Women and anger

I’ve now been seeing my therapist for a few weeks. I value the sessions enormously, and I feel that, in a short time, I have connected to some parts of me that have been ‘hidden’.

One of those things is the huge burden of repressed anger I have been carrying around for most, if not all of my adult life. Much of that anger comes from the way my father behaved to me, and the rest of the family.

My father was born in Australia in 1912. He was a musical ‘prodigy’ – piano, and at 18 years old won a scholarship to the Royal College of music on London. He left Australia in 1930 and never saw his parents again.

My mother was his third wife. When I was born she was 26, and he was 52. As a small child I think he loved me – he had previously had three sons with wife#1 who had returned to Australia after WW2. As I grew up my memory is of a critical, grumpy man who had no interest in me really. He did very little round the house, well nothing really, even after he retired, so mu mother worked, looked after her children, managed the house, shopped cooked cleaned and did EVERYTHING, while he watched the TV and critisised his children.

The realisation that I have unconsciously picked men with whom I have re-enacted this scenario is stark, and painful. It seems the lessons of childhood; that women do everything and men ignore their needs and behave totally selfishly – have been deeply ingrained.

I also, at almost 52 myself, think how astonishingly selfish he must have been to embark on fatherhood again at that age. I adore my kids, but the thought of starting again, with a baby ? no way, I simply could not provide the necessary parental support as I get older. And neither could he / did he. I’m sure there are some men who can / could –  but he was a selfish man who was not prepared to put himself out for anyone…

I think the birth of my anger comes from here.

But ‘nice’ people don’t get angry in out culture. Especially in the UK. ‘Nice people’ (women especially) do not express their needs. Nice people Bottle up their anger and resentment and drink to keep it suppressed. Except that they drink more and more to suppress the rage and frustration and hurt, and still it wont go away.

To be clear, I dot blame my alcohol issues on my parents. But The anger and hurt I felt at my fathers abdication of his responsibilities to me, his daughter, are a very real and potent source of distress. And this distress probably contributed to my excessive drinkoing




  1. Funny, just last week my own therapist sent me home with a “homework” assignment to write down a list of all the things that make me angry – like, really, really angry. Because she suspects that I am similar to what you described, someone who keeps those angers and hurts all pent up in order to fit into polite society. Realizing that we have the right to be angry – and a right to express that anger – is very freeing. Scary, but freeing. I hope you can use that angry energy to produce real, wonderful change in your life 🙂

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    • I haven’t ruled out AA, Anne. I’m just not ready for it at the moment. and ight now, staying sober is not my biggest ‘problem’ – although it is the cornerstone on which everything good I am doing is built. I believe that very strongly, and I don’t intend to allow it to slip…Lily x


      • Aa isn’t really about staying sober.
        It’s about living freely.
        You might just download the book. It’s online.

        There’s a reason every help group uses it. It’s extremely useful.

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  2. I have heard it said that women often marry men similar to their father. I know in my case that is a very good thing, my father was a kind and loving man as is my husband. But the connection you see with your father and ExP is poignant. How do you break that stereotype and move on….

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  3. Wow! You are doing some incredibly hard work! When I married my first husband, I thought I had chosen someone who was the opposite of my father. It was in therapy during and after the breakup of the marriage, that I realized that my ex was the same. As my therapist pointed out, I could choose someone who looked the polar opposite, was from a completely different background, etc. BUT! unless I did the work, the relationship would turn into the same over again. So, while it was hard, I did the work. I also consciously chose to remain single for a long time-in order to make and become the necessary changes so that I would not attract or be attracted by that kind of person again. It worked I’m happy to say.
    I know that all of this work you’re doing, your work situation, everything seems like it’s taking a lifetime, but for me, reading it, it’s no time at all. You’re an amazingly strong woman Lily!

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    • Thank you. I don’t always feel strong, but i’m working on it. I need to look at my part in the way things have turned out. My acceptance, and not making a fuss about ‘little’ things, allowed ExP to think I was ok with a lot of stuff I was not ok with. This aspect of MY behavior needs looking at ..

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