Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Feeling Rage


One of my favorite singers is Missy Higgins, and she has a song called “100 Around the Bend” and the refrain is:

 

So jump in my car we’ll go 100 round the bends
We’ll take this road until we’re back at the start yet again
Jump in my car we’ll go 100 round the bends
And we’ll pretend that feeling rage is feeling real
That feeling is feeling real…but feeling rage ain’t feeling real

“So jump in my car we’ll go 100 round the bends

we’ll take this road until we’re back at the start yet again

Jump in my car we’ll go 100 round the bends

And we’ll pretend that feeling rage is feeling real that feeling rage is feeling real.”

 

Except she changes the last line of the refrain for the last line of the song to “We’ll pretend that feeling rage is feeling real . . . but feeling rage ain’t feeling real.”

But feeling rage ain’t feeling real?

Seriously?  I beg to differ.  How many of us grew up being told–either explicitly or through non-verbal cues–that you’re not allowed to feel anything but happy (or at least you’re not allowed to feel the “bad” emotions) and/or that you’re not allowed to express emotions?  And did that really work out too well for us?  I know in my case it didn’t.  All that energy had to come out some how, and it came out in self-destructive ways.

Feeling rage is feeling real.  It means you are allowing yourself to be in the moment and not push aside an unpleasant feeling.  Now, if you can’t control the rage and end up throwing hard objects at someone, or if the only thing you feel is rage, then I’d take an unprofessional guess that there’s a problem somewhere.  

Anger–and sadness and happiness and joy and guilt and shame and fear and contentment–is a normal emotion.  Lately, I will admit to anger.  Sometimes bitterness.  I’m not sure if I can claim I swing into the rage category, but definitely anger.  And this is a good thing.  I’ve realized that regarding my unexpected cardiac diagnosis, not feeling anger would be unhealthy.  Come on, I’m having to give up some things that have always been very important parts of my life, things I enjoyed, things that made me happy.  Not allowing myself to feel that would equal denial, and denial has never worked out too well.  

No, it’s not fun crying over this, but if I don’t allow myself to grieve and be angry now, I only see myself being extremely bitter later, and I don’t want that.

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July 30, 2009 - Posted by | coping, feelings, heart | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I so needed to read this right now.
    For real.

    I’ve spent the last week wondering why it is that I have felt so mauled by my own anger and frustration this summer and why it has seemed such a surprise for me to feel it. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about other times I have let myself be angry–be really and truly angry–without worry of composure or articulation or appearing to have all of my shit together (because that’s just what you DO…)–and I can’t remember it. I can’t remember any distinct time or situation where I have acknowledged my own anger and frustration and let it live instead of shuffling it under a rug or blocking it out of my heart or allowing it to just make a guest appearance–and then quickly exit–instead of giving it its space until it is ready to just get the f out.

    Comment by SK | July 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. I can definitely relate to that. I think right about repression and expression of emotions.

    Comment by nightgodess | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  3. Personally, I think rage is what happens when you try to deny other emotions – especially sadness and anger. Rage is like the end result of a pressure cooker of sadness and self-containment. I think that’s why rage is so often associated with men, who are told they aren’t allowed to feel anything, let alone express it. I don’t know – I guess I just think if anger and sadness were more accepted and expressed, people wouldn’t have to get to the rage stage.

    Comment by gem | August 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. I remember there was a time when I was IP that i became SO ANGRY. Not at anyone there but at people in my life. And the anger kept on coming when I got home. It caught me completely off guard.
    It was weird– I had been so numb to it for so long that once I stopped using the eating disorder to hide, all of that anger came flooding in.

    My therapist said once “Halleluja that you’re alive to feel that anger and pain.”

    Comment by Andi | August 7, 2009 | Reply


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