(an encore post from Cecil Murphey)
I met him at a writers' conference and he showed me a book he had written. The writing wasn't good but as I read it, I said, "Why are you so enraged? You seem to be against everything."
He said nothing at first, but the tightness of his jaw had already told me. "I'm angry a lot," he finally said.
"It shows in your writing."
We talked and finally the tears flowed. He told me about his childhood abuse. He wouldn't give me permission to use his name, but I've met other men like him. They tend to focus their anger in three different ways. The most obvious one is toward the person who abused them. They're angry at themselves—because they let it happen. A third target is the adults who didn't protect him from the predator.
I've met a few men who are just generally angry at the world. They don't focus on any of those three. Sometimes they live a long time in denial of the abuse or they sublimate it. It's as if the anger goes underground and comes to the surface in an area where it's safe to be mad.
Many of us male survivors know about anger. We haven't always known why we were angry, but we know the feeling. As healing takes place, the anger usually subsides—at least it did with me.