Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Would You be so Kind Please...

Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath. ~Eckhart Tolle just say a prayer for me. I do not like talking about my faults as I think that they should be obvious enough as it is, but I am in need of a little help with feelings of anger. I am not sure if it is lack of hormones or that my daughter is ten or just that I feel alone so much of the time because my husband is away from home so much (not lonely really, just...alone) or if I just need a vacation. There are many excuses from which to choose, but usually when something is eating at me this long it has something to do with my past and something in my present is triggering it.

The last time I noticed such a trigger was when the Princess turned six years old. I just could not remember her actual age when I was asked or just thought about her. In my mind she went from five to seven. My mind would just not accept she was six, as if I could just skip it. I had to examine this and I realized that something horrible happened to me when I was six that changed me. I will not be going into what it was exactly, but it had to do with my father and how he abused me.

When I was ten, as the Princess is now, my brother Christopher died. He was just one year younger than me. In fact, his birthday was just two days after mine and was just a month away. We had to share our birthdays and even the cake. I wish now I had not been so selfish as to want my own cake because I have had plenty since that year and it has meant so little.

My brother was a troubled boy. I supposed we all were troubled really. My father abused us. My mother often neglected us as she like to use escapism and often she placed all the responsibility of my siblings solely on me. She also did not protect us being so afraid of my father herself. Because of all this, I never trusted either of my parents, but there was a time when Christopher really needed help and we all were too wrapped up in the little ruts of our own survival modes to notice his desperation.

They called it an accidental suicide as if he did not mean to cause his own death, but my mother and I knew it was his second attempt, the first being just a year or two before. He might have meant it only to scare us as before because he was angry, but unlike the first time, there was no threat and no witnesses. He stomped up stairs alone and then there was only the aftermath.

I remember seeing my father in tears when he arrived home. It was a surreal moment. The man who treated us so badly and at times could have kill us himself was in tears over the death of his son, my brother. Why did I not protect him? I know why. I was a child myself, a scared child, even a cruel one then because had I not said "I wish you would get lost" and even "I wish you were dead"? (Oh, yes, I did say such things then but never since.)

I became a Christian soon afterward. I believed in having hope, real hope, for the first time in my life. I really thought my father would change and he seemed to for several months, but then it all went back to the way it had been before, however I was different. I was no longer as frightened as I had been. I realized that I could be the next one who would be so desperate and I found anger had replaced much of my previous fears.

However, I also learned that I did not like the results of allowing myself to be angry outwardly. It usually resulted badly and I did not like hurting other people's feelings. I did not like being the abusive one, so I learned to turn my anger inward toward myself. Later, I suffered a terrible depression that lasted two years after I turned twenty.

I have healed of my past since then, but there are still scars and I am still surprised when my attention is drawn to one, as when the Princess turned six. I have forgiven and mercifully have forgotten much of everything until I notice that something is driving me to avoid something, like not saying my daughter is six years old, or I am having mounting unrest and anger issues. It usually takes some time and prayer for me to understand the source of it. Once it is revealed, it all disappears as mysteriously as it started.

In the meantime, unfortunately, I tend to feel hurt, get over-sensitive, and drive away the people who mean the most to me. I am so disgusted with myself because my daughter probably gets the worst of it as she is around me the most, although I have not been much better to my husband, who has been through this before and has so much patience with me.

So, here I am in my own self-made pit of despair asking for some prayers. I have been fighting this for a few months as it has been building, but it is now wearing me down. I have not really been sure of the source, not sure I have it even now, but if not I think I am close. I am thinking that perhaps I need to forgive myself for not protecting my brother, as I am not sure I ever allowed myself to forgive myself completely and perhaps I am making my daughter feel as badly as I did at the age of ten, in a way punishing her as I wish to punish myself. Perhaps that is it.

After I wrote this all out, I did not want to post it...but then I thought that it might give someone else some insight of the struggles one goes through inside the cycle of abuse. I have not abused my daughter, but I have been too easily irritated and hard on her lately. She has been displaying an attitude that adds fuel to this fire, but I wish with all my heart to cool it down for both of us. After all, I am her parent and should be the good example for her in how to overcome bad feelings and treat others well. It is more difficult when you had bad examples in your own childhood, but God provides what is needed, I have only to accept what He has provided to make this right.

~ My Lord, I have been avoiding You because I am ashamed. You gave me so much guidance and time to heal of that past and break a cycle before you gave us this child. Please do not let any part of it touch her now. If this is not the source of my restlessness and anger, please reveal it. Please, let my anger be replaced with forgiveness and keep my relationship with my daughter as I wish You to keep Your relationship with me, full of patience, healing, encouragement, and genuine love. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.