, muscles tightening, breathing getting deeper, you feel aggression and ready to destroy the world and everything in it? Now open your eyes, turn on the lights and put your favourite ever film clip on the TV. Feel better? More relaxed: slightly high? That’s adrenalin.

If the exercise teaches you anything it should teach you that whilst adrenalin primarily is a stimulus that is produced as a result of physical situations (fight or flight) it can be produced, controlled and taken away simply by applying your mind to it. To control adrenalin requires a certain amount of intellectual discipline: note I said ‘discipline’ and not ‘intelligence’. One doesn’t have to be a mastermind or a Buddhist monk to control adrenalin. All one needs is to recognise the symptoms of an adrenalin rush and have the discipline to turn off the tap. If one is disciplined enough then one can turn on and turn off the tap as is required to ones advantage. All it takes is a little effort and work.

Now to channelling. The ingredients that cause anger are always there. They lay dormant ready to pounce at any given time. Again, this is simply a fact of life which must not only be recognised it has to be accepted. Whilst time may dull our grief or whatever it never truly eradicates it. As such rather than asking the question of when will this anger subside or when will I feel better it is surely better to say what can I do to make my life a little better than what it is now. Don’t hide from the emotions, embrace them, accept them and drop a little amount of the adrenalin on them to help you take small steps forward. I am not talking about going out and conquering the world. I am talking about small things: trying to cook a new recipe, joining a new club, taking up a night course, whatever. When those new things are undertaken pat yourself on the back, be kind to yourself and when the new thing has been done and dusted pat yourself on the back again and move forward to something else. This is the mantra that I try and live by and which helps me control all the anger that I feel from being put into this unfair and compromising situation.

  • elizadoolittle
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03 May 14 #432244 by elizadoolittle
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Thanks Primo, very interesting argument and I agree with you, only I had never thought of it in quite those terms.

As I have said before, I used to be in a simmering rage much of the time, and I am starting to understand what was behind that (what emotions as you say were fuelling that simmering). I was unable at the time to articulate very well what I was finding so difficult in my relationship with my stbx. It was mainly him I was angry with but obviously being in a state of high tension it''s going to spill out into other things if not properly addressed.

Maybe part of the reason (I have my own answer to 90% of it now) that I don''t feel the rage any more is that I am learning to understand my emotions a little bit better. Plus he is not here any more. I fear we had become allergic or repellent to one another by the end. Hard to believe I will ever forgive him for any of this, and the losses are incalculable, but I think we will both be happier in the end.

I am very far from being an athlete (!), but I have learnt all kinds of tricks (as you also describe) to dissipating tension and have become better at recognising it early on.

If approached as such, as many of us are finding, this miserable business we are all going through can provide a valuable opportunity to learn and grow. And I find other people''s insights really help. Thank you.

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03 May 14 #432247 by emerald02
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Hi Declan,

The anger is sometimes overwhelming I agree. I reckon throw a few more things around, play lots more guitar and just deal with people who enhance your life x

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04 May 14 #432294 by Marshy_
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Declan wrote:

Unless, I learn the lessons that it''s teaching me . I''m fecked ,


No. Life isnt that simple and I promise you, you cannot unlearn something and you cant unsee something either. What you have experienced will never leave you. However if you put into practice change and adapt, you will do much much better then you would if you just burried it only to surface some time in the future. This is what some do and what happens to them. Face up to it now. Deal with it now. And its done between the doors.

Having a nice motor is cool of course. But nice stuff is just stuff. Building goodness into your life is much more rewarding. By that I mean being happy in your own skin and be at peace with yourself and all thats around you. And that is very rewarding and when your at peace. Nothing matters. Being at peace is the ultimate copping mechanism. C.

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06 May 14 #432547 by sun flower
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According to this clip from bbc news moments of melancholy are needed to appreciate and process happiness.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22982177

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