The basic assumption of Healing Rage is that unresolved rage from childhood trauma is still locked in our bodies and minds. This blocked energy manifests as disguises of rage in our adult lives–ways we cope with life while denying an intimate experience with living. These disguises become such an ingrained part of our existence that we forget that the origins are rage.
Last year, I discovered I had some slight rage issues. Meaning that I’m full of rage. So when I saw Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible on a table at the library book sale, it called to me.
The book is divided into four parts: Waking Up, The Six Disguises of Rage, Inner-Peace Practices, and The Journey to Now. Waking Up discusses how rage originates (childhood trauma–King explains the various types of trauma here) and how/why rage comes to be stored in the body. The ultimate conclusion is that we never truly are safe enough to feel, so we wear disguises of rage.
From King’s website, the Six Disguises of Rage are:
- Dominance-You control to avoid being controlled. You distance from others and abuse power to manage your terror of tenderness.
- Defiance-You use anger to divert your need to be loved, often by your perceived enemy.
- Distraction-You avoid intolerable feelings of emptiness by filling yourself and your time with self-defeating diversions.
- Devotion-You take perfect care of others, sacrificing your own well being to avoid knowing and receiving what you deeply need.
- Dependence-You stay financially insecure and emotionally distressed. You deny your personal power out of your fear of losing love.
- Depression- You would rather disappear than disappoint others. You shut down to avoid overwhelming feelings of grief and rage.
This section of the book (obviously) gives examples of the six disguises and discusses them in full.
Inner Peace Practices talks about the importance of meditation, journaling, dream working, and some other techniques for getting in touch with the causes of rage and the feelings of rage.
The Journey to Now covers how to live in the present once you’ve discovered your rage triggers (and even if you haven’t). There are tips for finding joy, getting support, and navigating current relationships.
As for how I felt about the book, I thought the middle dragged a bit. Like most books of this nature, reading through the descriptions of the disguises made it clearer which applied to me and didn’t. However, once I hit the Inner-Peace Practices it was quite a bit of stuff I already knew, so I felt as though I was treading old ground. That said, there were some tips I picked up that I didn’t know (especially from the affirmations), and I also would find myself considering various ideas in the book long after I put it down. The end picked up a little bit, and I really enjoyed the section on recognizing and finding joy.
All in all, if rage is something that you are familiarizing yourself with or thinking through, I would recommend the book. I didn’t love it, but I did find valuable information in it, and that’s really what these kinds of books are all about.
POC Challenge: 1/15; Off the Shelf: 1/5