Underlying Emotions

Underlying Emotions

Learning the underlying emotions to anger is not an easy thing. Anger was an emotion you did not express. Those higher than you were allowed to express it towards you and you in turn could express it to those under you. A hierarchy. In this case a family hierarchy and those below me happened to be siblings. We should have been equal but that's just not how it worked. 

Suppression of anger and explode at certain targets is how I learned to cope. A very unhealthy thing to do and very damaging to relationships. Anger is not a true emotion, it is a result of other emotions. It is reactionary and defensive. In learning how to deal with anger you must uncover what the underlying emotions are.

Here's how I've laid out mine:

Driving Emotions

Betrayal

Abandonment

Fear

Results of Unresolved Anger 

Depression

Withdrawn Into Oneself

Untrusting 

Betrayal, abandonment, fear. They are all big words that I would like to avoid. As someone who does a lot of self reflection, my first reaction was to RUN AWAY from this topic. All these emotions go back to me as a small child, trying to navigate the world. Trying to understand what the adults around me where doing. Recently I read An Abbreviated Life by Ariel Leve, this quote explains why I write: 

It took a long time. Four decades. To learn the damage was not irreparable. To graduate from childhood, where it is no longer an affliction but part of the story, is scaling the wall. Climbing out of the ruins. We tell ours stories to be heard. Sometimes those stories free us. Sometimes they free others. When they are not told, they free no one.
— Ariel Leve, An Abbreviated Life pg 262

Talking about the underlying emotions doesn't have to set me free but it does need to help me so I can be better in the future. So running away isn't an option. After figuring out those three driving emotions, the next step was naming the betrayals. I wasn't aware of how deeply the betrayals influenced me until discussing them in therapy. Within each betrayal were feelings of abandonment leading me to being fearful. I hate the word abandon especially in context to myself, because I wasn't abandoned in the traditional sense of the word. No one has left me. I had the "picture perfect" life many people don't even get a glimpse of. But abandonment isn't just a person physically leaving you, there's also emotional abandonment and that's the part I am struggling with. 

These three driving emotions all go back to when I was 9 and they cannot be what's controlling who I am now. 

Victory isn’t that I am not alone. It is not letting the aloneness and the aftermath of the past dismantle the present.
— Ariel Leve, An Abbreviated Life pg 264