Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood

Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood

For many, coping with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood can be a lifelong struggle.

Childhood or adolescent trauma and anger at parents in adulthood often lead to a number of mental and/or emotional issues.

And as an adult, often with your own family, job, and responsibilities, anger at parents in adulthood can interfere with your life.

How do you focus on cultivating healthy love and forgiveness with others, when you're haunted by trauma and anger at your parents in adulthood?

Our parents often influence us in ways we don't even know- present or absent.

It's common for those struggling with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood to be unaware of unresolved feelings and direct their anger elsewhere.

For example, it's possible for you to feel anger towards your absent father, and take out your anger on your partner or children.

Experiencing trauma and feeling anger at parents in adulthood is psychologically damaging.

A licensed professional counselor can help you identify your trauma and anger at parents in adulthood, and seek treatment.

Let's examine some of the causes of trauma and anger at parents in adulthood.

Available Trauma Counselors in Colorado

David Geldert MSN, PMHNP-BC

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Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood: Abandonment

As children, we look to our parents for safety and security.

We are supposed to trust our parents to be there for us, through thick and thin.

That's why feeling abandoned by a parent can feel like the ultimate betrayal of trust.

There are many ways to feel abandoned or even estranged from a parent.

Maybe a parent left when you were a baby and was never involved in your life.

It's surprisingly common for people to feel abandonment issues like anger towards someone they've never even met.

Maybe your parents divorced at a certain point and you feel they abandoned the happy home you enjoyed.

Just because your parents may be happier divorced, doesn't mean you cannot feel anger over the loss of the family unit.

Maybe your parents have stepchildren they are closer to than you.

Again, just because they're happy and you may feel happy for them, doesn't mean you cannot experience trauma and anger for the loss of your relationship.

There are many ways to feel trauma and anger at parents in adulthood because of abandonment or estrangement.

Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood: Denial of Opportunities

Most people believe that it's a parent's responsibility to provide their children with opportunities.

Opportunities for better education, job, family life, material wealth, etc.

And yet, many who struggle with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood wrestle with doubt regarding missed opportunities.

Maybe you feel your parents didn't provide the best educational opportunities.

They didn't enroll you in the best school, push you academically, encourage extracurricular activities or save for a college fund.

Coping with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood often means feeling resentful and bitter for missed opportunities, especially educational opportunities that influence your adult life.

Following that, those who struggle with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood often blame their parents for personal or professional failures.

Maybe you feel you would have a better job and be more successful if your parents had helped you more financially.

Maybe you feel that your marriage relationship or parenting skills would be better if your parents set a better example for you.

Struggling with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood can breed bitterness that bleeds over into every facet of your life.

Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood: Refusal to Apologize

When wronged, it's natural to desire an apology from the wrongdoer.

A sincere apology goes a long way towards true forgiveness and healing.

That's why those struggling with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood often feel their parent owes them an apology.

Parents make mistakes- we all know that.

And we as children know that we make mistakes too.

But when mistakes are not remedied by a sincere apology, it can be difficult to forgive and forget.

Prolonged trauma and anger at parents in adulthood often take the form of holding a grudge.

For example- Your father made a mistake, never apologized, and now you're going to treat him badly.

In many families, grudges exist where family members either don't speak or treat each other with bitterness and anger.

Like untreated trauma and anger, grudges persist and poison relationships.

Anger at parents in adulthood often leads people to repeatedly behave badly over, because a parent behaved badly once a long time ago.

Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood: Lack of Empathy

Many who struggle with trauma and anger at parents in adulthood feel their parents don't have enough empathy for them.

Empathy is putting yourself in somebody else's shoes, and understanding what they go through.

As children, most of us desire the love, respect, and support of our parents.

And those who deny it may be suffering from anger at parents in adulthood.

It's common for parents to be more settled and secure than their children- they've been at living longer.

And yet, when children struggle financially, professionally, or personally they often get angry and resent their parents when they don't offer empathy.

Remember, it's easy to feel someone hasn't shown you enough empathy when maybe they thought they did.

Maybe you're working to save money for a house, and your parent expresses some concern but you feel it's not enough.

They should be more concerned, you tell yourself, and maybe even offer to help me.

Anger at parents in adulthood often stems from the feeling that your parents aren't helping you as much as they could be.

They can afford it, you tell yourself, and they have never helped me out before.

Feeling like your efforts are not respected enough, and that help isn't being offered when it's needed, are often the source of trauma and anger at parents in adulthood.

Coping with Anger at Parents in Adulthood: Lack of Responsibility

It's common for people to care for their parents in old age.

Many consider it a privilege and a blessing, even though it may entail personal and professional sacrifice.

And yet, when parents are careless with finances or simply don't plan for their golden years, many people experience trauma and anger at parents in adulthood.

My parents did prepare, you might say to yourself, and now I and my family must pay the price.

Anger at parents in adulthood is common for those who feel they are forced to sacrifice what they have earned and saved, to care for parents.

Someone might say out of anger- There goes my kid's college fund to pay for grandpa's nursing home.

For those experiencing trauma and anger at parents in adulthood, it can be a jumble of both justified and unjustified emotions.

Conclusion

Trying to make sense of trauma and anger at parents in adulthood can be confusing.

That's because those who suffer trauma from anger at parents in adulthood often experience a whirlwind of emotions ranging from anger, jealousy, and bitterness all the way to love and even guilt.

If you or someone you know suffers from trauma and anger at parents in adulthood, seek immediate professional help.

A licensed professional counselor can help you navigate the often confusing and conflicting feelings in your life.

Get professional help and begin the journey towards healing, forgiveness, and a new relationship with your parents.

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September 27th, 2022

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