4 Things to remember around anger


How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?

Adapted from After Silence After Silence

Angry outbursts and persistent irritability are common states of emotion for survivors of sexual violence. Anger is a natural defense to fear, and the experience you had was likely terrorizing. It is natural to be angry at someone who hurt you.

You may feel angry towards yourself. You may feel that could or should have done something to prevent what happened. You may blame yourself and feel shameful. Remember that what happened was not your fault and you did not deserve it. Sorting out your angry feelings will help you release yourself from the blame and begin to heal.

Here are some things to remember:

1. It takes time to heal. Give yourself the time to heal.

2. You have every right be angry because no one had the right to violate you.

3. When you feel angry, talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Remember, that the anger you are feeling is normal and deserves your attention just like any other emotion. It is okay to say that you are angry. It is okay to say why you are angry.

4. Express your anger in a way that is safe for you and not harmful to yourself or others. Deep, abdominal breathing with the intention of releasing tension encourages a general feeling of relaxation. Movement of any kind is an excellent way to release anger and clear your mind.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist in Boulder Colorado at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com

  1. You are right. People are so uncomfortable with anyone even speaking of being angry. My best way to express it is to write about it but everyone seems to get sideways, telling my how to move beyond on it, let it go, blah, blah, blah. Me? I’m pissed and likely always will be! I think people need to get more angry about the abuse in our world!

    • Thank you for your comment. Anger is intended to be motivating and in protection or defense for the purpose of self-preservation. I agree with you that people could safely get angry about the abuse in the world and the world would benefit. Anger could motivate a productive movement to end the abuse.

      • Wonderfully stated!

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