The Pain In My Life
(Albemarle NC USA)
I guess you can say I've been angry for a long time. I guess it started when I was 5 years old and my mother used to tell me and my sisters that my father didn't care about us and we could never see him. He was abusive towards her.
I have a lot of animosity towards my mother for many reasons. As a child I was sexually abused by more than one person and every time I confronted my mother with what happened I was always lying. From that point on I started to rebel. Come to find out the same person that sexually abused me was later arrested for the same thing with someone else. When that came to the light she finally wanted to believe but in my eyes that was to late.
I tried all the therapy stuff, but it always made me feel like the therapists felt bad for me and weren't trying to help me. Then when I turned 16 years old, I went to a gang for love. I did a lot of things that I'm not proud of. I've hurt many people and also hurt myself in the process.
I never understood why every relationship I was involved in was abusive. I thought it was something I was doing wrong. Also I get mad at the littlest things for example you could be talking to me and say something I don't like and I'll blank and be ready to fight. I know I have an anger problem but it stems from a lot of abuse and feeling unwanted. I really need help but I don't know what to do. If you have any suggestions please feel free.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Valerie. Thank you for telling your story on this site. What you say here is very clear. You seem to have thought through your situation to the point of having a good understanding of what has happened and how it has affected you.
Your anger towards your mother is understandable. Telling you your father didn't care for you and preventing you from seeing him was just wrong. And just as bad was when she failed to protect you from sexual abuse, accusing you of lying when you told her. You have every right and reason to be angry about that. The important thing is what you do with that anger.
I can tell you're not happy with your current pattern of blanking out and getting aggressive with your anger. I will try to help you with that, and other aspects of your emotional healing.
Here are some things I suggest:
1) You are a good writer. I can tell from how you express yourself in your story. Take advantage of that skill, and start writing every day in a journal, where only you will read what you've written.
2) First, write from your anger. When you do that, you are "giving it a voice" and honoring it, instead of hating it, or thinking it shouldn't be there. Remember, you have good reasons to be angry, the important thing is what you do about it. When you do this, it will give you a chance to observe how that part of your brain (that carries your anger) works. It's not wrong, bad or crazy. It is simply a protector, and as you know, it can be very destructive if allowed to have free reign. Get to know your anger in this way, and eventually it will become your ally instead of your enemy.
3) There is more information on journaling on this page
, in case you're interested. It would be a good idea for you to write about all of your traumatic experiences. This has been found to be very healing for a lot of people, as reported in the book, "Opening Up: The Healing Power of Emotional Expression" by James Pennebaker.
4) If you feel like it, draw a picture of your rage and anger. You don't have to have any artisitic ability to do this. Just keep sketching until you get an image that makes you think, "Yes! That's it." It needs to capture the essence of your anger and rage. This is part of getting to know that part of yourself, and it can really help you to heal it.
5) It is extremely important that you do some healing work with your childhood trauma. This involves using the power of your own mind and imagination to go into that part of your brain where the trauma is stored and actually create new images that will bring about emotional healing. Try this imagery process
, and let me know how it works for you. I have used this to help a lot of people, and I've used it in my own healing process, and it is extremely effective. This will be very good for you as a method of healing your sexual abuse.
6) You may or may not need to do some physical anger release as part of your healing process. You will find the physical exercises described in this book
, on this CD program/audio download
, or if you don't want to spend any money, you will get a free Anger Management Techniques Ebook when you sign up for our free monthly Healing Anger newsletter
. That Ebook will take you through the basics of the physical anger release methods. The reason this is important is that anger gets stored in the body, and nothing short of physical release will get it all out. This also acknowledges that your body was violated (in the sexual abuse), and it gives your body to show how angry it is--without anyone getting hurt.
7) Last, but not least, do some daily journaling about what is good, right and working in you and your life. This page
describes the gratitude, appreciation and optimism journaling process, which you may find helpful.
Regarding the harm you've done to others, Valerie, it is also important that you write about that. That is part of your trauma. As you know, when you hurt others, you are hurting yourself. You can use the journaling and imagery processes to heal those memories as well.
Trust yourself and your gut feelings as to which of the above techniques to use, and in what order. Believe in the goodness of your heart and the brilliance of your mind. Trust that quiet voice of wisdom deep inside you.
I have a strong feeling that you are ready to heal, and that you will succeed. Feel free to write again on this site, or respond to me in the comments section.
My very best to you,