We often fear or avoid anger because of its perceived destructive effects. We throw around statements like, “hurt people hurt people,” as though it’s a given that anger stemming from hurt will harm those around us. If you watched parents express anger with violence or abuse, you’re more likely to be primed to believe that anger is unacceptable. However, anger is not inherently bad nor is it harmful.
The experience of sexual abuse or sexual assault as a child, teen, or young adult can have traumatic effects throughout your life.
If you are a survivor of trauma, whether it is from your childhood or from more recent experiences, the most effective way you can work through it is through seeking support.
UNCONTROLLABLE OUTBURSTS OF ANGER Anger may feel like it is constantly simmering under the surface, waiting to burst out at the slightest provocation. You could be more irritable and likely to lash out at others around you. You may feel out of control of the intensity of your anger response. You might also experience shame, especially if your anger is directed toward your loved ones, or it is similar to unhealthy expressions of anger you experienced as a child. This type of reaction to anger can involve violence, either with physical action or with words. If you are becoming violent with those around you, it is time to seek help.
Anger as a common reaction to sexual violence The pain, abuse, manipulation, and injustice associated with sexual violence can evoke strong feelings of anger. Following an experience of sexual abuse or sexual assault there are a whole host of reasons why a man might feel extremely angry:
Angry at being sexually assaulted, manipulated and abused
Angry that no-one seemed to care
Angry at the betrayal of trust
Angry that family members failed to protect you
Angry at the way the abusive person seems to have just got away with it
Understanding your own Anger Are you someone who stuffs their anger down, only to turn it inward on yourself? Do you find yourself lashing out at others and feeling angry all the time? Or do you numb out and find it difficult to experience or express anger at all? Examine the origin of this automatic response: did your family or parents handle anger in this way? In the opposite way? Where did you learn to express your anger in this way? Acknowledging that anger is learned helps you to feel empowered to learn new ways to deal with anger.
Men and Trauma can help make sense of your anger and rage.
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