During the aftermath of the poisoning, I was really really angry…so angry that I would now probably describe myself as having been “seething.” I had a name and a face for the person responsible for altering my life and the life of my family so dramatically and so terribly. I had a name and a face for the person who was to blame and I was filled with rage. There is no other term for it…it was rage and it was ugly and it was all-consuming. Bitterness was growing in me and, as I’ve shared with y’all before, my damaged brain was looking for a way out of this hell that I was in. I was watching our bank accounts dwindle from all of the medical expenses that I was incurring and I was seeing my body begin to just fade away. I was watching my relationship with my loving husband get more and more strained as I kept warping into different people (he kept trying…bless him…he was so accepting of every new version of Bekah that popped up over those years.) I was watching my relationships with the babies change too. They became much more fond of Stan and I became much more fond of being alone.
Every bit of my surroundings was a reminder of what had happened to me. Every meal (or lack of) was a reminder of the poisoning. Every ache and pain, every time I would forget where I was, every time I would be unable to control my body, every time I had to give myself a shot in my stomach (9 every 4 days!)…I would remember what happened to our family and I would seethe. It was extremely unhealthy and I can tell you that bitterness and anger is no place you want to live…but it is mighty good armor. See, it is easier, in my humble opinion, to be angry than it is to be hurt. I think that is why I was angry for so long. It is much harder to hurt because hurting means vulnerability whereas anger gives the illusion of strength. Hurt allows people to see your wounds…it allows people to see your “weakest” areas. Anger, on the other hand, tells them to back off or else they will be the next person to get their butts kicked and then handed to them whether they deserve it or not. Anger is armor. It keeps people at arm’s length and doesn’t allow them close enough to injure you further. The problem is, it doesn’t allow people in to help you heal either. And make no mistake about it, without letting people in close…you won’t heal.
So, what is my point? Well, I know a lot of people who are living in anger. People who are, in fact, dangerous to be around because of the anger that is dripping off of them. My personal experience is that you can not pull them out of it…you can not reason them out of it. The angry person has to realize that their anger is alienating everyone around them and landing them in isolation. Then, the angry person has to decide whether they prefer to remain isolated in their anger or if it is preferable to remove one of the pieces of armor in order to gain some community. What you can do is this: be available when they begin to take off the armor, pray for them even though they are pushing you away, and please don’t hold a grudge. I lost 90% of my people when I was angry and bitter…I didn’t get those people back into my life and I have regrets about that…but if I am honest, I simply was not strong enough to fight the illness and the anger and still think outside of myself at the time because I was just surviving…it’s all I could do to breathe in and out every day. But the people who stuck with me…those people I would give my last breath for…those people are my Team…those people are my heroes…and those people I will continue to lift to God because they have found a way beneath the armor and they have allowed healing in me and have breathed life into me. I can not express the love I have for them.
The challenge for today is this: if you are an angry person, please consider who might be trying to breathe life into you and try to remove some of the armor where that person is concerned…even if you only take off one piece of armor, it’s progress. If you have angry people in your life, please first determine if you are in danger. Angry people lash out and damage those around them…it makes our damage seem less obvious when others are damaged too. Please don’t put yourself into situations where you can be deeply harmed but don’t run away either. Step away, and pray but remain loving if you can. Don’t write the angry person off forever…check in every now and then to let them know that you are still praying for them and loving them…just do it from a safe distance so that you don’t get injured in the process because once you are injured too…you have less rational to pull from…you have less tenderness to give them. But keep at it. I really believe that the only way to overcome hate and anger is to continue to love…sometimes that love is from a distance…sometimes that love means praying for hard things to happen to the person that you love…but love them however you safely can do so.
Today I am praying for healing in all of you because we all have damage. I am praying that God would breathe life into you and that you, in turn, would breathe life into others. Much love friends,
Picture taken from: http://kelsisprogressionobsession.blogspot.com/2013/11/anger-management.html