I have really severe PTSD from trauma, severe abuse, violence, victimization, etc. And now, it seems as though I have these pockets of rage that feel uncontrollable. It's like I cannot do anything about the original abusers and predators, who deserve all the rage I can muster, and instead I blow my top with those who least deserve rage. Isn't that what abusers do? Take out their frustrations on their punching bag target?
I worry I am becoming an abuser. I feel awful each time I rage and yet I continue to blow my top. Does anyone else worry they are becoming abusers? Does anyone else have extremely severe PTSD? Does anyone else have fits of rage that feel uncontrollable?
I feel the abusers have forever tainted me, as they've dramatically altered my personality and left me non-functioning, and then there are the rage attacks, which leave me feeling monstrous.
Anyone have any advice? I abhor the rage attacks as I am RAGING and RAGING and nobody deserves that, outside of the original predators and those who have victimized and violated me.
Hi Enraged, welcome here. Thank you for sharing your story.
Yes, there are many many many survivors who suffer from Severe PTSD. And, yes, many have rage. Even many survivors have feelings of rage, irritability, the impulse to act out. I believe it is a result of years of constant abuse and torture from the Narcissist in their life.
I have heard from some survivors who suspect they are becoming Abusive..and I am here to say, that from my opinion, you are not becoming abusive. You are hurting, you are reacting to horrible trauma that has found its way into your life. You deserved none of it, you did nothing to provoke it. The Narcissist who abused you..it is all on THEM.
I had rage when I first left my abusive (now ex-husband) and I found myself in a worse situation with another abusive man..that discard made the rage even more pronounced. I was very irritable, I had a lot of hate in my heart and my rage though, was directed at my abusers. I did not hurt anyone, but I wanted to.
I did not have severe PTSD..I did have a very mild case of it according to my therapist. What helped me to get rid of those feelings of rage is counselling. I went to my local Domestic Violence Center ( I am fortunate to have one of the best in the USA in my city) and I got counselling over 2-3 years. I also was treated by my therapist with EMDR which helps with how I now see and react to the trauma that happened to me.
If you have counselling available to you, I would urge you to seek it out and find a counselor who you trust and can work with to work through that rage.
One thing that helped me was to find things that worked. For example, I would literally sit in my car and play music as loud as I could take and scream! I would cry, I would yell, but I did it in my car where it wouldn't hurt anyone. I also would find songs that I could identify with and I sang them at the top of my lungs. I had to find a way to release the "energy" that the rage was creating in me. I also had a major issue with road rage..in the city I live near..people are idiots the way they drive. I would literally yell at everyone around me who got in my way. I also was not opposed to using finger gestures and laid on my horn SEVERAL times. I don't do that anymore, I got to a point where I don't care. I honestly also got tired of spending a lot of energy on feeling hateful. It wasn't who I was as a person, I never hated anyone or anything in my life before the abuse..after 30 years of abusive men, I had a lot of hate in me. I have since worked through it and fill up my "tank" with kindness and love. I am much happier because of it. Also, I found an outlet..I walk, I hike, I rock climb. I am active. Sitting still caused me to think a lot..and when I do that, that self talk in me gets my thoughts going and it is not helpful to me. So, I found outlets like exercise. I just had to get outside and walk or just breathe in fresh air. It all helped.
I like to write, I have several journals that I have created with my thoughts, feelings, poems, etc of all that was in my head and heart. I also wrote several letters to the abusers..putting that rage down on paper and getting it out of my head. I did not send the letters. Mostly because I had learned over time, that my abusers..could care less how I am feeling. I knew if I sent them, I wouldn't get the satisfaction I was looking for which is to get revenge on them. Getting revenge doesn't feel good. I have tried to find a way to get revenge, and I always end up coming back to the same feeling..it isn't worth it. The only person who is hurting by my rage and my wanting revenge is me.
I came to the conclusion that taking that rage and revenge out on others wasn't helping me and it wasn't helping those people who cared about me. They didn't deserve my rampage.
Also, one thing I know is when an abuser is gone from our lives, when a relationship ends, there is a grieving process. Even when we experience a "loss" of what we dreamed of and hoped for..those are losses too. It is grieving the facade the Abusers created. We had hopes and dreams and those are shattered as a result of the abuse..we have to grieve that as well.
Anger and rage are part of the grieving process. You may be feeling that also as a result of the loss you have suffered. We lose a lot when we are being abused. We lose control, we lose hope, we lose faith, we lose the man or woman of our dreams..as we come to realize they are NOT who we thought they were, we lose a dream of the future, some of us lose marriages and children, and we lose our identity as well. Meaning we thought we were a "good wife" or a "good mother", or "good daughter" and the abusers take that away from us. Some of us lose our homes, our belongings, things that had sentimental value because the abuser broke it or destroyed it. All of those losses take a toll on us and the way our brains respond..is with anger. I know for me..it was a mix of anger and sadness when I realized who my abusers are. That realization of what I married and what they REALLY are..it caused anger in me, rage, frustration, annoyances, sadness, utter devastation, you name it I felt it.
You may be having those feelings too. And it is very understandable. One thing that also helped me..is identifying what was happening to me. Gaining that insight to the rage and all the feelings after leaving the abusers..it helped me to figure out what was the next step for me. I did some of this identifying by reading and learning about Narcissists and abuse. The more I learned, the more it made sense what happened to me. AND the more I came to believe that I didn't cause it. AND that I couldn't have stopped it when I was in those relationships. The only way to stop it for me, was to leave. That and going NO CONTACT..helped me to start to deal with it all.
I am sorry you are going through all this. If you need to talk to a live person..I would urge you to call the National Domestic Hotline..1-800-799-7233. A counselor is there to talk to 24/7. You can remain anonymous and just get it off your chest. They are non-judging and will listen and offer to help if they can.
I hope some of this has helped you. Please know..you are not abusive, you are not becoming an abuser. Your brain is responding to trauma. Very different than being abusive.
We are here, and I believe others will reach out to you as well and share their stories.
Thanks, Karen, for your kind reply. I feel less alone and less monstrous. I think you are right. I am very much responding to trauma. And that's very different from being abusive. I think the amount of horror and dread at the thought of becoming an abuser says something in itself.
And it's helpful to hear that not only were not responsible for the abuse, that we didn't cause it, we also didn't have the means to stop it either. That last part is something to chew on. I felt like such a failure as I tried everything to stop it somehow, to prevent it, and to have it stop. Nothing worked. And he claimed it was always because of me, that I caused it and I could stop it but I liked forcing him to beat me (among other things). He'd have me say it. That I caused him to beat me and he only beat me because I made him do it.
I'm going off on a tangent. But it makes me recall what pride and glory was in him, no shame or embarrassment or horror about being a predator and a monster, but rather pride. Night and day difference between him and I.
You're right Karen. I'm just an injured person responding to trauma. I'm not an abuser. What a relief!
Enraged, you are very welcome! And, please know, it is perfectly OK to "go off on a tangent". That is what this forum is for. It is an opportunity to express what is going on inside us, the victims...who eventually become survivors.
You could not have stopped him...no matter what you said, or did, or tried. You didn't make him do anything..you certainly did not make him hit you. And what a "shit" he is for trying to get you to believe that you caused him to hit you. I hope he rots.
You are nothing like him..I promise you that! You care, you love, you have a conscience, you know the difference between right and wrong, you have morals and values, and you don't hurt people to serve your own ego. He will rot someday..that I hope for.
We all have been injured, we have been where you are and some of us are still there. There are some women on this forum who felt that if they fought back, if they hit or yelled back at their abuser, then they were just like the abuser. And because we defend ourselves..we are not abusive. Abuse is a pattern of behavior, it doesn't end, it has so many characteristics.
No one on this earth is responsible for the behavior or actions of another human. You did not cause him to be the way he is. HE CHOOSES to act the way he does for a reason. HE could just as easily choose NOT to hit, or not to belittle you, or not hurt you on purpose. The sad part is, he can act like he has morals and values and he really doesn't.
You are not a monster by any means. You are a survivor of a Narcissist and the abuse they spew all over their intimate partners, they claim to love. The best revenge at this point...have a great life without them! Live for you..not for them. Ignore them, don't respond to any contact at all. Keep remembering..you cannot change this person. He believes he can change you. Don't let him any longer.
We are here enraged, post anytime you want to. We are all in this together, so please feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, whatever is on you mind. Honest.
He did a lot more than just hit me. And through it all, it was so all-encompassing and overwhelming, and I couldn't seem to think straight.
I look back now and recall with horror when I argued against it being abuse, argued that it wasn't that bad, since I had yet to be shot and all. As though I was just whining about nothing. The mindf###ery involved! The endless brainwashing!
And I really believed that I was responsible, that I caused it, that I was to blame for it all. I felt so guilty, overwhelmed, embarrassed, and ashamed. I felt like I was the only one. I believed it to be all my fault. What colossal horse poop!
And now, people believe me to be the monster and that he is the victim. He primed all these people to hate me, including the neighbors. He'd yell his head off, screaming pure lies, that I was attacking him, I needed to go to jail, that I was threatening to get a gun and shoot him, and so many more lies. When he'd rape me, I'd have to act like I liked it, like a porn star. Everything was in submission to whatever he demanded because if he didn't get whatever he wanted, right then, at the very instant he demanded it, it was severe beatings, suffocating me until unconscious, death threats, coming at me with a knife, grabbing things and ripping and mangling them right in my face (only my things, of course), breaking sentimental stuff of mine, threatening others, threatening, looking like a raging monster -- theatrically so (but not in a funny way, rather very scary, stop you in your tracks, hold your breath kind of way) and threatening to bash my head in.
And people believe him to be the victim and me to be the monster and I cannot tell you how many people have targeted me, victimized me, and abused me because of his successful smearing of me. People are so proud when they harm me, as though righteous, some sort of vigilante justice being carried out, but it's backwards. All it has done is harm the real victim all the more.
I go from suicidal to raging to suicidal. And when I lose my cool, I feel like a monster, as I feel poisoned, forever tainted by this abuser's vileness. It's like a person learns what they live and they start becoming like the abuser. I even tried to be 'tough' or 'strong' and hate on my abuser and all such was thrown back in my face, used as supposed 'evidence' as to my being the monster and abuser and him being the victim. But I was just drowning in fear, drowning in overwhelm, disgusted at how afraid I was, desperately trying to be 'tough'/'strong'/not so weak and cowed.
How many others have had their abusers turn all sorts of people against them? How does a person cope with that? I met one woman who was abused and lived in a small town and her abuser had made her out to be the terrible one and it was horrible for her, as the whole town turned against her and hated on her. I've had such done to me in more places than one small town. It's overwhelming. And it doesn't stop. And people who aren't involved, they deny that such would ever happen. But it does. I've lived it.