The emotion I have lived around the most is anger. It may be what I know best. I grew up in a home full of it, my real family has mastered it, the types of people and cases I have been involved with are rooted in it, and nearly all of my past relationships have emulated more anger and hate than love. How sad that realization seems…
It makes me realize I automatically associate anger with most other negative emotions too. In my family, anger was the dominating emotion and described almost everything. In fact, you couldn’t show or express any other feelings in my home that I can remember. If you were sad or frustrated you didn’t show it, because it was a sign of weakness. Yet, feelings like anger and hate would prove to be “strong and tough” which almost always seemed to require physical demonstrations.
Because of this, I’ve always wondered about my own ability to recognize a “healthy” relationship when it comes along. I surely didn’t grow up around any, nor have I been taught or exposed to any on a regular basis. So I can only imagine some of these things. The same for marriage – I really don’t understand what a healthy marriage looks like except for what I find in the bible and read about in books.
Geez… I’m still learning that just because someone disagrees or gets frustrated with me, it doesn’t mean they are mad or angry with me. Funny that it is still a personal struggle, because I have raised my daughter to understand it is her actions and choices by which I may be upset or disappointed with, but that has nothing to do with my love for her as a person.
Personally, a great relief and joy would be to hear the words, “I love you” in the midst of disagreement someday. My past has taught me the opposite of this though. People of my past took their love away when they were mad or upset with me, or if I didn’t do what they wanted, or even if I disagreed with them. It is one of the most basic ways an abuser controls his or hers victims.
One of the greatest gifts it seems we can give one another is the freedom of emotion and expression. We are going to get upset, frustrated, sad, etc. and we need to know our feelings are OK. We need to know that we have the freedom to express negative emotions (appropriately) just as much as one would have us express the positive.
So there are blessings to be found in knowing and living with just as much evil as good. I believe being exposed to so much anger is what has allowed “love” to become the dominating principle in my own life. Being exposed to so much evil propelled me forward into things which are honest and good instead. This is one of the reasons why I wouldn’t change my past even if I could.
- Fighting In Front of The Kids – Smart conflict resolution for couples (babble.com)
- Anger Management: How to Keep Your Temper in Check (everydayhealth.com)
- Don’t Be An Angry Bird. (psychologytoday.com)