“I was terrified and panicked when I was attacked with violence, which always expresses anger and hatred. It is such a sick lie that violence can be administered “without anger” as some proponents of violence towards children have the brazen chutzpah to defend their cruelty and hide the truth.

In my childhood, you could not help me unmask this inhumanity, much less end it. Any protest of the defenseless, helpless, powerless child would have put her only in even greater danger. The beatings and threatening lectures that I suffered as a child terrorized me. When they happened, I only wanted to again feel safe and close to the attacker, whom I could never have recognized as a perpetrator. As you, my anger, were not allowed to live, I could not feel and thus see through that I was a victim, abused with inhuman violence. Out of that darkness of despair and confusion, the longing for let all be “well again,” let the relationship be “nice again,” grew into an overwhelming addiction.

This article is just a small excerpt used by permission from A Love Letter to My Anger by Barbara Rogers. Click here to read the whole letter. Excellent!

Adults were unshakably convinced that they were entitled to their anger, which they conveniently labeled and excused as “for your own good.” They believed that they had the God-given right to criticize, put down, humiliate, punish, yell and scream, even to beat a child and thus endanger her physical safety and integrity. While they vented their own anger uninhibitedly – they forbid the child’s anger, demanded self-control from her and lectured her that she must “pull herself together.” They claimed that I deserved their cruelty and that the crimes of their physical and verbal violence committed against me were well deserved and based exclusively on MY very own guilt and faults. They sold me their tyrannical cruelty as a self-righteous, destructive lie that extinguished all compassion for myself and devastatingly confused and brainwashed my mind. They seemed like saints who could do not wrong and who were free from any responsibility for themselves, their actions and feelings. They made it impossible for me to be on my side.

Yet, had I ever dared to hit another child, I would have been lectured and punished for this evil deed – for the exact same evil deed that marked my childhood and that I had to endure and suffer on a regular basis. As a child, I could not see through this repulsive hypocrisy. I never could have thought: “Who lectures and punishes the adults when they spank or hit weaker, vulnerable human beings? Who beats them when they make mistakes? Why do those powerful authorities even have the might and right to invent on a whim all sorts of sins and to arbitrarily make up supposed mistakes?”

“They made it impossible for me to be on my side.”

The child’s feelings and needs, above all her anger, were the ultimate sins. All the time, my parents and nanny were bent on finding reasons to reproach the child – but no one ever tried to listen to, understand and care for her. How could a child ever escape the maze of this cunning power play, this dangerous, brutal and insane abuse of power?

It became my way of life in childhood to forgive injustice without recognizing and protesting against it. I had no choice but to go along with shouldering unjust blame and bowing to lies, manipulations and violence. The adults were always right – the child was automatically presumed and declared guilty. Without that understanding and forgiveness were granted to her, the child was forced to believe, day in and day out: “I am wrong and I do everything wrong.” It became her unheard, buried and deepest inner agony that emerged as her fundamental, most painful wound in therapy.

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No one saw this child’s suffering; no one protected her; no one was on her side to speak up against the horrors that she had to endure. On the contrary, everyone demanded of her that she cave in and endure the injustices committed against her with eternal kindness – always forgiving the powerful, her parents and nanny, willingly anything that they did to her. She loved them and wanted nothing but their love and kindness for which she did anything she could, including carrying the cross of immense guilt feelings that never should have been her burden. But her love, selfless giving and sacrifices were not answered. Violent cruelty sentenced her to a hopeless existence in the dark dungeon of loneliness, fear, shame, blame and isolation, without dignity and respect.

This article is just a small excerpt used by permission from A Love Letter to My Anger by Barbara Rogers. Click here to read the whole letter. Excellent!

© Barbara Rogers, January 2007