Being angry is okay; learning to channel it is essential: Self-help links

Mitchell Milch of 4Therapy says: "Anger all by itself does not often lead to abusive behaviors. Most often, you have to sprinkle on a little rage, envy and hatred to get something akin to an explosive."

I truly believe there is good anger and there is bad anger. Good anger comes from knowing that what you are angry about is a true wrong, not just an annoyance.

There are many resources available for anger management, but very few for management of emotions following rape. To a large degree rape is still a taboo subject and rape victims are still held responsible for their own violation.

The anger felt by a rape victim is not the same as the anger felt by someone who is overly stressed with their day to day life, but that difference isn't or can't be articulated by people who have not experienced the personal violation that is rape.

The following websites talk about the rape victim's trauma, emotional hurt and anger. The descriptor notes about each site are from the websites themselves.

What rape is not

FACT: No other crime victim is looked upon with the degree of suspicion and doubt as a victim of rape.

Why does rape and sexual assault happen?

Sex without consent, or without caring about whether or not the other person consents, is rape whether or not the parties are married or in any other ongoing relationship.

The extreme trauma of rape

Sexual assault is an arbitrary event in the victim's lifestyle. It is sudden, unexpected and unpredictable. She is faced with a life threatening situation that she is unable to effectively resolve. Her usual methods of coping with threats and conducting interpersonal relationships fail her. It is a violation of her physical self and her basic beliefs and assumptions about her environment, about other people and relationships and about herself.

Reactions and adjustments to rape

It is essential to understand that there is no [one] way that victims respond and adjust to this crisis. Any one victim might exhibit all or none or any combinations of the system[s] describe[d]. Problems might occur within a week, a year, ten years or never.

Effects of sexual assault

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, RAINN, was co-founded in 1994 by Tori Amos, herself a survivor of a horrific rape (see link below). RAINN lists many effects of rape trauma, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, substance abuse, sleep disorders, eating disorders, flashbacks and many more.

Tori Amos

Tori vowed never to speak of it again. Closing a door in her mind as tightly as she could, she moved resolutely forward. Like millions of sexual assault survivors before and after her, Tori buried the rape.

Rape Trauma

Sexual assault is never the victim's fault - ever. No matter what was said or what clothing the woman wore, whether there was alcohol involved, or if the perpetrator was not a stranger. A woman's body is her own, and no one has permission to do anything against her wishes.

Will I ever feel "normal" again?

All women are different: the paths you take will be your own.

How Do You Recover From Rape?

As a rape or sexual assault survivor, you may feel isolated, like no one understands. Recovery from rape doesn't mean that it's as if the rape never happened, but healing from rape trauma is possible.

Rape Trauma Syndrome

Survivors of sexual violence can suffer physical and emotional trauma during and after a rape or sexual assault. This phenomenon is known as Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS). RTS is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These same symptoms can occur with other forms of sexual violence. The severity of sexual violence is not determined by the aggressor, but by a survivor's reaction to the event.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD affects hundreds of thousands of people who have been exposed to violent events such as rape, domestic violence, child abuse, war, accidents, natural disasters and political torture. It is normal to be affected by trauma. PTSD is not rare. It is not unusual. It is not weak to have PTSD.

Symptoms may come on soon after the trauma or fifty years later. That is what is meant by the post in PTSD. It is normal too for symptoms to come up again when faced by further trauma and in very stressful times. It is normal to be affected by trauma.

Society has its own way of dealing with trauma which can both be belittling or denying. For a survivor to be told that what happened to them wasn't that bad, or was no big deal or continually being told it was time that they were over it, or just try and forget it ever happened cause secondary wounding in trauma survivors. It reinforces the mistrust of everyone and everything that trauma evokes in all survivors who no longer can believe that the universe is fair or just.

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