Learning my rage
I have been reading about rage for a few years. I remember the first time I came across the words rage and motherhood in the same sentence. A sense of relief, of being seen, washed over my insides, like a wave over rocks. Rage, this secret, shameful emotion. Or so I thought up until that point. Since then I've gotten more and more curious about it. Why? Because I am a mother of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and currently 20 weeks pregnant with our lucky last little bundle of joy and hormones and morning sickness and overwhelming feelings. Of course his name won't be that and I won't associate him with these feelings once he's in the world. The rush of newborn hormones will hold me for a while and I am very much looking forward to those.
But back to rage. Molly Caro May was the one who introduced me to rage and motherhood and the legitimate normalcy of feeling rage, especially as a mother. Before children I had never before felt rage like I do now. I know that it is accumulative, for me anyway. The same as depression. Slowly building over time. A cup of tiredness, a sprinkle of repeating myself like a broken record with no response from the smalls, no prioritising of my own needs throughout the day, possibly food being thrown across the table and I'm done. Red. Exploding head emoji. The angry lioness monster emerges. The edges are blurry. The fear in their eyes is real and my husband pushing me towards the bedroom with the words 'just walk away' echoing off my back.
Now, I know it's ok to feel rage. I know it's important to be in and really express my emotions, including rage. I am also learning that to express my rage in front of others, namely my children and my husband, is to deem myself powerless. Is to loose any kind of healing around the expression. Is to cause more hurt and damage then I could ever wish for.
When the lioness monster emerges I cannot take back what was said or the noises I made. I can't erase the moment of total loss of control. But I can quietly, humbly explain and apologise to each individual. I can clean up my own messes. I know that is important. Somewhere deep in my notes on my phone when miss 6 was miss 3 months I wrote down something a psychologist told me at a talk I went to on parenting 'It's what you do afterwards that matters. That either heals or causes damage. Acknowledge the hurt.' I guess it resonated with me then but I can see and feel the value in that message now more then ever. Clean my own shit up.
I am on a journey of learning to express my rage seperate from my family. In private. For my own healths sake and the sake of my family.
Recently I did a nervous system healing course and the teacher, far away on a little island in Hawaii with poor reception, explained that screaming into the earth, into Mother Earth is where we can find support. Where we can feel held. I practiced into a pillow because, city living. It did feel good. Something in me felt elevated. I couldn't tell if it was endorphins, releasing emotions or head spins from leaning forward. My heart was pounding afterwards.
Another suggestion I had was to try and catch a breath just before the explosion of rage. In that breath...walk away. Remove myself from the situation. Become less attached to what is going on. Does it really matter that much?
In the past I would self medicate with alcohol. Not raging drunk but a glass or two to take the edge off. I can't do that in my current situation because, pregnant. With this in mind I am actually really glad, grateful even, that this is my current awareness. My current learning. I'm hoping once mr newborn arrives I can remember that there are other ways to self medicate other then alcohol or food or other forms of self abuse.
I've noticed on the days I do my sacred 4 (meditate, write, stretch, exercise) I feel on the front foot and can handle almost anything that is thrown my way. Including overcooked, kid friendly, salmon. Still learning.
What are ways you feel you can deal with your rage?