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Making Friends with Demons. Sunday October 2, 2016

I had one of those "I feel a blog coming on!" moments while commenting recently on Mary's blog called Once Upon a Time. It was about acknowledging one's demons or dark side.

Mine has been my anger. My mother was always angry with someone, it was like she was on a loop. I always wondered "Who's in for it next?"

For as long as I can remember, I have had long lasting inner feuds with particular individuals who impose themselves on me in some way and who I am unable to avoid completely.

It has worried me that perhaps I have somehow needed to constantly be in a deep dark angry feud. I don't want to believe that. I just want those people to go away.

I'm thankfully in an ok place at the moment. I live with the feuds, and am wanting to be gentle on my self.

So how do I deal with my anger? What do I do with it without burying or fuelling it?

Mindfulness is wonderful. Remembering to stay present has rescued me many times.

Writing down all my angry thoughts and putting them away or physically getting rid of them has helped in the past too.

This ongoing feud state is still with me though. I know that to forgive and forget everything that goes on is probably much healthier. That feels a bit "should" for me. Like I'm not being true to myself.

Mary mentioned acknowledging and bridling them and it really struck a chord with me. Yes, I can acknowledge my anger, it's a valid emotion. Acknowledge it, but keep it in check.

Analogies can be really helpful. At the moment though, in the sprit of learning to love ones self, I don't want lots of dark imagery to blow my anger out of proportion. For ME it's like looking behind the curtain and discovering the little man operating the projector. The real Wizard of OZ and the machinery that magnifies a dark side, those demons, surrounded by smoke, noise and fiery fury!

At the moment I don't want a part of me to be a "dark side". It works for many and has done for me. Right now I want to take the power that has scared me, out of it.
I want to learn to love all of me, not just the nice bits.

Anger is just a natural emotion. I feel it. There's a reason why I feel it. I'm entitled to feel it. I don't have to justify it. Maybe that's what I prefer to write down. Make it concrete. Important.

If it comes up (and it will) I can acknowledge it properly, feel it and let it subside.

I've realised that my anger is actually my buddy! On my side. That makes me smile, I love that my anger is there for me!

And that is what it is, one of my human emotions, no more and no less.

In this chapter, I'm making friends with my anger.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Mary Wednesday Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 7:21am

Hey there Lillypet! It's funny how often reading a blog here can inspire another one isn't it. Anger is not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus got angry with the money changers in the temple. He probably got really angry with the Pharisees too, but as that anger was expressed by way of pointed parables rather than physical action we tend not to notice it. I think anger, unacknowledged and unaddressed can turn dark and cancerous. So your acknowledgment and writing it down is heathy. As for forgiving and forgetting - that's another blog for another day. I think it was Mae West who said the best recipe for happiness was a good digestion and a bad memory. Wise words indeed. Now, where did I put the Gaviscon?......

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 8:28am

Hi Mary, I like that! It's so true! Look after myself and put it down to a bad memory! It usually takes a few days after a bad encounter for bad feelings to subside. I'm using the idea of my little compressor machine at the moment! Throw it in there to be condensed into a small labeled block, on the little pile with all the others! Thanks Mary! LP :) xx

Karen Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 9:05am

Hi Lilyput What doing moodscope now almost since its inception off and on (depending on my mood ironically)is that I've come to realise I am not just one emotion at any one time. Anger whilst not a card is to me a reflection how I score the 'irritable' card and a higher score is often a trigger marker that all is not well. Slowly I'm coming to terms with that uncomfortable emotion, one society shuns especially in women. Yet its also a norm and a health response in some circumstances, I just need to learn how to manage it and not have it manage me. A good friend said to me recently 'are you angry or loving' in the end you are the one you feed. It struck a cord with me. I need to embrace the insights my emotions give me and having recently done an ACT course (Action Commitment Therapy) need to live my values and choose my goals to live those emotions with truth. Thanks for todays inspiration to comment

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:08pm

Thank you too Karen, I really value your comment and will bear ACT in mind for myself. LP

LP Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:41am

Ps Mary, I liked your use of the word reins on your blog. It reminded me of horses. Beautiful, strong and potentially wild. LPxx

DAVE Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 7:51am

Hi LP,

Your moodscope blog represents many others I'm sure who feel the same, unable to prevent loosing control of a situation or person with whom contention had risen it's ugly face.

What is anger ? Is it a feeling of inadequacy, a frustration of a inability of self-control in times of tiredness and irritability ?

Forgiveness starts with me being in control of myself, forgiving my outburst....I personally get angry with myself, because my brain tires, and or gets irritable.....

But I have realized that it does more damage to me, when another person is involved...They may have offended me...or....I may consciously or unconsciously offended them....

I have trained myself in NOT allow myself to become offended, NO MATTER who was the perpetrator. ! !

There is no need to become a DOORMAT, but if the other person, ignores me, or says unpleasant things about me...Then if the perpetrator, has made no form of oppology, or made any redress.

That is when I take control, (As Bipolar sufferers, in the main, we are all ultrasensitive people)....It is us who usually suffer the anger and contention, the feelings of inadaquacy.

That is when we loose our self-control, and ALLOW others into 'Our Space'. leaving our mood very low in spirit.

I use the following method toward the perpetrator, when I always say "I'm really sorry IF you believe, that I have offended you in any way, it was not intentional, and I do hope you are able to forgive me, and that we can return to the relationship we had prior to our fallout",

You may feel it appropriate to put your arms around them, to show compassion., sincerity, and humility are vital in these volatile situations.

I use this method of resolving contentious situations.....EVEN IF I AM NOT THE PERPETRATOR. ! !

The reason is very simple, most people we meet, carry SUBCONSCIOUSLY, contentious feelings
of OTHER PEOPLE'S BAGGAGE, around them for days, weeks, months and even years, they imagine they have 'got over it', but the real truth is deep down they have LOST the ability to find 'That Inner Peace and Happiness, which escapes them.....WHY....Because they have given POWER to others who want nothing better in life than to CONTROL their wives, Husbands, Children an others,

We must NOT 'GIVE AWAY' our self-confidence, as it is very difficult to retrieve it once more, when lost.

This has NEVER failed me in my life, Consequently I'm a very happy and contented person at 72 years of age.
God Bless Lillypet.

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 8:41am

Hi Dave,
Yes, in general I am fine with people and can distance myself from THEIR stuff, not take it on board. It is the two specific people at the moment who I have bad feelings towards, so when they are the perpetrator, I have to deal with it.
I'm interested in training oneself NEVER to become offended. The best I can imagine that I can manage could be to think " I'm sorry that you have to continue to behave in that way. I don't agree with it and I'm not taking it on board." That's where I am at the moment but I have hope that I will learn not to give my power away. I dont quite undertand how right now.
Am glad you have found peace and happiness by learning how to do this. You are an inspiration.
Thanks Dave, LP :)

The Gardener Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 8:46am

My anger seldom shows itself - but I have thrown things (breakable) when Mr G has driven me to distraction. It helps, I think, because otherwise I'd go screaming from the house. I don't know whether hatred is anger turned inwards - because I seethe, and castigate myself for so doing - even when working on something important the seething continues. I have hated three people in my life, written about it before - all women - the hatred is because their sheer egotism has left a trail of misery behind. The fact that no retribution catches up with them only rubs salt into the open wound. May blogs 'come upon me' but currently they are too bitter and personal for Moodscope consumption. Would be a very good exercise to look 'outwards'. On a current note it's the bit annual fair in town, and the weather fairy has seen fit, once again, to pour with rain - a few damp hopefuls are cringing under umbrellas, their pitiful detritus (all stuff chucked out from houses) under plastic. Cafe OK, doing a roaring trade.

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:14pm

Hi TG, I agree that it seems that retribution doesnt appear to us to catch up with them, but who knows? Maybe it does and we are t aware, or maybe it will one day. The words taste and medicine spring to mind! :)

DAVE Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 9:54am

Thank you Lillypet for your sweet and kind remarks,

I know how you feel, with these two people in your life.

If it were me , I should not retaliate with any thoughts, words or deeds, which could inflame an already maybe volatile situation.

Keep your own counsel, if we always do, think, and say the right, kind, compassionate things to those who contend, they soon give up, because...we will not allow our standards to be compromised, stooping to their level, we become no better than they, but NEVER allowing ourselves to become offended.

Rise above those who try to control your heart, and mind, and do not let others encroach into your 'Space', by giving them an incentive and an excelerating power over your persona.

Lead by example, and don't stand for those who will 'suck you dry' and 'spit you out', stay focused and retain composure, alert yet humble in mindset, but not allowing ourselves to become doormats, walk away, and stay with those who will uplift your spirit, where peace awaits.

I live my life as such, helping others who struggle with their own adversities, most of which are self-inflicted, but help and counsel, even doing practical things which make their life easier, as much as I can.

This brings the peace and happiness into my life, which is so precious if I am to continue to remain confident, and free of depression.

Dave X.

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:16pm

Thank you Dave. LP xx

Sally Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 10:28am

when i became more interested in the 'Why?' of depression, i read that it resulted from 'frozen anger'. in other words, suppressing angry thoughts, etc, leads to a feeling of hopelessness and ultimately , to despair. Suicidal thoughts used to be my 'way out'.

Roll on twenty years, and i no longer get that awful, flooring depression, dark and dank, because i find an outlet for that anger. i ALLOW myself to feel and to express that anger. many mothers brought their daughters up to believe that they must be subservient in their emotions, Don't be silly' my own mother would say, not allowing me, or her other children ,to express their feelings. it was only much, much later, after 20 years of acute suffering, that i allowed myself to see a counsellor and discovered that my emotions did indeed count, and i cannot tell you how much freedom that gave me, joy i had never felt before. The final freedom was when my father died four years ago. He was a terrible father but a terribly clever man in his field, and he was autocratic and ultimately nasty and cruel. The whole family lived in fear of him, and escaping 300 miles didn't even cut the mental nastiness he handed out till he died aged 90. Sad that it had to be so, but oh boy, am i making up for it now, and i can honestly say that i have never been happier. yes, i get down days, and low mood, but nothing of the scale of those grim days when i felt abject pain and worthless . i enjoy giving and life is good.

So allow your anger to be your friend, your guide to what you feel to be wrong in your life. you can only revere an emotion that will lessen the chances of depression settling in for the long haul!!

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:20pm

Thank you so much Sally! Remember remember acknowledge my anger! :) xx

Badge Collector Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:59am

you for such an honest and eloquent post; it really struck a chord with me. Sadly, I can identify with the loop, ive never seen it like that before, choosing instead to believe that I just have strong values and am not afraid to stand up for them and express them assertively, particularly in campaigning for human and animal right for example, I seem to be drawn to it, yet fear any form of confrontation as a gentle and sensitive soul, but the truth is, I am often angry about something, as hard as that is to admit.
Your compassionate reminder that anger is a buddy, was a bit of a soothing balm before I began beating myself up for it. Im in the process of working through some justifyable anger in response to something major my partner has done, which is still impacting me adveresly in practical ways, and im battling with him as he tries to make me wrong for feeling angry, no doubt this helps him continue to avoid taking responsibility for his part. The modern western societal view that women shouldn’t feel or express 'too much'anger doesn’t help make that easier. Neither does having an emotional intensity 'disorder' (as a result of multiple childhood abuse)
Im reminded that kuber-ross's greif cycle tells us that when there is a death or significant loss (ie. of childhood innocence) that we will go through the five stages of grief and can become stuck or keep returning to one, such as anger in my case. Im also reminded that anger can mask sadness too great to be felt, and visa versa with sadness masking anger which feels unsafe to express. Ie) men get mad (angry), and women get sad more so.
So, although im feeling very fragile, and quite angry and sad, somehow there is a deep power in admittng such vuleranability. So, im going to continue to befriend my anger, listen to its gift for me, and get in touch with my sadness at the roots. Im just about to begin bereavement counselling following the suicide of a fellow support group facilitator. and im booked on a workshop called feeding your demons, which is ironically timely. So perhaps everything is just as it should be for now. Thank you for the love and holding this post gave me today.

S Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 1:02pm

I'm sorry that you are having a tough time Badge Collector Sx

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:44pm

I'm sorry too, Badge collector, but in sharing similar paths I am cheered that you gained something from my blog as I have from yours. To be angry for good reason, is to say "In my book that's not ok". Then move on until there comes another reason to to simply say it. As Mary said in her blog, I like the idea of thinking of it like keeping a firm hold of the reins. Not stooping to low levels, but speaking your truth. My anger is a part of me and my truth, no demons. I want to be aware not to feed or fuel it, but I don't want to deny it either. It's my witness and my voice. I hope that the workshop helps to encourage you BC. L Pxx

S Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 1:01pm

LP- you have it the nail on the head - couldn't have out it better. Thank you for being so honest and sharing. I often feel ashamed that I feel angry a lot of the time. I am working on it and your post makes a lot of sense to me. I love what you say about the little man with the projector. This makes me think that it isn't wrong to feel these things and that they can get magnified on playback which is not helpful and fuels it all. I agree that it is important to acknowledge anger and we can do this without fuelling or stuffing down. Boy is it tricky at times!! Thank you for empathising through your blog- very inspiring. Sx

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:50pm

Thank you too S. Same boat! It's really hard! Even having written it I can get sucked into the emotion and by trying to justify it ( just repetion of old thoughts alot of the time) tryi g to reassure myself that I'm ok, that it's ok, somehow I'm still giving it far too much energy! :) We will get better at bei g ok with it and moving on more quickly. Hugs LP xx

Orangeblossom Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 3:31pm

Thanks for the blog LP. I found it brilliant. I also practice Mindfulness and try to go on my daily Headspace journey with Andy and find it beneficial. I also found your blog very helpful. Thanks for it. All the best for the week ahead.

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:51pm

Thank you OB! You too! Xx

the room above the garage Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 4:41pm

Hello LP, great blog. Frustration upon frustration leads me to anger but I'm pleased to say that meditation has really helped me too. However, if it just bubbles over then its a time I use it to blast through cleaning. Its also when I do my best clear outs!! :-) Thank you, love ratg x.

LP Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 11:54pm

Hi ratg, Now there's a new spin on it for me! Put the energy from the anger into cleaning and clearing it's a win win! Nice one, thanks hun. LP xx

Duma Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 5:47pm

Thanks for making me ponder LP.

I don't get angry, I occasionally get a bit irratated.

Sounds good?

It really isn't.

like I said I don't GET angry...

..I AM angry.

At the world. At the way it treats hominids and our relatives (extended family, if you will) life itself.

So , no, wrong verb, for me.

I was once down the pub (just the two of us, quiet like) with my friend Kaz, and she asked me:

"Why do do you always talk about violence, intimidation and taking on the world?"

"When you look around and see the way the world operates, how it treats people, doesn't it make you angry?" I repied.

"No." She said.

"Well, it does me." was my final word on the subject.

I have said it before and I'll (no doubt) say it again:

"I don't forgive. I don't forget. The best you're going to get is the withholding of retribution."

Wishing the rest of you peace, but I am on a mission, I need my anger.

Duma, out.

LP Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:09am

Hi Duma, Like me, it seems like you dont want to be cool with what angers you. It's not ok end of! I guess we experience things to differing degrees. I know I'll experience other emotions too. If you are really comfortable with labelling yourself as angry that must work for you. Thank you for sharing your perspective. LP :)

Duma Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:19am

I prefer to think of my anger as - 'fuel to my furnace'. Spurring me on and reenforcing my will power/Self Discipline/stubbornness, driving me, to keep going, never give up. But thanks for your thoughts, although - I had not cosidered it as a 'label' per se.

LP Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:36am

I have that too Duma. Determination. It is a strength indeed.

Duma Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:43am

i suspect we may be on the same page LP. Excellent, I had hoped so.

Mj Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 7:19pm

Anger. My only 2 inputs would be 1) I too have anger that controls me at times-sometimes for long periods. There are reasons for this. We live in an unjust world especially if we are people of color, are poor, or are women. This makes me angry. Anger is a powerful emotion. I use that power to make changes large and small. 2) Elizabeth Kubler Ross, who gave us the theory of the stages of grief, with anger being one of the necessary stage to eventual acceptance and peace gave us a great saying. If you are angry for longer than 10 seconds you're into old business. Find out what you're really angry about.

Respectfully, I feel the need to add that I think the advice to refuse to be angry by seeing anger as giving aways ones power is a bit shallow. Some people, especially those who end up with mental and emotional illness have had their power ripped away from them. For them to own their feelings, both negative and positive, is EMPOWERING, and thus part of the healing journey. Pretending anger isn't real or repressing it can often lead to physical illness, instability, chemical addiction and further victimization.

The trick is to find a safe environment in which to express valid anger and thus not hurt yourself or others. My therapist knows the force of my anger. Once expressed as valid I can let go in healthy ways.


LP Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:28am

Wow! Thank you so much Mj, I wondered why I felt so bad when I was told that to show the perpetrator I was angry was "giving away my power". So it doesn't mean that by showing them which buttons to push makes it easy for them to keep pushing them? I guess it's not about them. They will be who they are and do what they do. The reality is that I feel how I feel. My feelings and I can own them. I know that there is right therapy for me. 6 or 12 weeks cbt hasnt got to my anger yet. Neither has 2x two years of councelling. In the past I've gone to seek help when in a crisis. By the time I've been seen the worst is over and the depth doesnt come close. Thank you for explaing that MJ, LP

Sally Ann Sun, Oct 2nd 2016 @ 7:34pm

Be angry if you need to. That's just fine. But maybe hand the anger back and make it be the angry person's problem?

LP Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 12:33am

Hi Sally Ann,
Maybe is as far as seeing it like, "They have a problem, which causes them to inflict pain, knowingly or unknowingly. I may feel the pain, but they have the problem? Something like that. LP:)

Eva Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 7:38am

Hi, LP this resonates with me, my mum caused a lot of pain before during and subsequent to my dad's death, which I am dealing with now. I have had an immense amount of anger, but it comes down to her being so damaged by her upbringing. She is unaware of the pain she causes, the why's and where fors, and probably won't bother to investigate. I am learning to let it go. I'd be just as well getting angry at a stone step for tripping me up, it's a pointless exercise. I feel pity for her. What I am aware of is that I need tools so that the next time we are under pressure I can let her behaviour go.

Nicco Sat, Oct 8th 2016 @ 6:30pm

Thanks for your blog, Lillypet. I found such positive power in it and in the interesting comments too, that anger seems to actually be a force for good! I, too, had a parent who was constantly angry - your description of the loop was a good one and one which I actually recognise in myself (blush). I think my anger comes from growing up with not only a constantly angry and often violent parent, but of being controlled to the enth degree with no way out except more violence, and not being allowed to express any emotion, let alone anger - only one person was allowed to express anger and that was my father. My mother was petrified of him and would not allow me to express any emotion for fear of retribution (I was told I even laughed too loud!) so she would then be very cruel to me, borne out of her own fear. It was a fairly hellish existence and one about which I still bear a certain amount of anger. I discovered my father experienced two accidents where he suffered head injuries and therefore a certain amount of brain damage and I think this may have contributed to his moods and emotions, whether he realised it or not. I also discovered the root of his anger was and is still fear (I've been told all anger is traceable back to fear but I'm not sure how true this is). He would rant and rave to cover up his fear as he thought fear a weakness never to be shown, particularly in men. His own father before him was a very violent man. Unfortunately I married out of one dysfunctional family and into another as my husband's mother was and still is extremely controlling and manipulative which, I have discovered, is also borne out of her own fear. She hates me for taking her 'little boy' away from her and has made sure she won't lose her other son in the same way so he remains chained to her in her old age and is not allowed to have relationships and must only have employment in the town where they live (she was very afraid of being left alone and thinks the whole reason you have children is that they look after you) and I'm still very angry about that too. I know none of this excuses but does explain other people's behaviour, which is a help in some part. I am on a waiting list for an anger management workshop which I'm very much looking forward to because I feel ready to find a way of letting go of my anger, or at least find a non-destructive way of coping with it, and finally moving on, and I feel I have to do this before my father departs this mortal coil. I've recently found that I can say about a current situation... "I've done as much as is humanly possible so, even though nothing has changed, I now have to step back let go of my wanting to change it/make it better/fix it" so I'm hoping to perhaps be able to do that with past hurtful situations too. I read something a while ago that says, "forgiving is accepting that we'll never have the parent we wanted" or something along those lines and, for me, that spoke volumes. I also understand Dave's comments and used to think that always looking on the bright side and doing good to others was living in a Polly-Anna world but am beginning to realise that doing this to a degree is certainly good for one's mental health - it beats always looking on the dark side and expecting the worst I suppose but is not always easy to achieve. So, on a lighter note, I read somewhere: "Do good to your enemies - it drives 'em mad!"

Nicco Sat, Oct 8th 2016 @ 6:31pm

Sorry that was such a long reply - I didn't realise until I clicked on 'add comment'!

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