Stage 2 – Anger … it ain’t just a river in Egypt!
It finally hits you.
You’re done denying it.
Whether you had to end it because it was the right thing to do or they ended it for whatever reason, the frightening truth is that it’s DONE. And now you’re pissed off.
‘What an a-hole!’
‘How could they do this to me?!?! I deserve better!’
‘He’s a piece of slime that crawled out from under a rock and was lucky to bask in the sunshine of my attention.’ (a favourite of creative people)
Thoughts, nay, declarations like this will run through your mind but the one that can hurt most of all is this one:
‘How could I have been so blind and stupid?’
It will hit you that maybe the signs were there but you ignored them. Made excuses. Swept them under the rug.
It’s all so clear now and though most people will tell you that you did everything right and that it’s all THEIR fault … and you may even believe it yourself sometimes … underneath all the anger towards him, you may feel a little ashamed that you didn’t handle it better.
Which of course makes you angrier!
Of course, it could be that there were NO signs of a breakup coming up and they hid it well. It happens. And that can make you angrier still.
Here are some tips to help you through the angry phase:
1. Ride it through till it’s done. Don’t deny your anger – you definitely don’t want to dip into the river of denial again! Your feelings are going to be there and deserve to be felt because that’s how you work through them. Let them rise up. Acknowledge them. Invite them in for a little while until they tire themselves out. Then let them flow out and slowly disappear. Just don’t get STUCK there.
2. Forgive yourself. Never mind forgiving the other person for now, start with you. You are human, you’re allowed to not do everything perfectly and remember, hindsight is always 20/20. Be kind to yourself.
3. Vent. Express. Don’t hold it in. Not to him necessarily but in other ways.
Write a letter to your EX expressing EVERYTHING but instead of sending it, bury it somewhere or tear it up, to deconstruct the energy of it.
Talk to friends for as long as they’re willing to listen.
Scream into a pillow.
Remember that anger stems from fear, so give that a voice too. What are you really afraid of?
Get professional support. A therapist or counselor can help you make sense of this and move through the breakup in a way that helps you feel more strong, stable and self-aware than ever.
Expressing your anger in a healthy way is like lancing a wound – you’ll feel better after it’s done!
Anger can be cleansing once you get to the other side. Women especially are taught that it’s not ok to be angry and that it’s somehow bad. I’m not surprised because have you SEEN how scary we are when our temper is up? Men are also taught that anger is something to be ashamed of. Just don’t hurt anyone while you get these feelings out. If you take care that everyone is safe, then let rip!
It’s not something to be all the time of course because how boring is that? But sometimes if that is all you can reach on the emotional scale … It’s a good place to start.
People may like you better when you’re depressed because you’re easier to deal with, but you’ll be closer to joy if you allow the anger to come in – then go out.
Also remember that anger stems from fear.
Usually I go from anger to acceptance and you may too..
But often there is another stage – negotiation. And that’s where you have to be very very careful so that you don’t do anything that will make you cringe for years after this is all done!
Stay tuned for how to negotiate the waters of … negotiation.
Click here for the Intro to the series
Click here for Stage 1 – Denial
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