When anger has finally departed , what remains? It is a question many of us are faced with after suffering from trauma.
Six-teen months on from her trauma and finally my daughter’s anger has dissipated, for now at least. Many months ago she disclosed of her two years of abuse at the hands of my father, her grandfather.
Her anger and rage evident from that very moment the truth spilled from her tiny lips, into the air. I had anticipated it, read up on it and planned my responses to it. Although I had not foreseen that her inner rage would actually be directed towards me, her mother.
She literally hated me, she hated my face, my words, my love and my affection. She hated the fact that I had not stopped her terror. She hated me for the fact that I was some one who was supposed to protect her, nurture her and harbour her, yet I had let her down on all three accounts and more. Time and time again I had not seen nor stopped her horrific sexual abuse. Being only 6 years old , how would I begin to let her know I knew nothing of her abuse over the past two years.
I knew then that only time would work in my favour, that only as the years passed would she begin to comprehend my intentions to protect her. Only over time would she truly understand the depths of my love for her even though I had failed her. All those months of her raging against my chest, screaming into my face and beating my limbs had now passed, but what remained was something utterly remarkable.
Time and time again I sat perched on the edge of a seat placed in front of each therapist, tears streaming down my cheeks onto my clothes, not knowing what to say or do to help my broken daughter. I left on each occasion feeling devastated at the prospect of going home with her, of holding her tiny hand and leaving, of being alone with her in our house, alone to deal with her rage. I felt truly helpless in the months that followed, I was a helpless mother.
There were only two things I knew to do, two simple things to do each day in the hope she would change.One was to love her, totally and utterly just love her, love her through her rage, through her anger and through her pain. The other was to pray. I would spend morning after morning weeping and praying as the hundreds of tiny droplets of water fell on my face in the shower. My pain was too much to bear alone, and I knew that in the deepest , darkest part of my soul , God was near me, I was not alone.
In the depths of my own overwhelming despair I could not see the fragments of light slipping through the gaps in my dark tunnel. Every day her venomous words “I hate” you would drip down from her mouth, down her chin and onto my broken spirit. Her words would eat away at my strength like acid thrown on soft vulnerable skin tissue. Every day wearing me thinner and thinner as her mother. Then one day as she turned to walk away from me, the rage beneath her petite frame weighing her down, she looked at her shuffling feet and in an audible whisper repeated the words ” I hate you, I love you, I hate you, I love you”
There in that moment I saw the light, blinding and all encompassing, bright and there. My life would make its rotation in this small inconspicuous moment in time. We would be okay, she would be okay, I would be okay. Love had somehow founds its lost way back into our home, into our spirit, into our lives. It was here is all its glory, evident in tiny spoken words, evident in us, between us as mother and daughter.
She had come back to me. My beautiful daughter who had been roaming the wilderness for months, was here, she had returned. Anger would not be forgotten, nor ignored, anger would always play its part, dance its dance, and rear its ugly head. But for now Love had taken the step forward and left anger trailing behind. Anger had lost its control over us.