In childhood, there was only one way to survive – accept, excuse and go along with aggressive, inhuman actions and attitudes. But later, in adulthood, there was a way out! You changed my life, dear anger, as you let me see through lies, debunk and rebel against vitriolic power-plays and empowered me to become clear and strong. You gave me the ability to say no when I was not treated with respect. You gave me the insight and wisdom to withdraw from unhealthy relationships as you revealed past and present realities to me.
Neither as a child nor for years as an adult could I realize what you have taught me – that it was NOT I – but my parents’ and nanny’s behavior, which was resentful, wrong, unforgiving, out of control and evil. It spoke of nothing but of the misuse of power, arrogance and cruelty. Those who preached forgiveness did not practice forgiveness. They felt superior, powerful, even almighty and always justified when they could punish, degrade and unleash their anger against weak and helpless human beings, which they even enjoyed. THEY were the ones who carried grudges and had a huge problem with anger. Their souls and minds were not accessible, not open for insight. They could not communicate truthfully and openly.
The more you were allowed to come out in therapy, the more you showed me how this system of inhuman madness had manipulated the child, destructively imprinted me, and how it still persecuted me as an adult by filling me with self-loathing and self-hatred. You revealed to me how it had programmed me to always blame myself, to experience every problem and life adversity as the result of only MY irremediable guilt and harrowing innate badness. It was the goal of all black pedagogy that I had to submit and obey without a will of my own. Adults were entitled to have a will – not children. This was demonstrated by a notorious childhood doctrine that I had to hear over and over again. It is still etched clearly in my memory:
“Children with their own will and mind – must be hit on their behind.”
Adults never admitted mistakes, never were sorry – they were always right. They had the law and justice on their side. There was no one to defend a child. Every criminal is entitled to a lawyer in court. The unjust law of my childhood united in my parents and nanny the prosecutors, judges and executers of a strict penal system where the accused had no right to an attorney and a fair hearing, had to stay silent and was not entitled to an opinion and to defend him or herself. A child had no human and legal rights – and children still do not have them.
The horrible result was that I became terrified of life and any conflict. I did not have a voice. I could not speak up for what I saw, thought and felt. I was prevented from having needs of my own and had no chance to fulfill them. For years, I was convinced that I was incapable to resolve problems, so I never dared to address and deal with them. I had to disregard you, my dear anger and good, precious friend, as well as my other feelings and true needs. The only feelings permitted in my childhood were gratefulness, pity, admiration and adoration for my parents and God. The only needs permitted were those that parents, nannies, religion and schools endorsed and fostered. For years, I believed that my needs consisted of going along with what others demanded and expected from me.
For the longest time, I could not live true to myself, and so I missed my life. I was programmed to bury my head in the sand, to believe the authorities blindly and to serve and follow them like a slave. I needed your powerful vitality and insights and the support of therapy to claim my true self and my life. As it had been always I, who had to shoulder the burden of guilt and forgiveness, I had been forced to believe that I was wrong and resentful if I dared to express a differing, my own point of view, when I spoke up and protested and when I did not want to continue relationships, above all the one with my parents. When you expressed yourself in therapy, you showed me the way out of this madness! You became my ally and friend that enables me to recognize people for who they really are – instead of blindly accepting how they want me to see them and wish to be seen in their self-centered ways. You encouraged me to become aware of how I was treated. You saved me from devoting my energy to longing for and attempting to reach people who have hurt and harmed me – all the more if they feel no regret, remorse and show no insight.