I used to be concerned with being spiritual back in 2014 when I started dipping my feet into popular spirituality, but over the last few years, my main concern is centered on being authentic. That is going to include (expressed in a safe environment) all of my authentic violent blood-red rage, anger, shame, sadness, terror, grief—all the “negative” emotions and an important part of the rage is allowing myself to wish my abusers pain.
Part of my healing process is not micromanaging feelings as being right or wrong….rather just letting my desire for my abusers to also be in pain to be allowed to exist. That is an important part of the cathartic healing process of releasing rage. In therapeutic environments, many including myself have not only wished horrible things on our perpetrators, but we have punched, kicked, screamed, yelled, and thrashed our bodies so we can have the full release that the child was not safe enough to do during the time of trauma. Sometimes people will act out strangling or killing their violators. I often scream “DIE! DIE! DIE!” during my rage sessions in a sound proof room. We are given plastic baseball bats or tennis rackets to bring that repressed rage to a head so it can finally be processed and moved out of the body. These people experience genuine healing relief over those who suppress. It’s only after I can give myself righteous permission to be honest with myself and allow my inner child to express and think or feel as she wishes that I can be free from not only my past, but free from wishing harm on to others as well as free from blaming myself for the abuse. Some of us tend to (unconsciously) blame ourselves because we are not free to blame our violators. After some of my biggest rage sessions, I have felt a love that I had never felt before and this is because after expressing my rage, the grief that was locked inside it was finally able to be felt. I felt as if I were being bathed in unconditional love. I felt so supported. I wasn’t angry at this person anymore. Joy became more accessible. This kind of love was better than any drug I had ever taken. Anytime I allow and express my rage in a safe place, I get these feelings and this is how I know I’m not doing anything wrong. The trick is to give the rage its fullest expression. And this takes time.
I think so many of us are stuck in victimhood (unknowingly) because we have been conditioned to believe that responding to traumatic situations and even being a victim is bad. Not being able to be a victim keeps us locked into it. Our whole culture (while pretending to be against shame) induces shame on victims while inadvertently not having any expectations out of perpetrators. So, we condemn and self-flagellate any time we have a natural reaction to being victimized and so we stay stuck (even if we don’t see ourselves as stuck). We are an anger-phobic anti-emotion society and not allowing people to have a natural response is a form of reactive abuse which is considered by some psychologists as “secondary trauma” (an additional layer of trauma) and for many of us, it can feel worse than the original trauma. This additional layer of trauma that thought-polices victims can also carry them out of the “window of tolerance” to the point where they cannot feel the pain to heal it anymore due to the amount of shame they hold for the crime of reacting.
Wishing that people experience similar pains and emotions to what I have experienced is very human and a normal natural response to trauma (unless we are too stuck in our social-conditioning or too repressed). When I wish people pain sometimes it is because I want them to understand how I feel. This, again, comes from the rage not being fully felt. I have noticed those who understand, validate and accept me the most are the same people who have come out of similar hells and have (most importantly) started expressing their emotions as opposed to condemning their emotions as “immature”. So, the more people who experience trauma and have their feelings about it, the more likely they are to someday have compassion for victims. And this is the key to feeling connected to each other instead of separate.
On the surface while the below quote might sound “childish”, on the deepest levels, it is a legitimate feeling that self-aware people might have.
“When you go out into the world after the kind of childhood that I had, it doesn’t feel like you can fit in. It feels like hell to sit there and watch people smile. It feels like hell to watch them fit into their families. It feels like you’re the only one who can’t have any kind of connection with someone because nobody’s ever going to relate to the level of pain or where you live your life emotionally or mentally. So, I had, on multiple occasions, felt how badly I wanted people to experience whatever it was that I had experienced so that they would understand me.”~Anonymous
It has taken me my whole life to de-program from the shame of being angry. We learn to self-shame and self-flagellate in our culture and this keeps us also from ever truly loving ourselves unconditionally. When we reject automatic parts of ourselves as “bad”, we retard any ability to truly love and validate ourselves and our justified reactions to abuse.
“I think we are persons, with emotions. Our culture doesn’t allow an emotional presence or response to be acceptable – everything is to be more rational, more mentalized, more organized according to collective habits of thought and mind and action. BUT I think that is wrong and hurtful and culturally traumatizing. I believe most of us have been culturally traumatized – even those who don’t recognize themselves as such. Those of us who simply can’t carry on the collective mantra in the way we are expected to may actually have a huge gift to offer to our world…. I believe life and interaction is intended to be emotional, personal…. Maybe we can wake up our own individual little corners of the world to the validity of what we feel and how we respond, and how the others around us can begin to explore that option, that possibility, too…. of being real, of being present, not mentally boxed into what our culture expects us to be…..” ~Sara M. Joy