Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Oh, how bitter the taste of rejection tastes as its insidious bile regurgitates in my mouth.
NEVER would I have believed that I could possibly be the woman scorned.
I once believed in all the romantic fantasies of girlhood. Mistakenly perhaps? Or possibly naïve thinking that true love is real and that I would one day find it and be able to prove to the world that indeed true love actually exists!
Oh, how bitterly those thoughts roll off my tongue. The mere thought of love, marriage, and romance makes me want to spew the words out of my mouth. Those words hold only bitterness and disgust; I don’t even want to speak them.
I was once the woman that adored attending weddings. I always liked to watch the groom as he caught the first glimpse of his glorious bride. I lived for the moment of betrothal and cried when the vows were said.
Now, I’m the bitter old maid who can’t even bear the thought of looking at wedding pictures! I hate myself for not being able to feel the joy and thrill of women who are engaged or planning weddings. The thought of attending a wedding shower makes me feel physically ill. I am in all intents and purposes utterly and completely jaded!
Jaded: the end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointments, and unfulfillment fed into a person where they get to the point where their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment (disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believe it to be).
-The Urban Dictionary
It’s a shock to even admit it, but I know when the desire to write overtakes me and I can no longer deny the girl inside me crying out “WRITE!” that I must pen the raw, undeniable feelings within.
The heart is a fickle thing. Some days I wish I could simply rip it from my chest. It would be easier to not feel anything than to feel the sharp edges of this jaded heart.
The root? What makes a woman jaded? Anger. I’m fairly certain that after lamentation comes pure, red hot anger. At first, it seems I’m just angry at men in general, but if I take the time to work it through, I’m really just completely outraged by one. The one who rejected me.
How dare he?
How could he?
Why would he be so careless?
How could he be so cruel?
I throw my fist in the air as I scream out to God, “This is not fair! This is not just! Where is the justice in this? Why haven’t you done something to deal with him? Why doesn’t he have to pay for what he’s done?”
As I hear more stories of betrayal and adultery and divorce, I can’t help but rent my heart at the injustice of it all.
Why do women constantly have to suffer at the hands of careless men?
Why do we have to pay the price for their misdeeds?
Why is it okay to exploit the love of a woman? All we ever want to do is love you! We were designed to be help-mates, why do men desire, in turn, to dominate and lord their power over women? How is that justice? How is that fair?
And I want to scream at God that if He is really in control, then why are all these things happening?
My heart burns red-hot with passion to want to make this right! Oh, how my heart is enraged!
Hate and fury spew out of the center of my heart of jade. My painful experiences are the sculptor who chips away with his chisel tiny pieces of my heart and I become utterly desperate for a balm. My heart is on fire and I need the spiritual fire department to put out the flames that have engulfed my heart.
Never have I been an angry woman. For almost two years I have secretly been so proud of the fact that I have been able to control my anger throughout this journey. But now the flames of bitterness burn out of control. I want so badly to scream out in rage at the injustice done to me and to so many women! Not just women I know but all over this country and around the world!
I have read stories of women dying at the hands of the men they once intimately loved. Men they shared their entire lives with.
I have heard of women fleeing to shelters with their children with just the clothes on their backs because they are afraid for their lives.
I have read articles of women beaten and bruised, manipulated and harassed, drugged and raped, exploited through sex trafficking. Why? What have we done wrong? All we want, all we really want is to love and be loved in return.
All I wanted to do in my marriage was to love my husband and raise and my children with love and freedom. I gave everything I had in pursuit of this dream. Maybe I should call it a fantasy? There was no way I could have pleased him. Nothing I could do or say to make him love me. And yet, I bled and died at his hands yet I kept coming back for more. Like an insane person, I believed that if I just tried harder, if I could just cook better, be a better lover, clean the house perfectly, be skinnier, be prettier, be sexier, be someone I thought he needed me to be, than he would love me.
It makes me sick to even think about the lengths I went for this man.
It will be two years this week. Two years since I stepped onto that airplane with just two suitcases, two thousand dollars, my two beautiful children, and no plan but to just get home. All I knew was that I had to go home. I had nothing left to give; I was empty, a shell of a woman. Looking in the mirror I was unrecognizable. I didn’t even know what I looked like never mind who I was on the inside.
Two years. It has gone by in a flash and yet some days and weeks have felt like years.
My healing journey has been an emotional roller-coaster. I have ridden the death-defying journey of fear and realized that courage means doing things afraid. One can continue taking brave steps forward even while feeling crippling fear.
I have surfed the waves of anxiety and lived to tell you that anxiety, though debilitating, can be overcome or at least tamed.
The gravitron of grief did not drown me, though there were days when I wasn’t so sure.
Sadness and lamentation have been a constant friend along with loneliness, isolation and regret. A blanket of emotion that some days weighs heavier than others.
Now, my journey has led me here, to bitterness. The truth I can speak is that the heart can be such a versatile thing. I can feel unabashedly jaded and purely content all at the same time. The heart is a fickle thing, indeed.
How does one survive the fires of hatred and bitterness that spew from the jaded heart?
How does one resolve the unresolvable?
How does one justify the injustice?
Will this be my undoing?
How long will I have to set up camp here before I can move to the next phase?
Surely something better awaits?
First, I must face my foe. I must sink deep into this jaded heart and learn what God wants to teach me through this.
This is the most difficult emotion I think I’ve had to face thus far on my healing journey.
Fear, sadness, grief, anxiety, they all necessitate reliance on God for the strength to get through. They are emotions that force me to reach out for help.
But anger, oh boy, anger is another creature altogether! Congreve was so right, hell has no fury compared to a scorned woman! Taming the beast of anger is not the same as overcoming fear or anxiety. Anger begs to be seen. It wants to ravage everything in its path. The flames of bitterness seek to lick up all the goodness and love that surround it in order to devour it, burn it to ashes.
Taming this beast has brought me fighting tooth and nail, kicking and screaming to the cross. I don’t want to ask God how to deal with anger because how could He possibly understand what I’m feeling? How could He possibly know betrayal intimately? How could He even remotely relate to my experiences? Plus, don’t I have the right to feel this rage after everything I’ve been through?
All that being said, I don’t want to be the bitter woman I have become. Oh, how I desperately want to cure this jaded heart! Oh, how I long to be genuinely happy for folks who have found love and want to share it with the world through marriage. Oh, how I long to be able to look at wedding photos and not feel the coals within my chest ignite with the spark of bitterness. Oh, how I long to be able to listen to a love song and not sneer at the lyrics and belittle the songwriter.
I am determined to get through this stage. I want to know what’s on the other side of this! I want to know how to overcome this hurtle.
So, as I fight through the fires of bitterness to get to God with my burning questions, I realize something. I realize that it is my own heart betraying me, not God.
Jesus understands betrayal and injustice because He was betrayed and judged for something He never did, and He paid for it with his life! And it was my sin that put Him there and it was His pure, unvarnished love for me that kept Him there.
How did Jesus deal with a jaded heart? He is the example I wish to follow, so how did He handle it?
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
So, now I have to do something I don’t want to do and every cell in my being screams at me that there is no way I can forgive the man.
Forgiveness means he gets away with it. Where is the justice in that?
And Jesus’ nail pierced hands come to mind. His murderers were never brought to justice. As He died on the cross he cried out to God, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
If Jesus can forgive the people who unjustly subjected Him to torture, persecution and death, how can I not forgive the person who unjustly wronged me?
Forgiveness doesn’t change what he did, but it can change my jaded heart.
I FORGIVE YOU spits from my tongue like a bitter tincture and I don’t like it. It feels uncomfortable and wrong. Why am I doing something that doesn’t feel right or just or fair?
But I choose what is right over how I feel and so I say it again, and again, and again.
I am choosing to forgive because it is the pathway to life, and I have experienced enough death. I want to feel alive and well. If I continue to repeat I FORGIVE YOU over and over, one day I will feel it. For now, though, I’m thankful for the small crack that has formed on the edge of my jaded heart.
There is hope. God will avenge me in His time. I need not take matters into my own hands.
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)
One day, that crack of forgiveness will be the crevice that shatters this heart of stone and bitterness and hatred will be just another step on this long journey to healing and restoration.
“Freedom only comes when two things happen. First the wound must be brought into the light, exposed before God. As long as it remains hidden, the enemy has the power to use it to harass an individual… Secondly, the truth of God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance must replace the lies in the mind of the believer.” (pp. 74,75 Wounded. Terry Wardle)