“Why are you angry Bethany?” “You just seem upset.” These are things that have come out of the mouths of some family.
“Being angry makes people sick”, ” You should let it go and not talk about it”, “No one wants to hear your grisly details”. Some more words from people that have been close to me.
Hmm. Lets see.Why am I angry. I am angry because I was molested. I am angry because no one fought for me. I am angry because my feelings were not validated by those close to me and still are not. But the people questioning my anger don’t really care why I am angry. They just want me to be quiet. Because being angry means I am feeling. Feeling means I am acknowledging the truth. Acknowledging the truth means there is a truth that that other person is trying to avoid. It is not my fault I was molested. It is not my fault that they don’t want to hear the truth. And it is definitely not my fault that they care more about controlling my feelings than what actually is making me angry in the first place.
A compassionate person would have said ” How are you feeling right now? Do you want to talk about it? How can I be there for you? I am hear to listen if you need to talk.”
Many people have an opinion on how I should feel. When I was a child I should feel a certain way. As an adult I should feel a certain way. Over and over I am told how I am supposed to feel by people who have absolutely no RIGHT to tell me how I should or should not feel.
Is it not OK to be angry? Is there a time limit on angry? Is there a time limit on grief? Is it not ok to grieve? Is it OK to grieve but not OK to be angry? What If I am grieving over the loss of my body, the loss of my childhood, the loss of my innocence. That is still grieving. There should be no time limit on that.
To tell someone to let it go, to not be angry, to move on…. These are not productive things to tell someone that has experienced abuse. And what gives another person the ability to tell you how to feel? Do not let them! To tell me to move on is making the assumption that I have not moved on.I have FORWARD. I have a beautiful family of my own. I continue to move FORWARD.
Feel! I give you permission to feel! Let yourself be. Validate your own feelings. They are real.I validate your feelings.
I don’t plan on being angry forever. And I have let many things go. But this is a process. Does it haunt me every day? No. Does it come up and do I have to then deal with those emotions? Absolutely. Will there be moments that a memory makes me angry until I am 80? Maybe. But who says that is not OK? I don’t. I feel the emotion and then I let it pass. I give myself permission to feel it and then I move forward from it.
For 30 years I was not angry. I was numb. I was a robot moving through life. So no one gets to tell me, that right now, I cannot feel angry. If I stayed angry and chose to be a negative person, then that obviously that would not be healthy. But I am not a negative person. I am a human being whose has emotions that I intend to fully feel.
Other people may try to corral your emotions, stop your emotions, silence your emotions, tell you what they think your emotions should be. They 100% should not have that control over your life.
One person cannot put their emotions on you either. The person who told me that no one wanted to hear the details of the abuse I endured, well maybe he didn’t. And he doesn’t have to read them.
Some women finally get the courage to tell their story, their truth, the events that impacted their entire life, and they are shut down. Don’t give up. Just because one person responds to you in a cowardly way does not mean that your words don’t need to be spoken. You have a voice.
Even if you just want to tell me, I will listen.
You are not alone and I give you permission to feel!