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#434618 - 05/14/13 02:08 AM maybe it's anger?
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4158
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
this is probly going to sound really stupid - but here goes...

during the recent past - the 3 weeks of the accusations and investigations that my wife and i just went through - i have felt almost constantly triggered and as though i was having a prolonged and continuous panic attack. i have tried all my trusty tactics to manage it - but it kept coming back - especially every time i thought about the situation, the injustice, etc. - and that was a difficult topic to avoid or ignore - especially living with a wife whose main way of dealing with things is to talk about it - over and over.

well - today i was having all those symptoms again - elevated heart-rate, high BP, shortness of breath, dizziness and darkening of vision - and yet there was no reason for it. i was in a safe place, with people i trust (at T's office with him and my wife) - and there were no new circumstances to deal with - and the whole mess is essentially over. BUT i was still feeling all that - and i also felt like i had so much pressure inside that i was going to explode. then the weird thought crossed my mind: maybe this is not a panic attack. maybe it's anger?

i am not very familiar with feeling anger. when i was little i was not allowed to express anger about anything - though i had many reasons to be angry. at our house, only the abusive step-dad had the right to be angry. at around 12-13 i decided not to feel anything anymore. that made life so much easier.

When i first started therapy in my mid-30s, i was told i had the right to feel and express anger - and i "should" feel angry about what i had experienced. but i couldn't find it and wouldn't fake it. i felt like i had lost the ability to feel it or express it. or maybe i just don't recognize it?

now i am wondering if this is it? are the sensations and symptoms that similar? has anyone else had this kind of experience?

"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"

#434623 - 05/14/13 05:23 AM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3829
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Lee, certainly there are similarities of your feelings with anger.
I guess it is difficult to express it if it was suppressed for long time. As you are very sensitive and artistic person how about imagining some angry book's character and trying to see what emotions would emerge inside you? I can't recall any at this moment but maybe you could find some?
Or watching into some artistic picture or movie where some wrong things are happening and anger is bursting from victims?
Maybe you could feel it than?
My story

#434624 - 05/14/13 05:24 AM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
Yes x 2.

Yes, you have the right to be angry, and yes, I've been there. When we aren't allowed to feel angry as kids, we can dissociate from it so only a part of us that we aren't fully in touch with is the part that feels angry.

When this happens, we aren't fully aware that we are angry, nor can we control how we feel.

It is good that you have put your finger on how you are experiencing this valid emotion. Do some breathing exercises and honor yourself and your emotions.

Then find a healthy way to vent that anger to let it out so it doesn't eat you alive.

Hang in there, brother.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#434628 - 05/14/13 07:54 AM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
Yes, Lee. It sounds as if you have discovered your anger. And I must tell you, you have every right and justification to have that feeling inside. And I hear anger is a normal emotion. Like you, I was taught that anger was not mine to have. I have even felt it a few times during the past few months, but it seems rather elusive. And we probably do dissociate from it, as Cant says.

Hopefully it will stay with you for a bit so that you can be a part of it, deal with it, and express it. It is a part of who you are, as are the experiences that resulted in that anger. Stay strong, my brother.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#434633 - 05/14/13 09:30 AM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4158
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
WOW! now i just have to figure out what to do with it...

thanks, Pero, cant & b.

i think that this is gong to be helpful.

"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"

#434640 - 05/14/13 11:15 AM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Hey Lee,

Anger is a primal emotion. Its there whether we express it or not. And when we don't express it, it does bad things to us like depression, panic attacks, physical illness etc.

For those of us who learned that expressing anger is forbidden, a heavy price has been paid in our emotional and physical well being.

So I force myself to yell and scream, swear, throw things, hit things (all in safety) to get it out. It feels phony at first, but then your instincts take over and POW!!!, your ANGRY!!!

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#434691 - 05/14/13 09:27 PM Re: maybe it's anger? [Re: traveler]
BraveFalcon Offline

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1231
Loc: The ATL

Hi Lee. Wow, as a person who feels angry almost all of the time, it's kind of weird for me to hear people say that they're not sure if and when they're even feeling anger at all. I will say that what you're describing certainly does sound like it could be anger to me, although for me the physical symptoms of anger and the physical symptoms of anxiety can be very, very similar to one another.

Some of the symptoms you mentioned could point to either or for sure, (elevated heart-rate, high BP, shortness of breath, dizziness, darkening of vision, etc). I also experience higher than normal levels of muscle tension and increased jitteriness during times of anger and/or anxiety. (I say "higher than normal levels" and "increased" because those are two physical symptoms I tend to exhibit all the time, regardless of my predominant mental state.)

Then there are physical behaviors that I find I exhibit at these times, often almost involuntarily or without realizing I'm doing it... clenched teeth, pacing, tightly balled fists, tightened lips, wearing a hateful scowl on my face, etc. That last one can be the most telling to others. I've had people say to me, "Dude, why do you look so pissed off?" And I have to honestly say, "What? I do?"

Given all these similarities, I suppose I can understand why some people would have a tough time knowing which of them they are experiencing. It also doesn't help that, at least for me, there are times when anger and anxiety can be tightly intertwined and are almost part and parcel to one another. Sometimes, but not always.

Again I can only speak for myself here, but I find that the primary difference is that anger is an emotion that I normally feel wants to come exploding out of me and anxiety is an emotion that makes me want to retreat deep within myself. I tend to ultimately turn anger inwards as well, but that's because letting it explode out isn't always an option. I'm not sure if any of that made any sense to anyone but that's the bet way I can think of to break all this down.

Whatever it is you're feeling at the moment, I hope you can find a way to identify your emotions and also a healthy way of channeling them. Good luck with that. Keep up posted if there is any progress with this. Peace,



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