Send Your Replies About Anger to A.

Well A. ,

For the last 3 years I’ve been working on all the anger I stuffed all my life and what I found was it’s a process of time. I first started writing dead letters to get in touch with my anger and give my abuser a piece of my mind the emotions I stuffed started being released. You have to work through forgiveness in every personality. I found for me so I had to keep re-experiencing bouts of anger and I would have to forgive all over again. The first two years was hard . I got very homicidal as my flashbacks and memories came out finally so I stayed angry at certain abusers for up to 3 months at a time or even years-- which I would choose to make shorter if I did it over again. I had around 50 people to forgive as I am 58 and spent all but the last 3 years in abuse.

I personally found that beating up my bed with a plastic baseball bat and my fists worked for me to release the stored energy. Some people that isn’t best for but for me it worked. I did a lot of journaling to clarify what I was mad about and I finally bought a Christian book last month ( as I’m a Christian) and have found forgiving the only answer to my healing. God helps with the forgiveness and a girl in the book experienced molestation all her childhood and her process was very much as my own. Jesus said “Forgive them Father as they know not what they did” and I believe that. They were just very sick, selfish and wounded themselves.

When I got mad at my foster mother great anger for God came up when I dealt with the 6 years I spent in foster care as a teen. I was angry feeling God abandoned me there, but God truly forgives when we blame him for what the devil really did through people. It was my blood father who really abandoned me there but I stayed mad at God for 3 months and I found I only say the Lord's name in vain when I’m angry at Him. That passed as I know from the bible that God never holds anything-- anger or sin --against one of his own. In fact I believe the only sin there is to not receive Jesus as Savior.

Then came the biggie here in my 3rd year of recovery and that was forgiving myself for all my stupid choices along my way in life. That was hard but realizing that God has forgiven me every single sin helped me to let go of the guilt and anger at myself. It’s been my goal to live without any guilt or condemnation and that’s what Jesus did for us.

I read a MPD recovery book that said (by a doctor) that a multiple has a lot of grieving to do for all the losses they experienced and how important it is. Taking the time to grieve and cry over all that my abuse has cost me in life has been very healing. I’ve cried a lot of tears and my joy has been restored much having done most my forgiving but I had at least 21 personalities to work with. I live most every day without any condemnation now. I am working on actually loving my enemies, though the main point is to forgive and not hold it against them anymore.

This is what has helped me and I hope will be of some help for you. I also did cast out of me anger, wrath ,bitterness and vengeance as I opened myself up spiritually . I’ve has so much relief. Hope this helps you. I know that not all feel forgiveness except towards yourself is the only requirement to heal. God bless you on your road to recovery.

Judy H.


Dear "A".

Anger issues. I guess I have always had anger issues!! I invented several personalities especially to deal with anger. Swearing and tearing things apart, verbally. I occasionally would break a window with my throwing of a ball but never admitted it was my fault even if it was. The shattering of the glass helped then. I have been told by a friend that she goes into her basement armed with goggles, long heavy pants, face mask and gloves and breaks dishes. Dishes she gets at yard sales for little or nothing. She says the breaking of the dishes as she slams 'em into the floor, helps release that anger and put it where it belongs...onto the abusers. She talks to the abuser/s at the same time.

I used to have a bicycle and that helped me a lot to go really fast through the orchards and the side roads. I felt in control but really probably wasn't. You'd have to wear a helmet now for sure. It got me exercise and release of the anger.

Writing helps, as well as coloring all over a color book. Look at yard sales for color books or crayons or markers to use. When writing, my personalities who deal well with anger, write large and furious and use every name in the book! But the important thing is it comes out and doesn't stay inside to fester and make me sick. (I used to hold it in more than I do now and it caused me a lot of discomfort and physical issues).

One thing I do or did do was to sit on the floor with a bunch of newspapers I had read and tear them up. I mean rip, tear, shred into bits and pieces while I screamed and talked to the abusers about what had been done to me by them. I think this was very effective for me as I would also audio tape myself doing it and have the tape to go over again...if I wanted to. You are out of control during that time sometimes and forget all you say. Having a tape makes it real and helps the process, or it did for me. You have to cleanup the mess later! ( Cats love to play in the left over newspaper mess, by the way :)

I have gone to the cemetery at times in the fall and taken apples and thrown them into the woods near where one of the abusers is buried, again with tape recorder, to procees it all later. I really do feel good and powerful after these sessions. The anger is going where it belongs..onto them not inside of me. Don't hit the grave stones and be careful not to hit anyone else's, as it could be desecration and that is not the point. One time I took a friend with me to clarify my being there and not alone as someone might think I had totally lost it if they went by. Also take a friend if you think you might temporarily "lose it" or for someone to walk around the cemetery keeping watch of you.. This cemetery I go to is on a back road and there is seldom traffic around anyway but being there alone was not a cool thing to do.

When I was in my teens, I had to go downstairs into the shed and get wood to bring into our woodbox, so I would just thump/drop it hard into the box. Then an aunt told me that was "wooden swearing" so had to stop it. But I had to take it to our 2 furnaces also, so dropped it hard on the cement floor and that helped a lot. Got out the anger. Sometimes I'd pull a bunch of wood out of the stack, all piled, and listen to it fall!! I used to slam doors as hard as I possibly could. Had to stop that for the same reason or the uncle was sick. GRRR!! I was a teenager then.

These are some of the ways I have dealt with the anger. Then I share it with my therapist, also. I used to make my own yeast bread, from scratch and no bread machine. The scraping and the kneading of the dough was therapeutic for me. Came out great, too.

Once I made a funny looking "therapy doll" I could shake if I needed to shake someone. I used all kinds of things to make her and got stuff from yard sales and craft stores. Finally, I could get rid of her and I didn't feel at all bad about it when I let her go. A part of the hurt went with it, I guess, as I was able to really release that anger.

Hitting a pillow on a bed and srceaming into it helps some people but never helped me much as I need things more physical.

Once you start out, you will find the right things that work for you. Just don't ever hurt anyone, person or anything or animals with the rage and anger. Talking to your therapist about your feelings is the best way to process all the steps you will go through as this process unfolds. It's there (the anger) and well it should be for all the injustices we have all suffered. Just don't let the anger have a hold on you too long but let it go along with the processes of feelings and whys in therapy...

And on a religious note...even Jesus got angry in the temple and at the devil. Hope this helps all of you. Scary at first but I think it will really help. It has helped me and kept me as sane as possible in impossible situations.



Dear A,
I can truly relate to your struggle with not even being aware of your anger. I can remember at one point telling both my psychiatrist and my psychologist on two separate occasions about a certain incident of abuse to which each one of them replied something like, "Oh, you're not going to have're going to have rage!"

"A", I truly didn't know what they were talking about. All I felt was this overwhelming sense of grief. It was through a lot of different types of healing modalities that I was finally able to get in touch with that anger...healing modalities such as body work and movement, massage, journaling...and my incest survivors group. Although before the group I had been unable to feel any anger about my abuse, once I started to hear the other women's stories I was able to become angry not only about what happened to them but what happened to me as well. As for releasing the anger once it comes up....journaling has always been key for me...large, angry letters that I can scrawl across the page, usually involving some sort of really off-color swear words. I've also taken to smacking empty paper towel rolls up against the kitchen counter and even empty egg cartons (make sure they're empty). One thing I've always told my sons... in those moments when you feel the anger welling up, just before you react, always try to think quickly and react in a way that will keep you, everyone around you and those items in your home that you cherish SAFE!

Anger can also be a wonderful tool to help motivate us into action...action in things like creative works, activist activities and even educational and career goals. Like all of our's
E-nergy that needs to be in Motion....E-Motion....the trick is in trying to "move" it wisely.

Since anger is the emotion that helps us to claim our boundaries, no doubt it will crop up for each one of us over and over again in's good to have a plan of action for when it does! Best of luck with claiming your anger, "A" and utilizing it to move you forward in your healing and in your life!



Hi A.,

Anger's what I'm working on currently and it's really hard for me, too. I had reacted to verbal abuse by trying to be the "all-good" girl on the outside, so really shut off my anger.

I've felt mostly very ashamed of and scared of my own anger. It was not-OK in any way, but still it has been there inside all along, and ended up sort of burning me up inside. And, occasionally I'd explode before I realized it. So, stuffing it wasn't working.

My therapist helped in terms of letting me know how understandable it is for me to go into "fight or flight" mode when being or feeling shocked or hurt. When "flight" isn't an option, well….that's fight mode, and so anger feeling is just natural! That helped me feel at least it's "legitimate" instead of meaning I'm a horrible person to have it at all.

For me, learning how to express it was the next and even harder job. I wasn't getting to the "gut feeling" through talking or writing, so I thought of using a physical symbol to try it out.

I got a lion puppet, a cute guy with reddish-gold fur and pretty wild eyes, etc. and added him to my "zoo" of stuffed animals I use to sort of symbolize my parts. He had to obey my "no harm to anybody" rules, so no biting, no scratching. The scared little "all-good" girl was hiding and pretty freaked out at first! But, gradually, I had her and the lion get acquainted and nowadays they hug, play, and lately she even copied his scary roar just for fun.

This is progress, and it's been uncomfortable along the way, but it's getting easier.

I think trying on the lion's ways of showing his own personal power is good practice for me. I can see it paying off, it's getting easier to set boundaries and be assertive in my world outside the zoo….

I know how hard this is. Hang in there, good luck with whichever ways work for you!



Hi A.,

I have DID. At first I thought I didn’t have anger, I hardly got mad I thought that was great; then a crisis in my life make me feel every emotion there was. I think the one I had the most trouble with was the Anger. I never felt much of anything before that happened. Then I didn’t know what to do with it. At first I cried. I didn’t like that because I was told not to cry for years. So I got more anger. I just went to hit something but that is not my thing. I tried drawing, writing, then covering it with a red or black crayon so I can't read it. I also try hitting a punching bag, talking to my therapist about the way I was feeling anger and if I had a right to feel that way. Keeping active helps me. I hope same of this help.



Hi A.,
I have a couple of thoughts. I, too, had quite a difficult time with finding and then expressing my anger. The first thing I had to do, tho, was to discover what was holding me back. I had to look at what was scaring me about anger. In my case it was one of my abusers who modeled anger as RAGE in my childhood. And I NEVER wanted to be like that person. So....I "Stuffed" any hint of anger I ever felt for fear of turning into a rageful person like that. Once I discovered what was scaring me, I then had to learn that "Anger" occurs along a CONTINUUM----From mild annoyance to anger to rage. And I had to practice, practice, practice......identifying my feelings-----where am I along this continuum?
Actually, at first, I wasn't even AWARE of any angry feelings. With my therapist's help, I learned that when my shoulders and neck got tight, I was probably angry about something----and we talked about daily events to determine what could have happened to upset me. Then we looked at where my anger was on the continuum.
Believe me, this was not an easy task......BUT, it IS do-able. As long as I stayed aware of why I was afraid of my anger (Not wanting Rage), I was then able to learn more appropriate ways of expressing it. It's another "Life-Skill" that those of us who have trauma histories have not been able to learn.
I think this is an important step in recovery from PTSD, and I wish you courage and strength along your journey.
Jan T.


Dear A.,

I would bet I have a ton of buried anger in me, but I don't notice it much. Hiding it is probably not a good idea, so posting your question may help me as well as you. I don't "act out" except by being (occasionally) grumpy. No throwing crockery at the walls, beating up on people etc. I do as much physical activity as I can...walking, digging in the garden, doing housework. That sometimes helps release built-up anger when I recognize it. And of course I journal about it. Journaling has always been a very good outlet for me. I hope others have good ideas for you!

Good luck & thanks for a great question.

Lynn W.