Exercise: Recommended Anger Release Techniques
If you feel angry about the fact that you were emotionally, physically or sexually abused as a child I encourage you to find some healthy, constructive ways to vent your anger. Consider any or all of the following depending on what seems most appealing to you:
- Write down your angry feelings. Don’t hold back, let all your feelings of anger and hurt come out on the page. Write a letter to your abuser that you do not send. Let him or her know how the abuse affected you.
- Walk around your house (assuming you are alone) and talk out loud to yourself, expressing all the angry feelings you are having. Don’t censor yourself, say exactly what is on your mind and in whatever language you chose.
- Imagine you are sitting across from one of your abusers and tell him or her exactly how you feel about what he or she did to you. Again, don’t hold back and don’t censor yourself. If you notice that you are afraid to confront your abuser in this way, imagine that your abuser is tied to the chair. If you don’t want to see his or her eyes for fear of becoming intimidated, imagine that he or she is blindfolded. And if you are afraid of what he or she might say to you in response to your anger, imagine that he or she is gagged.
- Put your head in a pillow and scream.
- If you feel like you need to release your anger physically, ask your body what it needs to do. You might get the sense that you need to hit, kick, push, break things or tear things up. Honor that intuitive feeling by finding a way to release your anger in a safe, but satisfying way. For example, it is safe to kneel down next to your bed and hit the bed with your fists. If you are alone and no one is around you can let out sounds as you hit. You can lay on your bed and kick your legs or you can stomp on egg cartons or other packaging. You can tear up old telephone books or go to a deserted place and throw rocks or bottles.
If you have difficulty giving yourself permission to get angry or have fears of losing control if you were to get angry, please refer to my book, Honor Your Anger. I also write extensively about getting past your resistance to releasing anger in my book, The Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Both these books will help you to work past your fears and resistance and offer you many more suggestions on how to release anger in constructive, safe ways.