Rage might make you think of someone with anger issues, but actually, inhibited anger is often found in the sweetest people you may know.
What usually happens is that these individuals are often “too nice”. They may be people pleasers, had the responsibility of keeping things“even keeled”, and frequently, taking care of others before their own needs.
Now not everyone who has somatic/body pains have unexpressed anger or rage. Rather, sometimes those symptoms are related to clogged emotions, unexpressed fears, worries, memories, experiences or trauma events that are stuck in the body.
Often, there may not be any “apparent reason” for the distress you’re experiencing, and that is normal too. Whatever the reason, if your body is sending you messages, lean in and listen to its expression.
what happens in the brain: the conscious + the unconscious
There is an exchange between the conscious mind (rational, ethical mind) and the unconscious mind (carries repressed hurt, sadness, emotional pain and anger). When the conscious and unconscious are disconnected (or have a “disagreement) that’s when you’ll see psychosomatic symptoms.
For example: if your conscious self wanted to speak up to your dad when he would raise his voice and say “stop yelling” but the unconscious was afraid he would condemn you for being disrespectful and rude. So, you swallow the emotions and put on a show, pretending everything is ok. Here is the disconnect.
Now, one time incidents don’t necessarily leave an impact. However, if you had to shut down your core need for expression on an ongoing basis (due to trauma, messages from your environment), your body accumulates the tension.
psychosomatic pain = a communication worth listening to.
Somatic symptoms are a form of asking for relief or change from a situation, self-belief, relationship or memory. The physical discomfort of pain forces you to stop, focus and listen to what’s really wrong.
As Sally leaves the session, her stance looks softer and her muscle tone solid yet flexed and her face looks brimmed with a light glow. When I check in on how she’s doing before we wrap up the session she’s shares:
It’s a new sensation. I’m learning what it’s like to actually live in my body, and not just think of my body as something that comes along with me for the ride. Of course now it makes sense that my belly was bloated most of the time. In my family I had to hold my breath and sift every single thought I wanted to share. There was never a moment where I could sigh a deep breath of relief. What's fascinating is that my thoughts were tiring not just my mind, but also my body. My bloated-ness has gone down, and I now notice when it gets worse. I’m starting to learn how my body talks to me and it’s pretty interesting.