I was so angry I need a strategy. I wrote 3 letters (did not post!) telling the person unedited about how I felt. Then I wrote their response back to me with what I needed to hear. Finally, I wrote my response back to them. It was amazing how the writing changed my perception about what was happening and the anger was quieted.
It is important to acknowledge being angry and to get it out of my body. Releasing or expressing anger doesn’t need to hurt anyone and I can educate myself about how to effectively express it and let it go. Anger is like poison inside me.
Acknowledge the feelings. I realize anger is a result of what I’m thinking (about what’s happening) and for me, it’s good to identify the should behind my anger. ie. I’m telling myself someone should be giving me something and I’m afraid that I won’t be getting it. Anger is usually connected to fear for me.
It is frightening to realize that I am capable of hurting someone the way that I have been hurt. I don’t want to be that person. I realized I needed help. This meant that I had to admit that I was thinking about abusing someone young and ask for help. I talked to a person I trust, someone who has also been abused as a child and who I knew (hoped) wouldn’t judge me. He reminded me that thinking about something is not the same as acting it out. It was so important for me to hear this and I realized he was right. I don’t have to act on my thoughts. Just admitting that I was thinking this way has opened the door for me to find help so that I don’t perpetuate abuse. I am so glad I talked about it.
I have learned that when I am at risk of hurting someone, usually my partner, there are practical things I can do to actually reduce the risk. The Caring Dads program has helped me to realize that my anger and sense of being out of control can change. I have been angry ever since I was a little kid. I still hate my father for hurting me. I don’t have to be like him. I don’t want my kids to hate me. For the first time in my life I realize that I really do want to be a good dad. I just needed help to figure things out and skills to help me deal with my own risky behaviour.