Anger throbs through our entire body when we are really set off. It’s more than rage, fear, sadness, or frustration. Anger is part of our fight or flight response, the survival mechanism which has stayed in the human body for thousands of years. As our anger fires through our bloodstream, we feel like we could do anything to get rid of that feeling. What is truly speaking through our somatic experience are stress hormones released by the fight or flight response. Adrenaline and cortisol prepare our bodies to take action- to either fight or flee. Full of energy and emotion, we might become frozen instead, left with the surging desire to do something.
Trauma is angering. Living through life’s chaotic moments in which we are harmed, see others be harmed, and have to deal with the effects of being completely out of control over our own or someone else’s experiences, is angering. We’re angry our idea of the world had to change. We’re angry that we have had to witness this atrocity. We’re angry that we can’t just “get over” the trauma, that we have to live with the trauma, that we have to work hard in recovery to keep our lives balanced, healthy, and happy, despite the trauma we have been through. Our anger can be suppressed and boil over time or be explosive, unleashing at any unpredictable moment.
As trauma survivors, we have a lot to be angry about. Oftentimes, we go through a phase in which we justify our anger and the actions we take when we are angry. Telling ourselves we deserve to be angry, we rationalize that we have earned our right to anger, we should be angry, that nobody can tell us not to be angry about what we’ve been through. In part, our sentiments are accurate regarding our anger. We’re deserving of our emotional experiences. We earn our right to feel and process our emotions. Nobody can tell us what we should or shouldn’t feel or why. Anger, however, is a choice. We choose to be angry. We choose what to do with our anger. We choose to take responsibility for our emotions. Though we didn’t have a choice in our trauma happening to us, we do have choices in how we want it to affect us.
Anger doesn’t have to be a toxic emotion, but it can become one. Toxic anger is damaging to our health as well as the health of others around us. If we find that our anger is uncontrollable and that we are turning to other harmful behaviors to cope with our unending feelings of anger, it is time for us to seek therapeutic support. We can recover from our anger, our trauma, and our lives.
Trauma is most often the root cause of many emotional, behavioral, and mood disorders. Until you can heal your trauma, you will find great difficulty finding the healing you need to live a life of recovery, health, and wellness. At Khiron House, we provide effective residential treatment and cutting edge therapies which seek to transform mind, body, and spirit from the effects of trauma. Call us today for information. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours) USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).