If you have read my other writings on inner child healing you will know that I have found it useful to try to figure out what age of the child is connected to the reaction we are feeling. Sometimes these ages are literal ages connected to a specific event in our childhood - sometimes they are symbolic designators of a certain type of wound. This child wound designator is about anger. We, of course, experienced anger throughout our childhood (even if we had no permission to own it and so were in denial of it.) In my observation there are usually two different ages of the child carrying the bulk of our anger - a teenager and a younger child, usually around 5 or 6. That doesn't mean those were the only times we were angry - it is a way of identifying different types of anger energy. A teenager's anger is different from a 5 year olds, so it is important to be able to discern between the different ages as we are building a relationship with those parts of us.
The whole point of doing this work is so that we can identify and build a Loving relationship with those parts of our psyche that are carrying the energy that needs to be healed and released. We are doing that to take the power away from our wounds so that our past emotional wounds and old programming are not dictating our life today. There is no right and wrong way to do this work - what is important is to make an effort to take Loving control over our own inner process so that we can stop being the victim of the past.
These are some ways that anger is carried and manifested.
Sometimes this anger is very obvious from a persons demeanor - they exhibit their bitterness and resentment on the surface because they are letting this child run the show. They are full of rage and resentment and tend to strike out (verbally and/or physically), break things or hurt people (verbally and/or physically), exhibit road rage and/or indulge in self-righteous vendettas. With this type of display - as with all of the other types - there is a lot of shame and pain underneath the anger. The key to diffusing the anger of this child is to own the pain underneath the anger. Many men find this very difficult because of lack of permission to feel any feelings except anger. Some women find this difficult because they do not feel safe being vulnerable.
Sometimes it is very hidden because the person doesn't let anyone close enough to them to provoke the anger out of fear of overreacting and shame about past overreactions. They feel as if there is something wrong with them and that they are carrying a shameful secret. They may be very cordial and friendly on the outside but are really hermits because of their fear of their anger and the pain underneath. This is where I came from for much of my life out of my counterdependency patterns which were in reaction to my fear of my own pain and neediness.
It is difficult for the counterdependent who is terrified and ashamed of being vulnerable and needy because they have a hard time feeling safe enough to own the pain with another person. In order to alleviate the shame it is very important in the healing process to be able to open up to, and be vulnerable with, at least one other being who will not react from judgment. This is vitally important element in the fifth step of the twelve step program.
It is often very hard to let go of the anger because it has been the shield that has protected the younger, more vulnerable child places within us. We need to own our legitimate anger and to diffuse the anger we are carrying in reaction to our own pain and shame.