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#426000 - 02/21/13 09:00 AM Why am I not angry?
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
At my latest,session, my T asked me if I was angry at my abusers. The answer is no. Now, this is coming from a guy who, when cut off in traffic, drops the F bomb and generally curses up a storm. Yet, if you ask me if I'm mad at a priest who pulled down my pants and masturbated my child sized penis without a whisk of pubic hair on it, while telling me he can teach me to feel more pleasure than ever before, and I say no. I didnt even know masturbation was a word, and now i was having it done to me, and somehow I'm not mad about it. I didn't know what that tingly feeling in my groin was that happened when I saw Ginger on Gilligans island, and now i was feeling it while being held down with my pants and underwear around my ankles, and im not mad about it. I thought I did something to seduce him, but I didn't even know what seduction was, but it was obviously my fault so how can I be mad about it?

I'm even mad that I'm not mad about what happened. What the hell is going on? Why am I not mad at these things that happened?

#426002 - 02/21/13 10:12 AM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4286
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Davo -

i was never mad about it either - lots of other messed-up feelings - but not anger. i wasn't allowed to be angry. and most of the other feelings were too bad to feel. so i just turned them all off and didn't feel much of anything for years. i've recovered a lot of emotional sensitivity and reactions more recently.

sounds like you have not fully sorted out what is appropriate to feel and re-connected with it. maybe if you really believed that it wasn't your fault and admitted how much it screwed up your life you could give yourself permission to feel mad.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#426005 - 02/21/13 11:57 AM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929

It can be difficult to sort out the feelings towards an authority figure - especially if you were young and the entire universe told you to trust them, that adults made the rules and told kids what to do, and if kids disagreed they were wrong and would get some sort of discipline. It's not uncommon for kids in the thick of things to normalize whatever adults are doing to them - since in general adults can do anything they want to kids ANYWAY (make them eat at certain times, bathe, sleep, change clothes, go here, go there...) and kids realize this.

It is also possible to get "stuck" in certain emotional states regarding the abuse, and emotions are not subject to reason. I can ONLY feel fear regarding the man who abused me, I have no anger towards him and can't force it or fake it. T has a plan to try to deal with this centering around deliberately triggering other emotions - just talking it out won't do. There's another poster here who says that he can only feel a sense of loyalty towards his most frequent abuser, because this was the only person in his entire young life who ever professed to care about him and if that wasn't true, if it "really" was abuse / exploitation, that would leave that particular survivor feeling he'd gone his whole young life completely devoid of love and kindness at all.

Brains are complicated things, and when reason fights emotion, reason usually loses.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#426007 - 02/21/13 12:43 PM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England

For years I wasn't mad at my perp. All my anger was directed at myself, because it was my fault. I expressed that anger by abusing myself in a variety of ways that I now regret very much. Redirecting my anger to where it belonged was difficult to do, but it was a necessary step in recovery.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#426161 - 02/22/13 09:20 PM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 02:12 AM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

#426170 - 02/22/13 11:16 PM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3855

For me anger has been the hardest--i do have anger and it is directed at me--why me, why did I let it happen, why did I go back, why didn't I tell anyone. I am trying to let go of the anger towards myself and place it where it belongs--at the abuser. As I have said a part of me believes I was special to the abuser--he played mind games and manipulated me. I am working on it very hard to release myself from the blame and not be angry at myself. My T believes I am making some progress slowly. From what we could reconstruct from my last fugue, it appears I was trying to run to a safe place away from the abuse and the ways of the abuser and not seeking the ways of the abuser. It is easy for me to tell you--it was not your fault, you were a child but when I say it to myself I cannot accept it.

Releasing the anger towards the abuser and not ourselves will be the only way to set us free.

#426179 - 02/23/13 12:54 AM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
Letourski Offline

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 314
Loc: Canada
I was angry for not being angry. I sought out my anger for a time, and it always ended in tears. Because at the end of the day I was so completely hurt by the fact that I was vulnerable, powerless, and that hurt the most. That I couldn't do anything more than I did. What kills me is the lies I believed about myself, about sex, about relationships, about the world around me. I BELIEVED it all. And I can't go back to undo any of it. My normal was dysfunction and there is nothing more sinister in this than the outright hijacked mental programming we internalized as kids.

You may never know your anger. Some feel it and some don't. Be compassionate with yourself, there is no "supposed to" feelings. The process just is.
I am the warrior.

#426200 - 02/23/13 03:47 AM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest
Thank you everyone for your comments. They are most helpful. Right now is the most difficult time I've ever had in my life. The reason is I have no reference point on which to base my thoughts and actions. My perspective on my life is changing, because I'm realizing that the reason I acted like I did was different than I thought it was. When I kept the secret of CSA secret, everything focused on keeping it hidden. Not only did I keep the history of what happened to me from everyone, I hid my emotions from myself. I was an expert at denying my humanity, and I realized I acted to show that. Now it's all out in the open. The shame is gone, I think, but I do feel really really vulnerable right now. I thought I would feel relief about letting my secret out, but I really don't. I don't think I would've thought about being angry until my T brought it up. Now I don't know if that's the right reaction for me. Part of the shame came from thinking I should've stopped the abuse, and because I didn't I must have wanted it, but in reality I was powerless to prevent the abuse. I'm realizing that after the abuseI've acted powerless in everything in my life, and it's cost me a great deal - relationships, education, job opportunities. The anguish about a life lost is somewhat crushing and I don't know how to deal with it. I'm just glad I found this group. I don't know how I could get through this without your help. - Davo

#426224 - 02/23/13 09:28 AM Re: Why am I not angry? [Re: DavoSwim]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2715
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Davo.

this is sounding familiar to me. For myself I was never angry about the abuse. this is because "anger" is something you can only have towards a person, and once as I screamed at a teacher at the age of 14 who told me off for swearing at several of the girls who'd been involved in my abuse "those! aren't! people!"

Lots of anger towards myself, why wasn't I stronger, more in control of things which of course got tied up with that feeling of worthlessness, but no anger, not even when i crashed in 2007 and admitted to myself that no, it wasn't over and done with.

One thing that helped me, particularly with the self directed anger and judgements of myself, was making a conscious effort to split off my own self assessment from my emotions.

if I do something, and then judge it to be utter crap simply because "I" have done it, or if I say something and believe instantly it is "stupid" or "pretentious2 or any other thing, I've practiced recognizing that such thoughts are not reasonable assessments. Just as I wouldn't take the judgement of a highly prejudiced person as worth hearing, i don't take my own. this often had to be a very conscious choice,indeed I still fail at it on occasio, but robbing my own judgements of their objectivity was something I found hugely helpfull.

When i read what you say about sense of powerlessness, and harsh judgements about yourself I do wonder if such a technique might be of use to you.


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