I am a very angry person. Most of that anger is directed toward men. For those of you who’ve read me awhile, it’s my own personal “open secret.”
I have had many opportunities to sit with others and share their pain.
I listened to teenage boys talk of how they desperately wanted to get out of lock-up, not for themselves, but for their younger siblings for whom they had been the primary caregiver and now they feared no one was making sure they eat or go to school.
I watched young boys and girls get their hopes up when their parents talked about wanting them back home only to have those hopes dashed when they realized it wasn’t the child they wanted, but the SSI check that followed the child.
I have sat with women who had been severely beaten, or listened to their children describe beatings their mother had suffered at the hands of a man who claimed to love her. One that stands out in my mind is of a 3 year old child telling me about watching his mama’s boyfriend hit his mama and knock her to the floor, then kick his mama repeatedly.
More than one woman has told me about having a gun held to her head, convinced her life would end in that moment.
One woman was very badly beaten by her ex-husband. One of her eyes was blackened and swollen. One arm was covered in bruises such that it was more dark purple than not. He’d punched her in the stomach so hard she had bruises there. He’d pulled her hair out in bunches. Her clothes were torn. Her body was so stiff and sore she could hardly move. And he did all this in front of his 3 teenage children. The woman had gone to her ex-husband’s home after her daughter called and said that her father had hit her. After she was able to get the children and herself out of there, she called local law enforcement, but she was not hopeful that anything would become of it.
When I was younger and still filled with hope and idealism, I sought to move up the career ladder, not because I wanted the power and prestige, but because I wanted to be in a position to really make a difference for those who hurt. But the farther I went, the more disillusioned I became. I didn’t see people who wanted to help others. I saw people playing power games. Impressing politicians. Kissing the ass of the upper echelon to move up. Saying the right things. Wearing the right clothes. Doing whatever it took to get noticed.
All the showmanship angers me, and, well, I haven’t handled it well. I’d find another job along the same career line and hang out there until I was again disgusted with what I saw. My resume shows me changing jobs ever 3-4 years. But nothing ever really changed. And nothing ever really will within those systems. But I can’t yet bring myself to leave social work behind. It’s as though I keep hoping this time it will be different, even though I already know it won’t.
The anger keeps me moving. Watching all these ridiculous people play their power games is a powerful motivator. Roy Moore and his supporters motivate me so much that I may save the world single-handed by the time that election comes around.
I’d rather be angry than feel the gut-wrenching hurt of knowing once again we are not believed, and while his victims have quietly carried their pain for years, their perp has enjoyed the limelight, and may very well win yet again.