Barriers from Trauma: How I Cope with Anger

tw: depression, sexual assault


By Marianne Miranda

I woke up today feeling depressed. To start off, I live with major depressive disorder. I’d say that I’ve learned how to cope with my mental health pretty well as my life progressed. However, my progress has stagnated ever since I was sexually assaulted.

It happened a few days before this quarter started, by someone I considered one of my best friends. Pushing forward in life this quarter has been extremely difficult as I continue to experience fear, anger, and jealousy.

Jealousy and anger has led me to otherize everyone to be completely honest, as in I would assume that everyone is living a picture perfect life. Because of what happened to me and because of my depression, my perception becomes skewed often. During my heightened depressive states, I assume that everyone else has it better than me, living happy lives with their loved ones. Anger is toxic not only as it can lead me to emotionally attack myself, but also when I start projecting it onto others to ‘save myself’.

Anger is an automatic response to pain, whether it be physical or emotional. This is how humans transfer feelings of guilt and hurt to protect oneself. Anger blinds me from reality and flaws, that people’s lives aren’t actually perfect and each person maybe going through barriers in life.

Circling back to empathy, one of the things that I frequently do to prevent projecting this anger onto others is to step back and empathize with the people I meet. For example, my roommate is in a LDR with her boyfriend all the way from Boise, Idaho. Everyday, she drives to Morro Bay to work long shifts at the only Starbucks in the area. Her loving relationship is just a part of her busy life, away from her loved ones back in Boise. This practice has helped me to stop and think about the individuality of each person, that everyone is unique and everyone’s journey isn’t a straight path to point A to point B.

This helps me understand that everything will be okay.

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