I just read a comment from a new follower about trying to support a child who had been molested. My heart went deeply out to the mother but also to her daughter. I was thinking about how much anger there is which comes from the deep sense of outrage a soul feels at being violated. I believe there are natural laws of love, support, connection and protection which the soul in a body needs to be raised in a healthy way and grow a peaceful sense of self. Often these are ripped apart due to the wounding of others. We may have been so powerless over this wounding at the time and the result is a sense of deep rage or protest in the soul that can manifest in all kinds of destructive ways. If we truly want to help others heal we have to be prepared to survive the onslaught of outrage and anger that needs to be expressed and find ways to contain it so that love and need and deep grief underlying it can break through. It is not easy for anyone involved and empathy is the central ingredient!
The alternative when we have been violated is that out-rage becomes in-rage and we direct it towards the self and damage or self harm in some way. This acting in is a huge part of so called ‘borderline’ conditions and may take the form of self harm like cutting or addiction or promiscuity which are just ways the soul tries to find to correct the deficits and express the truth of the pain.
A positive ‘holding’ environment is so important for those who were traumatised in relationship because then the entire issue of relating becomes difficult for the person and they are defences erected against it, necessary defences that enabled the person to survive such a damaging situation. Such defences need to be dismantled slowly and the thought distortions due to lack of trust that developed to protect and keep the person ‘safe’ worked through over a long period.
In support groups such as Al Anon when my justified anger towards my parents was expressed, I was actively shut down by a couple of group members several times. I also saw this done to another two people there. Luckily during this time I finally found a good therapist and was able to work through my outrage at this further censoring. (I have shared about it in my blog.) I left the group as it wasn’t a truly supportive place for me. I may have had more success in expressing all of that in AA with other survivors but even there I did not always feel safe and I needed professional support.
Anger and rage at times may seem over the top to those who have not been traumatised and cannot imagine what it is to live in that territory, but they are valid feelings which have a right to exist and need over time to be transformed so that deeper feelings that lie underneath can come to light. Healing is a journey and a process and one in which we need to show love, empathy, support, encouragement, compassion and understanding to the survivor. They are not ‘mad’ (in the sense of crazy though they act this way) just carrying justifiable anger, an anger that is needed to mobilise their healing and the growth of healthy boundaries in which all feelings can be experienced and digested.
The rage of the survivor kept them safe. It will need to be expressed and surrendered in the healing. Support, love, compassion, empathy but also good boundaries on the part of the one who may be attacked are important too so as to recognise what his happening.