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supressed anger is killing me from the inside
May 8, 2006
3:53 pm
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dyinginside
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I don't know why i came here. I thought I had things under control....but now I find out that I am a volcano of rage waiting to erupt. But I would never allow that, so it seems that my rage is taking it's revenge on my physical being. I was married to an abuser for 14 years. I wasn't allowed to be angry...so I learned very quickly that it hurt worse to fight back than to just stuff it down and pretend everything was fine. I played that game as long as I could until I wanted to die without understand why. Finally, 3 years ago, I took my two babies and left. Now, he only pops into our lives 2 times a month to drag them away and play the hero....but always on his terms...never following the rules...never respecting the guidelines the court has set. When I try to talk to him, he refuses to speak to me...yet demands meetings when he has something to say. And what do I do? Like a little wind up doll...I fall right back into the old pattern of obeying him. The truth of the matter is that I am still afraid of him. He always wins...because he will fight harder and longer...and much dirtier than I will. But inside, I seethe. And I watch as my children become more and more like him with every visit....I am so angry inside, but refuse to let myself express it because I can't find a way to express it without hurting someone. SO, i die a little more inside...with each rage that is pressed down....I feel as though I might just spontaneously combust! If anyone has any suggestions, I would so greatly appreciate it. I am a gentle, tender person. I have lived my whole life trying to love, encourage, and build others up. This rage inside me also gives me a sense of self loathing. But I don't know how to make it all go away.

May 8, 2006
4:06 pm
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on my way
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Wow, this sounds familiar to me. I was not allowed to get angry in my marriage either, or be unhappy or down. Looking back, divorced for 7 yrs, I chose someone exactly like the family environment I grew up in...I was not allowed to be angry or cause any trouble, because I was the "peacemaker"!!! It worked for me (not really though) in my family as a child, but not in my adult married life.

I to watched as my sons became more and more like him, and when they would come home froma visit it took awhile for them to be respectful again and appreciative...but they were angry about the divorce as well.

I don't know how old your children are, but now that mine are adults, they all have come back to me after having gotten to know their dad as an adult and said, 'mom, now i understand why you divorced him.'...and not that i needed to hear this or know this for myself...but in their world, it was healing for them to be able to understand. It has appeased their anger somewhat.

Hang in there, it will most likely get better over time, but i still have trou ble expressing anger...to me it makes me look weak, and i have and to be strong most of my life. If you feel this way, it isn't healthy. Get some counseling maybe? And if your ex hubby gets too out of line, talk to your attorney.

Best to you, it does get better.

May 8, 2006
4:41 pm
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lightchaser
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I understand how you feel. I have been married 13 years to a man who always had way more problems than I could ever have. He was an alcoholic from an alcoholic family. He was verbally abusive and towards the end started to shove me around. I felt like I had one emotion that I was allowed and I don't even know if that emotion had a name. Inside i was seething. I imagined how good it would feel just to knock his block off- teeth flying everywhere. I too was the peacemaker in my household. I had a depressed mother and a brother who buried himself in schoolwork. I was the one who livened up the home and made them laugh. Again, it worked then, but I've continued this pattern into my adult life and feel like I must make everyone smile. If I can't I am a failure. I don't know when I started to actually feel my anger. I don't express it much, but when I do, watch out. I find that jouranlling helps alot. I can get out all the terrible nasty (though usually true) things I have to say and then burn it or whatever. Do you have friends that you can talk to about this at all? I try to talk to mine but after a while they just think enough is enough and they don't want to hear it anymore. Exercising also helps me get out that tension that sometimes boils over as anger. I don't have much to say that helps, but maybe it's good to know that you are not alone. Everything you have described is completely normal for someone in your situation. It's so hard not to fall into the same pattern with your ex, I'm sure. With time I hope you will be able to train yourself not to take his crap. It's baby steps all the way. Congratulate yourself for the steps you have taken. I'm sure they are many and great!

May 8, 2006
11:01 pm
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dyinginside
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thank you both for your posts. It does help to know that I am not the only one who has been where I am. It's strange that as I read what you both wrote, I saw more of myself... my mother suffered from severe depression due to sexual abuse in her childhood and tried to kill herself when I was 5. I became the mother to my younger brother and the peacemaker of our home. My whole life has been spent trying to make sure everyone else is okay. I guess it makes sense now as to why I so easily fell into that pattern with my ex-husband. My children are now 11 and 14. When they come home from their dad's, they are horribly disrespectful and are learning to bully me, just like he did. My 14 yr. old son is already bigger than me and my 11 yr old will probably be by the end of the summer. I went to my doctor today and she suggested therapy. I am searching for someone to go to at this point. I don't know who I am angrier with...my ex for being so abusive and selfish all those years (and continuing to) or myself for allowing it. I hate that I am afraid of him. Nobody seems to understand when I try to talk about being afraid to stand up to him now. My dad actually yelled at me today for not standing up to him. He told me that I am allowing him to continue to control me. And, I guess he is right. I always thought I was being strong to not be angry, to not act like a child and throw things and hit back.... now, I just feel hopeless and frustrated. I am terrified of starting counseling...like I am getting ready to open Pandora's box...I have kept it closed for so many years...but all the junk inside is starting to ooze out the edges anyway...and I know that I am not capable of dealing with what's inside by myself. Which also makes me angry with me. Anyway, thanks for listening and for the encouragement. I really do appreciate it. 🙂 If you are praying people...please whisper a prayer for me. I don't think I'm facing an easy road.

May 8, 2006
11:35 pm
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on my way
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Hi,
don't be too hard on yourself, ok? trust me, this does not happen overnight being able to break old patterns in the way you communicate with him. if he gets too abusive, then maybe a restraining order is necessary. it will work out eventually though. and counseling is a good idea as well as for your children and you together. counselors can give you some strong and positve parenting tips as well as a single parent. i remember feeling so releived when i left, but i was so broken inside that it took me a long time to rebuild myself, but counsseling was part of the rebuilding process.

hang in there, you will find yourself and be able to love yourself again. and your children will be ok too. some churches offer divorce recovery classes, this might be good as well.

best to you,,,you can do this!!

May 9, 2006
6:48 am
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nvr2late
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dyinginside...
I understand your whole story and I live it!
I have a very angry stbx..he did some horrible things because of his anger.
I was always afraid to get angry, now I have found that emotion in myself, and it still is difficult sometimes, it helps me to go over all the things he did to me and my kids, and I get angry.
I do have trouble staying angry, but then I just ignore the 'man'.
I was married to him for 15 years, trying to divorce him for the past 2 years, he keeps dragging it out.

I did not get really angry until about 3 months ago, when I realized that the things he was saying about me, and then trying to turn it on me!
I finally just stopped talking to him, he would report everything (after a few twists) to his lawyer and I then figured that I will never forgive him for what he has done.

anger is healthy, it helps to get things out, and bring up to the surface all the old junk that you have been holding in.
The kids are victims, I see my kids having problems after a weekend with their dad, but I just tell them that it takes some adjusting from house to house, if they need 30 minutes in their room, that is fine, but the attitude will have to stay there!

it does get better, I just hope for your sake, he does not take the kids down with him.

stay strong, you are doing great!
get angry, but not destructive.
It helps...and do NOT be sorry for your feelings, we cannot control them and do not let anyone else tell you that you are wrong for having them!

take care, stay strong!
nvr

May 9, 2006
10:07 am
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reachingout
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Hi everyone I seem to have the same problem but now that I have let the husband go I have my soon to be 22 year old son use me we talk everyday unable to yell at him he total lives off of me has no job won't do anything around the house I told him the other day I put up with his dad treating me bad for 33 years wasn't going to do it with him I know he doesn't believe me why should he I wrote him a letter yesterday telling how much I love him but I am only harming him in life he needs to grow up he said nothing after reading it. I am still struggling with my husband leaving so this on top I don't know how much more I can take I also have an 10 year old daughter she is wonderful don't want to ruin her.I have a thread but didn't get much responce..Thanks

May 9, 2006
11:29 am
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on my way
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I can understand how you feel, it is difficult to see our kids at this age seem totally indifferent to what will make them successful. But I suggest not ever mentioning his dad to him or compare him with his dad. And if you speak to him in anger, he will not listen. It's tough, but wonder what is going on in his head? IT's hard I know.

May 9, 2006
11:37 am
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reachingout
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I really tr haard not to but sometimes I just get so uupset he watched his dad just take everything for granted so now he does I work all day he sit's in his room playing games when I get home first thing I hear is what's for dinner,drys his clothes then fluffes them daily becz he won't take them out and fold them have told him I can't afford to pay for all this eats everything I bring into the house another thing I can't afford I know as with his dad I have taught him this behavor and let it go on his entire life but knnow I need it to stop I feel just like I felt with his dad I'm so tired of being treated like I'm to do it all.Thanks for responding I need some real help something else I can't afford

May 9, 2006
12:10 pm
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nappy
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Good Morning Dyinginside,
I hope that you are having a bless day.
I read your post and I understand what you are feeling, but as a friend on this post, you are going to have to take control of your feeling and your life. You have children. If you have a son, you are going to have to show him how to give a woman respect. If you have a daughter, she see your action and you have to break the cycle. Stand up with the armor that god has given you. You can't change your ex but you can change YOU. Ask god to change you. You is a strong person because you made that first step in leaving him. He is angry also because you left him and you are going on with your life. The only way to really get to you is through your kids. Don't let the devil take over. Let god stand in the way and protect you and your family. Show yourself and your ex that you are a stronger person then he felt that you were. He knows your weakness and will try and attack every chance that he can get.
STAND WITH THE ARMOR OF GOD, SO THAT NO EVIL DOING WITH COME UPON YOU.
Have a bless day!
Nappy

May 9, 2006
1:39 pm
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StronginHim77
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reaching out -

Pack up the 22-year-old's stuff in boxes, put them outside your house and call a locksmith. I had to do this. You can do it, too. He will whine, rage and turn on you, but eventually, he will get a job, make his way in life and become a man. My 21-year-old son was similar. He did have a good job, but he was very mouthy and disrespectful towards me, so I had to put him out. His dad had been horrible with me. He learned verbal abuse and raging at his father's knee, so to speak. I am not taking it anymore.

We are now getting along much better. He respects me and frequently stops by to visit and talk with me and his kid brother. So, stick to your guns and get him out of your home. He will do just fine. I am sure he enjoys eating, talking on cell phone, etc. He will now find a way to pay for these things he has taken for granted at your expense.

- Strong

May 9, 2006
1:44 pm
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StronginHim77
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P.S. Finally putting my foot down and getting the abusive kid out of my house really relieved alot of the rage that had been building up inside of me. I was ANGRY about the way he took advantage of me, (eating my food, running up my electric bills, etc.), but treated me so disrespectfully, raising his voice to me, using foul language in my presence, etc. He doesn't do it anymore. If he gets out of line on a visit or a phone call, I show him the door or hang up the phone, after making it very clear that his behavior is totally unacceptable. You want to be around me? Treat me right. And I have also told him that if he can't treat his own mother respectfully, he will also abuse any woman he ever marries. (This is a hard fact.)

So, stick to your guns. Demand good treatment from anyone who wants contact with you. And definitely get into therapy. I finally did for eight months and it helped me stop bottling up the rage and resentment which probably would have made me ill in the long run. (Those negative emotions undermine your immune system, bigtime.)

May 9, 2006
1:49 pm
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StronginHim77
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I would also crack down bigtime on your younger kids when they get out of line and/or show a disrespectful attitude towards you. Yank those privileges immediately. We are talking video games, ipods, cell phones, TV, designer shoes...WHATEVER IT TAKES. You have the power to make their lives miserable. USE IT. And let them know in no uncertain terms that just because they become old enough for a Learner's Permit doesn't mean you will give your consent. Without the consent of the custodial parent, NO LEARNER'S PERMIT. This is highly powerful motivation, as they approach 15 and 16.

Yelling at you, using bad language in your presence...all of this is absolutely unacceptable and should bring swift, unpleasant consequences.

May 9, 2006
1:57 pm
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reachingout
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Thanks for the input ..But I do know that if I put him out he has no place to go how can I do that he is my son and I love him but I do want the best for him and know that is what I need to do.He has a girlfriend that he is very mean to and she to him I make her leave all the time she has busted the front glass out in my front door her parents paid for new glass I had to pay to get installed dad ofcourse has none of the problems that makes sme mad there just has to be an easier way to go through life I know there is no way to put my son on the street I hope youo will continue to talk even if I sound so weak at this point

May 9, 2006
2:01 pm
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dyinginside
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Thank you all for your words of understanding and encouragement. Nappy...you are right. Thank you for the reminder. I made an appointment today with a Therapist. Hopefully, he will help me learn tools to break old habits. I know that God has His hand on my life and has before the foundation of the world...I believe that is the only thing that has kept me from becoming a bitter, hard person. One day, I will use what I have been through to help others. I know it as well as I know my own name.

Thank you all again for reaching out when I needed someone who understands. 🙂

May 9, 2006
2:08 pm
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dyinginside
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Strong,

I know that everything you are saying is true....tell me how to get past the guilt though? I was home with my children until their dad left and I had to get a job. I home schooled them. Their whole lives were uprooted...they lost all stability at once. And because of that guilt, I have let so much slide...I never would have allowed them to speak to me the way they do before....but I have been so burdened by guilt for leaving them when they were so vulnerable. Even though I had no choice. I start therapy next week....but if you have any words of wisdom on how to overcome those feelings of guilt....I'd love to hear it. I see my sons acting more and more like their father. I know if I don't stop it...somehow....they will repeat this cycle in their lives. I don't want them to become abusers. They are good boys...they are just doing what they have learned and what I am allowing them to continue to do. I just feel like they have been through SO MUCH!

Suggestions?

May 9, 2006
2:26 pm
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reachingout
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GUILT that I am affraid is what got us in the position where in so ya that's the question even though the men in their lives are the ones that should be guilty doesn't stop oour pain for our children

May 9, 2006
5:55 pm
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StronginHim77
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Real love is not a popularity contest. We are "parents;" we are not "friends." Real love makes the choices which are in the long-range best interests of our children, particularly in the areas of their character and spiritual development. It's not easy doing the right thing. But what "message" are we giving our adult sons when we allow them to remain unemployed, not face their adult responsibilities (paying rent, car, insurance, food, dental & medical, etc.), are we doing right by them? How will they become men? Give the kid a deadline and tell him if he isn't out by that date, (within 30 days would be more than reasonable), his belongings will be packed and placed outside and the locks will be changed. Period. And then do it. Or he will NEVER grow up and become the mature and responsible man you long for him to be. It might kill you to do it, but do you love him enough to force him to the right path? or will you enable him to remain on the wrong path because you can't "put him on the street?" At the age of 22, he has had AMPLE time to retain employment, save his money and move out. Would your parents have let you pull that one? Live home till 22 without a job or contributing to the household expenses?

May 9, 2006
6:01 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dyinginside...

When my late husband committed suicide, I began to "overcompensate" my sons (who suffered deeply from such a traumatic loss) by indulging them and letting them get away with things I would NEVER have allowed, before their dad's death. After nearly two years, I got into therapy and finally saw what I was doing. And I was NOT doing my job which was to raise my boys to be MEN...MEN of character and spiritual strength, men with self-discipline, self-control and respect for women, as well as authority. Also, rebellious children become adults who lack compassion for others. Rebellion breeds selfishness and contempt for the needs of those around them.

I know you want the best for your children. Only a good mother who truly loved her kids would be as concerned as you are, despite all your losses.

Toughen up; crack down on them. Do it for THEIR sakes. Make them better men, than their father turned out to be. Don't be afraid to lose their love. Believe me, you will be SAVING it. If you don't, they will grow to disrespect you and have contempt for you and their future wives.

I am rooting for you.

- Strong

May 9, 2006
7:42 pm
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dyinginside
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Strong,

Thank you. I know that you are speaking the truth...and I could almost feel myself being strengthened just from reading your words. You are a powerful woman...a Prov.31 woman, no doubt.

Thank you again.

May 9, 2006
8:01 pm
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Strong, you are right.

dyinginside...it may not be easy, but you have God and you have prayer. Do the boys go to church? I know to this day, that this is what saved mine. And I prayed for a Godly male role model to come into their lives, and God provided that. My brother-in-law stepped in and loved my boys and helped them through the toughest times of their lives. He didn't have to but he did. And now with my youngest, who is 18..he meets with a retired minister friend of our family weekly for prayer and to talk. God provided this. SO He does step in when needed. It is amazing.

Am glad to see that you have faith. It will carry you through. And Strong is right, setting boundaries is important. I remember being so emotionally drained and exhausted after my divorce, and had 2 teenagers and one pre-teen to raise by myself. I wanted to crawl into a hole, and had it not been for my faith I most likely would have. All three love God, but at the time of the divorce they were hellions and disrespectful, as it was what they had learned. Now they are not, and they have successful relationships and marriages...all by God's good grace.

prayers and love,
omw

May 9, 2006
9:08 pm
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dyinginside,

Your story sounds a lot like mine. I never felt I could get angry growing up. I had the mistaken notion that my family was well-adjusted, and I couldn't bear to mar that image by getting angry at any of them.

I felt that by getting angry I'd hurt the other person, and cause them sadness, so I couldn't bear to show any anger. Of course it erupted now and again, but I hastened to smooth it over and apologize.

A few weeks ago, I decided that hidden anger was destroying me, so I started therapy to come to grips with it. Please keep us posted on your progress and challenges.

Seeker

May 9, 2006
9:11 pm
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StronginHim77
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on my way...

What an incredible testimony! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It certainly encouraged me.

Dyinginside...

I will be praying for you. Your reference to being a "Proverbs 31" woman was wonderful. I am an ordained minister, currently serving as a volunteer police dept. chaplain. Before my late husband's suicide, I was a prison chaplain for juvenile offenders.

It sure helps to run into fellow believers. You are not just my online friends...you are my sisters in the Lord.

Thanks!

- Strong

May 10, 2006
9:23 am
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StronginHim77
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seekerw -

Please let us know how your therapy helps. Most of us have experienced therapy at some point in our lives. I found it a godsend.

Keep posting!

- Strong

May 10, 2006
9:34 am
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strong,

Thanks for your encouragement. I will keep you posted.

The best to you, too, in your chaplain work and in coming to grips with your husband's suicide. I don't know where you are in that process, but I don't expect anybody ever fully recovers from that.

Seeker

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