I was flooded recently with a memory. A memory locked away so tightly that I've fought tooth and nail to keep it so.
In this memory, I am brutalized by a monster, but then handed off to a fixer. For years I have pitied this woman for being trapped in a terrible situation. But this time as I rode the memory through, I realized some important distinctions. She knew what he was doing to me in the other room. She knew her role as the fixer -- the aid to the cover-up. She made excuses for his actions. She led me to believe she was compassionate and caring, but her true purpose was to clean up his mess, and she did it willingly.
Flooded. Memories rushing over me like Sandy rushing through the northeast. Pain and tears and fear and confusion. Nowhere to safely land in this plethora of emotions.
So I land where I usually do: first on my therapist's couch, sobbing into a sodden tissue and apologizing for wasting her time while I just sit and cry. Then on my own couch as I try to recount the events of the day to my husband and apologize for everything I failed to accomplish -- dinner and laundry and errands.
But this time, this time is different somehow. I am angry. And I never get angry. I am angry that these horrific people where part of my childhood. I am angry that I wasn't protected from them. I am angry that I am still held responsible by some people for what was done TO me. I am angry, and I am not sorry that I am angry.
I am not going to stop being angry until I feel like it. Because I have been flooded long enough.