During these days until May 3rd as I take a break from my book writing I am practicing care and discipline in my thoughts to leave all concerns alone in connection with that work with the exception of considerations about only one process related to how I feel: ANGER.
I understand why it would be now as I work through writing my own story of 18 years of child abuse from my Mother for the first time I would come upon the fiery intensity of this emotion. Although there are other reasons why I need a break right now it was my concerns about my hitting my flashpoint of anger as I worked through the last chapter I was writing that stopped me in my tracks.
I have consciously chosen many thousands of times in my adult life not to contaminate my life with anger at my mother – or at anyone else. I understand that there is a kind of positive, constructive anger that motivates people to work toward stopping injustices, but I also feel personally that any time I experience anger I need to stop what I am doing to examine myself as honestly, closely and carefully as I can. I do not wish to be an angry person.
I am also currently being faced with a person I dearly love declining through advancing stages of active alcoholism. The extent of the hate, resentment and attacking anger this disease can bring with it can be unbelievable unless information about the disease itself is kept clearly in mind by all people in the life of the sufferer. This is no different than how I view child abuse that is caused by mental illness.
In both cases the rage that can be sent out through attacks upon others is, to me, exactly like the forces of nature that bring great storms that can wreak great havoc in the lives of people. We can protect ourselves the best we can from strong winds, earthquakes, tidal waves – but we cannot stop them. Nor do we willingly step out to receive harm when we don’t need to.
There are tragedies in life. There are many diseases that create tragedies.
In my book writing I am working my way in great detail through the tragedy that was my mother’s life and my life with her as her targeted all-bad child projection of her own unresolved and unrecognized hatred of herself. As I poked around online this morning to ground my thinking in words that are related to these processes, I gave myself more information to use in my own thoughts about my own choices.
Once the blanket of denial and its fog has been removed from the awareness of severe abuse survivors it could be easy to become entranced with anger, resentment and hatred. These can become hypnotic (reactive) sentiments that are deeply and primarily based in the body-brain most primarily as a distress/stress reponse.
They GROW. They CONSUME. They DESTROY. And they can trap any survivor and any active alcoholic in their grasp in such a way that escape appears unlikely if not impossible.
This is why I am extremely grateful that I have faith in powers so great and so kind that miracles of healing can happen and do happen. Just being human puts us at risk for being swept away by the Tsunami of our powerful survival-based emotions. Personally, I don’t want to be swept away in my life. I want to make informed choices in every way that I possibly can. And as I examine anger, my OWN anger, I will include in my awareness the complexity of what is connected to anger as it is expressed in the word study I am working through today. I do not want to be consumed by the rabies of rage – or by any related version of this state of being.
What a fascinating interplay of words, meanings, origins, meanings of origins and interconnectedness between these concepts “trapped” within the English words intended to communicate about states of being along the road, path, way and journey of life.
Interestingly there is nothing very helpful in definitions of anger or of rage. The terms mean exactly what they say. Word origins are far more illuminating to me —
Origin of ANGER
1150–1200; Middle English < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse angr sorrow, grief, akin to Old High German angust ( German Angst fear), Latin angor anguish
Origin of RAGE
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin rabia, from Latin rabies rage, madness, from rabere to be mad; akin to Sanskrit rabhas violence
First Known Use: 14th century
Definition of HATE
1a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury b : extreme dislike or antipathy : loathing
Origin of HATE
Middle English, from Old English hete; akin to Old High German haz hate, Greek kēdos care
First Known Use: before 12th century (When Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary gives “before 12th century” as the date of the first use of a word in Modern English this is the earliest date any word in our language is traced to for its entry into our language.)
Definition of HATRED
1: hate 2: prejudiced hostility or animosity
Origin of HATRED
Middle English, from hate + Old English rǣden condition — more at kindred
First Known Use: 12th century
Origin of KINDRED
Middle English, from kin + Old English rǣden condition, from rǣdan to advise, read
First Known Use: 12th century
Definition of RESENTMENT
: a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury
Definition of RESENT
: to feel or express annoyance or ill will at
Origin of RESENT
Middle French resentir to be emotionally sensible of, from Old French, from re– + sentir to feel, from Latin sentire — more at sense
First Known Use: 1596
Origin of SENSE
Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French sen, sens sensation, feeling, mechanism of perception, meaning, from Latin sensus, from sentire to perceive, feel; perhaps akin to Old High German sinnan to go, strive, Old English sith journey — more at send
First Known Use: 14th century
Origin of SEND
Middle English, from Old English sendan; akin to Old High German sendan to send, Old English sith road, journey, Old Irish sét path, way
First Known Use: before 12th century
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