The week after our first appearance in family court, I wrote this:
I figured out over the weekend that I can’t process the sexual side of the abuse until I am free to let the anger out. I can’t afford to get mad at Bubba right now. I have to be the reasonable one, the one who is working to settle this amicably. I have to be the one to do what is best for the kids because he certainly isn’t going to put them first. I can’t let go of the control I have on the anger until the kids are safe.
I can feel it deep down, snarling and clawing like some kind of wild beast. I have a mental image of something that looks like a giant panther with long, knife-like claws and glowing red eyes. Its black fur is bristling and it paces the cage I have it contained in, trying desperately to find a way out. It wants out. It wants to rip things apart. It wants to taste blood. (It is a very vivid image in my head.)
Today I can feel the beast very close to the surface. I can feel its hot breath mingled with mine. It is taking everything in me to contain it and push it back down where it belongs right now.
Liam came home sick right after he got to school today. I figured I better tell Bubba that he is sick because the last time he threw a hissy fit and with the GAL (Guardian ad Litem) coming tomorrow, I don’t want him to have any ammo. He emailed back that he wants to talk to Liam. I told him that Liam was asleep and it was just an upset stomach. He emailed back to have Liam call him when he woke up and Bubba wishes he could be here. WHY THE FUCK DOES HE WISH THAT????? He never bothered to care when they were sick when he was here. Now he’s trying to play father of the year. Well, I’m not buying it.
So here I sit, trying to push the beast back down where it belongs for now. It isn’t his time to be released. It isn’t his time to claw and hurt and maim and let it all out. It just isn’t. I don’t know that it is healthy and frankly, I don’t care right now. It is what I have to do. It is the only way I can see to continue putting one foot in front of the other to get through this divorce and keep myself sane and the kids safe. I can’t release the beast yet because I can’t trust that I won’t lose myself in him if I let him out.
I was terrified of this beast. I was terrified that if I released him, I would be utterly consumed in what I’d let loose. I was afraid that I would become the beast and that the anger would rule. My only hope was to keep him caged, locked away where he was safe – where I was safe from him. For the most part, I was able to visualize the cage and the beast in it. There were days that I could feel him clawing to get out and it was those days that I had to fight tooth and nail to contain him. I couldn’t risk my kids – either seeing that kind of rage in their one safe person or becoming collateral damage. What if I let the beast out and lost myself? Who would take care of my kids? So I kept him contained, snarling, clawing, desperate for escape.
As far as the anger went, I had to name the beast. It was just easier to find a name for him because he was such a real, separate entity from me. I’d never been allowed to have feelings and had become an expert at compartmentalizing my feelings. The anger was buried so deep down that I didn’t even realize he existed or that he’d grown to such scary, massive proportions until I after I filed and Bubba started really escalating. I’m a fan of irony and Fluffy seemed about the most ironic name I could think of for this beast.
Welcome Fluffy to our party, please. He becomes a very important part of my story.