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Focusing Tip #646 – “My stepmother was a rage-aholic”

Focusing Tip #646 – “My stepmother was a rage-aholic”
February 27, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
What to do when rage takes over

Focusing Tip #646 – “My stepmother was a rage-aholic

Do you get taken over by intense feelings of rage that remind you of a raging parent or step-parent? Read on…


Marianne writes:

My stepmother was a rage-aholic and I have so many memories of her intense anger directed at me. In some of my current situations, I find I have what I call my own “inner rage-aholic”. Just because of the intensity of the anger I’m assuming that it is scared of something. There is also another part that feels very overwhelmed by this part. I can acknowledge both parts but I’m not sure where to go from there.

Dear Marianne:

My heart goes out to you! That’s such a scary environment for a little one, to have a parent or step-parent who gets taken over by rage.

No wonder there is something in you that has taken on this strategy at stressful times. To that “younger you,” the enraged person must have seemed so powerful… and if there are life situations where a part of you feels helpless, rage might be the automatic fall-back, to try to get some of that power too.

It’s also very understandable that there is another part of you that feels overwhelmed by the raging part inside of you.

And yes, acknowledging that both parts are there is a very empowering move. By doing that, you strengthen and reinforce your sense of being Self-in-Presence — being the larger You who can turn toward anything inside you with compassion and curiosity.

But because of your traumatic memories of your raging stepmother, you might find it hard to be curious and compassionate toward the raging part of yourself.

It might help to remember that the raging part of you is not your stepmother inside you. Unlike her back then, it isn’t more powerful than you are now!

I suspect that the raging part of you is feeling powerless and helpless. Maybe you could make that guess, saying to it: “I hear how enraged you are! Might you be feeling powerless right now?”

It’s a lot easier to give compassion to a feeling of powerlessness than to a feeling of rage!

Other Tips You Might Find Helpful:

“I cannot understand why there’s still a traumatized vulnerable child within me…”

Focusing Tip #626 – When your trauma gets triggered by current events

Focusing Tip #618 – Focusing with a very intense feeling of suffocation and anger

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