"I don't get the difference between anger and violence yet. When I hear loud noises, I think they're coming after me."
In your family, you may have witnessed anger that was destructive and out of control. Your own anger need not be either. You can channel your anger in ways that you can respect.
People with no history of violence are often afraid that if they allow themselves to feel anger, they're liable to hurt or kill someone.
"I know the anger is there. I'm too scared to let myself experience it. I'm scared that I won't be gentle with myself, that I'll turn the anger on myself. I'm so used to watching other people hurt people. I don't know how to discharge my anger in the way that's safe."
Anger is a feeling, and feelings themselves do not violate anyone. It's important to make the distinction between the experience of feeling angry and the expression of that anger. When you acknowledge your anger, then you have the freedom to choose if and how you want to express it. Anger does not have to be an uncontrollable phenomenon. As you welcome your anger and become familiar with it, you can direct it to meet your needs like an experienced rider controlling a powerful horse.
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