This is a useful way to understand the orphaned dead of the psyche. These are the creative thoughts and words and ideas in a woman’s life that have suffered premature death, and that deeply contribute to her rage. In a way, one could say rage is the result of ghosts not laid properly to rest. (…) Laying the dead past to rest.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting The Power Of The Wild Woman”
At some point in my childhood, the world that I built for myself, started to shrink. I was taught to remain passive and watch intruders burn what I deemed most valuable in it. Desecrating everything that was holy to me. They tightened my world with a corset, the air bursting out, inviting stagnant repetitive schemes to fit a certain system and image that I never acknowledged or accepted as my own. My world became surrounded by fences, walls, borders, images that I didn’t identify with, lives that I did not want to live, restrictions as far as the eye could see, rules and destruction for the sake for it.
I was a strong girl. I knew who I was. I fought hard against this self-erasing mould that transformed into depressed faces and empty souls that I could detect in most of the adults around me. Men and women who would never live up to their potential and who did everything according to the book, played by the rules, did everything “right”, whatever that meant, without ever questioning who had been pulling their strings and who had hooked them in the first place. Someone’s plan certainly worked.
The idea of comfort and safety blurred their sense of self like opium. They made the pact, slowly, intrusively and forced every generation that came after them to do the same, silent and disillusioned consent, obedience, compliance, everybody needed to give up the same things and suffer. I didn’t want any slice of that dried cake. I never wanted to give in to be a part of a machinery that I considered damaging and disruptive to the invaluable potential that every single human being harbours. What I saw before me had nothing to do with nurture. I was not seen. Everybody turned a blind eye. This is how it is. This is how you need to be. This is what you need to be good at. And if you’re not, you’re a failure.
These sentences burned themselves into my memory. They did so much harm. Their counterproductive toxicity arrested my courage. I started to fade and crumble under the pressure and started to feel alone and powerless. As if my voice had no autonomy, no resonance, as if I were alone in this fight.
All the layers that made me resilient started to crack and disconnect. I tried to live according to the concepts of a big picture that I felt was a betrayal of everything that I regarded as my personality. My weaknesses were weaknesses and they weren’t tolerated. All the focus rested on them. How inadequate I was. How deranged. How outspoken. How I refused to fit in. My strengths were of no use. They were neglected and suppressed, shoved to the side, there’s no money in what you are good at, no money in your gifts, you cannot use them. We have no use for them and for you. Learn our ways. Stop struggling.
Everybody always talked about money. In the best ways and worst ways. Everything sucked anyway if you had it. Nothing worked if you didn’t have it. I analysed the sources that tried to indoctrinate me, telling me that I was nothing until I had money, that I should forget about my dreams, that I should do something that had been laid out for me.
Money had been centre stage and that disgusted me. Money should stay one contributing and facilitating factor behind the scenes and not embody the scene itself and the heartbeat thereof. That was not my value system. Everybody burying their creativity, no matter what it consisted of, nobody would even dare to find out, look inside of themselves and commit to the lives that they could live, their best possible selves. I saw the chains that were attached to money. The lethargy. The marshlands of self-denial and the lack of pulse in mediocrity.
I couldn’t resign myself to that. These thought patterns tried to replaced my own roots and they still appear within my mindset, pressuring me, confronting me, harassing me, judging me. The entire world that I grew up in needed to be unlearned and filtered. All the clueless and cowardly naysayers with one foot in the grave.
It enrages me what I let people tell me untruths about myself and started to believe them and that I let their poison into the narratives I told about and to myself. Not good enough. Not knowledgeable enough. Too lazy. No common sense. Unworthy.
It enrages me that I became insecure because of other people’s judgements.
It enrages me that I stopped defending myself when I was under attack.
It enrages me that I didn’t fend over hostile voices against me.
It enrages me that I wasted time and energy into listening to what other people thought I couldn’t do.
It enrages me that I didn’t have my own back for a long time.
It enrages me that I let small-minded people get under my skin.
It enrages me that compliments made me uncomfortable.
It enrages me that I made space in my body for insults and libels against me.
It enrages me that my childhood was cut short and that for a long time, I lost touch with my inner child, the most courageous and bold and astonishing girl that I could ever be.
It enrages me that I stopped writing because they told me I was too deviant.
It enrages me that I never learned how to stand up for myself.
It enrages me that I rarely find the right words to say in the right moment to the right people.
It enrages me that the energy of certain people or my own insecurities faced with them, made me stutter.
It enrages me that there are so many conversations that I never had that float around in my body, because I was too scared, too anxious, too careful, and hurt myself instead and became a bottomless vessel to be filled with everything unexpressed.
Every single day I write these voices that are not my own, yet became a part of my being and thinking, out of my body and make room for myself again and voices that see me and engage with me creatively, that resonate with my own energy, idealism and value system. “I sealed myself into a room full of rage, but not for the rest of my life” (modified quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, “Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting The Power Of The Wild Woman”). I unpack my rage step by step and release it through my window. As light as air. No strings attached. Rage without me is rage no more. Out of my body and back to myself.