My Story

Trauma and Anger

When you have childhood trauma in your life, you most likely had many feelings. Of course it wasn’t safe to express those feelings. So most of us just held them inside.

Anger is an OK emotion to have. It is a guide that something is amiss in your life and needs your attention. Children of trauma experience feelings. However they are dismissed and not validated by the adults in charge. It is so bad that the child dismisses them but they can’t get rid of the emotion. It just gets stuffed. And stuffed. And stuffed… and so on. You get my drift.Anger is one of the major feelings that gets dismissed and then stuffed. After awhile it is not a “little” anger but a raging volcano. The person probably doesn’t even know it. Even though they do not realize how angry they are, everybody else does! You see, if someone had a stockpile of anger, they will have an edge to everything they think, feel, do and say. Some times it is a sharper edge than the person realizes.

Children of trauma need to be validated, allowed to express their feelings. In the case of anger it is likely to be an explosion. But getting it out is a must if you want a happy life.

But anger is not a “nice” emotion to have. But go it must.

I have a funny story of my own healing journey about anger.

I like to listen to self help tapes. Particularly when I am driving and I drive a lot. I have been listening to learning tapes since the 1980’s. This story revolves around a Career Track Learning Tape. I do not remember the name of the author, I am sorry I can’t give credit.

The gentlemen was talking about anger and angry people. I was on board. I knew all the angry people in my life, and I wasn’t one of them. In my mind, I was sweet and caring and loving. You get the point.

He made the analogy: “when you squeeze a lemon, what do you get? Lemonade.” Then he said “when you squeeze an orange, what do you get? Orange juice.”

The next thing he said was “what do you get when you squeeze an angry person?” “Anger or rage” of course. I am there… yep, I know all the angry people in my life and I am not one of them.

I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this tape. I liked it and learned something every time I listened.

Embarrassingly, I have to admit that I used to have road rage. Of course I would attract others who where road rage – aholics.  People would just cut me off… I was sure that they where doing it on purpose. I of course responded in king. Only fair, right?

One day it occurred to me that the person who just “cut me off” did not tell him/herself in their morning shower that they were going to “find that Mary Pat and cut her off to piss her off”. People are in their own universe about 100% of the time. They were not thinking about me, they were thinking about getting to their appointment and on time.

That was the beginning of my healing. The next leap I made was that I was a very angry person. I felt like I could explode most of the time. I didn’t know what to do with all this anger and rage. It felt like a volcano inside of me.

I knew enough about energy that I didn’t want to spew the world with my pent up anger. Where I had used my vehicle in road rage before, I then used it at a healing vessel. Hmmm, you say. This is what I did:

Someone would cut me off and I would be pissed. Then I would catch myself and say “thank you” to the lovely driver who was being a mirror for me. I would purposely move over into the right lane and strictly drive the speed limit. I would surround the car with an energetic bubble for the purpose of releasing my anger. Then I would have at it. I would scream and yell and curse and whatever. Then I would ask that the energy be purified and release the bubble.

I did this for months and months. Then one day, I was driving down the Camp Hill bypass in thick traffic. I was getting irritated. “Irritated”… Hmmm. I had never felt the feeling of being “irritated” before.

Woo hoo! I am “Irritated!” I was so happy. I had open myself to a new feeling. I had been so angry and rageful all my life, that a feeling like “irritation” was too small to feel.

Now I attend to anger promptly. You too can heal the anger. You may need a counselor to help you. It is worth the journey.


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