As a child I was never allowed to be angry, and I am not just talking for me, I am sure there are so many other people out there just like me. My mother would always say things like, don't raise your voice at me, don't walk away when I am trying to talk to you, if you and your brother can't say something nice then don't say anything at all. In other words I was never allowed to disagree with anything or anyone.
That paved the way to be completely submissive in all situations, with my husbands, friends, work colleagues, pastors etc. I always felt that if I disagreed and wanted to say something they might think I was being argumentative and rebellious. So submission is my first choice when ever there is any kind of conflict.
My therapist is trying to help me have an opinion and to stand up for myself when I need to. That is going to be difficult when for 60 years I have not been able to do that. I am trying and when I do, it often doesn't come out the way I want, but in fact comes across snappy and defensive, but I want to persevere and find ways of communicating where I can respect the person I may disagree with and at the same time make my point. I am not willing to resign myself to a life of failure and live in fear of relationships in case they hurt, which is what I have done for 5 years now.
Trying to overcome my fear of being out in public, being around people and especially men, I went off the the hair dresser today. It is so weird that just having my little puppy with me, gives me comfort. My anxiety goes through the roof when I am in public. Having men in the salon was tricky but simply ignored them.
Part of my therapy and healing is acknowledging, actually how angry I am. Being a Christian I have only ever tried to walk in forgiveness and kindness towards those who almost destroyed me. Simply talking about it with my therapist, which he has encouraged me to do has made me feel a lot better. In my opinion no matter who you are, or how spiritual we think we are, anger is a very real emotion and I AM ANGRY, REALLY ANGRY which I have been denying for far too long. I wish my X no harm or the many people who tried to destroy me, but I AM angry at them.... this too will pass.
Perhaps when I allow myself to feel that anger, and toss it into the sky with all the sea gulls the next time I go down to the beach, I will reclaim my right to have my freedom back. Living like a recluse is self abuse and I see that now. My decision to cut my hair today was a huge step for me. I have 'had' my hair for soooo long and I have been hiding behind it my whole life. People have always said, Caryl you have such beautiful long, black thick hair.... but I am not my hair! If I cut it off, perhaps it will allow people to 'see' me, the real me. It is going to take some getting used to, I feel bald. When I saw all my hair on the floor, far from feeling liberated, it hurt badly and I felt vulnerable. But I had to do it. Oh gosh how there are times that I just want to stay in my little hole and let the world pass by... but then the abuser really wins and gets the final victory ... and I will not allow that.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement I really do appreciate it.