Anger. What a volatile and destructive emotion.
Yet, many of us seem to carry anger with us like it’s a part of our identity. Many of us, including the old Brian seem to wear anger like it’s a self-enhancing booster, an accolade of superiority, and a natural part of being human (it isn’t).
I used to too, until 3 years ago (July 7, 2015), when I consciously decided that I will no longer live with anger in me from now on. Where I’m conscious of it, I will no longer let anger rule my life, impact my decisions, or be a part of my emotional vocabulary. Where I can help it, I’ll not allow anger to sit inside my heart. I will only allow emotional goodness, and only emotional goodness, to fill me moving forward. Where anger stirs up in me, I shall actively process this emotion on the spot, release it to the universe, and hope that it gets recycled into positive energy in time.
Most importantly, I shall let go of all the anger that had built up in me since I was a child, and begin to live life with renewed eyes and a renewed heart.
Perhaps it will help if you know about my history with anger.
You see, I used to have a very intimate relationship with anger. It all started when I was a kid, growing up in an angry household.
My family would argue all the time. Thinking back about my childhood years, I vaguely recall a lot of shouting and heightened emotions hurled from one family member to another on a daily basis.
I recall a couple of points (when I was a kid) when I snapped and threatened to run away or kill myself. I literally remember walking into the kitchen at the age of 6, grabbing the kitchen knife, angled it at my wrist, and told my father and his girlfriend that I was going to “end it all” if they didn’t stop shouting right at that instant. I didn’t mean to kill myself or even touch myself with the knife of course; it was just my last ditch effort to get them to stop yelling.
My stunts would work, but only for a short while. The arguments would begin not long after, sometimes after one to two hours. As a helpless kid watching this unfold without being able to do anything about the situation, I would feel deeply scrunched in my soul.
I didn’t realize it at that time, but I grew up collecting the residual anger from my family and their recurring arguments. I realize now I was a child in training to become a narcissist.
When you are constantly in the face of people emotionally and physically fighting, it doesn’t matter even if you are not the subject of the arguments – the angst will eventually rub off of you. This was what happened to me.
When I was a kid they took their anger out on me by yelling/shouting, hitting and it started me down the path where I began to take after their angry personas.
Thinking back, I can see that it was likely a subconscious expression of all the angst that had built up in me during that time.
Again during my early adolescent years, I developed the habit of destroying people’s belongings whenever they pissed me off or whenever I was pissed off. Again, I didn’t know why I did that then. I just knew that there was a lot of anger in me and I needed to do something physical, something drastic, to get that anger out there to the world. I needed to express my anger and I needed someone, anyone, to receive my message, loud and clear.
As I grew older into my late adolescent years, at the same time when my family shifted to a new home (back to Vancouver), these volatile expressions of anger stopped. One might think that this meant my childhood anger was gone and I was no longer an angry person. For a while, I thought that was the case too.
On hindsight though, I now know that that wasn’t the case. My angst had never disappeared – it had merely receded into a deeper part of my subconsciousness as I developed the other parts of my identity. My anger was still there, right inside of me. It never went away. It merely laid dormant, ready to be triggered anytime the right conditions were in place.
That I was (still is) a deeply angry person was something I would only realize many years later.
My anger was mainly latent anger; meaning I wasn’t an angry person at my natural state. In fact, quite the opposite – I would almost always be bright, cheery, happy, and upbeat.
My anger would only arise when things didn’t go my way. Even then I would never direct my anger outward unless I was really, really frustrated. My anger was mainly kept to myself and managed within my consciousness.
Even during the times when I had lost it, I would not direct my anger at others. I would get angry at situations and/or people yes, but I would not direct my anger at people or the person per se, unless the situation had gone completely out of control. Having grown up with anger hurled around/at me on a daily to near daily basis, I didn’t want to inflict the same treatment onto someone else.
But then the teen years began and the bully/narcissist was fully developed due to the environment around me.
By Brian Nadon