I remember clearly the first time, when I was a new mum, that I heard another new mum mention how she sometimes felt rage. I was quite taken aback to hear her talk openly about the rage she sometimes felt while parenting.
Rage and parenting
Surely rage was something we should not be feeling after fulfilling our long and dearly held wish for a baby? And if we did sometimes feel this very real and visceral emotion, isn’t it something better kept to ourselves?
I can honestly say that I had not noticed feeling rage before I became a mum, nearly 10 years ago. I remember being quite shocked at this realisation.
I was the person, who waited 18 years before my dream of becoming a mum came true. I then thought that everything would just fall into place, easily and peacefully. Little did I know that my very idyllic and naïve view would come crashing down around my ears.
So there I was, a new mum, with an angel in my world but I often feeling overcome with intense feelings of heartbreaking loneliness (as a sole parent), despair, frustration and sometimes even rage.
Recently I listened to a most excellent interview with Ruth King on Sounds True’s, Self Acceptance Summit. With much wisdom, grace and personal experience, King spoke about the Six Disguises of Rage.
She described how rage is lodged into our bodies back when we are children. It belongs to the Amygdala and Limbic part of the brain which is sometimes known as our primitive brain. This is where survival emotions such as Fight, Flight and Shrink (most people know it as Freeze) are embedded into our psyche.
King spoke about how there is both a dominance and defiance disguise within Fight mode. Dominance exhibits as wanting to control our lives, so we are never controlled. One harsh lesson of parenting is that despite our best intentions, life with a newborn is uncontrollable. You can lovingly feed, change and nurture your baby but he or she still may howl for hours.
The defiance disguise of Fight mode displays as belligerent, outwardly angry behaviour. You use anger to divert your need for love. This is a true cry out for love.
In flight mode, the distraction disguise is when you fill every minute or your life with things to do. King uses the example of needing one more black dress or one more scoop of ice cream. Incidentally, this is where addiction occurs. Since becoming a mother I have had my own struggles with a sugar addiction but am thankfully now free of that.
The devotion disguise of Flight is the person who takes perfect care of others but doesn’t attend to their own needs. These people are very much longing for what they are giving.
The dependence disguise of Shrink mode is to deny your own personal power, and in the fear of losing someone, you then play it small.
The depression disguise of Shrink is to shut down to avoid feelings of overwhelm and to try and keep things tight and controlled. I know that I have done this in my parenting journey.
According to King, these six disguises keep people under control because they are too afraid of the true expression of their rage. However, “Rage holds the body in hostage,” explained King. The deeper roots of rage are sadness, grief,
and any other unfinished stuff waiting for us to love it into transformation.
King advises for us to get to know our “rage child.” She does this by dropping the story and going inside the body with our attention.
As a kinesiologist, this is what I call emotional embodiment. King also says that we can ask ourselves, “What are the beliefs about the issue? Am I feeling all alone? Is this true? Do I need to rest or give myself some compassion?
Through my work, I am honoured to help women process and shift their emotions through embodiment. If you feel like you need some help with your less than positive emotions, please give me a call on 0416 733 834.