It took me a very long time to get angry about all this. Seriously, it was years after no contact. Funnily enough it was some Flying Monkeys that got the first wave of anger. I could not feel anger toward my parents for a long time. There was too much pain, sadness and despair for the anger to surface, At least in the beginning.
Another reason why I had trouble allowing the anger was because I somehow thought it would take me down to their level. Maybe I confused anger for bitterness. I assumed that being angry somehow made me trapped in the toxic environment. After all, anger is usually seen as a toxic emotion.
The thing is though, that as survivors of abuse have quite a few things to be angry about. I mean, we have experienced a huge injustice, and it is okay to be angry about that. In fact, it is healthy to express that anger.
When I finally did tap into anger, I was remembering anger that I never expressed in the moment. I would say what I had wanted to say when my mother made nasty remarks about my partner, or when my father totally overreacted when I alerted him to an approaching car. I felt sorry for my pillows. They got quite a beating at times, and also they were called quite a few unkind things. My poor pillows…
Expressing the anger gets it out of our system. Whether screaming at the top of your lungs in the middle of a forest, pounding the ground with a hammer or punching up your pillows… it does not matter how. All that matter is that you vent that anger.
When unexpressed, bottled up, anger turns toxic. Only then does it turn into bitterness.