“Anger that has been understood empowers us to break away from the destructiveness we suffered in childhood; appreciate our feelings and needs and thus love ourselves; define our true own values; work to make them come true; claim our humanity and dignity; and embrace our calling. It gives us the courage and strength to speak truth to power. It lets us become engaged to end violence against innocent others, above all defenseless children – who still, in our day and age, must suffer hopelessly as the victims of so much undeserved, irresponsible, unjustified parental not-understanding, cruelty, abuse and injustice. The greatest, most dangerous, destructive and damaging unlimited might of our time lies in the hands of a child’s parents.
Anger and hatred do not disappear if we wish and force them away. In her important, fascinating article “What is Hatred?” Alice Miller writes: “I too believe that hatred can poison the organism, but only as long as it is unconscious and directed vicariously at substitute figures or scapegoats.”…
Repressed, unacknowledged emotions of anger and hatred create nothing but havoc and destruction from the underground. We must understand not only the origins and the reasons for these strong feelings, but also the traumas and truths that these feelings ask us to uncover. The world will become a less angry and hateful place once mankind – finally awoken from its ancient blindness towards the suffering of children – prevents parents, teachers, religious teachers and other authority figures from beating into and taking out on defenseless children – entrusted to their protection, love and care – unaware, suppressed emotions in the name of discipline, education and “for your own good.”
The UNO resolution of 1996 demands that we must regard children as human beings with the human right to live and grow up without violence and in dignity. Violence, inflicted on the youngest, most vulnerable human beings, destroys the healthy development of their tender, most vulnerable brains, which grow dramatically over the first years of life. Cruel and neglectful mistreatment damages the formation of an intact, healthy brain that can feel compassion – for one’s own suffering and the suffering of others, especially those of children.*(see footnote) Such undiscerning, unabashed brains will not stop to justify violence against children, be it labeled euphemistically as spanking, slaps and discipline. Jordan Riak at “Nospank” writes about his list of synonyms for spanking in the brochure: “Plain Talk about Spanking.”…
I used to feel guilty when I experienced you inside of me, dear anger, because I felt that you turned me into something that I did not wish to be, either a bad child or a bad, worthless adult. When you appeared, I used to believe that something was terribly wrong with me. I felt ashamed to be like my mother. But when people tell me now that you are bad and serve no purpose, I feel how you emerge strongly. You are not in favor of ignoring you through deceitful techniques like “meditation,” “being centered”, a forced “inner peace,” “releasing you” and “forgiveness.” You respond and protect me now when people label me as “resentful,” “not recovered,” “unforgiving” or “not free” when I talk about or show you.
I have come to realize that those who preach forgiveness and condemn anger are often deeply troubled by their own unrecognized anger. They refuse to become aware of their judgmental, disrespectful attitudes, their problems with anger and the hurt and harm they inflict on others. I think that they actually are afraid of you, dear anger, and of what you would tell them about their history and lives. They deny others their feelings and don’t want to know about them. They sell their denial, disguised in the deceiving gown of forgiveness that claims to be “free from anger and hatred,” as a panacea for healing. But it does not work, as their often destructive or self-destructive actions sadly demonstrate.
Then there are those many destroyers that abuse you, dear anger, to hurt, degrade, intimidate, terrorize and devastate others. They believe in their right to act out from rageful, revengeful, manipulative and arrogant parts, not willing to acknowledge how their dammed up, unacknowledged pain and suppressed fears are concealed and silenced by their rage. When furious, self-righteous and judgmental parts, formed and deeply imprinted by abusive programmings internalized during childhood, take over and work to destroy relationships and the truth, you must serve destructive perpetrators, their lies and manipulative hypocrisy all over again. These parts’ beliefs and feelings are not authentic and true. Instead, they are still deeply mired in the devastating guilt-mongering of poisonous pedagogy and early psychoanalytic techniques: devoid of compassion; blaming, analyzing and condemning the victim; annihilating his or her rights and the truth through self-centered, know-it-all aggression and cruelty; and distorting an honest and clear view of reality through the conceited, unjust and know-it-all complacency of the perpetrator. (More about acting out from rageful parts: “Escape from the fog of admiration” and “Insights about therapy and IFS therapy.”
Dear anger, it took me a long time to realize your importance and to welcome you. By now, our relationship has changed; you have become my friend. As I communicate with the physical or emotional ways in which my body expresses old pain, you reveal deeper and deeper levels of how the horrors of my childhood have misguided and imprisoned me and tied me to destructive people.
My experiences with you are fascinating and enlightening. When I respectfully listen to you – or can talk about you with someone who can understand and hear me, and share why I am angry – then I know that you are relieved because you can express yourself and feel understood.
When I have heard you, you calm down and give me inner peace. What you have revealed to me becomes a fact. You enable me to see reality without blinders. You grant me clarity about my past and present life. You have endowed me with self-confidence. You empower me with strength. Today, I can treat the powerless with respect and compassion and speak truth to power. Today I know that all feelings transmit most important information if we respect them and are open for them.