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.
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.
Posted by Christine at 12:46 AM