Seething…

Ok, the more I think about all of this, the angrier I become.  When my father sent that message, he was expecting me to just say, “Oh, ok.  I understand now that abuse is love, and it’s ok because you were trying to keep me from being f***ed up when I got older.”  Well, maybe those were not the exact words he was looking for, but he was going for that general effect.

What I can’t believe is that, somewhere in his messed up world, he actually believes that leaving bruises, embarrassing me in front of my peers, telling me I was not loved, and constantly berating me would cause me to become a healthy, well-adjusted, successful adult.  He actually wants me to believe that he is the victim of unjustified anger, and that I have treated him terribly for things that I misunderstood!!!!!!

To top it all off, his son has followed in his footsteps and is now treating his two children the same way, and it’s ok.  Grrrrrrr.  There is a war coming.  It is seething inside of me, and this time, it will not be halted once it has begun..

Vengeance vs Justice

One of the reasons I began my healing journey was because I was consumed with anger against one of my abusers.  Every day, I woke up with the thought of seeing his name in the paper under the obituaries.  I could not reconcile myself with the thought that, while my life had come to a crashing halt, he was carrying on like nothing had ever happened.  He was happy (I guessed), successful, and had everything he needed – yet I could not function on a level that was anywhere near normal.

It took a long time for me to cope with my need for vengeance.  My counselor helped me understand that there were only two ways to keep it from consuming me – confront my abuser, or release the need to seek retribution. Because I did not feel that confronting him would bring closure or resolution, I chose to let go of those feelings of hate, anger, and pain so that I could move on with my life.

It was very difficult at first. As time went on, however, I began to understand that, one day, they will understand the pain and suffering they have caused. And, even though it may seem like my abusers have “great” lives, their hearts and souls are diseased.  In time, the disease will take it’s toll on them, and they will pay a dear price for the harm they have done in this life.

Yet, at the same time, I fear that my silence may bring harm to others.  I know that one of my abusers attempted to harm someone about 30 years before I was abused, and that he was abusing someone else at the same time that I was abused.  This makes it a very real possibility that he will attempt to harm another child.

If I spoke out now, how many people would take me seriously?  It has been over twenty years since I was abused, and I began having flashbacks in my teens.  Everyone will want to know, if I was really abused, why didn’t I say something earlier? I  could stand to lose so much in this life that I have finally pieced together if people take me as some crazed attention seeker…

I do not want to or need to seek vengeance for myself, but at the same time, how many children may be hurt because I do not speak out?

Why can’t they just leave me alone?!?!?!

I saw one of my abusers again today.  It just makes me sick how they think, because we are family, that we should just be so nice to each other.  They stole my innocence and act as though nothing is wrong.  I can’t stomach another, “How was your Thanksgiving? Did you go see your Dad?” or “Why don’t you come around anymore?  Family isn’t supposed to be like that.”

It makes me want to just punch in their saccharine sweet nose and scream, “You molested me!! What part of that makes you think I want to have anything to do with you?!?!?!?!  Why the heck do you think I can even stomach the sight of you, much less call you family?????  Don’t you realize that, when I see you, the only thing I care about is getting as far away from you as I can?”

But I don’t.  I just fake a smile, say a few nice words, and snarl when they walk away….

Tension…

Oh, how quickly I am undone when there is tension in the room.Even after all this time it still does not take much to make me fall apart. With one look, a slightly raised voice, a mood swing or a harsh answer I am quivering inside. It may not even have anything to do with me, but if someone does not calm down quickly or explain to me what’s going on, my mind and body go on alert.

I try so hard to be understanding and realize that other stessors could impact the situation. However, when someone takes it out on me, it’s hard not to let my feelings get involved. As my mind starts clicking through things I might have done, I begin to work to minimize damage by shutting down.

“Be quiet. Say what you must. Don’t let them know your feelings are hurt – it will only piss them off. Do anything possible to remove outside irritators in order to prevent greater wrath.”

After doing all these things, I begin to get angry myself. I begin to think of how hard I am trying to accommodate this unreasonable person and how it isn’t helping much. I think about how tense my body is, and how it is not my fault. Add this to my already racing pulse and I am usually just about ready to explode.

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be ok. I know that all of it has to do with my childhood, but it is very hard to stop. I want to be ok. I want to shrug it off.

But then I wonder – “What if it really was my fault.”