“My parents were rabies junkies. As an adult, I find it difficult to deal with anyone who is angry or overly aggressive because I flood and basically ‘go.’ I’m usually unable to speak. . How can I stop myself from calming down and dealing with the situation? “
It is a challenge that many of us who have been taken on by an angry parent face. Some form of trauma therapy (EFT-Emotional Liberation Technique; EMDR-Desensitization and Reprocessing of Eye Movements; TRE-Trauma release exercises; or SE-Somatic Experiencing) might help, but again, the best thing to do is to disengage. Trying to speak when you’re feeling frozen isn’t possible, and even remembering to disengage can be very difficult when you’re feeling traumatized.
The best thing to do in the face of other people’s anger is to honor your nervous system and take care of yourself. As noted above, when anger becomes systematically abusive, you may need to consider leaving the relationship or at least breaking up in order to get out of the scope of the abuse so you can determine what is most loving.
Getting angry, letting go or stopping and withdrawing are all ways of letting go. Disengaging briefly to let things calm down, keeping an open heart, and then re-engaging is the best way to love yourself, no matter what.
Want to know if your relationship is healthy and why it might not be? Check out these seven signs you’ve found one and learn how to reconnect your brain for a more secure attachment style.