January 25, 2005
If I asked you to explain to me how to get rid of anger that is gnawing at me from the inside out, how would you respond? Tonight my heart beat becomes angry thoughts. They push their way into my mind until memories replace the beating in my ears.
I am so angry. I am angry at my sister. Even as I write this, I feel guilty for having the anger and wish to shut up already but I cannot let go of this powerful emotion! My mind is invaded with thoughts and memories appearing in all forms. I can see events taking place that happened when we were children. I watch her face. I see myself as a young girl come to her defense. And my pulse continues to throb so strongly in my head. I begin to feel as if I will burst a vein unless I can think my way out of this!
I’m so angry at her for not growing up and realizing how it feels to carry this feeling of responsibility. It’s not like I want to feel responsible. However, I do. So, I continue to take care of her and the anger grows. I want so badly to scream at her! I want to ask her a million questions! And I know deep inside my heart, she will never get it! It’s the difference between us; her being little and never escaping the demons that got her to that space and me growing up and feeling responsible for everything that happens to my family whether it is good or bad.
I watch her crave the attention of perpetrators. And I cringe. I know these people aren’t good and yet I cannot get it through to her until one of them has taken another piece of her. I watch her run to the wrong place for safety. She gets false hope that they actually like her for who she is. Then she falls in love with them and again, they steal a piece of her soul. ‘
I want to scream! Run! Run for your life! Don’t you get it? You have to get away from that kind of behavior in order to get better! But she runs to them, oblivious to the fact that no one is looking out for her best interest. She ends up in situations that bring her harm. It’s like a bad cycle of abuse over and over. Since the initial perpetrator isn’t around, she has to abuse herself through others and this is how she does it.
My mind races. I see another memory. This time it’s me, still younger, much younger. I’m taking the blunt end of Dad’s anger to keep him from beating her mercilessly. He yells at me! He calls me names! He pulls back an open hand to hit me and the only thing stopping him is the horror in my eyes. He walks away biting his tongue. And there she sits in a corner nagging him. It’s like there is something inside her that needs to be treated horribly. In the end, he beats her anyway and there is nothing I can do to stop him. I have to sit there and watch it happen. I try to get in the way but he misses her and flogs me instead. It’s sick. I can’t watch this anymore.
Again, we are young. She is no where around. Boys from church talk among themselves. They all know we have accused another person in their congregation of sexual abuse. They see us as Dad sees us, unclean. She comes around and I watch them look at her with an evil hunger in their eyes. It’s like they wish to experiment on her for their own pleasure. I block the hints. I get her out of the way by trying to side track them. It works! They come for me. They leave her alone. I think she has escaped a painful childhood of continued sexual abuse. I feel better even though I have nothing sacred left about my own body. At least I have spared her. Only to find out years down the road, she was flinging herself about as if each of them were falling in love with her. I am outraged! They took both of us like little whores. I threw myself to the wolves to protect her and for what? It’s a sick cycle.
We grow up. And she still begs to be rescued out one side of her mouth. She runs to me for everything only to push me away when I try to help. Mom begins to get closer to death and she reacts like she’s the only child feeling the pain. She longs to hold onto things that remind her of Mom. I remind her that Mom isn’t dead yet. Still she asks for things that belong to her. She gets an attitude if I react with feeling. If I begin to cry, she gets angry. She yells and cries like I have done something wrong. She reminds me of how horrible life was for her.
Then I want to yell back and scream until I sound totally crazy! Do you know how many times I stood in the line of fire for you? Do you know how many times I tried to block the blows of Dad’s hand from hitting you? Do you know how many times I was the victim of abuse trying to keep you from it? Do you know how much I loved my mother even when you treated her like a dog? Do you know I’m losing my best friend and you are losing someone you treated badly most of your life? And now you have grown a conscience since she is mentally ill? How can you be so self- righteous? How can you possibly know how bad I wish I could go back and retrieve those pieces of me?
As I look for reason, I suddenly realize, there is none. She’s just as ill as my Mom, only in a different way. She is stuck somewhere that she does not wish to be rescued from . There is no bringing back my stolen parts. There is no vanishing the scars. There is no reason to be the martyr or the victim in this situation. I recall the bible verse where Jesus instructed us to forgive our debtors seventy times seven. Interesting. I can draw strength from the same book my father used to abuse me with. Maybe I’m ill, too? Maybe not. Maybe I did figure it out. Nothing is all good or all bad.