Have you ever had someone play a practical joke on you by hiding around a corner, then jumping out with a loud shout? What is your first reaction? A jolt of fear. You’re startled and caught off guard. This usually is followed up by the person laughing over your unguarded reaction and shocked expression. It is also usually followed by your flash of anger at the person for scaring you like that. Begin afraid can make you angry. The more fearful you are, the greater the anger you feel.
No one likes to be truly afraid. There are plenty of people who enjoy watching a scary show or engaging in the free-fall of a thrill ride, but this is fear contained, fear managed, fear controlled. It is all the thrills of fear within the comforts of security. You know the movie will end and the ride will be over. You’re able to laugh and enjoy it because you know there’s an end. Anger comes when the movie keeps playing and the ride doesn’t stop.
For some people, this is the content of their lives. For some people, even though the movie is over, they’re still stuck in the theater; even though the ride is over they still feel as if they’re suspended in air, feet dangling, waiting for the bottom to drop out. Fear is a constant companion. And for people suffering from PTSD, this feeling is exacerbated. Even when events are peaceful, they live in fear that something will change. When their lives are burdened down with problems, they’re fearful one more struggle will undo them completely. They’re fearful of what happened yesterday, what will happen today, and what may come tomorrow. As a consequence, they are anxious about their situation and angry at having to live this way.
Because their anger comes from a base of fear, it is often desperate, unreasonable anger. It is the husband who refuses to allow his wife to work because he’s afraid she’ll find someone else and have the means to leave him. It is the mother who refuses to let her son develop his own life for fear he’ll grow up and leave her alone. It is the wife who refuses to engage in consistent intimacy with her husband for fear he’ll find her physically unattractive. It is the father who refuses to let his daughter wear makeup or date for fear she’ll become promiscuous. In each of these scenarios, the root of this initial fear can come from a past trauma. When these inner fears are pricked, however, the response can be desperate, unreasonable fear expressed in anger and rage.
Healing from trauma, conquering fears and freeing yourself from anger requires a holistic approach to treatment. If you or a loved one is struggling with fear, anger or PTSD, The Center • A Place Of Hope can help. The Center • A Place of Hope is a leader in holistic treatment, and experienced with healing multi-dimensional problems. Call 1-888-771-5166 or fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you soon.
Information in this post was derived from Gregory L. Jantz’s book, Controlling Your Anger before it Controls You.