Prolonged, excessive chaos in the child’s home leads to brain and hormonal changes resulting in withdrawal due to fear and acting out. Later in life the earlier stressors show up in eating disorders, promiscuity, codependency and alcohol and drug abuse. Anger becomes an unwelcome generational gift that is passed down in families. Anger is a normal human response when our well-being is threatened. We all have anger when we feel betrayed and are unable to express the pain that we feel. Anger is made up of feelings, thoughts and physiological reactions, which includes adrenalin and cortisol release to prepare for action. While the feelings and physiological reactions cannot always be controlled, the thoughts and the behaviors can be modified and expressed in more acceptable ways. The research shows that anger is a normal response to betrayal and loss of basic trust in others. Anger also is a normal reaction to injustice, terror and feeling out of control. The innocence of the child is broken by acts of betrayal. What takes its place is fear and anger. The hurt child resolves not to trust again and creates barriers to further connection to others. All anger is not bad. Sometimes anger is a legitimate response to an injustice, which is used to bring momentum, which allows the person to make, needed changes in their life. At times anger is justified given an unfair situation where the energy that anger provides is needed to leave a bad situation. Anger can be used to protect yourself when you are terrorized. We need the energy that anger brings to get us to act and do something differently when we are stuck in bad circumstances. Other times, anger is just a bad habit to deal with the feelings of frustration because things are not going as the person wants. This article addresses the habitual type of destructive anger that harms family members and friends. From “So You Love An Angry Person” by Lynne Namka, Ed. D.
“Anger is just anger. It isn’t good. It isn’t bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It’s like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice.” – From “White Night” by Jim Butcher