What you sensed was anger...rebuilding my chicken coup.

Depression is anger turned inwards..
and when you no longer feel the need to self flagellate..
anger turns outwards.

I read something a while back that changed how I viewed my childhood.
How I viewed my forgiveness.
How I viewed abuse.
and what answers I had
and wanted to give.
I was such a startlingly clarifying moment..
It knocked me on my ass.

Abuse is a choice.
Not an illness.
I know people will tell me that abusers must be mentally ill.
But I tell you, all they have is excuses.
And they have limits..
limits they tell you, others and even themselves..
That their behavior is not abusive because they hit with an open hand, or only belittle, or only control.
but it is.
I read a scene from a therapists' book.
In the scene she was pretending to be an abuser in a marital relationship.
And the people she was counseling.
They were giving her tips..
on how better to intimidate their 'loved' one.
LEAN CLOSER...yelled one.
pretend you are going to hit her! Yelled another.
"blame her and tell her it's her fault"...shouted another.
In those 'tips'..I recognized my abusive stepfather..
How he would hide behind sunglasses and stare...so you couldn't tell who he was looking at..
how he would loom..
how he would snap the belt in front of your face.
How he would use his silence to intimidate.
How he never called us by our name.
How he never allowed us to laugh.
and every last excuse I had concocted for his abuse was stripped away.
It was planned.
They say they are 'out of control'.
Isn't it funny how they only break your things?
Isn't it funny how they tell you that they aren't abusers because they don't hit with a closed fist.
They have a point they will not cross.
And if they cross that point they blame someone else.
If abusers abuse because they were abused.
Then why don't I abuse?
I think my interior inability to let go over the years was a direct result of knowing that every excuse I concocted for his abuse was bullshit.
We don't want to believe that people abused us voluntarily.
We want to believe they can't help themselves..
even though they go to work every day and treat their bosses and co workers in a civil manner.
Even when they are charming to the waitress or good to their siblings.
Why us?
They did it because  we were a convenient outlet for their  abuse.
They didn't do it because they loved and didn't know how to control it..
they did it because they love themselves and we were their pummeling dummy.
Theirs to control.
It changed everything.
And the choice I had to make was a hard one..
it wasn't so much to forgive in the classical sense.
It was a putting away of the past, and a realization that I cannot make decisions anymore based on fear or rage.
I refuse to live with the ball of anger or fear in me.
So...I choose to grab on to love and hope and use my knowledge to empower other women to see that while their abuser is making choices.
They have choices to make as well.
It changed the way I deal with and how I view people.
It changed what I will and won't accept.
And it sure kicked me in the ass about how I was using food..even in small amounts, to comfort myself and then making excuses as to why I was doing it.
Don't we all have excuses as to why things don't get done.
How our behavior is valid..
when many times it isn't.
What we do, how we live..
it affects people.
Our time on earth is limited.
Letting go of my anger has been quite the process.
I am not all the way there..
but I am part way there.
I intend to let people in..
to smile at people.
to not fear random men.
to love and to accept people despite their imperfections.
Because for years..any sign of poor decision making had me throwing up walls..
as if it would rub off.
That Kelly Clarkson song 'because of you'...that was me.
I refused to let anything messy pop up.
And I refused to be guided by emotion or to even acknowledge them.
I am now learning to acknowledge my emotions..
and to work through my irrational ones..act on my pertinent ones..
and I am learning to be happy..
to use my childhood as a catalyst for positive..
instead of a reverse image to fight against.
I am building my emotional chicken coup....and populating it with things that matter.
I tore it all down..
now I have to build it into what I want it to be...

Thank you Deb and Sue for  your concern. 
Chris out.


E. Jane said...

I'm so glad that you are working through childhood issues. I have them too, and they resurface every now and then. Unless you have experienced something like this it's difficult to understand the grip they can have on your life, even as an adult.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome, Chris...and thank you, right back. :)

This post and your comment on mine was like someone saying, "Now, Deb, pay attention here. This is important."

Then, I reread my own post. :}

Those old ways of being can be hard to shake. They sneak back...

But, God is able and on the job.

Onward and forward, girlfriend, and holding His hand.



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

Thank you..... (((hugs)))

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

There's always a connection that I feel somehow with you, even though I don't really know you at all.
A lot of it is the childhood issues. I can clearly see that much. The part I guess I haven't realized so much is how similarly we have dealt with said issues.
It's a hard balancing act, knowing that you want to be positive and knowing that you don't want to dwell... and yet also knowing that if you're not honest with yourself about certain things- well then you never really get to enjoy the truly positive...
I am so happy to see that you are still progressing on this journey and it's wonderful that you have such a gift for sharing such honesty. Somehow you manage to share serious issues while bringing people up, rather than down. That is something.

Robin said...

First, let me say that I am glad to see you blogging ANYTHING again. I tend to worry about you (even if I don't say so) when you go dark here.

Second, you have brought so MANY issues to the table in this post that it is hard for me zero in on just one of them. So, I will tell you that in my tapping therapy that I have been doing one of the things that I discovered is that I had boundary issues. My therapist suggested I read this books called Boundaries (http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310585902/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374250968&sr=1-1&keywords=boundaries) and I am doing so now.

There are several types of people with boundary issues. One of them are abusive people. They don't respect the boundaries of others. Of course, abused people become people with boundary issues, since their boundaries were violated. This book is written from a Christian perspective and might be yet another building block to help you rebuild your chicken coop so that it looks precisely the way you want it.

Love and (virtual) hugs to you my friend!!!

Darcy Winters said...

I like your remark that depression is anger turned inwards. I was abused physically, but it is more the mental abuse that has stuck with me and damaged me over the years. It took me a long time to realize just how unhappy of a person my mother was/is. I suspect your stepfather was unhappy with life too. (Doesn't excuse it, but it helps to make sense of it when you understand the person).

Retta said...

"I refuse to live with the ball of anger or fear in me.
So...I choose to grab on to love and hope and use my knowledge to empower other women..."

And the process continues. God is still leading you on to more healing, and I am happy for you.

MrsFatass said...

Every time I come over to get caught up, I find a little surprise.

You've been inspiring me for what now, like five years? Somewhere around there?

The way you keep moving forward and evolving really touches me.

Our badger.

Whatever you need that I can give you from here, it's yours. You got this.