I am mostly angry. There are days I wish I could chop down a tree to get my anger out. I feel really gypped. I grew up with eight brothers, three of which were very cruel to me. I grew up with constant criticism from my parents and it wasn't until recently that I "grew up" and realized I didn't have to deal with that pain anymore. I'm almost 60! Now after all the pain of. watching my BPD daughter burn a trail of destruction, financing her instability to the tune of about 45k dollars, and frequent quarrels with my husband, she has chosen to stop talking to me. I feel like "the nerve of her"! How ungrateful! I grew up not knowing the healthy ways to grieve or be angry. My mother screamed, cursed and my father hit things. I was raised with "You shouldn't feel that way... suck it up..etc." Now here I am trying to learn about how to handle this. Right now... I am choosing to grieve. I feel myself getting profoundly sad, but then anger takes over. I am SO thankful for this website. I think I will find the answers I am seeking as well as the tools I need to repair my relationship with my daughter. I just get so scared that I won't be able to change myself in order to help her.
Thanks for being so honest... It sounds like you are starting to do the things that you need to in order to understand your anger and to learn from it, purplezinnia. Please make sure to check out the links
to the right-hand side of this page; The Lessons
and the Tools
will give you the answers you are looking for in order to repair the relationship you have with your daughter.
According to Virginia LaFond, in order to get a handle on our anger and move on from it, we need to learn that being angry is okay,
and that we need to learn ways to express and use our anger constructively
--we can learn how to handle our anger. We need to be able to find and affirm our own reasons for being angry, and to work actively
to discover what our own particular angering situations and issues are. She suggests:Use our anger positively: It has a legitimate place and function in our lives.
Anger is an unacceptable excuse for destructive behavior.
Anger requires us to make choices about its use.
Whatever form our loss takes, our anger is normal and healthy.
When we are consciously grieving our experience with mental illness, making use of our anger is an unavoidable part of the journey to recovery.
She suggests that we deal with anger step by step:1
. Name and claim your angry feelings; you are feeling angry for a reason. The list, short or long, contains realities that have meant crushing hardship.2.
Look for the cause of your anger. Looking for what's underlying the feelings of anger can have many benefits, including some unexpected and welcome ones.3.
See in anger its signal for decision-making: The key to learning how to employ anger constructively is to recognize its presence as early as possible, and to see this as a signal to start making decisions. Recognizing anger can be the start of a fact-finding mission to determine how others have handled the same situations that you are in, and the availability of resources in your community, and to find out what you can realistically expect.4.
Find a safe place--a place to give ourselves a chance to simmer down, sort out our issues, rank them, and then make choices. She suggests that safe places can be bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, studies, streets, park--any place that provides a calm, supportive atmosphere. And we should consider inviting someone we trust to be with us when we are attempting to put the energy of our anger to a useful purpose--this not only makes a safe place more safe, but also can be of real value in helping us make constructive
Choose a constructive route for our anger.
There is more information in the book "Grieving Mental Illness" (linked to in the first post on this thread).