My psychologist was discussing how he believed that I had been “shamed” and humiliated as a child and asked me how that felt. Obviously, one felt embarrassed and reacted by withdrawing, going quiet, feeling very sad. But also – anger. However, the anger has been interesting. I don’t really feel angry at my Dad anymore, I don’t experience that complete, consuming fury anymore, when I recall what he did to me – the shaming, the humiliation, the emotional abuse and yes… the corporal punishment. I actually can’t remember a lot of the incidents any more probably only about four. I’m angry that I was powerless with my Dad, but I’m angry that he was powerless as a child, and so sad and angry at what happened to his mother, my Nana, as well. The buck seems to stop with her mother but only because I don’t know her story either.
I am coldly furious at my brother, and wonder if what happened counts as physical abuse. Certainly he bullied me, and bashed me and made my life hell. I’ve never even acknowledged that, “he bashed me” nearly every afternoon after school during high school. Can you call it that? At some point you can, because I’m not a boy and it wasn’t just brothers rumbling. It was a large, tall, stronger male using physical violence to torment a smaller girl. In black and white it looks that way. Maybe I’m overstating it? Not sure.
I am beginning to be angry at my mum for not protecting me from them. No one was ever annoyed at T for what he did, Mum didn’t really know what he was doing as she never fought with her brothers like that. I know why she didn’t say anything to Dad, as my parents would be divorced now if she had stuck up for us. When she did speak out, we all suffered for weeks.
This is a massive problem for me as I can’t be angry at my mum. It’s like being annoyed at Mother Theresa for leaving a dirty coffee cup on the sink, while she is visiting a leper. If I talked to her about it, she would be so sad, and upset and she does stick up for the my girls, and the boys. Not enough, in my opinion but she does speak out. This has just reminded me of that occasion when Dad kicked H and she hadn’t even done anything wrong. Say that again?!? He kicked my little girl. That stirs up fury I don’t know how to manage. And yet, he wasn’t drunk, he didn’t leave bruises, Mum made him apologise so is this abuse? She wasn’t tied up in a cellar and hit with a fist or bashed to death and stuffed in a suitcase – so do I have a right to speak up? To even feel upset about it?
What are supposed to do with our frustration and anger as adults? We are all human, and feel an incredible surge of energy and anger when frustrated and denied – but what do we do about that? HOW does one get self control and not lash out physically OR verbally?