Anger and Caregiving

August 07, 2020

A cartoon face drawn as a red circle that shows it is angry by having the eyebrows slanted down and the mouth showing a frown.

As a woman, have you been taught that anger is bad?

As a caregiver, do you believe that anger makes you a bad caregiver? If so, then this introduces feelings of shame and guilt, and we see how quickly this becomes a slippery slope to caregiver hell.

Over the last four decades, I thought that anger was bad. I thought that something was wrong with me because there was always a little volcano inside of me wanting to erupt, to escape……but I didn’t have the tools or understanding at the time to welcome the anger and accept it….so I buried it.

That is harmful as we can never truly bury our emotions. Unless we release the anger, it stays in our cells and wreaks havoc over time. It can manifest later as an illness, mysterious rash, headaches, etc.

For me specifically, burying the anger meant that it would be triggered by some unrelated matter and I would erupt at the most bizarre times and usually with my husband and son.

Anger cannot be avoided. Anger is an emotion and it will appear. The choice we have though is how we respond when the anger shows its ugly head.

I am always looking for solutions, so I have started to safely release my anger. By doing this, it’s like I’ve given myself permission to be angry - which is so liberating. You mean I no longer need to beat myself for having an emotion that I cannot control anyways??? Thank goodness!

In fact, I’ve started talking to my anger when it arrives.

For example, I’ll say hello or welcome as a way to acknowledge it. I find that even doing this allows me the one or two seconds that I need in order to pivot to a better response.

Depending how angry I actually get, some times a run is in order to fully release all of it.

I share this because the overall point is to know that you cannot avoid being angry as a caregiver.

Focus your attention on how you can safely release your anger.

Please share your ways for safely releasing your anger in the comments below.





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