Try different - not harder

I had been using this site to express anger and vent believing that I needed a place to rid myself of my frustrations and hurt.  A test* was done by psychiatrists who studied if venting is helpful in this way.  They found that venting and sharing venting makes the anger increase, not subside. they say Frued was wrong.  

"Ranting may be an indulgence that weakens one’s ability to cope effectively with one’s emotions. In summary, doing nothing at all is a more effective way of dealing with anger compared to hitting a pillow, or posting rants on the internet. Perhaps better yet though would be to learn to use one’s anger constructively rather than mindlessly trying to blow it off."

They tested a different way to "write out" anger in this way: Describe your anger feelings clearly, specifying what you are angry about; explain your angry reaction instead of just venting; and state what you wish to be done to help you feel less angry."

Here goes:  

Describe your anger feelings clearly:  I want to throw things and hear the crash. I want to scream and lash out. Frustration makes me want to sit and have a tantrum like a baby. I am constantly on guard and anxious for the next disappointment...for the chair to be pulled from under me. I am frustrated having learned from experience that a saboteur will throw rocks in the paths of my creative labors and dreams. The life partner/lover turned into the one who is wrecking things, ruining things that I have been working for and creating. These two things don't match -  feels like betrayal. So the joys that used to come from happy anticipation are now just recipes for disappointment and more information to tell me to stop trying - stop living. The anger hurts my chest and my upper back because I am holding my muscles taut there like I am carrying a heavy burden that has become so heavy that I am not able to move or enjoy myself. I disgust myself for the compromises I made.  I mourn my self and the life I didn't live.  I am ashamed of myself to myself for believing that I didn't matter as much as the marriage and family for whom I sacrificed my self.

What are you angry about?: I feel "let down" and betrayed in that I thought that working hard, giving and caring were good ways to be and were all about love. I was taught that sharing and caring are good things.  That mode of operation and thinking is not working for me - my world view is not working as I thought it should.  The more I give, the less I have.  Karma is not supposed to work that way.  I feel stupid for believing in love and karma but I don't want to give it up because then, in my mind's eye,  the world is an ugly place and we are just greedy vicious animals. I want love in my life.  It feels like there is something I am not understanding about how love works and it makes me feel lonely and afraid. When I was young, and had total faith in God, I felt much better.  People around me now mock religion and my faith is questioned by me. I don't know what I believe anymore.

Explain my angry reaction instead of just venting:  I am confused about the world and my place in it and frustrated in my need for love. I am afraid to be so alone. I feel foolish and am ashamed that I don't know better how to live and be happy and be beloved. I feel ashamed and stupid to have worked for a "pipe dream" for my entire life. I don't want to be a needy person. I don't like myself this way.

What do I wish to be done to help me feel less angry:  Pray and meditate better in a joyful way helping me to accept that the world is not always fair or pleasant...that the world does not have to go "my way". Stop expecting love to come from someone who cannot or does not want to love me. Find love in new places.Make it my quest to stop working so hard to find happiness where happiness has not been found in the past. Make my life's work to find peace and joy for my self. I wish I could let go of my old beliefs that make me feel like a failure/bad person/irresponsible/unloving person/bad mother/bad grandmother if I give up on my marriage. I wish I could take a leap of faith that finances would work themselves out if I give up on my marriage. I wish my life would be filled with lots of good people around me who want to connect and grow with me.  I wish that I was able to receive love. I wish that my love was recognized and appreciated. I wish there were lots of people around me daily who I admire and trust... people who motivate and inspire my heart and soul. I wish I was able to let go.

This makes sense.  I invite you to write in your own responses to these questions. 


*Mark Goulston. "Internet Ranting and the Myth of Catharsis" Psychology today.