Abuse / Anxiety / Emotional Abuse / Mental Health / Psychological Abuse / Wellness

Don’t Underestimate Your Anger…Part 2

(Update 3/30/2016 – Yesterday, a mere 4 days after I originally wrote this post, author Jessica Knoll shared her story about the real life incidents, which shaped her novel, Luckiest Girl Alive. It’s a powerful and courageous essay and I can’t stop thinking about it.)

“I know that I made the mistake of thinking that living well is the best revenge. That I figured out, eventually, that the appearance of living well is not the same thing as actually living well. And even if it were, revenge does not beget healing. Healing will come when I snuff out the shame, when I rip the shroud off the truth. If I were a victim of the other horrific crime in my book, I would talk about it openly. I wouldn’t pretend like it hadn’t happened to me, like I don’t still hurt about it, like I don’t still cry about it. Why should this be any different?”

What I Know – Jessica Knoll

Don’t underestimate what your anger is telling you. If you can, share your story. Your strength and courage emboldens others to share their own.


HBE: Your protagonist, Ani FaNelli, is a distinct and complex character. How did you go about capturing her voice – and what were the challenges of writing an unreliable narrator/“anti-heroine”?

JK: Depending on how you feel about Ani, my answer might make you think twice about me! The truth is that it didn’t take a whole lot of effort to nail down her voice. I harbor a lot of anger and pain from things that happened to me in adolescence, and at the point at which I wrote Ani, I was also dealing with frustrations unique to late 20s life—mostly feeling an enormous pressure to be thinner, prettier, more successful, and most important, to have a ring on my finger. I hate that we still live in a time where women are punished if they don’t fit a certain mold, and I hated that I wasn’t “strong” enough to chart my own course. I channeled all of that rage into Ani.

Jessica Knoll interview, Hartford Books Examiner

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll was one of my favorite books from 2015. Sometimes, when I fall in love with a book, I become obsessed with the author.  This happened with Jessica Knoll. Mostly, because of the above interview. When she brought up her anger and rage, I immediately thought of my therapy session in August…

Since starting therapy in 2013, I journal immediately following every session. Based on what I write down, I can see what parts of my 50 minute appointment truly resonated.

When I walked out of her office, I couldn’t stop thinking about my therapist’s one statement:

People underestimate anger.

This shined bright in my head…like a neon Las Vegas sign.

In yesterday’s post, I was able to work out that every breakdown, panic attack, and dark phase led to my outburst last July. But for the first time, I got angry. I turned it outward.  And slowly but surely, I’ve been pushing that anger out since then…in a positive way.

For a long time, I felt so weak and scared of what she would do to me, of the terror that would result… Stupidly, I was also worried about what “they” would say. I had been conditioned for so long to care deeply about what other people think.

These thoughts ruined me.

Finding the courage to share what I write, and giving no f*cks about what anyone says are the results of tapping into my anger.

It also resulted in what I’m experiencing now…

A rebirth.


4 thoughts on “Don’t Underestimate Your Anger…Part 2

  1. Pingback: Don’t Underestimate Your Anger … Part 3 | The Current Collective

  2. How do you channel your rage from anger and resentment towards a more positive outlook and keep that feeling? I’m so deep in my head right now with so many thoughts of whether or not my feelings about my wife and marriage are valid. My inability to control my rage (from resentment) has pushed my marriage to the brink of divorce. I struggle with validating my opinions of my wife but know that the experiences that brought me to resenting her did occur and for years I lacked the courage to stand up to her and let her know IT WASN’T RIGHT! Now, I’ve become as narcissistic as she is/was and have no tolerance or patience for her…although I’m sure I’ve always had a level of narcissistic tendencies throughout my life and relationships after diving into researching the world of narcissism. My family commented this past Christmas (while my wife and i were in another big fight, yet again)…. “do you not realize you are in an abusive relationship?” It hit me like a ton of bricks, HOLY SHYT, I am and have been… I became fully aware at that point that my marriage was all about manipulation, bullying and selfishness….but now on the brink of divorce (and SOO many back n forth lil spats and finger pointing AND HUGE blowouts) that I am questioning “Am I right about this, are my feelings valid or am I blowing this out of proportion?” I’m so lost inside my head right now and have a big struggle with reaching out…. help

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How do turn your anger into positive and not lose that wonderfully liberating feeling???

    I believe I’ve always been a “covert narcissist” after reading many articles today but I also feel that it has manifested throughout the duration of my relationship with my wife (2nd wife) over the last 10 years. We’re on the brink of divorce and can’t go a month w/o getting into a huge fight. I hold huge resentment towards my wife for years of manipulating, bullying and selfishness (among other things) and my rage is pushing the marriage into divorce. At Christmas this passed year (while we were in one of the biggest fights we ever had), my family asked me in an assuming matter… ” don’t you realize you are in an abusive relationship?” That statement rang so loudly in my head and a lot of confusion was cleared up in my mind. It’s very unnatural to claim “abuse” being a very “manly man” but the clarity and truthfulness of the comment is unavoidable. I fully realized that I had been in a horribly abusive and manipulative relationship/marriage.

    Every day I’m struggling with the validation of my feelings but my feelings are based on events that actually occurred and behaviors that continue to occur, so how wrong could they be? I get so deep in my head I don’t know what thoughts are real or imaginary sometimes but when I feel grounded again, I can say….”yes, that did really happen and yes, it continues to happen”….but escaping the doubt of my actions and feelings is next to impossible.

    I need help ending my rage and converting it into positive….coming across this post made me feel hopeful that my anger/rage can be turned into positives and that it can used for setting healthy boundries, instead of always being perceived as negative. Ocassionally, the “anger” is used for positive but I don’t know how to keep it positive.. I’m reaching out to try and start healing myself and not get lost in my head anymore….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting and reading. I understand what you mean when you wrote that you doubt your actions and feelings. I felt that way for a long time (until I heard someone validate what I had been through), as your family has recently.

      The online mental health community can help when therapy is not an option. Distance, boundaries, and surrounding yourself with people who FULLY support you during this time is crucial, even if that means taking a break from those who have been in our lives for a long time.

      Your comment reminds me of blog posts I’ve read by Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi. Please check out her blog (link below). It might be helpful to you. She discusses marriage, narcissism, and healing methodology in greater detail.


      Thank you for reaching out and commenting! Please keep us posted about your journey!


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