♦ I don’t really have to DO anything with all of this anger that is bubbling up to the surface. This may be somewhat of a “duh” point for many of you, but it’s kind of a new one for me. Maybe because anger is such an intense emotion and filled with energy, maybe because it’s so uncomfortable for me (for a number of reasons centering around beliefs that I shouldn’t get angry), maybe because it’s in my nature to not leave loose ends and anger seems to leave so many flapping in the breeze. But all I have to do is feel it. Just feel it. I don’t have to yell at anyone. I don’t have to “vent.” I don’t have to go find justice for myself. All I have to do is feel it. I have spent so much energy trying not to feel it, so much energy pushing it down and turning away and running from it that it feels really radical to just sit or stand or walk or breathe and have this anger pulsing through me and not think that I Have. To. Make. It. Stop. Now. But I don’t.
♦ My food issues, my emotional eating is my primary way of avoiding my anger. I cannot focus on food and feeling at the same time. Or rather, not focus on food, which is more likely when using food to escape. Anyway, the way I use food definitely has helped me to avoid the anger. Sometimes it feels like I am eating the anger instead of the food. Or eating the anger instead of feeling it.
♦ I associate feeling angry with feeling impotent, feeling powerless, feeling weak. No wonder I want to avoid feeling angry.
♦ I was never taught to defend myself. This is kind of an important lesson. I don’t mean, take the kid in the backyard and give her boxing lessons. Nobody ever said (or showed me) that you could say, “I don’t want you to talk to me that way,” and walk away, or sit there, or whatever. Nobody ever said, “You can stand up for yourself.” Ever. I was never taught how to stand up for myself. The part that kind of messed with my head though, is that I was taught to defend others, and stand up for others. I just wasn’t taught that I could ever, I should ever do that for myself. The lesson I was taught, indirectly, but very clearly, was that, when verbally assaulted, lie down and take it. And I was a great student. A+ for me. So now I get to learn this lesson on my own. But I am extremely motivated, and like I said, a great student.