As part of my ongoing professional development I was reading a book written about abusive relationships. Lisa E Scott has wrote two books. One of which is about women overcoming the narcissistic male and another for men overcoming the narcissistic female. There was a part which really stuck with me. It said about the feeling of anger and using that constructively. Anger can be misconstrued as being negative but provided it doesn't cross a barrier into abuse it is an empowering emotion which often clients are helped to access and feel in my therapy sessions. Accessing anger can be great to enable people to recognise their own boundaries and where they end and where someone else begins and can learn to feel responsible for their own emotions rather than looking after the emotions of others.
In recovery from an abusive relationship people often have all kind of messy emotions but anger can be quite a common central one. Anger over feeling they were used, not treated how they deserved, somehow used as a doormat. Often it can be particularly difficult if there isn't a closure too. When the partner or people around us simply were not the people we thought they were there is a gap created where we have an instinct where we want to get closure from the person and to understand why they treated us that way. Often the truth is simply that the person never was the person we thought originally which can be a difficult thing to deal with.
This anger left over can become our fighting instinct as the book said to 'fight for our happiness'. All this energy which went into trying to make the relationship work can now go into us. We can recognise that we can put ourselves first (a revelation for many in therapy). The grief of what was can be processed and this anger can go into our pursuits; our new gym classes, building new relationships, our new business ventures, our active meditation practice. Channelling anger into these things can be very empowering and knowing it is your energy now to use for you.
Often people want revenge but this is typically fruitless as a goal and is again another acting out of the victim role rather than a pushing through into our authentic selves. When feeling the need for revenge I find a healthy model of revenge can just be to feel your own happiness. Whatever happened in the past and whatever this person or people did, it didn't beat you. You came through it and look at you now.