Emotional abuse is a serious problem that continues its lingering effect much longer than desirable. As a result of early emotional abuse, many victims develop chronic anger issues, which sometimes looks disconnected from the abuse source. Frequently in order to cope with emotional abuse, people must also identify and cope with the concomitant anger. After-abuse anger is realistic, justified and coming from a deep well of feelings of injustice, and very dangerous also.
If the abuse didn't succeeds at isolating the victim and condemning her to a life of solitude and mistrust, the accompanying anger will. It will manifest in opportunities where it's not right, will destroy whatever relationship she is able to sustain attacking people who love her, and in a general sense will separate her from the very people who could help her heal. Sometimes people are more afraid from the anger than compassionate seeing the hurt produced by abuse. Even when the anger is adequate as a delayed reaction to the previous abuse, it lashes out at the wrong targets, so alienating her from the necessary support.
People process their righteous anger in a variety of ways. Some people yell and shout, while others surpress their anger and sulk, often expressing their anger in a passive aggressive way. When coping with anger, it is important to realize that it is impossible to suppress and deny the emotion of anger. It is normal and healthy to feel angry, even angry at situations already in the past and never compensated or healed. However, not all people know how to cope with anger in an effective way.
When coping with anger as an aftermath of emotional abuse, many people like to use different relaxation techniques. Relaxed, slow breathing and yoga are examples of such techniques. They are good because they allow the angry person to take a step back and clear their mind of the situation. Detaching, and staying calm allows the person to cope with the hurt from abuse and then react to its anger more efficiently.
Sometimes you may find it difficult to mentally remove yourself from the abusive situation in order to calm down and regain self control. If that happens, it is good to physically remove yourself as well. Simply find somewhere else you can go to have a few minutes to yourself, and detach from people who would remind you of abusive situations from the past.
The next time you are angry, stop and ask yourself exactly why you are angry. Be as specific as possible, and don’t lie to yourself. You may find that you have no real actual reason to be angry after all. A lot of times we get caught up in our own feelings coming from abusive situations from the past, that we experience again as if happening today. When you are in this kind of past anger, connecting it with the sources of the past before letting go is helpful. Perhaps telling yourself: "This is old anger produced by the abuse I received in the past...I will calm myself down and the anger will recede into the past."
You may notice that there are also several physical changes that happen to you while becoming angry. This can include clenching your jaw or fists, an increased heart rate, and even body shaking. Being aware of how your body reacts is extremely important for coping with anger. If you feel yourself reacting to anger, try taking deep breaths to calm down. You can also close your eyes and think about the distance between your defenseless past situation and now. Imagine yourself rejecting the abuse in a firm way: "I will NOT take this abusive situation, STOP!" Most people raise their voice as they get angrier. Instead, lower your voice to calm yourself down, and repeat the "STOP" enough times to recover self-control.
Emotional abuse has the power to control lives way beyond the time it happened. It can flare unexpectedly when situations of today connect with abuse of yesterday... By learning that healing past abuse demands a caring attitude and a patient observation of our reactions, then anger will be accepted, integrated by breathing and let slowly disappear by itself.
If you feel that anger is taking control of you it is important to connect present anger with past abuse and have a compassionate attitude towards the abused person we were in the past. Both are parts of our lives and need to be accepted and integrated into a larger whole of our present happier life.