Next to fear, anger seems to be the biggest emotion produced by trauma. The problem for some of us is that it’s an emotion that we couldn’t afford to feel THEN. It got buried, and now it can come out in all sorts of inappropriate ways.
And, of course, buried anger doesn’t just lie down and die. It can get turned in to wrong direction – most commonly towards oneself, so that you are beating yourself and blaming yourself for everything. It can get turned towards God – much safer, if it can get expressed and we can hear that He, too, is angry at what happened and that He can knows what to do with anger. It can be denied (I AM NOT ANGRY!!!!!!!!!!!!) and that is very tiring – squashing anger takes a lot of energy.
And all this is, I think, because anger is frightening. My own anger is more frightening even than other peoples’ anger, and it feels as if it might be uncontrollable.
So, how should I begin to deal with some of the anger that is still in me from the time of my parents’ death? The therapist said, ‘Just take an interest it in.’ That doesn’t sound too frightening. I think I can do that. In addition to all my other academic tasks this week, I shall study my own anger.