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HomeAccepting ResponsibilityIt’s Okay to get angry when your life burns down    Log in


It’s Okay to get angry when your life burns down — 14 Comments

  1. You’re welcome.

    I was just reading a story about a town of Mennonites living in Bolivia. Women were waking up in their beds, realizing they’d been brutally raped with little or no memory of it. Often times as they slept next to their husbands. This went on for years and nobody talked about it because they thought it was demons doing it. Turns out, there were about 20 men who found a way to create an aerosol out of an animal tranquilizer, which they then sprayed through open windows to knock out all the people in the house, so they could enter and rape. One was finally caught and he disclosed the identities of his cohorts.

    It gets even more interesting. Turns out that incest is really common in the community and victims are not allowed to feel angry. All victims must forgive their attackers after they say they’re sorry. If they don’t, they won’t get into heaven.

    This story is a horrific illustration of what happens when people are not held accountable for the damage they inflict on others. It shows what happens when victims are shamed into keeping secrets and how that shame is passed on creating generations of victims.


  2. WOW, Sky, that is an outrageous story….and it is sad that these people try to push such horror into the “past” and not work it through. As we both know, trying to pretend it didn’t happen doesn’t allow healing. It’s like walking around with an unset broken leg pretending that it isn’t broken…if it “heals” at all, it will not heal right.

    Once during my “summer of chaos” arter my Daughter in law and Hamilton were arrested, my mother said to me when I told her I wanted to talk to her about how she had treated me, “I don’t want to talk about it, let’s just pretend it never happened and start over” LOL Which is to me like someone who had gotten mad at me and burned my house down then said “I’m sorry if I hurt you, but let’s pretend it never happened and start over.” LOL ROTFLMAO How crazy is that? But it did let me know that I wasn’t going to get a true apology from my mother, simply an “I’m sorry if I hurt you” not accepting responsibility for what she had done, or for the deep deep hurt her devaluation and discarding of me did to me. A true apology acknowledges that the behavior was wrong, that it damaged you, that there is remorse, and that the behavior will not be repeated. I got none of that from my mother. That was when I realized that her lying about sending money to Patrick and her treatment of me were totally okay with her, there was no remorse.

    Looking at my own feelings, and no longer ignoring the evidence of her true feelings, was painful, but it was necessary to being able to heal from the trauma. Acknowledging that my own mother would trade my life for getting my son Patrick out of prison was difficult. I wanted so bad to believe she valued me….and just as she screamed “treachery” when my DIL and Hamilton betrayed her generosity with them, if patrick out out and killed me she could say “Oops, I guess I was wrong about him” but it wouldn’t bring back my life.

  3. Joyce,
    It’s as if they think we are objects instead of feeling human beings.
    Perhaps they think we are cardboard cutouts of people or paper dolls.

    Is that projection? Do they realize they are shallow and project that shallowness on to us?

    My parents are the same way. They don’t seem to grasp that past offenses need to be addressed before a relationship can be mended.

  4. Sky in the article I wrote about “what is a real apology” http://familyarrested.com/what-is-a-real-apology/ and iin the article I linked to, a real apology is much much more than just saying “I’m sorry” without admitting that what you did hurt the other person, you are sorry it hurt the other person, and you promise truly never to do it again.

    I think we must be sisters….mom will never admit wrong doing except she may say “I’m sorry I hurt you” and then “let’s change the subject and pretend none of it happened” LITERALLY she said that and that was when I KNEW finally that she would never change, never “see the light” her personality was set in stone. I walked out and haven’t looked back. Her refusing to even discuss her lies, her accusations, etc. and bad mouthing me all over the place…that showed me that she was NOT truly sorry, because she would not accept responsibility.

  5. Joyce, you wrote about the common explanation for the choices of others as, ”But it’s a sickness, he can’t help himself….” And, this is a statement that I’ve heard more times than I can count.

    It is NOT a “sickness” to deliberately set up another person for one’s own gain, regardless of whether that gain is sex, money, property, attention, etc. It is a deliberate choice to TAKE, and discard. The perpetrator knows that what they are doing is (at the very least) NOT the “right thing to do,” but they choose to do it, anyway.

    I also “get it” about the sincere apology. “I’m sorry that happened,” isn’t an apology – it’s an outright dismissal and minimization of the ramifications of one’s actions. The exspath said, at one point, “I’m sorry I caused you pain.” Verbatim. Pain? Really? Define that “pain,” in detail….LOL.

    Good discussion, and I believe that anger is a normal aspect of being damaged.

    • And, to clarify about “anger,” most of us who are not comfortable in expressing anger were taught, at an early age, that “anger” was reserved for the “righteous.” Being “unworthy” and “undeserving,” as per our family dysfunctions, I would never have fit the guidelines of being “righteous.”

      The one positive outcome of spath entanglements is that it can provide an opportunity for personal growth and understanding that would NOT have be available, prior to the human predator experience.

  6. Truthy, as always good comments….my mother thinks of herself as “righteous” LOL That’s why it is okay for her to “let’s pretend this never happened and start over” LOL Well, when you burn down my life and shoot me as I run out of the flames, and refuse to do more than “say sorry” when you want me back as your unpaid personal assistant, house keeper, driver, and on call medical caregiver, we are NOT going to be having a relationship afterwards because I cannot TRUST you.

    Mom’s devaluing me, calling me a liar and discarding me for my Daughter in law who she thought for a few bucks would be her guardian angel and had no clue that the woman hated her back fired on her so she wanted to “start over” with me. Not gonna happen because she would NOT acknowledge her own HATEFUL behavior, wounding behavior, or that I had any reason to be “hurt”

    • Joyce, again, I’m going to point to my personal shame-core issues, on this topic. I never learned that “angry” is okay and normal. SUPER long story to illustrate the shame-core in relation to healthy and normal anger.

      One example was when I was in the equestrian section at Girl Scout camp, one summer. I had dreamed of this for three years of going to camp. I hated summer camp. I was thrust into a situation where I had no control. I FELT that I was being abandoned, but I “had” to attend because it was required and expected. The one bright thing of GS camp was the “Mounted Unit.”

      I have always been enamored of all things horses, and GS camp held the Mounted Unit in high regard – these were the girls that were “elite” and “special” because they were working with and riding the horses. My turn came when I became a “Cadet.” I was so excited and really looked forward to camp, that summer. My father took me out to the local tack shop and purchased the cheapest and worst boots, riding pants, and rat-catcher shirts imaginable. But, I took them to that camp, regardless, because I was going to be in the elite unit, at long last.

      One of the most important events at GS camp was the last day. That was the day that all of the parents came to watch their daughters perform in skits, sing campfire songs, demonstrate the skills that they had learned, and to watch the prestigious “show” of the Mounted Unit – manes and tails were braided, horses groomed to the nines, equipment cleaned and polished, and the equestrians riding in a show complete with ribbons and awards.

      The Mounted Unit Show was the final activity of the day before all of the girls loaded up their gear and left until the next summer. I looked in the crowd of parents for my mom and dad, and I couldn’t find them. But, I had to prepare for my turn to ride, so I figured that I just hadn’t seen them, but that they would see me ride my very best and finally recognize just how much I loved horses. My turn came. My foot fell out of the stirrup, and I picked up the wrong “diagonal” during a posting trot. There was mild applause at the end of my ride, but I had finished without falling off. Several other girls rode after me, and their parents were snapping pictures and visibly proud of their daughters.

      Then, it was time to award the ribbons and badges – ribbon, no; badge, yes. Still, I couldn’t find my parents in the thinning crowd – a number of parents whose daughters hadn’t been in the Unit had already left. So, we un-tacked the horses, groomed them down, put them in their stalls, all the while parents were hovering around their daughters asking questions and promising them a pony (or, not) when they got back home. Me? No parents. I silently went about the business of ending the camp session, went back to my tent to change out of the equestrian duds, and waited. And, waited.

      About an hour after everyone had left camp, I was still sitting with a couple of the counselors that had stayed behind with me, specifically. Finally, my father drove up, alone. He apologized for not being there and told me that “…mom is ‘sick,’ again…” and that’s why they both missed my shining moments.

      I was just devastated and angry. I mean, I was ANGRY – and, this wasn’t the first OR the last time that I would experience this kind of disappointment. And, I knew it. And, I became angrier and angrier. I finally let loose and began screaming at my father in the car on the way home, “HOW COULD YOU NOT BE THERE?!”

      Dad answered that mom was sick, and that I needed to understand this and forgive him for not being there. I was expected to simply accept the disappointment and forgive everyone involved because mom couldn’t help that she was “sick.” Well, mom WASN’T sick. She was DRUNK.

      This was a pervasive theme throughout my life. I was expected to keep my mouth shut, take it on the chin, and “get over” every major disappointment that I experienced due to another person’s actions and choices. This “belief” that I was unworthy was carried throughout my entire lifetime – I was NOT worthy OR deserving of attention or acknowledgment.

      Even when the exspath didn’t attend my college graduation, I had so learned to pass it off as “being selfish” to expect that my accomplishments be recognized, that I suppressed my anger and “took it on the chin.”

      Not anymore. I’m beginning to understand and process that “anger” is NOT an indication that I’m a “bad person.” I don’t deserve to be treated like sh*t, and I won’t tolerate it, anymore.

    • Truthy,
      Do you ever wonder if your mother was also a scapegoat?
      It seems like your father didn’t really give you a good reason for not showing up to pick you up. If he knew who he was married to and he also knew that you needed to be picked up, why couldn’t he plan for it? Sure, your mom had her issues but that didn’t change the fact that their daughter needed someone to be there.

      I don’t really get it.

      • Truthy Sky has a point, your mother was an alcoholic.drunk, and your father ENABLED her at YOUR expense….but “mommy being sick” when mommy was drinking/drunk may also have meant while you were at camp expecting them, they were at home fighting and mommy drinking until finally at the last minute your dad gave up and came to get you…late…

        But sky is right about the fact that your dad may have “pushed” (scapegoated) your mother into self medicating for depression with alcohol, there are many different ways to look at it…in fact, because we weren’t there and you were though, I bet you could figure it out if you haven’t already.

        The bottom line though is that your parents NEGLECTED you and you wanted to please them and feel important to them, and boy did they blow it….why? maybe not so clear

      • Yes, that is part of what I meant. The father may have started the crazy making which pushed the mother to drink. That’s possible.

        The other possibility is that she drank and he used it as his excuse for being a neglectful parent. So that would be another way to scapegoat.

        There are people who are addicted to drama. They look for it, they wallow in it, it’s their reason for living.

        • Yea, exactly, Sky. Good observations…it is one of those things like “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Did daddy “drive her to drink” and she surcummed, or did he feed on the drama of enabling and covering up for her at the expense of not actively parenting the child, of neglecting the child’s needs? It is hard from this point to know which came first, the drinking or the enabling. But which ever came first the bottom line is that BOTH these parents were neglectful of their child’s needs. Both conspired to meet their own desires rather than the NEEDS of the child.

          I think every parent to one extent or another falls short in meeting the NEEDS of our children, some more, some less…but many neglectful parents, and all abusive parents, end up raising children with feelings of guilt, unworthyness, and poor boundaries.

          This leaves us very vulnerable to being prey for other abusers in life…husbands, wives, dating partners, “friends” and so on….essentially vulnerable to being prey for every disordered person in our lives. We pay the price by trying to appease every disordered person in our lives because we feel responsible for everyone else’s happiness….but our happiness and well being does not “matter” to us, we just suck up the abuse and try to move on. Doesn’t work out well, and only when we are educated to what we are doing are we able to change that and develop appropriate boundaries and heal.

  7. Truthy, your “long story” definitely shows that when we are neglected and trained to “overlook” other people’s neglect and abuse toward us, then of course we should be angry. Anger is a normal and natural expression to being injured, and especially injured by those who are supposed to love and care for us.

    Been there and done that as well…my emotions were not allowed to show, and my desires were discounted.

    I too have given myself permission to be angry…but not to STAY angry forever…to eventually let that anger go and ACCEPT what has happened, and to move on with my life. We can’t change the past by continually keeping ourselves hopped up on anger, but when we are first injured, the natural response to GET MAD at who ever or whatever hurt us is PERFECTLY OKAY.

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