Room mate triggers repressed anger. How to work on that?

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I think I have accumulated a lot of anger during my upbringing. My parents thought it wasn't ok to express anger, so I never did, with them and with other people also. This lead to all kind of psychological abuses from other people, because I wasn't able to communicate to them that their behaviour wasn't ok.

Now I'm 25, and what's happening is this: as soon as somebody (especially people close to me) shows some kind of aggressive behaviour towards me, like sarcasm, passive aggressive sentences or plain aggressive words and attitude, I don't just get angry: I feel huge amounts of energy in my body, I start shaking, vibrating, having spasms, crying. I feel the urge either to cause physical damage to some object around me, or to scream really loud. Usually it's not appropriate in the situation to to either of those things, and at times I was able to hold myself from doing them. In the last 5 years I had this kind of reaction maybe 5 times.

Usually I hang out with people who are very gentle and this problem never arises with them, but once in a while it happens that I become friend with somebody that isn't that way. This year I moved to a bigger city, away from my parent's house, and I'm living with two room mates. One of them from time to time shows sings of aggression towards me, and two days ago we had a fight and I had a huge emotional reaction.

We talked a lot in the last two months about those issues, and she says that I get offended too easily and that it's difficult for her to behave naturally with me because she's afraid of hurting me.

After the fight we recently had, I feel afraid and anxious in her presence, because I feel like she might attack me again at any moment. She said she will be more careful, but deep down I don't trust her on that, and I'm afraid that I'll have to not interact with her anymore and work on my anger issues on my own. The problem is amplified because we're living together, but this is going to change because in september I have to move to another house.

This anger problem makes difficult for me to interpret behaviour from other people in a functional way, and to decide what is tolerable and what isn't, what's appropriate, what's disrespectful.

How do I work on repressed anger and personal boundaries specifically? I'm already going to therapy, doing journaling, psychedelics. Some people suggest releasing anger daily by screaming in a pillow and hitting something, which is precisely what I feel inclined to do when the anger comes up on it's own.

Thank you.

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What comes to my mind are these points:

1) can you give a more detailed description of the situation that triggered you? By analyzing that situation, maybe I can get a bigger picture and see, if you are overacting (wanted to write overreacting, but it's kind of fitting too) from my point of view, as your friend remarked.

2) from a modern psychology point of view, what is desirable is the so called assertive behavior. Which basically means you should be able to express yourself fully with a consideration of the other persons. Passive, aggresive and manipulative behaviors are to be avoided. Maybe you are way too passive (various reasons for that, including anxiety, low self-esteem etc.) in your communication, so when you are confronted with aggressive communication style (sarcastic, commanding, not taking your perspective into account) you are not able to project your natural feelings properly (repress anger), which leads to aforementioned problems. You mentioned you visit psychotherapist, maybe talk with her/him about your assertiveness.

3) you decide what is tolerable and which is not from your point of view and set your own borders. Your views can also change during time.

4) sometimes people just don't go well together (very different personalities, extremely opposite values and worldviews etc.). Then it's probably the best thing to go seperate ways, since handling that relationship dynamic will create a lot of unnecessary tension and take a lot of energy.

I hope I helped and provided some food for thought and introspection. Have a nice day.

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