“How did you grieve?” That’s my one question I had for the speaker yesterday night.
She shared her story of her daughter being kidnapped and murdered by this young man who would periodically call her to bait her, trick her, and frighten her, until he was finally caught. This old lady, even after so many years, the emotions were still strong in her voice as she told us all this. She told us how she felt angry, yet struggled with it as she also was brought up to see anger (the emotion) as an evil (my 1st trigger of the evening, from my own upbringing on anger).
My question wasn’t so much for while all that horrible stuff was going on, because she already talked about that. My question actually was more so about after she had confirmation that her little girl was killed, and after that young man, whom she grew to pity, hanged himself before serving his sentence (my 2nd and last trigger, from dad’s attempted hanging). I was thinking, when it’s over for me as it was for her, however it’s going to end (dad going to prison, mother trying to kill me, dad trying to kill himself, etc.), how am I going to feel? How am I going to process it?
She told me a lot of good things, things I’d already realized or heard about forgiveness. However, she told me that I must “honor my anger.” Otherwise, the forgiveness isn’t complete.
Brought me back to a time when my confessor (my priest friend) said, when I was confessing about anger towards my abusers, “Would it be strange for you to hear that I’m glad you’re angry?” Actually, he’d often encourage me to let myself be angry, realize what happened was wrong, and that what happened wasn’t my fault. Again, the mental knowledge is there (sorta), but my heart isn’t.
I tried to get angry just now. I ended up sobbing in frustration that I can’t feel any anger at all.
Everything just feels so far away. I feel lost. I always feel so lost.
It didn’t even work to consider if it happened to someone else. I thought of the people I love most, and I couldn’t summon the anger. I just wept.
I was thinking, with how I dissociated so strongly against my abuse, my parents’ faces are hard to remember…it’s like I killed the memory of them, like they’re dead to me. Those old, old memories from when I was a toddler, their existence in those memories feel like the only ones that are real. Maybe it’s because that was the time I felt like I had parents who loved me, and after we moved away from the west coast and they changed, those loving parents died. Or maybe I was the one that died. I don’t know.
Those horrifying memories I shared about the abuse, by them and all the others, they are sometimes so, so sharp, but other times they just get buried in. As awful as it sounds, it reminds me of a knife: I see the edge, so bright and sharp, but when the memories stab me, I can’t see the knife, but can feel the pain, the world hazing over.
I don’t get it. Why am I in such a haze? What caused it? Could it just have been hearing that old song? Isolating from everyone? What did this to me?
I can’t get angry. All those bad things mother did, my dad did, my family and all those abusers did, all of it’s cold. Not even thinking of Lucas, the child I lost soon after he was conceived, not even that makes me angry. I just think, “He’s in heaven, he’s safe, no one is going to hurt him ever again, and his father’s going to hell for it if he doesn’t make it right, that’s that. I’m sad he’s gone, I’m sad I never got to hold his little body, hear his voice, look into his eyes and tell him I love him, but there’s nothing for it.” That’s it. No anger. No want for revenge.
I don’t want revenge, not for any of them. They did very bad things, and my parents and uncle at least show every intention of continuing to do bad things. Therefore, it is my duty to see that they are put away. If not, then they’re probably going to hell, because they’ve demonstrated that they don’t have any desire to make it right; if they don’t want to make it right to me or society, then chances are they don’t want to make it right with God.
(But…what about me?)
What about me? I just have to live this life the best I can until I die…right? I’m very behind everyone else in a lot of ways, but I’ll manage. I have to manage. I’m a Grown-Up now, aren’t I? I’m almost 28. There’s no reason, or point, to be angry, right…?
I’m reading these words I’m writing, and thinking what a load of garbage!
I bet this is the kind of thinking going through mother’s mind before she finally let that rage out, and never stopped letting that rage out. She didn’t deal with it, any of it, the coward. My dad, my family, NONE OF THEM had (or will at this point) dealt with their stuff! Who has to clean up after them? ME, and every other victim of abuse out there. Somewhere, there’re little children being brutalized verbally, physically, sexually, spiritually, etc. by some rotten people who are too yellow to deal with their own unhappiness! This world, it’s increasingly being made up of just the same sort of cowards who project their mess on the world, and want to force the rest of us to live in their sick game of make-believe! Is the truth not a thing anymore?! Is the sky not blue?! They’re just like that one narcissistic kid, who would always imagine themselves as this omnipotent, omniscient, infallible identity that could beat all the other kids. (No one wanted to play with you for a reason, you sniveling little BRAT!) No one wants to play with someone who would out-do everyone, pull out every dirty little trick to win, and blindly attack everyone else around them to feel better! I HATE that!! That’s the thing I HATE the most about living in this world!!!
I…think I found my anger again.
I’m not sure if I should publish this. There’s no cursing or anything but…
It’s funny; one of the few things that makes me furious is having to clean up after people’s mess (when I didn’t offer, or agree to do as a duty). The only one I’ve had to clean up after at home for the past few months is myself, but at work, there’s a coworker or two who always leaves a mess for me to clean the next day.
Likewise, I’d always have to “clean up” after my abusers, whether it’s carrying their shame, or apologizing for their abuse. Or heck, literally cleaning up after them; mother would always leave this gigantic mess in the kitchen after cooking, and would expect me to clean up after her (though if I made a giant mess, I have to clean it). After I stopped living with them, my big brother took up that chore; he made a snide remark about cleaning up after me, both in this sense, and also in the sense of my “divorcing” them meant my role in that abusive system was gone, making them “clean up” after me (since of course there’s nothing at all wrong with the system, right?).
Maybe I need to stop “cleaning up” after them. This cannot be taken as not healing my wounds, but I shouldn’t clean up after them. (But who will, if I don’t?)
This is probably something I should address with my doctor tomorrow. Until then, I may just think about this a bit more, figure out how I can best rectify this situation. Healing and forgiveness doesn’t mean you pay their debt, it means releasing the debt.
The question is…how?