I had a conversation with my young daughter tonight as I was tucking her into bed. She told me she "can't get her anger out", and as our conversation continued, she realized her anger is about what has happened to her. She so honestly pleaded with me for advice on how to get her anger out and feel better inside, that I couldn't stop thinking about it, even after she had gone to sleep.
I told her all the strategies that I knew to release anger: breathing techniques, punching pillows, exercise, tearing up paper, writing down how you feel, or cuddling with our fluffy puppy.
It didn't seem like enough, and I wasn't sure if any of this would solve her internal anger. I know, because I can also get very angry and feel that inward deep disappointment toward life. The anger won't leave. I decided that since the anger won't leave, it must be normal. I'm normal. My daughter is normal. We are human and we have human emotions. We are both angry because of abuse. Abuse is angering! Have you ever seen a small child or animal abused? Your immediate response is anger and the most disgusting feeling in the deepest pit of your stomach.
What I wanted to share on my dear friend's blog is this:
"It is okay to be angry. Let it out. Send it in the direction of the abuser."
Three years ago, when the pain and anger were really fresh, I would walk out the backdoor, past a horse farm, across a field of huge power line towers, until I reached a tiny stream. The place I would stop and sit was a section of the stream where the water flowed the fastest. Erosion had caused little parts of earth to break away from the sides. It must have happened recently because they were still tufted with perfect green grass. They were six or seven tiny perfect islands that the water would swiftly speed around, taking off edges of mud as it crashed into the next island and changed direction, flowing faster with each obstacle in its path. Then it was gone, the water slowed, but constantly was replaced by new, fresh, clear water, that became muddied as it hit the little tufts of land.
I could sit here and feel. I could cry and let out my anger. I could finally release the anger in the right direction: Outward.
Something about the movement of the water made it feel safe and okay. Like my anger wouldn't engulf me if I released it. Like my anger would simply flow against the land, wash away some muck and keep on moving along its path. Like this was natural and this was right and I was a human.
Being abused makes people angry. Having your child be abused makes people angry. This is no fault or sin or inadequacy within you. It is okay to be angry towards abuse. Find a way to release your anger outward and you will begin to feel a control over your spirit.
You are worth it and we are all on your side!
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