what to do when you don’t know what to do with anger

I’ve been grappling with anger lately.

Over the last year I’ve noticed that I spend more and more time agitated and disappointed and feeling hurt by others. I often harbor feelings of anger that seep into my chest and seize me and can’t be shaken off. I find myself awake at night, with a loop of angry thoughts in my head, having imaginary fights. My heart rate increases, the pit in my stomach makes me nauseous. I want them to know, how they’ve let me down, how poorly they’ve behaved. I want them to know how much I hurt. But I don’t tell them, I just lay awake, angry and agitated.

None of this makes me feel good. I don’t feel like a good person or my best self sheltering those feelings. It doesn’t make me feel like the person I want to be. It doesn’t make me proud. It weighs me down, cripples me, impeding my path to lightness and balance.

I’ve always been sensitive, easily hurt, and often disappointed, but this feels new. This level of heaviness and fervor. It feels like too much, and more than I want to carry.

I want to release it all.

So I brought it to my therapist. After my rants, I pleaded with her. How do I let this all go? How do I stop being so affected by others? How do I stop caring what they do and what they don’t do? How do I forgive?

As we broke it down, I realized the anger I was feeling was only directed towards people that know about our struggles of the last two years, know about our losses, and know about the profound effect it’s had on us. But they are the ones that didn’t come through.

The ones that didn’t provide the right kind of comfort, never said the right things, and left us alone in our pain, grief, and isolation.They are the ones that don’t understand how deep this goes. They are the ones that act like life just goes on. They are the ones that said thoughtless things.

I don’t want to have to feel bad about being pregnant around you. Just relax, that’s what I did, look at all my kids! You miscarried because you are too skinny. You miscarried because you are too stressed. Don’t be upset about your miscarriage, it’ll happen, just stop thinking about it.

And then there are the ones that stayed quiet. And continue to stay quiet.

I feel angry at them because I have been hurt by them.

But my therapist and I started to dissect further. Why was it affecting me so much? I have such a huge network of love and support. I have so many people that never let me down. That listen, and try to understand even if they haven’t been through it. That never forget that no matter my smile, no matter my laugh, I’m always carrying a bit of pain inside. And I know, that this kind of loss is not easy to understand if you’ve never experienced it. I know that there’s really no way to understand. 

But eventually I realized the paradox. I have all this anger because I’ve never allowed myself to be angry about our actual miscarriages.

I’ve felt sadness, pain, grief, and loss, but never anger. Subconsciously, I didn’t think I was allowed to be angry. If I get angry at the universe, and start screaming, why me, that means I’m just throwing a pity party for myself. That means I’m not grateful for everything I have. If I get angry that I continue to have to fight so hard for everything I want in life, I’m ignoring all the things that I’ve been given easily.  If I get angry that means I think my struggle is worse than someone else’s struggle. If I allow myself to be angry, what will that do, besides create a pattern of negative, bitter thinking?

Underneath the surface, this is what I thought. And there is truth to it, if you hold on to the anger for too long, you will allow it to permeate, fester, and grip you, making it harder and harder to release and move on. Making bitterness and cynicism a default.

But when something happens to you that sucks, something that’s not your fault, that’s random and throws your world upside down, it’s ok to be angry. My therapist let me know I can be angry about one thing, while still grateful for all the other things. I can be angry without discounting all that I’ve been given. They can co-exist.

I’m a gentle soul with a soft personality, and exploding with anger does not come easily to me. Expressing anger does not come easily to me.

But harboring anger does.

So instead of expressing my anger over our losses, I found targets to direct my anger at, silently and secretly. Easy targets, since I already felt let down by them. But I allowed the anger to grow out of proportion to the slights. I let my anger towards them consume me. I let it dictate my day, my emotional balance, my wellness.

So now I need to go backwards. I need to go back to our two losses, the sweet angel we lost in July 2013, and the sweet angel sibling we lost in December 2013, and I need to allow myself to get mad. It’s not easy for me, when I try to access that I anger I get blocked, like I’m in a dense forest that I can’t get through, and the only thing I can find is the anger I feel at those that didn’t understand, who left us alone. It jumps in front and impedes the true reason for my anger.

But I need to keep trying. I need to get mad.

Get mad so that I can release it, and let it go.

Get mad so that I can feel forgiveness and compassion towards those who have let me down.

Get mad so that I can feel gratitude for all of my loved ones who have chosen empathy, who felt my pain with me so that I wouldn’t have to feel it alone.

So here it goes.

I’m angry.

I’m angry that I lost two babies, two babies that I loved so dearly and wanted more than anything to watch grow up and love and cherish the person they would become.

I’m angry that I have had this joyous rite of passage to motherhood ripped from me, trampled on, and gutted so that it will never resemble what I felt so briefly after that first positive test.

I’m angry that two of the closest women in my life shared my due dates and are now mothers to beautiful babies, while my womb and arms are still empty.

I’m angry that my miscarriages have made me feel like I am not deserving of motherhood.

I’m angry that my miscarriages have taken a toll on my self-esteem, my self-worth, and my confidence.

I’m angry that our once easy and innocent marriage has had to undergo strain, and that now we have to work so hard to stay united and not let the stress of this struggle destroy us.

I’m angry that I have to feel pain with every pregnancy announcement.

I’m angry that we are pressured to stay quiet about our losses. That so many don’t perceive them as real loss.

I’m angry that miscarriage and infertility have controlled our life for almost two years. Causing my career to suffer. Forcing us to always live with uncertainty.

I’m angry that my miscarriages have caused a tear in some of my friendships. The friends that are moms who don’t know what to say. Who look at me with pity and discomfort.

I’m angry that I have to carry this pain, day after day.

I’m angry that my miscarriages have caused so much suffering, for me, for my husband, for my family.

I’m angry for all the other women out there that suffer in this way too.

It’s time for me to work through this anger, the real reason for my anger, and the real reason for my suffering. When I get fixated on how much I’ve been hurt by people, I can remember, it’s not about them. I haven’t been hurt by people, I’ve been hurt by miscarriage. And even though I haven’t completely healed, I am getting there, little by little. And soon, I can release. Pain, hurt, anger. Because this too, shall pass.

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20 thoughts on “what to do when you don’t know what to do with anger

  1. I just recently started following your blog. I apologize for your losses, for your pain and suffering. You have done a great job expressing your feelings in this post. Accepting your true emotions is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. You have every right to be angry. Embrace your feelings, do not ignore them or put them aside. This will only cause anxiety and frustration in the future. Now that you acknowledge what is causing your anger, come up with a plan of action to move forward when you are ready. This may seem impossible now but I promise it’s not. I found this on Pinterest, printed it out and I have it hanging in my office. It helps on my “bad days” maybe you will find it useful as well. Take care, wishing you the best. http://beutifulmagazine.tumblr.com/post/32053636932/joethought-very-concise-and-astute

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have so much to say about this post, and not enough time to write! I had a VERY similar conversation with my counselor on Tuesday at a last minute appointment. I’ve recognized my anger is intense and I cannot seem to shake it. I am so intensity angry these days and for a very non angry person, it’s hard work to hold onto anger! Right now, mostly i find myself now blaming our doctor for our fourth and fifth losses, and while I know the solution may not be just as simple as progesterone at the right time, it may also be just that simple! I too am mad that our innocence is lost, that my babies didn’t make it, that virtually no one knows how to console us, etc. Everything you mentioned rung so true for me. I actually suspect I’ll be writing about it when I have access to a computer again.
    Anyways, thank you for sharing and please know that you are not alone in any of these emotions. I’m right there with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Why can’t you be angry at these jerks too? I told a friend in tears and two days later she sent me an e-vite to a 1st birthday party. “Bring swim diapers!!!”

    That means she is so wrapped up in herself or just didn’t give a crap about when I broke down crying that she can’t take a second to write a note acknowledging my pain. And then just wants to pretend like it didn’t happen. Well, it did happen. And I feel justified in being angry at her crappy response. Some people have been jerks through this, and I think you should be angry at them.

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  4. I am angry for you too. Angry at your insensitive people in your life and angry that this is happening to you. I recognize that we all have to let go of anger to heal but for a moment I think it’s ok to be angry. It is all so very unfair. I am just looking forward to the day you finally get good news and anger can pass because the universe is doing right by you! Xoxo

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  5. I’m so sorry. I have had many of the same issues dealing with anger as you have. Those imaginary fights with people who have let you down you described when laying in bed at night, yep, been there done that. It’s awful. I’m glad you are working with a therapist and working through your anger and why you’re angry. Hopefully, they can help you let go of some of it. Hugs.

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  6. Often times I read your entries and feel like they have been written from my own heart. I found myself nodding my head in agreement to everything you are feeling and have felt and especially about the unprocessed anger. I keep wondering when this will all get easier? So many hugs to you, you are not alone in feeling this way.

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  7. Is October National Anger Month for therapists? Because I too just started talking about anger with my therapist. I’ve allowed myself to feel every other emotion through this process, in large part because anger comes a bit too easily for me.

    I think there is a value to this particular feeling– in all of them, really. It can bring out the fighter in you. It can refuse to take no for an answer. And when it has lost its usefulness, you let anger go.

    Be mad. You’ve earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let it out, sister! You are a champion for being able to identify your anger and work through it. After it’s all out you may be amazed how much better you feel! Thanks for a great post!

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  9. So much of this resonated with me from watching friends with similar due dates to the feelings of not deserving of motherhood. I’ve been looking into seeing a therapist to deal with my sadness and anger. It’s ever-present and it’s not a fun place to be. I’m sorry you’re going through these emotions and I wish I had some tips or words to make your spirits feel lifted. All I can offer is knowing that you’re not alone in your feelings. The financial, physical, emotional, marital, and overall stress of this process is all consuming most days. Your outlook is so strong and determined; you will get through this.

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  10. I love this post so much. I have been feeling so much of the same lately. It’s awesome of you to own your anger and work through it. I think anger is an emotion we don’t usually admit or misinterpret for something else. Thank you for sharing! Sending lots of xoxos

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  11. I loved this. I definitely went through the sadness, but I always struggle with the anger as I almost feel the anger means I deserve a miscarriage? It doesn’t make sense, but I understand how you feel. Sending positive thoughts!

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  12. Although I have never had a miscarriage, I empathise with your angry feelings. I have been feeling this way too but my anger is directed at the fact that I can’t seem to fall pregnant, which leads to me feeling incompetent in the one thing that I am suppose to be able to do. Thank you for this post, it is so nice to know there are other people feeling the same!

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  13. Everything you said: I relate. There are two people I’ve had to remove from my life recently for the very reasons you wrote about e.g. They don’t really think mc’s are a ‘legitimate loss’. And yet…. The anger. It’s not about them, it’s about me. I am angry. I am tired. I don’t think of myself as an angry person but there’s only so many losses a person can take!

    I’m okay with claiming and owning my anger (well a tiny bit reticent, good people Arendt supposed to stew in their anger as long as I have… ) but then I get to a full stop. Okay. I’m angry. Still no baby. Now what?

    How are you tackling that? What strategies is your therapist suggesting?

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  14. This post spoke to me, because I can identify with your anger and emotions. I don’t have any words of wisdom, but I think it is okay to own your anger and be true to that part of yourself. You have a right to be angry; life can be so unfair at times, and nobody should have to go through what you have gone through and the heart ache you continue to experience. I feel the same anger you do; you are certainly not alone in your feelings on this. Hugs to you….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a fantastic, reflective post. This revelation you have made with the help of your therapist must be a great turning point. Sometimes we don’t truly understand the root of our emotions, which are so so complex in Infertility, and without this, how do you begin to tackle them? Well done you, and I wish you all the best 🙂

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  16. “My therapist let me know I can be angry about one thing, while still grateful for all the other things. I can be angry without discounting all that I’ve been given. They can co-exist.”

    She’s right. They can.

    I’ve also realized that allowing myself to be angry doesn’t mean I’m an angry person. Anger, like any emotion, is healthy. What isn’t is when it’s internalized morphing into spitefulness, hatred and agitation.

    Let yourself be and feel what you need to. That’s the best chance to give yourself wholly to a healthy pregnancy and healthy life.

    Blessings, friend,
    Dani

    Liked by 2 people

  17. You are so brave to write this. I completely get everything you’ve so eloquently said. Firstly, the comments you’ve received are disgusting and just plain ignorant. They would make anyone who has experienced infertility and/or a miscarriage angry and upset. Secondly, I can fully appreciate the anger part – being unable to release it or even access it. I too have much trouble with this and I find it’s easier to subconsciously direct it at my husband or other people/things because I can’t direct it at anything else. I feel the exact same way, that I should be grateful for all I have (which I am of course eternally grateful for my son) but that doesn’t mean I can’t be upset about the struggle to get him and the one we have recently found ourselves on. I just realised this comment was mostly about me but I’m so grateful you wrote this. To know I’m not alone with this anger struggle is such a comfort. (((hugs))) x

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