Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
I was one heck of an angry kid. By fifth grade I could count on getting into two or more fights a year, duking it out with some other equally screwed up kid complete with roundhouse punches, bloody noses and the usual gang of screaming bloodthirsty onlookers. I loved destroying things and no sooner did I get a model built than I would find a way to burn it or blow it up. I had times when I could clearly visualize attacking people with an axe. As a child and later a teenager, I had serious anger issues. Some of them are still around even today.
I had a lousy childhood, to be sure, we moved a lot and my parents divorced and I had to live with my father and a stepmother I loathed; I certainly had a great deal of stress to contend with, so I suppose that I had a pretty good reason to be angry, but the anger was probably very strong even by those standards. I know that I’ve seen this type of anger in other psychic people. Not everyone, but when it’s there, it’s almost a volcano lurking beneath the waves. It is this buried anger that I will discuss today.
It comes out in the weirdest ways; For instance, when guys or women try to be really nice, and really calm and really caring all the time this is an indicator to me of suppressed anger because it is so unnatural. Sooner or later, everyone gets pissed off and you just have to vent. It’s not possible to achieve this constant emotional calmness. Either you are sensitive to all your emotions, or you are not. You don’t get to choose which emotions you’re gong to have; either you’re having all of them or suppressing all of them. And one of those emotions is anger. So if you’re going to feel deeply, you’re also going to feel anger deeply. I’m not encouraging people to give in to their anger, but rather to acknowledge it.
One of the popular methods of dancing around anger that I ran into during my time in the New Age movement was the White Light of Protection. People would visualize this white light around themselves as a way of protecting themselves from other people’s anger and negativity. This does not work at all because we all tend toward emphasizing things that have our attention. Holding something away is a way of giving that thing attention and thus, this visualization will give attention to anger and negativity and emphasizing them when they occur.
I have known of very few psychic and highly sensitive people that deal with anger well. We learn from childhood that this is a really scary thing to face and we are often triggered by other people’s anger to make conciliatory gestures even when we would prefer not to. Over time, this eats at us because it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re giving yourself away. As children, many of us were rewarded for thinking of others first, but this support mysteriously vanished when it came time for others to think of us. (This is more likely to happen when the parents are too young. They don’t have the maturity to consider the mental and emotional well being of their children and tend to see things in terms of their own convenience.)
Thinking about others first all the time will lead to the suppressed anger that I occasionally see in other psychic people. I am very familiar with it because that’s how it was for me all the way into early adulthood. I kept expecting that if I looked out for other people, that they would naturally look out for me, but it never seemed to happen that way. I resented that terribly, but at the same time I gradually realized that this was something that I was doing to myself.
One of the things I notice about having suppressed anger is that when the anger does come out, it is often directed at the wrong people for the wrong reasons. For example, if I’ve made a mistake working, (I’m self employed, so my mistakes are paid for in real dollars.) I come home cranky and not feeling good about myself. My anger is directed at myself, but it is easy for this anger to be suddenly directed at my wife for something trivial. It’s not fair to her. Behavior that normally elicits an ordinary response from me all of a sudden gets an angry one. I take things she says more personally because I’m feeling stupid and angry at myself.
The anger that I feel about that mistake I made while working ultimately does not originate there. Work is just work after all. Mistakes are inevitable and I do charge enough money to cover for them. Highly sensitive people, and by extension, psychic people had a tendency as children to fear making mistakes because punishment was so upsetting to us. consequently, making mistakes even in adulthood can be very upsetting.
I’ve come to understand though, that making mistakes, even publicly, is crucial to having any sort of success in life. If you’re not taking chances, you’re not doing anything interesting, which of course, leads to more anger and frustration. Over the years I learned to deal with all of this much better than I did as a young man and it’s led me to understand that anger is a sign that I am afraid of something. If I face that fear, I gain clarity in the situation and the anger simply isn’t there. It has an effect not only on me, but on those around me. People have always trusted me, but with less and less fear, it’s remarkable how far that trust has extended. People trust me completely upon first meeting me.
We all have some anger. I think that how we deal with it does a lot to define us as people.