My therapist and I have an ongoing conversation about my anger and rage. We’ve worked out that the reason I stuff it is because I learned at an early age it was useless against the nightmare that was my father and often made things worse. I don’t know if one of my alters still feels afraid of what will happen to me if I let myself get angry. I do know that I will face any other feeling, but rage I try to keep sedated. I often search around for it inside of me and instead of finding the boiling feeling in my stomach, I find the concept of rage. These days it sleeps lightly and erupts when I least expect it.
My mom received a letter from my dad yesterday. Same old shit, only my mom said he was even more narcissistic than usual. He used to write to her almost one a year but in the last 10 years his letters have become more sporadic. He writes about how he’s sorry for not being a good husband and father (though never admits to anything specific), he describes how he suffers because his children won’t speak to him and he pleads with my mom to intercede.
My mom called to tell me about it because the return address on this letter was different than the one she gave me when I wrote to my dad a few months ago. I don’t think he ever received it. And that’s ok; I can print it out and send it again. It was the conversation with my mom that brought up so many unexpected feelings. My mom said the only reason she leaves the lines of communication open is to always be able to reach him if me or my sister ever want to get in touch with him. She said what she wants more than anything is for everyone involved to find peace. I told her I can’t imagine ever wanting to speak to him or hear anything he’d want to say.
And that’s when it all came pouring out of me. Rage.
Looking back, I think it was her saying she wants peace for all of us. First, how the fuck does my dad get included in people who deserve peace? Second, I don’t believe peace is possible for me. Not the kind of peace she’s talking about. But I couldn’t process that in the moment.
I found myself yelling on the phone.
“What could that man ever say that would change the suffering I’ve been through? Even if he did get to a place where he could sincerely offer apologies for raping me as a child, I wouldn’t want to hear it. I don’t give a fuck what he feels.”
I started to break down in tears because the rage always terrifies me. It’s so huge and there’s nothing I can imagine doing that would truly release it. It also reminds me of how much I suffered as a child, how much of a ruin my life has been since then, and how much effort I have to expend to get through most days without falling into a pit of exposed trauma wounds. That’s when I said this:
“Honestly, mom, I wish I could just shoot him in the head. I would do it and I wouldn’t think twice about it. I wouldn’t be sorry. He deserves to fucking die in a violent way.”
And I meant it. I mean it. If I could kill my dad and not spend the rest of my life in prison, I would totally do it. But even that wouldn’t be enough to release all the righteous rage that lives in me. I can’t imagine ever getting to a place in my life where I wouldn’t want to stand 6 feet away from my dad and shoot him in the head with a bullet until he was dead.
I’m sure he does suffer because he lost the right to have contact with me and my sister. Maybe that suffering consumes him. I hope it does. I hope it slowly kills him because I doubt I’ll ever be given the opportunity to do it myself.
I’m trying to find a punching bag for when my rage erupts. In the past, I’ve only ever let it be a destructive force I couldn’t control, or a feeling that had to stay shut down completely. After I ended the call with my mom, I cried and pounded the bed (a step in the right direction, my therapist would say) and then I dissociated. I was shaking and crying and I poured water over the back of my neck. And then I was gone. For a while. I spent the rest of the day trying to find stable ground to stand on. Glimmers to nourish me. But I actively tried to avoid the rage. Consequently, there were several more dissociative episodes and eventually I felt really nauseous and woozy. I fell asleep last night with my heating pad pressed against my stomach and listening to my favorite D&D podcast. Sleep was fitful and the dreams I had were dark.