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Anger, Rage And Helplessness


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Dear All,

Has anyone advice on helpless rage? I need spiritual and practical advice.

I can't handle medication. I tried Prozac ages ago (while nursing my Dad) and stopped because I became obsessed with my mother's vodka (I'm not much of a drinker, but ........ wow! I couldn't get enough) AND obsessed with suicidal ideas. Years later, I tried Paxil, and three weeks later slit my wrists. Peter Breggin http://www.breggin.com/ is largely responsible for exposing risks to adults. I'm sure it works for some people, but not for me.

I know the medication issue is taboo here ... just relating my own experience. SSRI's are not an option.

Nor is Xanex or Valium (and it's babies, Ativan, etc.). I like those drugs, I like 'em a lot, but they only mask the pain (for me). Ativan is a great drug, will stop a seizure in it's tracks, helps with sleep -- just not good for me, except temporarily.

I have to find a way to overcome my anger. I am eating myself alive with rage and sorrow.

I was my parent's caregiver for many, many years. My older sisters really didn't show up, except to criticize. My oldest sister still maintains I am responsible for my mother's death, on a plane, on a bereavement flight home from her brother's funeral. Mom had a stroke on the toilet, with me waiting on the other side of the door. Waiting, waiting.

Since then, I have been cut out of the family. No Christmas, no Fourth of July, no Thanksgiving.

I wasn't included this year either, and I begged. I begged and begged, and cried and cried.

Death is unfair, and Life is unfair, and I have slipped back into older, darker places that I thought were on a high shelf, dealt with and put away.

I am ashamed of my anger, and ashamed of my inability to let go of people who don't want me. I understand, because I hate myself as much as they hate me.

I know this is an awful post. Please don't send me away; I will listen to any advice any of you have. Please don't send me away.

I am ashamed of my failure to cope. I've got to get strong, and get strong quick. I'm ashamed of my helplessness when I used to be so strong.

Please don't send me away.


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Greta - Please, please be assured that your thoughts are more than welcome here. I've had those feelings of rage, of helplessness, too. This is a terribly hard place we're in. Can I toss in some thoughts, here? I've found that I've tended to remove myself from those who won't support me, and won't try to understand. Yes, indeed, it hurts - but it hurt more to be around them. I also started counseling. That was a place, one on one, where I could say anything and everything, to an objective ear. A therapist can't help the grief, for the grief has a timeline of its own, but he was able to guide me out of the negative loops I would find myself in. Because what we really need to do is talk about it. I also started a journal, writing down everything and anything I felt, no matter how inconsequential. I came to some epiphanies on my own by doing so. Third, sometimes I locked the doors and windows and just screamed at the top of my lungs - I highly recommend this, if you can do it (an empty parking lot in your car works, too). And, of course, last but not at all in the least, coming here, where I not only found support, but the knowledge that others have walked this path before me - I know our grief is individual, but there's also strength to be found with others. I wish you the very best, and I hope you continue to post - Hugs and peace, Marsha

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To Marsha's lovely response, I can only add that no one here will ever, ever send you away, Greta. You are safe here, and I hope you can feel our welcoming arms around you.

I don't know if you've ever considered using guided imagery as a way to deal with some of that anger that is troubling you so, but if you're willing to give it a try, I'd like to recommend the following.

Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the best-selling Health Journeys audio tapes, and an expert on healing with guided imagery. Her recorded Meditation to Help with Anger and Forgiveness is wonderful. I have this CD myself, and it is one of my very favorites. This is one of the most inexpensive forms of self care available, and it can be amazingly effective. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I encourage you to give it a try.

You can read a description and customer reviews of this CD at Amazon.

You can listen to a clip of it here: Meditation to Help with Anger and Forgiveness

See also this fine article: What Is the Role of Anger in Grief?

Finally, I will share with you a story that was sent to me over the weekend by a friend:


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

"One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance,

self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,

benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute

and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


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  • 9 months later...

I wish I could be angry sometimes. My love of my life committed suicide after 33 years together. I know the depression and mental pain he felt. He told me. I can't be angry. He took the easy way out. Don't go there. I have never been suicidal. There's a purpose in this life. It's to come. I thought he was my purpose. How could ANY IDIOT accuse you of a stroke while on the toliet that your mom had. Almost black humor(inappropriate humor?)to think they could think it was your fault.

First a trick is to separate yourself and look at life from a third person's point of view. Like keep your eyes open and wander through a mall and not introspect how you feel. Look at the others around you. Helpless woman is not attractive.

Lost is ok for a while but take charge of yourself. Can't control anyone but yourself actually. Booze is a depressant and makes you worse. Drugs curb your ability to make your own seratonin later. Antianxiety one may work temporarily. I did Adovan sp? but not everyday. Just a 30 day script to get me through.Reward yourself for small goals, celebrate each step forward.If you don't who will? You'll get through. If the relatives are so anal leave them behind. make your own network of friends. I adopt some as sisters. My family is large and close. My Scott wrote off two sisters for greedy and bad behavior.I took the little one that was like him and made her my sister now that he's gone. Paxil is a bad one. My friend pulled a gun on her abusive hubby. Not to use it but to back him off the verbal abuse. He was a cop and shouldn't have been doing a domestic abuse. He blamed the drug. Yeah, instead of his behavior. It was his gun. How embarrassing if it had progressed into an incident. Be safe. LindaKay

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