Anger is often seen as a taboo subject especially in Christian circles. We don’t talk about anger.
BUT I firmly believe that deep anger is a totally valid and appropriate response to child abuse and abuse of any kind. To be honest I cannot think of any other appropriate reaction to abuse but anger, disgust, revulsion etc.
As a little girl I was taught that good little girls don’t get angry or have any negative feelings. Good little girls just smile and pretend everything’s ok, come what may. I was not allowed any feelings as a child, but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel anger, rage, hurt, disgust, confusion, revulsion about what was done to me. I sure did but had nowhere to go with those feelings.
An added complication is that as a Christian I’ve been taught anger was a ‘bad’ thing and it was ‘sinful’ to express anger. A good Christian woman is submissive. But hang on my bible tells me anger in itself is an emotion like any other. My understanding is that it’s misdirected anger that causes problems, not anger alone. My bible also tells me of the man Jesus who saved HIS strongest language for those who abused, manipulated and controlled people in the society HE lived in. HE was full of love and compassion for those in need, and towards those who came to HIM for help. But HE wasn’t backwards about coming forwards when it came to confronting those who tried to prevent people coming to HIM and those who made life unbearable for other people, especially the religious leaders at that time.
Guess what, I’ve got a lot of anger in me and this is the first time I’ve addressed this subject. So here’s my first attempt at expressing my anger.
~ I am very angry about what my abusers did to me
~ I am very angry at the damage done to my life
~ I am very angry that thanks to my abusers I’ve had no life up until now
~ I am very angry when I hear of other people’s experiences of abuse and domestic violence
~ I get very angry towards those who abuse, manipulate and control, whatever the context
~ I’m really angry at the way God and Christianity were misrepresented to me by my abusers and other Christians, including the issues of anger, grief, forgiveness, forgetting about it + putting it behind you as if it never happened etc – and about all the hurt, problems and confusion those misrepresentations [in some cases ‘brainwashing’] have caused me
~ I am angry about the false beliefs about the normality of the abuse that I was brainwashed with by my abusers
~ I am angry about the false beliefs about my lack of value and worth as a human being, as a female, and as a person that I was brainwashed with by my abusers
~ I am angry that I was not allowed to have or express my own feelings and opinions throughout all the years I was abused and about how hard it is for me even now to express my feelings, thoughts, opinions, ask questions etc
~ I am absolutely furious with the justice system in this country - a justice system that cares more about the perpetrators than their victims and isn't about bringing perpetrators to justice. A justice system which paid more attention and gave greater weight to the lies, defiance and denials of my abusers than it did to MY evidence, MY witness impact statements, and other witnesses is no justice system in my book.
~ I am very angry that the guilty walk free because they lied and I cannot prove they abused me "beyond all reasonable doubt" to Crown Prosecution Lawyers. The police were in no doubt, the professionals are in no doubt about the seriousness of what happened - my police file is thick with evidence - but smart ****** lawyers said "there is no evidence". I've been seriously let down by the UK justice system. And I am ************ furious about it. There are no words for the fury I feel and for how betrayed I feel by our so called justice system. It's no wonder people take the law into their own hands.
~ I am angry that my abusers’ threats kept me silent, afraid and isolated for nearly a quarter of a century
~ I’m angry about all I lost and the childhood I never had
~ I’m angry that I cannot have any kind of relationship, sexual or non sexual, because of the abuse
~ I’m angry about all my abusers robbed from me that I can never ever get back
~ I’m angry about the wrong choices of my abusers which have so screwed up my life
~ I’m angry that my abusers choose to continue to live their lives in lies, denials and delusion while my shattered life can only be lived in the truth of the horrors they subjected me to
~ I’m angry that my abusers created this mess but I’m the one who has to do the work to heal and clean it all up
Why did I write this blog today?
Well I got in touch with my anger today. I got in touch with it for two reasons.
Firstly I read over the weekend an absolutely phenomenal blog post on the “Emerging From Broken” blog site written by an abuse survivor lifting the lid on anger and exploring healthy anger.
You can read it at http://emergingfrombroken.com/memoirs-of-a-mad-survivor-by-patty-hite/.
I read the article several times before I commented on it. I didn’t know what I was going to type in response until I began typing. If I thought I was going to type a theoretical response I was in for a shock because instead of a nice tidy thought out response, anger spilled out of me through my fingers on to the screen in front of me and I saw my anger there in black and white before me.
The second reason is that Monday is therapy day. It is the day I have one hour with my therapist to work on the abuse. Today was my second session with her and although we both acknowledged that I skirted around the details and shrunk back from talking about the sexual abuse which I was remembering so vividly - I did get in touch with the confusion and hurt that little 3-year old girl felt.
As I did so I began to get angry, very angry! I felt angry for that little girl who was so let down and betrayed. I also felt immense anger talking about the devastating effect the abuse has had upon my life.
At this stage I’m not even tapping into the rage which resides deep within me. This is surface anger, surface rage. What I feel deep inside goes beyond words.
Anger is a totally different issue to forgiveness but too many people misrepresent forgiveness as being a magic thing which stops you being angry and solves all your problems. But that’s just total garbage. Forgiveness is many things but it doesn’t magically get rid of the anger and grief about what happened. Anger and bitterness also get mixed up too. And after all no one wants to be thought of as an 'angry bitch'. But all these emotions need to be acknowledged and processed.
Anger is what drives me for justice.
Anger at the devastation I see in my own life is what drives me in my quest to heal.
Anger at the lies that have kept me in prison all these years is what drives me to speak out the truth and keep speaking it out.
Anger is an essential part of being human, and gosh, I didn’t realise how angry I was before I began typing.
As I already said, I aint begun to connect with the deep rage inside BUT one day I will and well that’s going to be interesting!!
I am a survivor of extremely severe ritualistic childhood abuse and sadistic systematic torture. This blog has helped me get my voice back and documents the journey I'm on to heal from the trauma and damage caused by that appalling abuse. Now is the time for me to tell of MY experience by speaking the truth about MY life. I will be silenced no more! On this blog I share MY life, MY healing journey; helpful quotes/stuff I come across and MY thoughts along the way. The more I speak out the more liberated I am from the shame and trauma of the abuse. My broken wings are gradually being repaired. Without God in my life I wouldn't still be here. But somehow, I keep on staying alive, surviving and rarely, occasionally, living a little!