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what to do with resentment when it comes on very strong?
September 4, 2005
4:43 pm
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exoticflower
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Hi...I was looking through some of my old letters from my ex when we where still togeather and when we first split up and he was still regualrly abusing me, seeing if there was anything in them that could help me understand my own reactions to abuse and unhealthy communication and what part I play...I have to deal with his mother a lot and was looking for clues in my past dealings with her son to see what my triggers are and what I can work on...

And anyway, long story short, I came across this and remembered all of the self doubt and pain very strongly...

"The only sickness I had in my life was you, and I have extricated that sickness. You don't pray. This is silly. You are delusional and mean and mentally ill.

I am your victim.

I can enjoy my life without your horrible wretched misery following me. You need to start seeing this clearly. You are scaring me, and you are doing it intentionally. You are very sick, and you need help.

I have been so happy these last two weeks without you bringing despair and misery and pain into my life again. "

Which is what he wrote when I wrote back to a friendly e-mail laden with artifical kindness that he was writing because he was sending it to someone else too. I told him that I woulod pray for him, but that I couldn't participate in the sickness that was behind this false presentation of our relationship since I left him and the abuse.

Which was the first time I had stood up to it or aknowleged his decietfulness and crazymaking, and as I get stronger am LIVID to see this, shaking with anger again like I was when I wrote my theraputic letter to him that I am not sharing with him. i am realizing the severity of the abuse all over again, and am feeling a lot more anger than I really know what to do with. I don't want to be consumed or driven by resentment, nothing good comes of it. Anyone know anything I can do with it so that it doesn't gobble me up or drive my actions (to writing him e-mails, sending this to everyone he knows and explaining that was what he would say while giving me Xanax durring severe postpartum depression, what have you). These retaliatory reactions would just be unhealthy and unproductive, but I am so there right now!

September 4, 2005
4:55 pm
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Shaney
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flower! What are you doing? You're reacting to these letters as if you're right back in the middle of that sick situation. You're not, in fact you're far from it. That was then - there is no reason to feel the same pain and resentment, NOW, from letters that were written some time ago. Those OLD letters shouldn't have any more power over you. You've moved on. And since you've moved on, I don't see any need for keeping letters that not only upset you then, but still upset you now. I'm sure we could help you figure out a way to deal with his mother, without digging up old destructive letters. This is a new chapter in your life, with a new and improved you. Don't regress, move forward... we'll help you find the tools. Calm yourself, honey, it's not worth it. 🙂

September 4, 2005
4:57 pm
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exoticflower
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I should never have looked it up, though I guess the truth is good for you somehow. Not really feeling it right now though. i'm jsut fuming to remember it all, I feel like I'm telling on him, like no one will believe me. Why do I end up focused on this so much even with all of the work I ma doing to get better? I almost would perfer to still be in denile and blaming myself..at least you can do something with internalized anger, this rage I feel at him doesn't seem to be productive, I can't very well tak e it out on him, now I just have all of this intense anger everyone warned me would be coming up, and I really hate it. It was refreshing at first a couple of weeks ago, but now it is just maddening to have nothing to FIX the anger. I don't understand how it helps. I know it passes, this is just temporary, but I wish i knew what to do with it, wish there was some sort of 'justice' for what was done to me. Which is that resentment I hate feeling. I just hate him and what he did to me, hate how much denile I was in, hate that supposed loved ones didn't believe me when I said that he was lying, hate that he set out to discredit me before I even knew, telling me that he KNEW he was abusing me, training me like a dog. I hate feeling this way, I just don't know how to be angry and know that my anger is justified, or what I am scared of that createds this anger...AURGH!

September 4, 2005
4:58 pm
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exoticflower
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And just think, last week I was thinking I was ready to start working on forgiveness...turns out that was just a little sting, the REAL anger is starting now! How does THAT work into the healing proccess?

September 4, 2005
5:06 pm
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Neshema
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Flower & Shaney-

I am curious as to what made Flower get out those letters. She cannot be too far from it...there is lingering pain and resentment, and understandably so. Maybe you need to sink lower and embrace the depth of your pain. Take stock in just how bad this makes you feel. You own it. Let's face it, you experienced a long period of trauma. The entire world goes on as you live with your private hell. Once you acknowledge the depths of your pain, as yourself how long you want to relive a life of misery? Shaney tells you have made great progress already, but surely we all regress from time to time. Cut yourself some slack. This is still very fresh, and you are still very close to the situation, but also give yourself the credit shaney pointed out to you. So, again, I ask you why you got out those letters? I think you are still grieving and need to remind yourself just how bad you feel. So, maybe you just needed to feel it today. One day at a time, my friend...

September 4, 2005
5:06 pm
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exoticflower
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Shaney, actually at the time I felt angry too but more so powerless and ashamed, and even questioning my own sanity..this anger is I suppose natural, but I wish it would PASS! You are right though...I keep hanging onto them in the hopes of something possitive coming from them, or to help me in court if he starts up again, or to prove his abuse if anyone f***s with me now that I am not hiding it anymore, or denies it happened. But of course, no one like that is going to care anyway, and truth is I don't care what they think, or shouldn't anyway...I know, I'm doing all of his old work for him. When will I NOT be still controled by what happened in the past? I know I wasn't to blame now, know it really happened and that it is ok to hurt from it, but what do I DO with that now?!

September 4, 2005
5:08 pm
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exoticflower
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Nesh, thank you so much, that is true. I guess just allowing myself to own that pain is taking SOMETHING back, it is a sort of justice, maybe, just to know that I am feeling on my own again, that my feelings are authentic, not manipulated, contorted, created by another anymore.

September 4, 2005
5:21 pm
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Matteo
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Your anger will pass eventually, and you will not be always consumed by it. Don't give him any satisfaction though, by telling him about it, or trying to get justice, unless there are really good chances to get something out of it, and it wouldn't be too difficult for you emotionally to fight for it. There is Justice, and eventually it will get him. Possibly in few years he will stop smiling and be very miserable. Maybe not. But for sure he is very unhappy and miserable down deep inside his psyche and he hates himself. Just remember youself, from the time when as you've said, you thought you were a monster, and how did you feel then about yourself. He does feel like this all the time, even if he would never admit it. If nothing else, this is your revenge: that you broke free and didn't become the monster he wanted you to become, that you didn't become a monster like he is. Keep smiling when you see him (hopefully you won't have to) and remember how angry you are now. You are the winner!

September 4, 2005
5:28 pm
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Shaney
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honey - it's absolutely maddening that we let people into our lives, let them get close to us, allowing them to abuse and betray us. People that treat others that way, are as sick as we are for taking it. You've broken that cycle - be proud of that - you're recovering from the sickness. The resentment and the anger will go away if you let it out. It WILL pass. Internalizing it, is only saving the anger - it will eventually sneak up on you and you will have to deal with it anyway. Let it out, and let it go. Breath in deeply, and feel it leave your body every time you breath out. What he did to you was an injustice. Those who truly know him understand this... those who don't will eventually find out. Believe that. It's not your problem anymore. Pray for the strength to get through this anger, and for the heart and mind to manage it.

I had an ex that made SUCH a fool of me. I supported the idiot thru school while he played in a band, hung out with his friends, and treated me like crap. I swore to him for almost a year after we broke up, that I would NEVER be happy for him. Ever. It didn't matter if he became successful, had good health, or had a happy marriage with children... I would always resent him and wish the worst for him. I hated him.
Well, it passed. He became successful - he called me years later and thanked me - and I'm truly happy for him.

It does pass, flower. Find something to be thankful for, and refocus. Don't waste another moment in anger.

September 4, 2005
5:41 pm
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Shaney
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Another thing... think of this.

"Those who anger us, control us."

While you're digging up old letters, getting angry, typing like a madwoman on this post :), losing sleep, allowing resentment and shame to resurface .... he's going home at night and sleeping like a baby. People like him do. They inflict pain, actually forget half of what they say and do, and move on to their next victim. That's the way they operate - it gives them power and control. We allow them to keep that power and that control over us, by remaining angry and upset. Do not let the thought of what he did to you in the past, control your progress and your future. It's in the past, leave it there.

September 4, 2005
5:48 pm
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22haha
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Flower, Your feelings are authentic. You don't need to read old letters to know thats how he was/is.
just think how much you love yourself and what a great healthy person you are and that your ex is still an abusive, sick, unstable individual. You are moving on and getting your life back but his will never change. He still has more years of self hate and destructiveness in front of him. Keep focusing on your wonderful future. You're too smart and too strong now to take crap from anyone. You don't have time for that anymore!!!!

September 4, 2005
6:14 pm
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Neshema
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Shaney offers some words of wisdom....it is really tough when we have let a person get close to us and that person hurts and betrays. That person often goes on with his/her life leaving all this damage behind, and we are here feeling broken.

One of my slogans is "I hate the word hate!" Every religion leads us all to love, kindness, and good. Whether you are religious or not, this is a universal priniciple, that all cultures can ultimately, when rational, know the difference between right and wrong. You have been wronged, but you can choose not to hate. You may suffer deeply, but all around you are loving people such as yourself.

So, in your bravery and in taking the first step to live without someone destroying you, love yourself first...and part of that means accepting the depth of your pain and making a commitment to live a better life from here on out. You have already started. Be good to yourself means not letting someone else's problem continue to destroy you and turn you into a hateful person.

In closing, I was the victim of an evil criminal this year. For the first time in my life, I am having difficulty not "hating" someone. When someone violates you so badly, it is a real challenge. The further I get from the situation, the better I feel. It takes time, but I had to admit my feelings and sink pretty low before I could begin to heal and say I was not going to let someone have that kind of control over me, and the loving person I used to be.

September 4, 2005
6:51 pm
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Matteo
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You are entilted to your feelings, whatever they are. You can hate someone who caused you harm, you may not forgive a person who hurt you, you can be angry with sombody, and at the same time be a loving person. Loving person is not the one who accepts all the harm and forgives everything but the one who wants to change things for better, in my understanding. Being angry might be not only a part of the healing, but also be a positive emotion, if expressed and chaneled in the right way. For example you can be angry with the government and try to kill the president or become an activist and advocate for a change. The feeling itself is not positive or negative, it is what you will chose to do about it.

Neshema, I stopped hating my abuser when I thought that he has no power over me anymore. I can hate only someone who is my equal, and since he has no power, he is not my equal. Moreover, I am high above and beyond him; he cannot reach me - neither the feeling of hatred towards him. But on that rare occassions when I think about what he did, I am angry with him. I don't dwell on it, it does not consume me, and I chanel that anger into something constructive. I will not forgive him ever, because it is not up to me to forgive me. "Forgiveness is divine". This is how I understand it and go about it.

September 4, 2005
8:03 pm
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Neshema
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Matteo-

Thanks for your thoughts. THis gives me something to ponder for sure..

Hugs, Nesh

September 4, 2005
8:06 pm
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Anonymous
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flower, I read and re-read my letters over and over again, and I stayed angry, it was like my fuel.
Then I got tired of being angry, or exhausted from the pain and anger. I threw all of it away, because I decided i wanted to move forward.
Now, the memories still resurface, but when they do, I try to compare myself, from the person I was then, to the person I am now, and it's a pat on the back, polly

September 4, 2005
8:12 pm
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exoticflower
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Thanks you guys, a lot to think about here...namely that being angry doesn't make me a bad person or mean I am not moving foreward. I just have to figure out how to channel this anger possitively, but I suppose that is one for therapy.

((((thanks all)))

September 4, 2005
8:22 pm
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Neshema
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exotic-

therapy and time...

yes, give yourself a break, hunny. You have been through a lot over the years up until very recently.

Hugs, Nesh

September 4, 2005
9:02 pm
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Matteo
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Exoticflower, Neshema, thanks. I'm glad if I could help. Hugs.

September 5, 2005
2:58 am
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lessthanalive
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there is a story about a man who had a friend who betrayed him in a horrible way. every day this guy would take a road 15 minutes out of his way going to work just so he wouldnt drive by this guys house, thinking that he was finally showing him and making him realize how he had hurt him. he carpooled with another man one day and explained why they couldnt go the direct rout to the office because he refused to give this man the jusice of driving by his home. the other man puzzled over it and asked him if he really thought the man was sitting by his window being affected but him not driving by there....im kinda crappy at retelling stories but there is a very good point here. anger and pain are natural parts to the healing process and i am so with ya right now on the anger end.ive got so much of it that its beyond productive and at least your alive and awake enough to be able to experience anger. FEEL IT GIRL!!dont hide it and it too shall pass and youll be a better woman for it.(a car in an empty parking lot makes a really good screaming chamber in times like these:) )

September 5, 2005
3:09 am
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Neshema
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less-

You have a way with words, my friend! You just come off as sooooo real. I really like your posts. "I am so with ya right now on the anger end." That was awesome!

September 6, 2005
2:11 pm
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lessthanalive
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thanks nesh!

September 6, 2005
2:43 pm
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taj64
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Forgiveness will allow you to move forward so that you don't get stuck in anger and resentment. It frees you of emotional pain. You know you have been hurt, that what this person did to you, hurt you and it wasn't right. Sometimes it takes awhile to do this, it doesnt mean you will forget it. Allowing yourself to stay angry and resentful only hurts you. Put that stuff away so that you are not reminded of this hurt, that causes you to stay angry. Forgiveness does not mean he has to know that you forgive him, this is just for you. And most of all forgive yourself. EF, I know you are strong person because I have read some of your threads.

September 6, 2005
3:20 pm
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darby
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To "lessthanalive":
I think we should quit shortening your name to "less" and start using "alive"

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