Historically, women have been oppressed. You’ve often been asked to carry too heavy a burden. You’ve been marginalized and patronized. You’ve been abused in any number of ways. These wounds are very real, very deep, and very damaging. The anger and rage that develop from this absolute affront to all that is right, decent, and fair in life can be immense — so immense, sometimes it overflows its banks and floods a woman’s life.
Recently, the local newspaper has been following the story of a fourteen-year-old who was rescued from a home in a small town to the northeast of where I live. This teenager weighed less than fifty pounds, having been systematically abused by her stepmother, who kept food and water from her. Because of this girl’s “behavioral problems,” according to the stepmother, she was relegated to eating only toast and drinking only one half of a small Dixie cup of water per day. Her stepmother kept her locked up at night so she couldn’t sneak out and get water. She monitored the girl when she took a shower and went to the bathroom so she didn’t sneak water. Brushing her teeth was not allowed for the same reason.
As I read through the accounts of the discovery and rescue, the arrest and charging of the stepmother and the girl’s father, who was aware of the abuse but did nothing, I was appalled at the suffering endured by this young girl and the depravity of the adults responsible. It made me outraged, and, sadly, the outrage was familiar.
In my line of work, I hear stories of women that literally keep me up at night. Often, I am the first person they’ve revealed their pain to in years, if ever. I have felt inside my heart and soul the horror and the hurt experienced by these women. Hearing their stories, I can appreciate the anger and rage they feel. Helping to bring some sense of relief, recovery, and restoration is why I show up for work every day. It is what helps me finally sleep at night. And then I wake up and read the morning newspaper.
Monday’s Post: Jenny’s story.
SOURCE: Chapter 6: “Why Shouldn’t I Be Angry When Life is Unfair” in Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Your Anger by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.