Angry Or Depressed, I Don't Know
(LA, CA, USA)
I am extremely angry and I don't know at who or why. I am disappointed at myself for letting myself get to this point which I had promised myself not to fall into again.
A few months back I was seriously planning to take away my life. It's been a couple of years that I feel lost and worthless. I am 19 but I feel like my life is already over. The thing that is bothering me the most right now is that I get extremely angry with a guy who genuinely likes me. He hasn't told me he does but he has hinted at it greatly and what I do to prevent him from telling me straight out is push him away.
I pretend I don't see him when he walks by. I don't answer his texts and if I do, I give him answers that will make him feel bad. I want him to hate me even though at first I wanted to have a more intimate relationship with him. I don't know at what point but I suddenly hated his guts. Just seeing his face makes me wants to punch a wall so hard I will make my knuckles bleed or brake my hand.
The only thing I can think of that might be affecting me is that I was sexually assaulted in 3rd grade. Since then I have been sexually assaulted 2 other times and sexual harassment seems to be part of my day. I was a quiet kid so until now I think the shyness is just part of my personality, but there are instances where I am so scared of being around people I start to lose control over my breath and deprive myself of oxygen.
I don't know why I'm going through so much. I get sudden painful headaches on my right side of my head and I've had a big bump by my jaw that seems to come from stress. I also have a gallstone which I heard is caused by being too angry but I can't seem to control my anger.
I keep everything bottled in and I'm afraid I'm going to crack and either harm myself or others. I don't want to continue being this way but I don't know how to get out. To me it seems ridiculous that sexual assault got me this way, but that is the only thing that comes to mind when I try to reflect upon my life.
Can someone be like this for something that happened such a long time ago?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. The answer to your question is yes, most definitely. The part of the brain that stores emotional trauma is virtually untouched by the passage of time, and yet it can have tremendous impact on your feelings, your physical health and your reactions.
You mention three sexual assaults, and that sexual harassment seems to be part of your day. Your anger is your internal protector saying basically, "I am so fed up with people bothering this precious traumatized child inside, that I'm about ready to blow!" I think your physical symptoms are the result of your body working so hard to contain your rage over all of the sexual trauma.
The reason sexual assault comes to your mind when you reflect on your life is that your brilliant mind is telling you that you need to deal with that, and that it's what is causing your problems. And the reason you are pushing away the guy that you're interested in is that your internal protector (which operates on a subconscious level) is determined to keep you safe from any type of intimacy that might lead to sexual contact.
I suggest you start by doing the three part writing process described here. Be sure and write in full detail about all of your sexual trauma, and any other trauma you may have experienced. In the anger journaling, don't hold back...let your anger have full voice, and do not share this with anyone--so you don't have to worry about what others might think.
Next I want you to use these imagery processes to continue and deepen your emotional healing process.
You will find that this page on healing from child abuse is specifically designed to help good people like yourself to heal and recover from past trauma.
Do this work for you, for your good heart, and for the wounded child inside you. Although it doesn't feel like it to you right now, you can have a life...and a very good life, for that matter. Make up your mind that you are going to get stronger and smarter in your healing process, so that you are ultimately a better person because of your difficulties.
You can do this. Believe in yourself.
My very best to you,