Updated: Sep 6
⛔Trigger Warning: Proceed with caution⛔
Yesterday morning I was having a conversation with a friend and it reminded me of a memory: the first time I realized that I had rage inside of me and I had to work very hard to not endanger a child I was disciplining...in that moment I realized that my rage was towards my dad and that the child had nothing to do with it. It was just that this time I was on the authority side of things.
I also remembered how I was puzzled in self defense class when it was mentioned that we should keep in mind that everyone is capable of doing evil. I looked at myself and wondered how I could do evil such as attacking another person for the sole purpose of doing them harm. Now it clicked. I am capable of doing evil. I am capable of doing harm to another person. In my heart I don't want to. I want to be kind and compassionate and confident and caring. But...
This rage inside me. I know it's there. I keep stuffing it down in the "basement " and locking the door everytime it manages to squeeze its ugly head out. Why? Because I'm terrified of facing it. I'm afraid I'll go crazy if I do. I'm afraid I'll lose control and do the very harm I don't want to do. When it's triggered I feel like a pressure canner with a bulging lid almost at the exploding point covered over with a rug and people walk over and all around it and have no clue. So I disassociate or block it to the best of my ability because I don't want to hurt anyone ...
You may wonder why? Where does it come from? I'll tell you.
A. B. U. S. E.
I remember times in my childhood that I got punished but instead of remorse I felt rage. I knew I couldn't kill my dad or mom because I was too small. But I wanted to. Even as a very young child I knew things werent right. But because I didn't know how to escape I learned to squash that anger deep down inside because if I took it out on the little ones I'd get hurt. It was a vicious cycle. My parents could take their frustrations out on me but I had no place to go with my frustrations so they got buried deep deep inside.
Now and then like yesterday at work when there were some children crying for a long time and today after that conversation it raises its head and I remember it's there. And I try to stuff it back down because I'm scared. And I don't feel safe. And I don't want to be alone when I face it. But I trust no one enough. So I'm stuck. Stuck with this rage I never asked for. Stuck with the injustice of a child being abused by the very person who should have been their protector. ( But I also know that anger is a secondary emotion meaning that there's a deeper feeling underneath such as fear. )
So if you've read this far and decide that this is too much for you that's fine. You are allowed to walk away. It's not the first time I've lost all my friends. I won't be surprised to lose them all again. In fact, I think I expect to. The first person I chose to trust enough to share some of my past with(I was 18) told me I'm too much. It has colored my relationships ever since. Now I expect to be too much for any person. When I most needed friends and support no one was there. Except Jesus.
Most of the time I still feel that way because I don't know how to ask for what I need. Most times I don't even know what I need. I was taught it's wrong to have needs. I'm just supposed to be a doormat and follow all the rules and do as I'm told. And that's enough to cause a rage volcano...🌋🌋and I can totally understand why there might be school shootings and murder...I can totally understand now why people are capable of evil...I see it in myself...and I know why it is there...
But...my goal is to get rid of it in a positive and productive way so that I will not hurt or harm anyone. And if I don't deal with it....I am going to be the one that will suffer the consequences in my physical, emotional and mental health. Also it will spill out on others as well and I don't want that to happen. It is my responsibility to deal with it. The anger is an internal reaction to the injustice and evil I experienced as a child. I have forgiven my parents but now I have the responsibility to deal with the effects of the abuse that I never asked for.
Now if you find yourself in a similar place don't be dismayed. It is part of the journey. We may take one step forward and two back. It doesn't mean we failed. That we are worthless. That's not true. We are responsible to seek healing for ourselves. For most of us we never knew anything different and we are learning new ways.
It takes time to learn new habits. It takes hard work. It takes effort. It takes committment. So it is in our healing journey. It takes hard work and effort and commitment. Some of us it will take us all our lives to heal. To learn new ways. Some things we will always have to deal with because of trauma and PTSD. It doesn't mean we aren't going forward and healing. It takes time. But...
It is worth it....looking back over the years (I've been on my healing journey for over 15 years) I can now see the progress I've made and am making.
There's been some years that have been excruciatingly painful (you can read more in some of my other blog posts or my book*) but I've learned things through those times that I would not have learned otherwise. For that reason I can accept what I've gone through because it isn't possible to change it anyway. I just wish no one else to have to go through what I have. But because of what I've gone through I now have compassion and understanding for people in abusive situations etc.
God is able to redeem the pain we have suffered in our lives if we are willing to let Him. He promised the same to Israel in Joel 2:25...this is my hope as well and I believe God specializes in taking the pain and hurt of abuse and doing something good with it...otherwise the abuse advocates I know probably wouldn't be doing what they are now....