I was too vulnerable to admit the emotions I felt. I was too vulnerable to look at the emotions I felt. I was too vulnerable to tell anyone I was so vulnerable.
The truth is I felt totally invalid… After reporting my father to the state and having the best documented sexual abuse/ incest case the state’s attorney generals investigator had ever seen. After loosing to the statute of limitations. After being brutally betrayed and deceived by my family members I thought were close and supportive. After once again facing my father’s church leader in the VERY church, the VERY room where I felt villainized and victim blamed by the the church leader of my youth. After having my fathers current church leader interrupt me in the middle of my most difficult memory. After my fathers church leader dressed me down at my most vulnerable moment. After hearing my fathers long repeated abusive words and ideas repeated to me by his church leader as though they were truth. After watching my husband swell in anger and dress down the church leader, trying to get through, to no avail. I totally shut down.
I remember the moment I shut down, the moment I closed in all my emotions in fear of social and spiritual invalidation. I remember the moment my training of shut up, hide it, close off, triggered. My father’s church leader delivered my fathers message to me perfectly, just as if it were my father himself saying it to brainwash and control me in my youth.
Like an automatic switch flipping. I was disassociated from the room, all things were blurry as I strained to not black out. I looked to my husband for help, but I could not communicate to him. “Take me from this destruction” is what I should have said. My husband was still trying to find a way to persuade the close minded leader. He did not know a switch was flipped and I was shut down and closed off again. The church leader kept going, predicting that I would cause myself so much trouble and pain because I would not be willing to heal. He predicted I would be the source of trouble and pain in my mother and sisters because I would not be willing to heal. He predicted that I would be the source of trouble and pain in my children because I would not be willing to heal. Every word bored straight into my sub-concious, I was at my most vulnerable moment, after all.
Before we left that appointment the nail was already in the coffin. The coffin I would be stuck in for almost a year. Before we left the church of my youth I was already wearing my almost perfectly-convincing persona. I was already totally closed off emotionally and pretending to be fine.
I am not writing now about the anger of that moment. I do not know that there will ever be a point in time when I will not need that anger, to remind me, to protect me. I needed to tell you all of this, so you could understand a different anger I felt, an anger I no longer need.
I no longer need the anger I felt towards the people who were suppose to have supported me.
They did not know that when they told me over and over to heal and not carry anger with me they sounded like my father and his church leader. They did not know that when they gave me endless advice about how to be happy, all I heard was how I was invalid in my current emotions. They did not know that when they told me I should heal, and how to heal, it triggered me to hide more. They did not know how vulnerable I was, because I could not tell them, because it was not safe, and they would not understand. My anger towards them protected my vulnerability. My anger towards them protected me from seeing how vulnerable and invalidated I felt.
Today I find I no longer need the anger I harbored towards people who were rude and insulting when trying, or pretending, to be supportive. That anger protected my vulnerability.
I was too vulnerable to tell them, “please support me, please validate me, please tell me I am right, and ok, and good, please help me feel strong again.” Even if I was strong enough to tell them, what good would have come of it? If you have to ask for validation, is it real? is it really validation? Or is it just pretty words spwen out to try to make their discomfort go away?
When you are so vulnerable, when you feel so invalid. There is nothing left to defend your self from people being rude and thoughtless. There is nothing left but anger. Anger is the only defense option at such times.
Though I did not feel arms of validation and support around me after this confrontation… helping me heal from this confrontation… I somehow pieced the fragments of support I did have together… I somehow found validation inside of myself. Now that I have validated my self, over this confrontation, I no longer feel so vulnerable. Now that I have validate myself, I no longer need the anger to protect me from people being rude and thoughtless. The anger is done serving it purpose.