The Connection Between My Anger & Feeling Powerless

I sometimes struggle with what I call “stupid rage”. It is one of my methods of protection.

It has always been a part of my response system, but in recent years both leading up to the moment when my mind unlocked, as well as once I began healing – it has shown up far more that I want to admit.

I 100% hate it, it must be hard for my daughter to witness, and I absolutely fear the potential long term effects of her seeing how I can lose control. Always for the most menial of reasons, but never disappointing in the over-the-top outbursts from me.

I am getting better at recognizing these episodes in the moment to slow them down, I haven’t quite figured out how to stop them before they start.

Recent Reflections

Recently, on a few separate occasions involving situations with my youngest and with my husband, I found myself fighting off sudden bouts of anger that wanted to escalate.

The first when my husband finally told me after nearly three weeks of health issue, that there was something going on and maybe we should monitor it and call a doctor. I was immediately angry with him. Concerned too, yes – but angry. It took everything I could to not yell at him for throwing this at me when the issue could now be too late to help, and even more to express the concern that I absolutely felt but was too angry to speak aloud.

I am sure other wives and partners would be perturbed by this too – but I doubt to the level I was dealing with mentally.

The second and third instances involved my little one: one situation involved her sticking a bead up her nose and an “almost” ER visit during a pandemic, followed by a bee sting that had her screaming like she’d had her finger cut off.

In both situations I literally did circles where I stood, like a quick 360 degree look at the room would offer answers to fix the problem. In both instances I was snappy and agitated with my husband (who turned into a rock-star each time as he took the lead). At one point I even yelled multiple times “hey siri” at my phone, pissed off that it wasn’t responding to my command as I tried to google remedies quickly.

Just picture that – me in a fit of rage screaming at my phone as angrily as I can muster because it won’t listen.

What must my child have thought in those moments when she needed me and I was angry?

Ugh, stupid rage.

The Common Denominator

Every time I go through an episode of rage, I feel drained, embarrassed, guilty, and ashamed. I know better, yet I struggle to control it when it happens.

Every time it happens, I do what I can to reflect on what the hell is going through my mind and body in those moments. What am I feeling, what am I thinking?

I think I figured it out.

In those moments – I feel completely and utterly powerless. The more powerless I feel, the angrier I seem to get.

My traumas have hardwired a deep need for control into me, and when I feel like I am loosing that control, my response is rage

Addressing Powerlessness

I don’t necessarily have the answer at this point on exactly what I need to do to get a better handle on my response to powerlessness. If I did, stupid rage wouldn’t be a challenge to me.

I think this realization, however, is a first step.

This is one of the most tangible things I have realized as I work through my different trigger responses. I am not sure how to develop the awareness necessary to stop the rage when I feel powerless because right now it feels like that rage is the first signal I get, but I know that just can’t be.

It’s time to pay even closer attention to myself, to be that much more committed to mindfulness and connection in my day-to-day living.

I know I will figure it out eventually.

Photo by Jan Kopřiva from Pexels

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4 thoughts on “The Connection Between My Anger & Feeling Powerless

Add yours

  1. I blogged about anger today too! Go figure… it’s a tough issue! I think I too would freak if I had a kid who put a bead in her nose! That’s scary! It would be hard to stay calm during that!! I understand!!

  2. My own stupid anger issues is why I decided to try neurofeedback treatments three years ago. I had learned about NFT in a book by Bessel van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score. After years of talk therapy, some cognitive behavioral therapy, and even some EFT, that eye movement thing, I was desperate.

    I found a neurofeedback provider in Amarillo, Texas, which was more than 100 miles from where I lived at the time. I had a total of about 30 treatments. Insurance doesn’t pay for it, unfortunately, because it’s still considered experimental. I couldn’t have afforded the treatments at all, if it weren’t for our credit cards. I almost maxed out our credit. But it was so worth it, because neurofeedback has made a HUGE difference in my ability to keep my PTSD triggers and my emotions under control. I can easily deal with things now, that I couldn’t handle at all, before!

    I went to visit my daughter in Washington state near the end of my neurofeedback treatments. She was going to Whitworth University at the time, studying for her master’s degree in child and family counseling. She was so impressed by the changes in me, that she decided to try NFT for herself. She got so much help from her own treatments, she then decided to become a neurofeedback provider. Now she is a licensed therapist, as well as a licensed provider of NFT. She tells me that her favorite thing about her work is seeing the incredible, rapid, positive changes in her clients with NFT.

    One caveat: if you decide to get neurofeedback for yourself, please research the provider very thoroughly. NFT can be harmful in some cases, if the provider doesn’t really know what they are doing.

    Whether you decide to try NFT or not, I still think you are amazing. Your ability to be so honest and open about things like this is huge. ❤❤❤

    1. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has struggled with inconvenient bursts of anger.

      I haven’t heard of NFT before – I will look into it. I am exploring heart math and I use EMDR in addition to CBT.

      It really does take a cocktail to address the complexity of the long term affects caused by childhood abuse.

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