Angerization

I wanted to take a minute to talk about angerizing emotions. For men who struggle with sexual integrity issues, there are usually 2 ways emotions get dealt with – Sexualizing or Angerizing.

When the integrity issues or addiction are/is active, emotions that should get appropriately felt and expressed are stuffed and stunted. Instead, they end up getting turned into sexual energy. This happens in the form of fantasy, masturbation, the pornography viewed, the women flirted with, or the escort ads perused. It is especially true of what we would typically categorize as negative feelings – hurt, fear, failure, shame, disappointment, loneliness, rejection, boredom, injustice (feeling falsely accused) or feeling misunderstood. It can also happen with positive emotions too- some guys act out as a reward mechanism, in effect not knowing the experience of healthy celebration and recognition.

During active addiction or struggle, the sexualization provides a relief; a temporary reroute of the emotions, diminishing their intensity and thus the perceived negative impact. For some guys the acting out doesn’t take enough of the edge off, so the residual emotional churn becomes irritability, frustration and general rudeness.

Often though, when the addiction ends and someone stops acting out, the release valve is removed and the emotion gets turned into serious anger. Sometimes it is intense – rageful, out of control, scary. It can even scare him! When that low level anger is present, the angry feelings are familiar. But when that’s not the case, the newfound rageful experience can feel like a monster trying to escape. The chemical, endorphin release of acting out provides a soothing or calming effect, but without it the anger can be raw.

Don’t let the anger be your lead, let it be your guide. When you feel angry, it is telling you there is more to the story. Your heart is trying to feel and express something, and likely longing to connect with God and others.

4 thoughts on “Angerization

  1. I really see my part with this. Ivery been batteling this type of behavior most of my llife . How do I get into a seminar or workshop? I live in Pacifica, Ca

  2. Hi, Jason.

    So we have a guy who is working on not acting out which puts him at greater risks of becoming angry. From this blog it seems that you are saying that it could leave him vulnerable to episodes of rage. This is not acceptable. Can you give us some strategies for dealing acceptably with the “new” set of emotions? As a fascilitator I would like somme expert advice. Thanks.

    God Bless!!!

    mike d

  3. Okay. Me too. I am occasionally frightened by my rage. “Who IS this guy?”
    What sort of strategies do you recommend for dealing with this? Yes, I know about entitlement, idolatry, a desire to be God. In other words, I have some inkling about motivation with anger, but what to do in the heat of the moment? How to stop it before it erupts.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  4. Interesting. I have been wondering why the anger has been so intense since I’ve stopped acting out. No longer do I have the cycle of active pursuit, acting out, and then shame and the emotions that go with it. It has been a year since I’ve last acted out and it makes sense that my anger and quick-to-explode temper is rooted in the lack of release. This is not acceptable by any means but it makes a ton of sense. I’d like to figure out how to better control this. I have found guidance in Proverbs 15:1 – ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’. It is my duty in Christ to answer gently rather than anger. A lot of this has to do with humility and selflessness. I am learning both.

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