The Anger I’m Avoiding
I have an assignment from the leader of my support group to write an Angry Letter. I’m supposed to be putting my feelings on paper and expressing how I feel about the person I’m angry with so I can release it. It’s an assignment I’ve often given to my own clients here at BBCC.
I’ve been avoiding it for a while now.
Why? Because I don’t like to admit I’m angry. I naively believed I had moved past the anger stage. But, according to a really fun quiz we took at the last group meeting… I might have some issues I need to address.
In case you missed the sarcasm that little quiz wasn’t fun at all! It was the 2nd assessment we took that night. The first was obvious symptoms of unexpressed anger. I scored pretty low on that one! YAY! Then she hit us with another quiz. It was called “Check List for Hidden Anger.”
Here are some of the things I had to check mark on the list…
- Procrastination in the completion of tasks
- Sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy in conversation
- Over-politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of “grin and bear it.”
- Frequent sighing
- Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams
- Getting tired easier than usual
- Becoming drowsy at inappropriate times
- Chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles.
Oh my goodness there were so many more I had to check, too! Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in how much anger I was repressing. I mean I was surrounded by other women who have also survived domestic abuse… we have lots to be angry about.
I know it’s about time I work on it; but, something keeps stopping me. My facilitator told us to journal through these 2 questions if we were having a hard time releasing the anger:
- I don’t want to release my anger because _____
- I’m afraid to release my anger because ______
Here’s the cliff notes version of what I discovered:
I don’t want to release my anger because:
I know that when I do let it go I have to allow the release to happen. And, release is slightly terrifying. Release means to, “Free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; Let go. Relinquish. Surrender.”
I don’t like what the word “release” means at all. I would rather not give this person freedom. I would rather they pay me back for all of the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical wounds I experienced. Letting go of my anger means that every time he makes me mad me in the future I have to walk through the process all over again. Ugh. I don’t want to let go of my anger without an apology first. Is that so much to ask?
I am afraid to release my anger because…
Anger is “normal” to me. I know what to do with anger. I’ve lived with anger a long, long time. Anger is like a protective wall for me because I don’t have to deal with the sadness and betrayal on the other side. Holding on to it means I somehow still have control of my life.
I’m afraid I could be easily hurt again. Like the anger is making me “bullet-proof” or something. Surrendering it could makes me vulnerable again. I spent decades avoiding anything that make me more vulnerable to him. Vulnerability was a weakness. Emotions were a weakness. Tenderness was a weakness. Anger was safe.
A Beautifully Whole Woman… Let’s it Go
And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?” Jonah 4:4
I can just see Him asking me the same question He asked Jonah. “Raychel, do you do well to be angry? Is it helping? Does it make you feel good in your mind, body, and spirit to hold on to this?
Not even a little bit.
I’m reminded once again that letting go of anger does nothing for the other person. It’s not about them, anyway. It’s about me and my heart. The heart that I want to stay soft and not harden in bitterness. God will work on their heart. He is a just God and He promises to repay evil. He is my protector, provider, and safe place. And because of this TRUTH, I can deal with the anger I’ve been avoiding.
So can you. In fact, let’s do it together. It’s not to late to grab your ticket for Beautiful Wholeness. We have a spot for you and we can work on this anger thing hand in hand. But hurry… ticket sales are done tomorrow at 12:00 pm (CT)
Raychel Chumley is the Co-Founder and President of Big Blue Couch® Coaching, LLC. As a Life Coach, Author, and Speaker, Raychel is passionate about breaking bondage and speaking truth over women who find themselves in toxic relationships and broken circumstances. She is the author of the Bible Study, Unbroken: Embracing the Cracks that are Making You Whole. Raychel has a BS in Psychology and Biblical Counseling from Liberty University. She lives in North Dakota with her family.