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Battling the Guilt Monster (Part 3 of 8)

(This blog post comes from Gary Roe.)

Guilt is a monster. I like to think of it as an octopus. The problem is guilt, but it has many tentacles that seek to attach and squeeze the life out of me. For me, one of those tentacles is anger.

Why did this happen to me? At times, the anger boils in me. But often I don’t allow myself to feel it.

I have reason to be angry. No adult should do such a thing to a child, especially family members who are supposed to be trustworthy. I wasn’t allowed to get angry. Severe punishment was promised if I did. So I stuffed it.

And I kept on stuffing it.

I stuffed the anger leaks. I withdrew deep inside myself. I drove myself relentlessly in school and athletics. I turned my angst inward—on myself.

I couldn’t hold anger in all the time. I blamed myself when I couldn’t hold any more inside. Or I blamed others. Too often, I didn’t know I was angry and needed to feel it.

The abuse happened. It was wrong. A crime. Evil. Anger is a natural, appropriate response. If I can learn to feel it in healthy ways, it will have less hold on me.

Anger is a natural response to abuse. 
I can learn to feel my anger and deal with it.

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