Fear or Rage? I am thinking Rage.

I called my mom today and talked to her.
I told her about the oppressive feeling in my chest when I start losing more weight...
I asked her questions about that time when Duane lived with us.
I remember quite a few things...but there are blank spots.
And my mom reminded me of something I had forgotten.
She reminded me that he liked to wait a few days till you felt the danger had passed to dole out unexpected punishment.
He would act like everything was fine..
Then suddenly it wouldn't be fine.
It was typically violent.
He was very good at scaring the shit out of people.
When we were 'disciplined'...it would usually be at night.
Typically after he had gotten home, after he had gone to the bar..gotten drunk..gotten angry and then wanted to know who had done something.
It could be something like eat his candy bar out of the refridgerator.
As I recall that was a three hour ordeal.
Us sitting with our backs to our bunkbeds on the floor...while he took turns snapping the belt in our faces or whacking us upside the head to get one of us to 'confess'.
At that point my older brother and I had a silent understanding...neither one of us was saying shit.
Then when he was about to start in with the belt my mom would come in and draw him off and they would go at it out in the hall.
Finally he would stomp off and go to bed.
Sometimes he started hitting before mom interceded..
by intercede I mean 'throw herself on his back and have a fistfight'.
IT depended on the situation.
But it was always at night.
It was always unexpected, or out of the blue.
Somedays it was if we chewed too loudly at the kitchen table..
or were laughing and he thought we were laughing at him.
or if we ran..
or left a mess.
or didn't flush the toilet.
And as I was talking about it..
about all the emotions we weren't allowed to express.
We were never allowed to be happy..or we were laughing at him.
We were never allowed to be sad, because we looked 'stupid'.
We weren't allowed to be anxious..like when my mom was diagnosed with cancer he told her she was an idiot to worry. That she looked like a dumbass because she was crying.
That she needed to abort my brother.
If we chewed loudly, or took too much food he would call us pigs..
Then he would dump food on my plate and make me eat the whole plate because I was a "pig' and I should eat like one.
(thinking about that..next time I get the urge to eat like I shouldn't...I should keep that in mind. I control what I eat now.)
And I realized that feeling in my chest was huge and tighter...
and it was rage.
Not fear.
Maybe I am afraid of the depth of my anger.
I have seen what anger does when you do not control it.
He was an Angry, Vile Fucker.
And quite frankly..I don't know what to do with this anger.
It's just there.
There is no recompense for what he put us through.
My older brother's life is ruined...
He killed my older brother with abuse that turned into a bitterness and an anger that my older brother couldn't let go of.
I don't want to harbor this anger in me.
I want to let it go.
But I don't know how much is in there.
If there is fear in here..which there may well be when I am not conscious at night.
That just makes me angrier.
I asked my mom if she ever thought of killing him.
She said 'Yes, but I couldn't get the gun loaded'.
This was after he raped her.
She was too upset to load the gun.
I am glad...or I wouldn't have had a mom at all.
I am angry.
But I have to move forward.
I had a great day of eating and exercising.
I did 45 minutes and then practiced elbows and knee throws on a heavy bag.
That was cathartic.
It may become addictive.
I will be going to the gym every day from here on out.
I do better at the gym.
I do better being honest.
I will get free of this.
Have a great night guys.
Chris out.


MargieAnne said...

Dear Chris,
Rage and fear are an absolutely normal reaction to this time of your childhood.

Coming free of all that you experienced is like peeling an onion that never seems to end but I'm sure it will because you are so open to discovering why you act the way you do.

This might sound trite but it worked for me and I hope it helps you find a way through.

You are a practicing, believing Christian, otherwise I would not say this.

Accept that you have no control over those deep down feelings that scarred your spirit. This is not failure or lack of strength. In fact it shows a willingness to trust God.

Remember Jesus died to heal our wounds and set us free.

Choose a quiet moment and bundle all your rage and fear of it into a package. Imagine laying it at the feet of Jesus, at the base of the cross. Sometimes it helps to find an appropriate rock to represent your life and feelings at that time. Choose a place that has spiritual or peaceful meaning to you and lay the package down as though laying it at the feet of Jesus. You may have already done this. In which case God is healing you although you may not see the changes immediately.

Or you may consider this too weird, new age thinking but I can assure you God does a lot of healing through our imagination.

I have seen people come free by remembering a difficult, damaging situation and inviting Jesus to walk into it. He was there.... that's part of his eternal, timeless promise, "I will never forsake you." But sometimes we have to ask Him to help make his presence real to us and heal the terrible memories.

I hope you don't mind me writing this. Your courage to break the chains from your past is something I admire greatly. You are a very special person with great dreams and a great future. You will be helping and mentoring many people therefore it's important for you to find God's way through this.

I hope I've helped but if not be sure I am holding you and your family before Him in prayer.


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your journey as you work through this.
If only there were more honest people like you in this world, the cycles of hurt would lose their power so much quicker.
You are shining a light on things that need to be removed from the darkness where they can be healed in the light.
It is amazing to know how hard you are willing to dig and work at getting past this stuff. You are as tough as need be, yet soft enough to know how to share your story effectively.
Don't know if this will help any, but I have heard that sometimes we have to give ourselves the elements that were missing in our lives as we grew up...
Also, thank you for your comment today. I really am surprised at the woman I have become. I remember wishing to be like that one day, but doubting that I ever really could. Just when I stopped worrying constantly about it, I finally grew into the woman I always secretly wanted to be.

Caron said...

I don't have words to express how sad this made me feel. I was put in a children's home at age four but I know that it was the best place for me and my brother. My father wasn't good at controlling his anger either. At least they treated us well at the home. :)

Val N. said...

I hope writing this was cathartic as well. You have survived so much. I just know you will come out on the other side of this and THRIVE.

Look at how much you've done already to improve your life. You've broken the cycle of violence and given your children wonderful lives.

I greatly admire you, your honesty and courage. You are allowed to be angry as hell. Now try to figure out how to get it all out of your system so that he can no longer control any aspect of your life. You deserve that and so much more.

Retta said...

You're in my prayers, Chris.

Only one thing to offer, a suggestion to think about. I've read--and found it true in my own life--that anger is usually an umbrella emotion. If you look under it, there is usually hurt, pain, etc. I guess I'm thinking your rage is a natural response to the outrage that was done to you and your family. Yet also, it seems likely that as a child you felt that hurt, that fear and rejection and pain along with the rage. So... it's not either/or, but perhaps both?

Lots to deal with... like I said, I will keep you in my prayers. I know you will work through this. And having done so, you will be in a better position to help those others you spoke of before. You'll be able to teach them not only the OUTside defenses, but how to heal on the INside.

I have no doubt that eventually you will be healed of this hurt, and experience the freedom of forgiveness. And that will set YOU free.


My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

Have you asked your mom why she didn't intervene sooner than she did? Thinking some of your rage lies with her too. If that SOB is alive and you are able to do so...CONFRONT HIM. If not and his grave is within a days drive...I say PISS ON HIS GRAVE. It's very cathargic. I know from experience!
Don't let that SOB have anymore control over your life any more Christine. He's a worthless piece of shit!!! (((hugs)))Pat

Tammy said...

Big Hugs Chris. I'm proud of you for working through this.

Hanlie said...

I am sorry that your journey has brought you to this valley, but I know that you will get THROUGH it too. You are incredibly brave!

Robin said...

This post was painful to read. However, it opened so many doors. I do believe that knowledge is power. Once you can begin to understand the "whys" you have someplace to start. You know why it is night, you understand the insomnia, it all makes sense now. It isn't this big *mystery* anymore. Now it is all about taking action.

Several excellent suggestions were offered up in the comments and I think you should try all of them... or at least the ones that feel right to you. I agree with Rattakat about anger/rage being an umbrella emotion. It is like the crap in your chicken coop. There is always something under it. You have to keep scraping to get to all of the nuances of the Rage in order to let it go. That is how it won't eat you up. Don't just accept Rage as the answer. You have to keep asking "Why." Why was I so angry? And when you get one answer, ask another question. Because this is like one big ol onion... or one big ol chicken coop that has layers and layers of crap that need scraping away. The easiest answer will come first. The more times you ask "Why" the deeper you are going to get, the smellier it will get, but eventually you will have cleaned it out.

I think that is how you let it go. The rage. That is how you don't let it eat you alive. That is how you heal yourself.

E. Jane said...

This is tough stuff, Chris, and it sounds like you've reached the point where you have to deal with it. Nevertheless, memories like you have (I have some doozies myself) hurt like crazy, so proceed with caution, and it may be helpful to find someone to work with. As strong as you are, the root of this anger/rage lies in the Chris who was a child, and children are so vulnerable. That child is still there. Take good care of yourself. Thinking of you as you go through this process.

Jenny said...

My husband grew up in an abusive home, similar to the one you describe, and for him the main element that made it horrible was the unpredictability. You never knew when the punishment would come, or whether it would be for something bad or something totally minor, or whether it would be a beating or just vile names. And on and on. There was no way to guess, you were always scared. I am wondering whether your weight loss has made your life more unpredictable, because you lived so long with the weight. Now this is territory you haven't braved before, and you're not sure what is coming next -- where you want to take yourself -- and the unpredictability is part of what is scaring you, because it takes you back to where your abuser took you. Just a thought.