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I’m Still So Angry…

It’s hard not to think about religion and how you feel about it during this time of the year.  There are the signs proclaiming Jesus is the reason for the season, the Ten Commandments and other popular religious movies are being broadcast nightly on prime time television, and the store aisles we walk down every day are filled with religious trinkets.  It seems that everywhere I turn there is another card or sign reminding me of God’s love and the sacrifice he made with his only son.  But instead of being inspired and filled with the love of God that everyone else around me seems to experience, I am just reminded of my anger towards Him.

I was raised Irish Catholic, mostly because of my beloved Grandpa.  He was a devout Catholic, which meant we were all Catholic.  I went to Catholic school for a few years as a child, had my First Communion in the Catholic church, and went to Mass every Sunday with Grandpa.  I loved and emulated my Grandpa and tried so hard to believe in God’s love as he did, but I just couldn’t.  I remember sitting in church next to him on Sundays, wondering why He never answered my prayers, wondering why He chose to have me born to such a vicious, unloving woman, and wondering why He seemed to listen to everyone else but me.

See, I prayed as a child; I prayed hard and often.  I would pray when I woke up, while I did chores, before lunch, before dinner, and always before bed.  I would get down on my knees in the middle of the horse pasture when I was sure Mom couldn’t see me and pray for a day of relief from Mom’s abuse.  I would pray for her love, I would pray for her to stop beating me, and I would pray for kind words and a soft touch instead of insults and slaps across the face.

But He never listened – or at least I never thought He did.

Every morning I would wake up, filled with hope for the day, wondering if God heard my pleas for help the night before and wishing with all of my heart that I would have the kind mother I always wanted; but it never happened.  No matter how hard I prayed during the day or how many tears I shed while on my knees praying at night, He never seemed to help me.  The abuse would continue, the insults would be hurled my way the moment Mom laid eyes on me, and the love I was so desperately seeking was never shown.

So I would go to church with Grandpa, sometimes with scratches on my neck or a bruise under my eye, and I would sit in my pew just staring up at the cross above the alter.  “Do you see me now God?” I would whisper.  “I’m sitting right here, covered in bruises, in your house.  Do you see me and hear me now?”

Nothing.  Not even a blink from Father when I would walk up and hold my hands out for communion.  Nothing.

As years passed, I started to give up and began to stop praying so much.  What was the use?  I was just wasting words and getting my knees dirty kneeling down in the pasture – no one was listening, no one was helping, and it was made clear to me by His lack of response that I was on my own.  And that is when the anger and resentment towards Him began to set in.  I was angry that I didn’t get a choice on who I was born to.  I was angry that I wasted so many years praying and believing in someone who never did anything to help me when I needed it the most.  I was angry that He couldn’t even give me the simple gift of a mother’s love.

More years have passed and I’m still angry and still harboring hurt over feeling abandoned by the one person everyone tells you to pray to, the one person everyone says is always there for you no matter what, and the only person I truly opened up to as a child.  I was never more honest about what was going on in my life then when I was on my knees staring up at the sky, begging for help, and I felt ignored and cast away when that help never came.

I feel like I need a Lieutenant Dan moment (for you Forrest Gump fans out there).  I need that moment where I can scream and yell at God, get out my frustration and just shed years of hurt and pain.  I’ve been preached to by others about God’s love, I’ve been told that He was there for me when I didn’t even realize it, and that one day, it will become clear to me that He was truly there all along.  He was there giving me the strength to get through the beatings, He gave me the talent to put my story onto paper and help others who suffer as I did.  He was there, I just didn’t realize it – but I will.

I hope someday I will.  Because I’m still angry.

I’m Still So Angry…


Sarah Burleton NY Times bestselling author

Victoria Gigante Writes For Psych CentralSarah Burleton was born in a little town in Illinois to a very emotionally disturbed woman. Her first book, her child abuse memoir "Why Me," spent 26 weeks on the New York Times and the print version is endorsed by David Pelzer, author of "A Child Called It." Sarah is now realizing her goal in becoming an ambassador for abused children and adult survivors and is currently conducting workshops and seminars throughout the state. Her message of strength over adversity and her story will help counselors, teachers, and other professionals identify signs of abuse and learn ways to establish trust with an abused child.


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APA Reference
, . (2016). I’m Still So Angry…. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/strength-adversity/2016/03/im-still-so-angry/

 

Last updated: 27 Mar 2016
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