This post is dedicated to survivors of ALL forms of abuse who still have trouble asserting themselves as a result of being victimized. In a nutshell: anger-aggressiveness is necessary when setting rock solid boundaries – the relationship between them is comparable to that of “soulmates”. In order to bring about this divine union which will give birth to their inner warrior, victims must find the strength to tap into their anger.
Below are excerpts from my autobiography that contain swearing and graphic depictions of violence/punishment/justice directed at perpetrators. This form of creative expression was one of the ways in which I was able to tap into and unleash my anger at those who deserved it. It is not an invitation to be violent unless of course you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself, or anyone else, by any means necessary.
If you are going to proceed beyond this point…
Gird your loins, folks.
Heal Thyself (Chapter Title)
The following definition of self-healing is the most real, confronting and the best I have come across that applies specifically to victims of sexual violence:
“Until you can tell people to fuck off – without feeling guilty about it – you haven’t healed.”
This statement reflects the reality that recovering from sexual abuse is very different from healing other issues (even though I have used the glorious f-word this does not mean that incessant cursing is needed to heal). This is because such violations affected all aspects of my being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. All of these boundaries were destroyed by the perpetrators which then made it easier for them to exploit me. Since the abuse began in my infancy I could not speak up or take any other action to protect myself. This learned pattern of helplessness and powerlessness meant that I continued to make lousy choices in life. When I began to heal, I found my voice and was able to take action in a way that I could not do as a child. An important part of setting such boundaries involved learning to do so without any residual feelings of guilt (hence the phrase in italics in the above definition which is my add-on). At times this required aggression because some people simply did not (or do not) take an assertive “No” for an answer.
It is arduous and time-consuming to arrive at such a place of self-love, empowerment and respect especially when dealing with this kind of psychological damage. Outside of therapy, I had to take charge of my healing in my own way(s). What needed to be dealt with initially were the many layers of deep-seated anger which were pent up for most of my life as a consequence of so many episodes of maltreatment.
Anger is what I feel when I think of you
When I remember what you did to me
Anger is me punching you
Me kicking you
Me cutting you
Me spitting on you
Me swearing at you
Me scratching you
Me pushing you
Watching you SUFFER
Beyond anything I can describe
Fuck, how I hate you!
Feel pain, torture
Feel soul-destroying guilt
Your nightmares will come true
No, better yet
I will kill you
But before I do
And I will be happy
Deeply felt anger is RAGE – murderous rage, even. It was vital to get in touch with this as it was the cover keeping all of the other emotions under wraps. By directing my hatred at those who deserved it, I set myself free. If I hadn’t found healthy ways to express this so very powerful emotion I am sure that I would have gotten up in the middle of the night at some stage in order to hack these people to death in their sleep. Releasing my anger often involved punching pillows; kicking and throwing objects; writing countless pages of how I would murder the perpetrators or make them suffer before burning it all; screaming until my throat hurt and I could see red when I closed my eyes. One time, I waited for my brother to leave the house in order to let out a massive wail. Apparently I didn’t wait long enough for him to be out of earshot so he ran back into the house to see if I was alright. I ‘explained’ the noise as a consequence of my turning up the volume on the TV a little too high…he bought it.