Today’s guest post is written by a member of The Lasting Supper. She prefers to remain anonymous. She not only found the courage to feel this, but write it, and now share it. This is the kind of thing we talk about in TLS… the authentic validity of our journeys as well as our thoughts and feelings within them. I drew this cartoon to accompany her writing. You are invited to join us. Please do.
Her introduction to herself is as follows:
“The daughter of fundamentalist evangelicalism and conservatism, the author has never been as broken and brave as she is now — wandering out of knowing and into uncertainty. She is learning to give names to the skeletons in her closet.”
Here’s her powerful piece about anger:
I am angry. I am livid. My blood is burning its path from my heart.
I am angry.
If my rage is a tree its roots have reached the centre of the earth. If my rage is a tree its seed was planted by my grandmothers.
I am angry for the child sent from her mother with a missive for her father. Messenger, shield maiden, child soldier.
I am angry for my sister — forced to smile and thank the knives that sliced her skin open. Pretty on a pedestal splattered in the words she could not voice, they ran red.
I am angry for my mother — kneeling beneath the heavy hands pouring poison.
I am angry for my mother — taught to loathe herself — so she taught her daughters.
I am angry for my grandmother — hitting the wall — but we don’t talk about it.
I am angry for my grandmother — carrying the burden of a broken man — her back bent beneath his bitterness and shame.
I am angry for my sister — ignored as she died before their very eyes — the only woman is a dead one. The only woman is a silent one.
I am angry for my mother — alienated for a body that is a map of the hell she has survived. She has survived in silence. No one is cheering.
I am angry. For myself.
I was created in the womb of a dying woman, a woman wanting to die. I was carried in the arms of a neglected woman. A woman who learned to neglect herself.
I was born before I was ready because my mother needed me.
I was born before I was ready because my father needed to hear me screaming.
I have always been screaming.
I am so angry.
I am angry at my grandmother — for her silence in the face of her dying of her children. Bending to the will of her husband, the destruction of her children quietly swept behind her eyes.
I am angry at my mother — for her silence in the face of the dying of her children. Like her mother before her, taught to bend to the will her husband, the destruction of her children quietly swept behind shuttered eyes.
I am angry at my sister — for her silence in the face of her own dying.
I am angry at myself — my voice was not loud enough to change anything.
I am angry at myself — I have used the edges of my anger to hurt those I love.
I am angry at myself — I have bent to the will of silence, the destruction of my mother, the destruction of my sister.
And this rage is the noose pulling me under an ocean of hopelessness. And this rage is the dry ground lifting me above the storm, allowing me to create my own path.
When I was a child I believed my anger could change the world. I believed my screaming could make them hear. Now I know this anger is for me. Now I know this anger is for us. We cannot change them, we cannot make them hear.
My anger is here so that I may rise up. So that I may rise up a warrior goddess, a goddess of war.
In my anger I can change myself.
And my anger has shaped these arms. These arms that have carried the wounded from the battle field since I was born. I am not valkyrie carrying the dead to Valhalla. I am the raging healer placing my body between death’s kiss and those I love. No greater love has anyone than this, than to stand between the gates of hell and those they love.
And my anger has sharpened this tongue. This tongue that has beaten back the demons clawing at the flesh of my family. I speak goodness. I speak righteousness. I speak against the darkness. I speak my anger to the shame, the shame that threatens to overcome. But I have overcome.
And my anger has built these legs. These legs that have stood beneath the beating sun to offer shade to those who could no longer stand. I am vengeance. I am roiling rivers of rage. Vengeance is mine.
I am angry and I am unashamed.
I am bitter and I am not broken.
I am hard and I am whole.
Blessed are the angry for they will persevere past everything.
I will not lay down arms. I will not surrender. I will not bend my knee.
Come to me, you who are heavy laden and I will fight for you.
Cry to me and I will hear you.
This anger is eternal.
I am angry.