Session Four: Addressing Anger
Anger was a forbidden emotion in our house. My mother was raised in an abusive environment. When she grew up, my mother determined no one would yell at her again. Sadly, she was the only person in our house that was allowed to be angry.
In my teen years she made me really mad one day and I forgot about the “no anger” rule. I yelled at her and her expression changed. She gave me a fierce look and didn’t say a word. In fact, she ignored me for a full ten days and acted like I wasn’t alive.
My adopted father never spoke against my mother but his expressions communicated for him during those ten days. His facial expression seemed to say, “PLEASE apologize so we can go back to peace in this house.”
I finally surrendered and apologized. I vowed that I would never get angry again. This experience influenced my eventual decision to abort. I did not want to make my mother angry or upset her in any way.
It wasn’t that I never got angry. I just could not express it. I never wanted to make others feel the way my mom made me feel in her anger.
During my post-abortion healing process, I prayed that God would help me express any anger emotions appropriately. It didn’t take too long for that prayer to bring back many memories to highlight the various paths of my internal fury.
For many years my anger was centered on my child’s father, “Alan,” for rejecting our baby and making me abort. Had he offered to marry me, my life would have been much different. Sadly, he not only didn’t want to marry me, he would go on to use the abortion as a means of controlling my behavior, threatening to announce my secret sin should I do anything to upset him.
My first step in healing had been in acknowledging that I had the ultimate responsibility because no one had forced me onto that abortionist’s table. I came to realize that while my anger against my aborted baby’s father was authentic, it wasn’t helping me with healing.
These verses helped me let go of my anger:
Romans 12:19 NIV, Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. God is so much better at vengeance than we are and sees into hearts.
In John 12:46 NIV, Jesus says, I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
The anger inside my soul felt dark. I wanted God’s light to replace that dark spot. I knew that in my desire to find peace, I had to face my deep hostility.
Make a list of any names that initiate anger in your heart relating to your abortion. These may be people that you don’t know – like the media, instructors, celebrities, etc. – that promoted abortion as a good choice.
After the list seems complete, take the time to write something to each name. This is not something that you will send to them. The purpose of this activity is to record your emotions towards them to help reveal more about your anger. If you can understand why they make you angry, it’s easier to find forgiveness for them.
Again, do not send any of these letters. Record them in your journal and we will address this list in the next session.
Ask God to allow the light of His Spirit to surround your memories and illuminate them for deeper healing.
Anger typically surrounds women before and after their abortion. Anger assists in addressing – or covering up – typical after abortion emotions like fear, guilt, longing, frustration, or hopelessness.
Someone once said that holding bitterness and anger against another is like drinking poison, hoping the other person dies. Anger that is allowed in our hearts often grows deep roots of bitterness and lead to extreme self-hatred and dysfunction.
Many faith-based hearts prayed before they aborted, asking for God to intervene if this wasn’t His will for them. These ambiguous prayers are often answered, just not in the way we expect.
Like curtains on our eyes, denial after abortion has many shapes and forms. Initially, we incorrectly perceive we can forgot making this choice. In carefully locking this secret sin the deepest chambers of our heart, we often go on to act like nothing has happened.
Abortion stigma for me began the moment I realized I was pregnant. In even considering an abortion, many women cross the line of their own personal conscience. One step can lead to another until you are quickly “pregnant no more.”
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Sydna Massé compassionately leads you on the difficult journey through denial, anger, and grief, to forgiveness, redemption, and letting go. Her Choice to Heal offers a road map to healing – practical suggestions, resources for help, space to journal, with the encouragement and hope.
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