I'm a gifted adult survivor of child abuse by my adopted parents, who left me with chronic depression, PTSD, and a touch of autism for good measure. Here I examine the fragments of my past. It's enlightening but not pleasant. You've been warned.

If you want to see my lighter sides, here's a list of my other blogs:

We Have Always Lived in a Homeschool my blog about homeschooling my three gifted children

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Permisssion to Rage

It's been a hard six months since the election.  I don't think anyone can deny that.  Hard on people, hard on our country, hard on the world.  Hard on Democrats, whose dream candidate lost.  Harder on Republicans, whose dream candidate won, and then turned around, as he has done so many, many times before, to bite the hand that fed him.

Hard on me too.  Two days after the election when I heard that Jeff Sessions was going to be Secretary of Justice I immediately went into menopause.  Any faint hope that this would be anything other than a full scale nightmare vanished.

I took it hard for all the usual reasons and one very personal one.  I don't know how to be angry at someone who has power over me.  At 12, after an incident at school where the requirements for getting academic honors were changed an hour before the award ceremony to exclude me, I wanted to confront the principal over the change.  My adoptive father told me that if I ever challenged any authority figure about anything -- even if I was right, ESPECIALLY if I was right -- I would die.  I believed him.

Think about that for a moment.

Of course I was still angry.  Now I just had to deal with terror as well.

I learned all sorts of ways to sublimate my anger when it was directed at an authority figure:  ice-cold clinical detachment, bitterness, sarcasm, frustration, disgust, contempt, cynicism.  I even slipped into transference on occasion, to my everlasting regret.  And of course, the Big Three: despair, depression, and PTSD.

So for the past six months, as the officials of our country have begun acting like petulant toddlers, as violence directed at the unfortunate grows on our streets, and the talk of war returns for the first time since my childhood, I have been wrestling with some nameless, formless thing inside me.  Something that wrestled with my consciousness for my attention, sent my thoughts hiding inside meaningless distractions, scattered my moods like autumn leaves, and left me unable to sleep.  But when I woke up yesterday, the "still quiet voice" inside my head told me, "It's okay to be angry."|

"It's okay to let yourself feel angry.  You have reason to feel angry.  Yes, you are afraid, but suppressing the anger is not going to make the fear go away.  You can be angry and scared, or you can be a choked-up mess unable to do anything and scared.  Which do you choose?"

I choose to be able to do something.

I have heard that I should "let it go", and maybe I will.  But don't I need to make the acquaintance of what I'm letting go of before I get rid of it?  How else can I know if I'm really getting rid of "it" and not something else?

I have heard -- heck I've said it myself -- that we shouldn't blame the people who got us into this mess.  But all the years I've put into forgiving them doesn't seem to have changed a thing for the better.  Maybe some accountability wouldn't hurt, especially when it comes to depriving children of food, shelter, and health care.

Forgiving those who only intend to do more harm is a setup for heartache.  I've had those heartaches, and I am tired of them.  Maybe some sincere attempts at maturity need to be seen on the part of those who need forgiveness for a change.

I don't know what comes next.  There are far too many elements resembling the 1930s for my comfort.  But I know the challenges coming up are best met on my feet, not my knees, or curled up in a ball.  So it's time I gave myself permission to rage at the Man.

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