Whether you show or repress anger in dreams it is important. This is because like any other basic or instinctive response, anger uses tremendous resources of emotional and physical energy. The repression of emotional energy can be a key factor in the breakdown of health, and in the lack of positive and creative self expression. Blocked emotional energy tends to attack your sense of wellbeing and body if it is stopped from external expression.
In some dreams enormous anger is expressed, but it is accompanied by a sense of frustration because the anger brings no satisfaction. This may indicate it is still linked with childhood dependence, when our personal well-being was intricately bound with our parents, and we depended upon them for our good feelings. Of course, in some extreme situations in adult life, such as being a prisoner who is maltreated, our anger may actually be incapable of changing things, but expressing it in a safe way can do wonders.
Anger may be a way of hiding ones vulnerability or real pain. In this case, it is important to feel the anger and discover what is underneath it. Sometimes deep feelings from childhood emerge once the anger has been felt. Such a surfacing of encapsulated emotions usually brings about deep insight into why certain traits are so powerful in your nature.
Holding the idea that you do not need to restrain your anger in dreams can produce enormous changes in your dreams and in your everyday life. Tests with women who had dreams in which they failed to express anger, and who, in everyday life were passive in situations calling for assertiveness, showed that when they learned to express anger in their dreams, they became more easily assertive in daily life. See: aggression as it has useful information; hostility.
As an example of what anger can do in the body, I quote a piece from a man’s journal.
William massaged at the area and discovered a pea sized nodule. It was like a concentrated lump of pain. When he pressed I started moaning, crying, and that one point, laughing. I realised that not being influenced by anyone was a defence. Underneath that was the laughing. As William continued words started coming up by themselves. The cries of pain were real, but without linking with feelings. I felt this massage method could release the pain, but it would be like a dry labour, long and unnecessarily painful.
Later I found quite few of these nodules of pain on my back, and then I learnt how to really express anger from my past by beating hell out of cushions with a stick. Then slowly the nodules disappeared.
Example: Dreamt I was in the house in which I has lived with my with my ex wife. A toilet leaked out of its back. Beyond it I saw a room I had not known before. There was an old range fire. I thought it would heat the house. The room is cold and dusty, but I felt I could make it into a workroom for therapy.
While exploring the dream about a leaking toilet I discovered the following feelings and memories. For a long time I could get no feeling response about the dream. Then I drifted into a fantasy. In it I remembered times when I had frightened my two young sons by suggestions of my unexpressed violence; like the time I held my sons neck. I looked into his eyes and knew that with a flick of my fingers I could kill him. He looked at me and knew. My children must have known they were dealing with a dangerous animal. Survival for them meant the cunning, bravery or abasement necessary to deal with such a creature.
With these feelings alive I got into the room that was previously unknown and the toilet. The toilet was all the undealt with shit which arose between my wife and I while we lived together. The room immediately reminded me of the way I had described my awareness of my sexual stagnation during the first dream – like a room that had been closed for years and had been unopened. Everything had been left as it was. Perhaps a murder had taken place, and the powerful aura pervaded the whole place.
I had wanted to murder my wife. Unable to leave home because of my strong parental drive to shield the children from the agony of my going – unable to love my wife in my staying – torn between my own urges, I had wanted to kill her – truly a dangerous animal.
Useful Questions and Hints:
Do I satisfy my anger in the dream? (If not it is worth expressing it in some way while awake. Use a rolled up newspaper to hit an armchair or cushion with. See if you can get the feelings in the dream flowing.)
Can I feel what this anger connects with in waking life.
Is there a way I can assert myself without destructive anger?
It can help to deal with anger and aggression by using The Cushion Technique.