Angry Enough to Refuse Unfair Circumstances {Voice Study Wk. 3}

forced silence

Have you ever had something painful happen, and you fell silent about it? Maybe someone did something to you and it was unfair and it hurt and it maybe even caused you to question God, but you said nothing?

Maybe you grew angry. And angrier. And the anger filtered into places it should have never been allowed until it tainted certain areas about life and you had a hard time maintaining a healthy perspective.  Or maybe, instead, it simply simmered into this ever-present “thing” that you’d like to walk away from, but no matter how many times you’ve tried, you remain ever-aware of its presence?

things we stuff

Read Chapter Three: Quit the Quiet
Read Luke 18.

There comes a time to break the silence. And in Luke 18:4, we meet a woman who understood this.

She lived alone, this widow who was constantly being mistreated. She had sought protection from the local judge but apparently this judge wasn’t a godly man and didn’t seem the least bit bothered by our friend’s dilemma. He was certainly in no hurry to help because the widow had to return more than once, insisting that something be done.

“For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about people, I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don’t help her, she will wear me out.'” {Luke 18:1-5 CEV}.

Our widowed friend came to a flashpoint, an anger that refused her unfair circumstances one. more. day. Not the quiet sort of anger that simmers as we walk about with life’s hurts silently prying away at our hope, but rather a righteous anger that challenges the wrong, one that brought a cold-hearted man into right ways. {Don’t you love when God does that?}

I imagine there are raw, painful places inside every one of us that stem from some degree of rejection, insecurity, or shame. Places we’d like to keep hidden. Places that a quiet and insecure anger tempts but never fully challenges. And I get it, it’s hard to even look at these things sometimes, much less confront them long enough to let them go. 

But I want to suggest there’s a certain something that burns within us that may well be preparing us for what God has waiting. Like the widow, there’s a time we must honor this smoldering indignation, must harness the power of a situation that would also anger God. Shouldn’t we be angry about the things that make God angry? Should we remain silent about these things?   

Constructive anger can serve as positive ammunition, an energizer for  necessary change.

Let us watch for a clear directive for God on this one, though. Let us ensure our response to an unfair situation is constructive and not destructive, being angry for the right reasons and taking the right actions as opposed to blurting out angry in-the-moment feelings and justifying them with our need to “find our voices.”

We must keep God at the forefront of our healing journey here, mad or not.

We do not have to be a victim of this anger, or the pain behind it. Nor do we have to remain silent. Let us harness this, let us turn any grudge-holding, bitterness-churning acid that threatens to tip over at any moment into  pure motivation to correct injustice. Let us learn to speak the words that beg to be heard, words of truth that breed life and hope and positive change. Ones that birth freedom.

 

From The Voice Studio:  Are you tolerating something you shouldn’t and are you angry about it? What is it and what do you need to do about it? What can you do to stop it? How can you set up a support system that will help you overcome it? Leave us a comment below as well as any any statement or story from the Chapter that resonated with you somehow.

 

{For more practical help, see the book When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference.}

81 thoughts on “Angry Enough to Refuse Unfair Circumstances {Voice Study Wk. 3}

  1. I am much better, thanks to God, about dealing with things I shouldn’t need to tolerate. Instead of anger I’m praying more. Working on calm conversation instead of heated confrontations. But I struggle mightily with my own birth family and their choices about me – and my feelings about them, and those choices. What appeared at first as rejection is now becoming more clear as a long, slow abandonment.

    • While I’m thankful for the clarity, my heart hurts where your heart does. Praying for you on this journey my friend. Praying wise choices and calm conversations. Praying JOY in spite of all.

      Love you!

    • I love your heart for quiet conversations with God. That is where I am at too. Continued prayers for you, as you figure out how to deal with their choices and how that affected/affects your life. I know how hard all those questions and hurt and wonder can affect you. (I was adopted too.)

      • 🙂 Thank you Tina. The very strange and sad thing is that I am not adopted, but I call them my birth family because saying ‘my family’ or ‘my parents and sibling’ gives them a relationship that they only have through biology. They have chosen to shut us out, and I struggle so with it. Especially since my mom is ill, well more ill than before. Love your heart Tina!

        • Oh! Well, you can take out the adopted part. 😉 I’m so sorry your family has shut you out like that. How that must hurt you and your family so. I cannot even begin to understand all that you have gone through and will go through but please know that I will be praying you right along in your journey.

          • 🙂 It is okay Tina. I’ve ‘adopted’ many family members to build a wildly colorful and world wide family. Thanks for the love and prayers. It is complicated, and strange to explain but the hurt comes hardest at these times of year – and at our son’s birthday. I wish I could forget somethings but they creep back upon me.

          • It has been my hope for a long time. I wonder, after the Israelite people finally left did Pharaoh’s heart stay hard or did it soften? They seem much like that Pharaoh.

      • Holidays trend to bring up memories both good and bad. I also have quiet conversations with God. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who can pray for us.

    • When we take the time to reflect and then act it shows maturity and a changed heart. Those be behaviors take awhile to cultivate and the knee-jerk reactions can still surface. But planning ahead and realizing these things is great Shanyn. Expect the unexpected.

  2. Anger, for me seems to be “checked”. I easily told my ex- but we- are- trying- to- work things- out- husband how angry I was. I can talk with him easier- much easier- this time around. I have a much harder time dealing with family who wants to judge me and him. They have said some awful things. It makes talking with them nearly impossible. The fact of dealing with them being so judgemental makes me angry. I stay quiet. I’ve seen things I’ve never thought were possible from my family. they have made me feel stupid, unworthy, wrong, insert all the negative feelings and thoughts here. I can hardly believe they are acting this way. I figure God must have wanted me to see this side of them. It’s a side that has shocked me. So, I drop them emails, send birthday cards, Christmas card with a gift card in it. I keep trying to honor them because they are my mother and father but my heart isn’t always into it. I keep trying to act the way God would want me to act. I can forgive but forget…I’m not so sure. the hardest part of this is knowing that their time is short and I can’t imagine not having this worked out before they die.

    • Hugs for you. Prayers too. Your words resonated so deeply for me. My family has shown the similar sides, and made similar hurting choices. Glad you are building those healthy boundaries, and forgiving is for us, and as for the forgetting I leave it with God. He knows what we need to remember, and what is best to leave. Thanks for being here.

      • I think that may be where I am. just leaving it with God. I do my part to try to open the lines but it’s their choice now. I’m shocked at how unforgiving they are being. Towards both me and him. I didn’t grow up that way. Thank God for my grandparents influence. They taught me lots looking back.

    • Praying for these heart-relationships Deb. I just had a conversation with someone this morning about something similar. About how, if we are in relationship with someone who treats us badly, and then we tell others how that particular person treated us, but then later we forgive said person and the outlying relatives do not, it becomes a tangled mess.

      I can’t help but wonder if your parents are concerned for your safety, your well-being? Sometimes in our fear, we don’t always say the words that sit lodged in the deep of our heart. Have no idea if this is the case, but if it were, it might be easier to process their actions. Not saying they are correct either in acting this way — not saying anything really, just processing out loud with you in the hopes of stirring healing thoughts for you.

      Praying for your relationship with your “ex” and with your family. God wants peace and joy, and doesn’t want you settling for anything less. <3

      Thanks for sharing!

      • ActuallyJoAnn, I have thought about them just behaving this way out of worry. first, it’s just strange. I’m old enough to make my own decisions. I think at 51 they would know that I’m not a child and they should respect me. It seems like they don’t. My safety is good. He never abused me. He’d get mad but those are old qualities that he has spent time on working out. night and day in a positive way. I’m so thankful for that. I got angry when I felt like I needed divorce care but that didn’t last for long. I actually feel good about us but the family situation is disturbing. Out of keeping the peace, I just don’t tell them much about anything. I try to stay positive with them because that is all they want to hear. My family does not talk things out very well at all. That is part of what the problem was with my husband…I didn’t communicate well with him. I’m learning lots though!

    • Oh Deb! My heart breaks for you, your husband and your respective families. I really want to applaud you on being the loving Christ-like Christian we are all called to be, even during this time of your life. You are an inspiration. Blessings to you.

      • oh my! Did not expect these compliments. thank you so much. I miss my family the way we were and the fun we had. But it’s their choice. I’m willing but they aren’t. Like Sarah said, I keep moving forward. blessings back to you Tina!

    • Praying for you Deb as you keep trying with your parents. For a long time I had a strained relationship with my dad and it’s still not the same. Those months I fell silent with him were hard but necessary. Keep moving friend, you are loved!

      • Thanks Sarah. I really am better this year than last but when I stop and think about it, I am more sad than angry. I’m moving though!! 🙂

  3. As I read this post, I felt myself getting angry. But I am not sure why…because there is nothing going on in my present to warrant any of this. Those things from my past have been dealt with. Yet as I read this post….not so much the chapter in the book but this post….I felt myself getting angry. Once again angry about the secrets, angry about the circumstances surrounding my mom’s story and leading into my own. Angry about growing up with fear hanging over head at an age, when that should not have been the reality.

    Yet I know those things are over, and I am now free to live out Gods call on my life. So I am not sure where the burst of anger has come from. I know these things anger God, yet that part of my life is over and has been dealt with. So I don’t understand why I started feeling those things creep up again as I read. I have forgiven those involved as best I know how, and my life no longer has that same cloud hanging over it. I’ve been in therapy, and rarely even think of those things anymore. I have shut the door on that part of my life and chosen to move forward.

    God has shown me that He can redeem my life, and He has. I am happier than I have been in a long time, and I can only praise Him for that.

    • Oh I hear you! And I felt the same way. I think that even when I shut the door, they still bang on it, and remind me. And the anger creeps back. And it’s not all bad anger, it is an excellent reminder of why I have the boundaries I do. If it wasn’t for that I’d be open to new hurt by those who have a habit of hurting me. Praying for you, and so glad you are here!

    • Deanna, I thank God for the freedom you have found in your life. And I praise His name that you are focusing forward.

      A couple things come to mind, here. I wonder if this anger is a call to a new level? If you are truly healed from your own experiences, I wonder if God is stirring a new passion inside you for the injustice itself? A passion for others who maybe experienced the same as you? On the other side of that, I wonder if the wound is completely healed. For, in my experience, a healed wound doesn’t trigger pain. An improperly closed wound might, though.

      Only you and God know the answers here, but know that I hear you, I understand, and I’m praying clarity for you.

      With love,
      Jo Ann

      • I have a feeling that this is playing into a new situation in my life. Not that life isn’t great, but a current health situation has caused me some questions, and feelings I don’t care for. Although I still don’t know exactly what is wrong. I have an appointment coming up on the 18th, that will hopefully shed light on the situation.

        Thoughts on those, poured out to God and reading your response, makes me wonder if while I believed it to be dealt with, that this is one of those times it comes back up to be handled again. As in some things God brings them back up as we are ready to deal with more. Although I greatly hope not, because I can’t afford more therapy at this time, nor do I really want to dig back into this. I have covered it a lot in the last few years, and have let go of unforgiveness, and handled the toxic shame that I ended up dwelling in. So instead I trust that God has a plan, and that my messed up emotions and the health situation will clear up without making therapy a necessity again. But that God will guide me through this and together we handle any problems once and for all.

      • I like what you said about the anger maybe being a call to a new level. In my case, the person who was the source of my abuse & torment was my dad. When I finally was able to speak about what happened the consequences of reporting began. My family was angry with me, they asked why are you doing this to our family? I felt guilty for tearing our family apart for along time, but then I began to heal & learn that I had nothing to feel guilty about in reporting. It wasn’t my fault that there were consequences. The reason I like what you said is this:
        I worked on healing for years & thought I had forgiven & it was settled. Then my mom passed away~ very unexpectedly & for reasons I won’t go into (they are irrelevant here) but I found myself feeling so angry! Angry @ God for taking my mom. I would shout “why, If you had to take one of my parents, why did it have to be the good one? Why did you leave me with the one who doesn’t care about us?!!” I couldn’t figure out where this anger was coming from. I was an adult & had been done with this many years ago.
        I would say to God “I don’t understand this. I have forgiven him, why am I so angry?” He showed me that I still had some forgiving to do. I needed to go deeper. Here I had thought it was settled, years ago, but there was more to be healed. God is amazing in giving us what we need, but doing it when we are ready for it. Now I have learned that if emotions come up there is probably more work to do. I am grateful for the opportunities for growth. Crystal

        • I think many feel guilted into silence because of the natural consequences that come along with abuse. We don’t want to embarrass anyone or bring shame so we stay quiet. I’m proud of you for speaking out and doing the right thing. It takes courage!

    • I completely understand too! I too, every so often, find certain old feelings creep up. I always try and remember (sometimes I have to force myself to, it is a constant struggle) that when they do, there is a reason. That is when I take the time to revisit those past hurtful feelings and journal about them and pray to God about them. Typically there is something going on in my present life that triggered those feelings and I need to address what is going on. As soon as I have (by journaling and having frank conversations with God), the old feelings go away. Prayers for you and your journey. Let me know if there is a specific way I can pray for you. <3

    • Deanna, I agree with the other ladies. Even when you’ve dealt with the anger and closed the door we still have memories that can never be forgotten. I’m so glad you are moving in a healthy direction and seeing God move.

    • I call them echo memories. They simply occur, no differently than nostalgic echo memories. It is important to remember they are transient. It’s like bracing yourself till it passes through. It takes practice and purpose to not react but to simply observe.

  4. Today, I am really, REALLY struggling with Life….I think I should go read your book but I have things that need to get done. And even that makes me feel angry and unsettled. Where do I go when all of life seems to be in an upset? I know you will say God and that is true ….I need to find your book….I can’t deal with this. Sorry for being so dramatic.

    • Praying for you Lorene. That is a hard place to be in – knowing you need something and struggling to find time to do it. I know when I feel that way I need to rest in Psalms. I need to read a devotional. I need to carve my 5 or 10 minutes of time and hold it sacred. The other day it was standing in line at a store, I read my devotional and prayed. It wasn’t the ‘retreat’ I wanted but it was the words I needed. Jo Ann’s book is amazing, and I’m glad you are here. Praying you find the time for you, and soon!

    • Oh Lorene, I get this. I do. I’m praying for, like Shanyn suggested, even a five-minute window. It is at times like this we MUST carve out that time to refocus our thoughts. I don’t want my sending you to God to sound like a platitude, it is not. It is simply that He is the only way we can find peace in the midst of the storm. Even when we don’t feel like it, even we don’t even feel Him.

      So, for now, I’m going to pray that God grants you a five minute window to start with. Just five minutes, Lord, to help Lorene breathe. For I know when she finds that breath, she will better be able to handle the chaos right in front of her.

      Lorene, send me your email and I’ll send you the first chapter of the book if you don’t have it, k? There are some practical how-to’s in there, that if you simply get five minutes a day, it’s better than this whirlwind that’s tossing you all about. 🙂

      Hugs,
      Jo Ann

      {If you want to grab the book itself, all the Lifeway stores and other major booksellers have it, plus you can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/When-Woman-Finds-Her-Voice/dp/0891123873/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1386612776&sr=8-1&keywords=when+a+woman+finds+her+voice}

        • Oh and talking about anger…I am really angry about the family relationships we have…both of our families have basically put us on the black list so to speak. I thought I had worked through it but now it is burning hot again. Why can’t they see my heart? Why is it just important to portray a good image? Isn’t there somewhere I can belong?

    • Lorene, you are so not being too dramatic. This place you have found here is a place for you to get all that out and not be judged for it. I will pray for you to be able to find little moments of quiet time for you to be able to reconnect with God and have some really great conversations with Him. He will take care of the rest. Thank you so much for commenting here. <3

  5. Well I guess I wasn’t the only one with anger after reading Chapter 3. I thought I could deal with a secret and just push it away…not deal with it. I was doing good for a while but when I read the question 2… everything went overboard. I didn’t want to talk about it…I didn’t want to do the questions…. I just wanted to shut down again. I couldn’t understand why reading ONE simple question did all of this to me. I was able to chat about it with someone I really trust. Took me 2 days to talk about it before I could let it all out… wrote about it and would send it to my study buddy and then we would chat about it. When I was writing it I threw up a few times…so I know I had a lot of toxic in that secret. This morning I went to see my psychiatrist and I shared it with her too and we will be working on it for a while. I wasn’t being honest with myself and the hurt was always buried somewhere inside. I understood after talking about it that I need to be honest about my feelings…bad or good. I was scared to share it…don’t get me wrong… it’s not that easy and the work will be very hard but it made me see that what I was feeling might not be what is real… I might of understood my anger…my feelings wrong…now I need to work to understand it. If I wouldn’t of read the book…I’m not sure if I would of faced it if it wouldn’t of been for the question in the book.

    • Big step!! Being honest with ourselves is not always easy. Praying for you as you take these new steps. Crystal

    • Isn’t it so amazing how God sets us up and works through things like that? He is truly amazing. The first big step to healing is admission. You have done a great job in rallying your troops and support team. Great job!

    • Wow Carole. That is amazing! I say that be aisle God can move in the neatest ways and releasing something that strong is a major step in the right direction. I am so proud of you, that takes major courage.

  6. This resonated with my heart so much today. Anger seems to be the song of my life at the moment. Anger at feeling taken advantage of, used, overlooked, chewed up and spit back out. I needed the encouragement to keep pressing in to God, asking Him how to deal with the anger, to know when to speak and when to hold my words. I continue to cling to the hope that God’s handprint will be evident in this season of my life even on the days it feels like it will never end.

    • Ah, Victoria. I will pray for you. Pray that God continues to hold you and draw you close, making you feel all the love that you have here, coming from me and our group and from Him, that this love may open up new doors for you so that you may finally get past this season in your life. Hugs, my friend. <3

    • Praying for you Victoria – I know those feelings. My cows and horses have heard many a loud ranting prayer lately! I know God’s handprint will be seen, and the blessings will come. Loving on you.

    • Victoria, my heart hurts for you friend. You are trying hard and I know those days that seem to continue forever. I found myself crying out the other night for the first time in a long time. It was painful but necessary to process my pain and frustration. Keep moving forward step by step. You know God is with you. Xoxo

  7. Reading the comments here, thinking and praying over the questions above, I have realized I am holding on to deep bitter anger about my mom. (And here I just thought I had no anger in the present and all those feelings were “behind” me ;-)) She has had major health issues, was told by three different doctors (that’s just in the past year) that she needs to loose a lot of weight and it seems like she continues to ignore it. I have tried in the past to talk with her about it and she has “shut me down” because I just don’t understand (having a fast metabolism, I don’t have to deal with weight gain like she does). Wooo-Boy! I need to get right on that one, huh? 🙂

    • Hugs you Tina. Being ‘shut down’ is so hard, and really not necessary except that they don’t want to face things with us or to themselves. My family are experts on this technique of control and manipulation.

      • I never really thought of her actions as being controlling and manipulating. Although she has always been great at that with her selfish nature. That viewpoint will certainly help me when I am trying to keep my silence around her and not saying the things she needs to hear and when I am praying about this situation. Thank you Shanyn.

        • You are welcome. Praying with you. I am the first one in my family to name it, and reject it. No wonder they don’t want me around, I won’t play along with the control and manipulation games. Be strong Tina, God will fight for you. Just be still.

    • Tina many people don’t want to face their reality. It’s so easy to sit in the mud they’ve played in for a long time. Changing seems impossible or they just don’t want to. Praying for your heart and for clarity with your mom.

    • I totally and completely get that fear! It can hold us back from an amazing blessed life and relationship with God, I held on to it for years. I will pray for you, S, that God will present you with ways, healthy and productive ways, to let it all go. <3

    • I know this feeling well. I found that my tears spoke for me during a really tough period in life. I’d cry in the shower or in my car. I had to be strong for my children and there were days I was afraid to speak the truth and be mad. I’m praying for you and for the fear to be released.

      • “…there were days i was afraid to speak the truth and be mad.”
        Yes, I’m never quite sure what to do with anger, i hate feeling angry, and learned early to mask it. Funny thing about that, it’s like trying to hide your eye color. You can wear color contacts to change how your eyes appear to the outside world, but it didn’t change the fact that your eyes are a specific color. I can hide the fact that there are a lot of things I’m really angry about, but it doesn’t change how I really feel. So I go to church, do everything a good pastors wife should do, greet the small community we live in with a smile, attend all the ministry events in our denomination…yet, no one knows me, not really. I’m afraid that two things will happen if what is smoldering beneath erupts; I won’t be able to control it, and/or it will cost more than I’m willing to pay. On the other hand, I know there will be a price to pay for what I’m doing now to handle what I feel.

  8. Hi, new girl here. Oh boy did I pick the right week to begin this study. I am 48 years old and have dealt with a mentally, emotionally, and verbally abusive mother my entire life. She is now 85 and in an assisted living facility and not in good health. As an only child I am the only one to help take care of her, which I don’t mind doing. The problem is that in all these years, while her behavior has morphed over the years, it has never stopped. I have never been able to escape it. I have gone to the cross and forgiven her more times than I can count. There is a pattern to the forgiveness. I take it to the Lord and forgive her. I have relief and start to feel healing. Then the behavior starts back up again, I become angry again, I go back to the cross and forgive her again. I have a lot of flashbacks to her behavior in the past which triggers anger. Now that she is in assisted living I am able to escape it more since there are only certain days I go visit. But just the thought of a visit causes physical symptoms and makes me ill. I do feel that the Lord has been working on me in healing this situation. I feel like He is trying to. I suppose it would be different if at some point I had been able to walk away and escape the abuse but it’s a constant presence in my life that I can’t escape. I have done a lot of writing about this so far and in a way my blogging was sort of birthed from writing where it hurts. I just stumbled across this site on Friday which I know was not an accident. I have so much anger over the situation and how it has affected my life. It has definitely been my thorn in the flesh. Of course I do not wish for my mom’s death although I know time is short. I want her to change but it seems unlikely that is going to happen. I know there has to be a reason for why she is such a mean, angry, bitter, vindictive person. I don’t know what horrible thing happened in her life to make her so cruel. I also know once my mother is gone it will not end with her death because there will still be residual effects of so many years of emotional abuse. I am so tired of the way this has affected my self esteem and self worth. I have spent a good part of this past year attempting to heal…reading a lot of books on the subject…writing a lot about the situation. As it’s already been mentioned here the wound is obviously not healed or it would not cause so much pain. Despite all the effort I have made I still have a long way to go. Wow, I have never introduced myself before by spilling my guts like that 🙂

    • Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for joining us. I want to encourage you that God is healing you in spite of your mom continuing in her behavior. You can have freedom from this without her participation. I know because a God has done this for me. My situation is very similar to yours. What I have learned is that God heals us in layers. These deep wounds have become like fossils in our hearts. Fossils have to be excavated from our hearts tenderly and this requires time and doing it a piece at a time. Don’t let the enemy tell you that you haven’t forgiven just because you experience hurt after you have forgiven. This type of lengthy abuse cannot be bundled in ine forgiveness prayer. One thing that I had to do is ask God to show me was some of my mothers pain. It is true that hurt people hurt people. I needed to see it, just being honest. I needed a glimpse to understand how the person who is supposed to love us the most can perpetrate such harm on a child. This is niot to excuse their behavior because there is NO excuse to hurt a child. This simply gives us insight into what makes them tick or to walk a little in their shoes. This has helped me tremendously to know that her abuse was never about me ant that it wasn’t my fault. It is all about them and their failure to forgive and be healed. I love that we get to choose something different and that healing us ours when we ask for it.

      I believe certain wounds have been healed in you, yay! I believe what has nit been healed is the deepest wound of all. You’re doing great! Healing is a process in wounds like this. Celebrate the healing you have had and give yourself Grace for it to take as long as it takes.

      • Thank you Stacey! I hadn’t thought about the healing in layers aspect and I can see that you are right. I am expecting instant results for something that has been a life long issue and still continues. I am so excited to have found this place and just hearing other voices that understand where I am coming from helps tremendously! I have fought this alone for so long thinking it was a silent battle I had to keep to myself and fight alone. Just finally opening up and letting it out helps so much.

    • Hi Melissa. I know how hard it is to have a mom that you love and almost hate at times also. That had been a long battle for me also. Although God has finally brought reconciliation to the situation. I hope that you also find that healing and reconciliation.

      • Hi Deanna. I am so praying for reconciliation, but I know that even if that is not possible I am responsible for working on how I react to the situation even if I can’t change it. That is a constant battle. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Melissa!! I believe I recognize that beautiful picture from my little blog last week. So glad you made your way here and this is a safe place. Thank you for sharing with us. God is healing you and there is still work to be done. But you are reaching out and taking steps. Even if they are small you are going in the right direction. Praying for you and your mom.

      • Yes Sarah I have you to thank for finding my way here because I found your blog first! Thank you for the encouragement and prayers. Ever since I found this place I’ve had a sense of peace. I think this is just what I’ve needed and have been looking for.

  9. There really isn’t anything currently in my life right now that I’m tolerating and am angry about. But when I was in an abusive situation, I had put up with a lot. I was quiet so I would get criticized for what I said. I was nice so that I couldn’t be criticized for me attitude. I helped out around the house as much as I could. But it didn’t really matter. I kept quiet when I was being called retarded. I held in a lot of anger because I was afraid to let it out. I was afraid of more of the same thing. So I held it in. When I got out of that situation, I let all the anger spew all over the place. I was angry at the way I was being treated and I was not about to let people walk all over me again.
    To stop this anger, I’ve had to allow God to heal my life. I’ve had to allow Him to show me constructive ways to handle my anger. Groups like this and some of my other online studies have been helpful. Lately, I have discovered that I like to write and that I’m halfway good at it. I took a spiritual assessment and found out that I have a gift of mercy. I’m trying to use that gift in my online stuff in an effort to maybe help someone else who has gone through the same things.

    • Well that’s the way to do it my friend! Good for you. God has a plan and you are on the right path. Showing others your talents and sharing your gift is awesome.

  10. There’s a lot of things and people I don’t forgive. Make a list
    JoAnn urged. That was the one suggestion I passed over like a flash,
    nah. But since I need to write, a form of morning meditation, I set my
    hands to the keys and whoops, the first thing to enter my mind is a
    list.Interestingly enough, first and foremost on my list is my
    family, the one I was raised with. For much of my life I felt
    handicapped by my past, yet there I was, raised with six other siblings
    who shared those same hurtful experiences, whose wall of silence baffled
    me. No, I didn’t want to rehash the past but I did want validation for
    how it affected my present. It was if the message I felt from them was
    that I was the weak one and they didn’t need to. How come three of us
    were were functioning alcoholics, one morbidly obese and chronically
    depressed, and the other two, warm and caring but emotionally walled
    off. Not only does it burn me, but it has created in me this burning
    desire to someday write my story which it would seem I can’t without
    breaking the code of silence and perhaps causing them to experience
    shame, and since everything about that past was about being shamed,
    physically and emotionally, how can I do that? So I just wait. I
    figure if I can heal the problems in my life today, and I’m getting
    closer to that, it will lead me to knowing how to write about it in some
    cathartic way that won’t hurt the siblings I love.

    • “…it has created in me this burning desire to someday write my story which it would seem I can’t without breaking the code of silence and perhaps causing them to experience shame…” I completely see where you are coming from when you mentioned this. I felt the same way. If I published my story, there would be a lot of hurt people and maybe even some backlash and legal issues. My thought on this now (for a long time I thought to write was to publish) is that I write for myself so that I may heal. Maybe one day I will publish but that time is not now. Until then, if ever, I am healing from a very painful and hurtful past. Prayers for you, Meg, that you will carry on and write your story and God leads you to.

  11. I am so struggling with the silence right now. It is literally suffocating me. There are times the anxiety is so bad that I feel I cannot breathe. Being molested by someone in your immediate family as a child for years and not being able to say anything….As a child I was voiceless, but I feel now more than ever that I deserve to have a voice. Validation, healing, and assurance that this will not happen to any other women from this man. My mother knows but she will not “let” me tell my dad. She says I am going to ruin everyone’s life by speaking my truth. How fair is that? The enemy is poisoning her with lies and she is emotionally unable to see clearly because it is her son (not my dad’s). She accused me of being “self righteous” for being angry and wanting to speak the truth. I said there is a HUGE difference between self-righteous and in this case, being right. I have a RIGHT to be angry. I have a right to be heard and protect others from this sinful crime. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I am supposed to stay quiet for the sake of my family. Sacrifice my own happiness so they can keep theirs. I have done that for 20 years, but I feel it is no longer healthy for me. I can not heal this way. I shouldn’t have to heal this way. I shouldn’t be forced to carry the weight of my whole family’s fate. HE was the wrong one, not me. HE made that choice years ago when he molested me for 4 years of my life. Why am *I* the one who is “ruining lives”? :'(

    • Oh D. I am so sorry. No one can tell you what you should or should not do. If I may share a bit of my story and maybe it will help you to decide. I also was abused as a child and in an abusive marriage for 30 years. I stayed silent thinking I had to protect my xhusband. I stayed and kept silent because I was more afraid of him than I was in trusting God to protect me. It is never easy to speak up and you are not self-righteous. The hardest thing about speaking up is it did not make me look good and I had to face my part in the marriage. It is hard for your mom to face the truth and face her own mistakes. This is about you and no one else. I pray you find someone who will stand by you no matter what you decide. Praying for you dear one.

      • Oh sweet Karen. You have no idea how much your words have moved me! It feels so good just to hear from someone else, “I get it. I was there. You can be angry. I get it.” Phew. A weight off of my shoulders there! I have been shamed for so long…as a child, by my brother (abuser) and now as a young adult, my mother is shaming me into staying silent (emotional abuse). She does not understand the price I pay for silence. She does not understand the price our entire family is paying. The relationships she is trying to “save”, she is actually destroying. Love does not tell lies. Love does not wear a mask. She is having no faith in the man of Christ that her husband is, no faith in his ability to cope and forgive, meanwhile she is having ALL the faith in the world in my brother! She says that he did not “know what he was doing” because he had ADHD. He was only 13,14,15,16 years old. I have reminded her that he bought me GIFTS to keep me quiet. He would ask for extra lunch money in high school so he could get a la carte, but he would just save the money instead and bought me Barbie dolls. That took intentionality. PLANNING. Premeditation. That was not the act of an ADHD, “hormonal” teenager (as if that is a valid excuse anyway), and the symptoms of ADHD do not include “sexually abusing your younger sister”. He was SIX years older than me. That is huge! Especially when I was at such a young, tender age (started at 7 years old as a first grader ended at 11). Something you said above really struck me: Am I trusting in God? Just as my mom is not trusting her husband, am I not trusting God? Thank you, friend. I needed this truth and perspective. I have to trust that God is present, He loves me, and He WILL go before me when I choose to break the silence. I cannot say when that will be. I know I am ready, but should I wait for my mom to prepare her heart too? Or is that yet another lie the enemy is poisoning me with to keep me quiet? I am so confused! But it is such a blessing to be able to come here–sans judgment, total understanding–and speak with godly friends like you. God bless you. Thank you for praying for me! (Sorry this is so long! lol)

        • D. How sweet that you can share your heart and pain in this format. And yes I have not stopped praying for you. Isaiah 62:1 (NLT) say’s it well, “I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn and her salvation blazes like a burning torch.”
          Silence is the tool of the enemy meant to keep us in bondage and to keep the abuser from facing their actions. This is about you, giving voice, breaking the silence to begin the healing process. You are not alone however I would feel so much better to know you physically had someone standing with you who can touch you, pray over you and give you the covering you need for when you are ready to talk with your dad. You are not required to tell your mom what you are doing and when you will do it.
          Before you break the silence bathe this in prayer for yourself, your dad and mom. Read Jeremiah 31 in either the NLT or Message version – allow the Father to cover you with His Glory. And know I will not stop praying for you. K

  12. Having been out of an abusive marriage for almost nine years and experiencing many levels of healing, recently I discovered a seed of anger buried deep in my soul. It came out as I was putting the shame back on my abuser. I imagined him sitting in a chair as I poured out the anger and shame back on him. I was surprised at the anger. I realize now it came out in ways I didn’t think of as anger. There was also anger towards God. He allowed me to express myself and brought comfort in the pain, knowing He too was angry about the abuse. It was such a relief to leave it with Him and be filled with peace. Knowing He is big enough to handle my anger and take the burden from me.

  13. Last week on Focus on the Family there was a two day episode dealing with a topic that really got me worked up and it was on sex-trafficing http://www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.aspx?ID={5B7B89A9-8D7A-4AF6-A38E-CBA91AFA770A}

    You see, I have been there in a sense many years ago and without going into my details at this point it stirred up old emotions in regard to my own sexual abuse issues. Naturally I am angry when I think about how young people are manipulated and controlled to the point of doing things they shouldn’t have to or ‘know better’ to not do. The girl in the story talked about working in a diner (cafe) like I did at 13-14 and the customer (a regular) who collected information about her to give to next-step trafficers.

    Friends, I am still very tender (even at 59 and ‘healed’) when I hear or see of someone taken advantage of like that! My heart burns with anger toward the perpetrators! My experience led me into years of sexual and emotional abuse. But where I needed to be healed was from taking the blame because “I really knew better” yet still indulged and allowed it to happen. It took years down the road as a forty something year old woman to realize that 13 year olds cannot make sound decisions especially when messed up and using drugs, etc. I had to allow God to show me that I was still just a child looking for Father’s love and healing for me didn’t come until I allowed Him to show me the truth and then believe my Father’s words to me.

    I hope this unlocks some truth for others, I still tear up when my emotions go there and that story was a zinger to listen to!

    Glad to be here!

  14. I’ve been rendered silent lately by where I am in the healing process. The stages of grief rollong over me. I get angry that I have to continue to struggle this way after seven years of therapy due to someone’s repeated few minutes of pleasure. Angry I have no family to celebrate the holidays, that my children don’t get any family gatherings on my side. But my anger has a focus…the enemy of our souls. Not flesh and blood.

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