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Old 09-12-2019, 04:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anger and bitterness


Hi everyone,

I am relatively new to ACA - just got my 3 month chip last week and I am working the first step. Finding ACA has been a great blessing and I am so grateful for it although I find the work quite challenging.

Right now I am struggling with a lot of anger and bitterness and it's hard for me to find a positive or constructive perspective on it. I am really finding it hard to see any way of ever releasing that bitterness.

Specifically, it is a bitterness about all the things in my life that I feel like I have missed out on because of the dysfunction in my life. I turn 38 in the spring and have never been in a longterm relationship (and I am still single), have no kids (which has always been a dream of mine), always had big career goals and although I have had some great opportunities through the years I have been selfsabotaging and getting in my own way and the chances of the level of success I dream of seem very small now and my entire youth was wasted on anorexia, depression, crippling anxiety etc.

There are so many things I wish I would have had the chance to experience and that I feel is now too late for me and although I see my parents for the adult children of dysfunction that they also are and although I know that I must take responsibility for my own life (and Lord knows I am trying and most days doing very well compared to where I have been) I am also feeling a lot of resentment toward my parents. I am angry and bitter at them because I feel like they broke me into a million tiny little pieces and my entire life has been spent feeling like a bad puzzle with missing pieces when it should have been spent enjoying life, enjoying my youth, doing all the things that young people do. I came into this world with such enthusiasm and gumption. For the first 6-8 years of my life I was so full of joy, excitement, boundless creativity, originality, courage and confidence and I feel like all the dysfunction, all the constant criticism, humiliation and emotional neglect and scary things I went through in my childhood home stripped me of all of that. I feel like I had so much potential and I have squandered it because my family dysfunction has stripped me of the best parts of me and left me paralyzed by fear.

I feel deep, deep shame writing this but it is just so present within me these days and I can't seem to find a way to reassure myself that I'll be able to get past it. I am so grateful that my Higher Power has led me to ACA and I am happily walking the path of healing - but at the same time there is a part of me that wonders if all my life will ever be is full of regret. Regret, bitterness and sadness over never having any of the things I so wanted in my life. Things that seem so easy for everyone else to achieve but for me seem impossible. I was never allowed to be angry as a child, it was one of the forbidden feelings and I was shamed and dismissed whenever I tried to express anger - but now that I am going to meetings, working the steps, reaching out, talking to my sponsor etc...I just feel so angry at my parents. So, so angry and bitter.

Do any of you recognize this? Is it possible to move past this?
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi DottedZebra, I'm glad that you posted about how you feel. In short, yes, I can relate to much of what you have written and yes, I do think it can get better and you can move past this.

You are still young and have a lot of time to create the life that you want.
You can have children in your life and a career and get married if those are your goals.

I too wrote about my bitterness towards my parents (in 2009ish posts). But I can honestly say that things have evolved a lot and I really like my life now.

I got married when I was 48 (I'm in my mid-50's now) and I have a good career that I enjoy and I am healthy. Most of my focus now is on my career goals, my physical fitness goals and traveling goals and creating opportunities to be around people who I like.

I won't lie, the dysfunctional life my parents created for me as a child still smarts from time to time. For example, I sometimes wonder if I would be closer with my siblings had my parents not created dysfunctional family roles that affected how we interact. And I know what it's like to wonder what you missed out on in early life because you were just trying to survive.

But it can get better. It's gotten better for me.
Best to you.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Stella for your very meaningful post.
You make so much sense.
I hope you are well. xo
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Right now I am struggling with a lot of anger and bitterness and it's hard for me to find a positive or constructive perspective on it"

Grieving the grief; for me and as I've heard others share, involved anger and bitterness. For me it involved an awful lot of pain and misery to even reach the anger and bitterness stage. But reach it I did and pass through (much) of it...

Without wishing to appear to be minimising your experience... its all part of the process and as long as you don't get stuck, perhaps like me, you'll look back at that anger and be glad you didn't keep it stuffed down any longer than necessary.

Wretched really... the only way through much of this ****, as far as I can make out, is to suffer from all the pain and shame that's been locked away. It's like cleaning (unwanted) graffiti off a wall, each bit is hard work and mostly unpleasant, but done slowly enough, bit by bit the wall gets cleaner, neater and better and easier & as the progress becomes apparent... the positives become obvious to all.

Take it easy...
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makomago View Post
"Right now I am struggling with a lot of anger and bitterness and it's hard for me to find a positive or constructive perspective on it"

Grieving the grief; for me and as I've heard others share, involved anger and bitterness. For me it involved an awful lot of pain and misery to even reach the anger and bitterness stage. But reach it I did and pass through (much) of it...

Without wishing to appear to be minimising your experience... its all part of the process and as long as you don't get stuck, perhaps like me, you'll look back at that anger and be glad you didn't keep it stuffed down any longer than necessary.

Wretched really... the only way through much of this ****, as far as I can make out, is to suffer from all the pain and shame that's been locked away. It's like cleaning (unwanted) graffiti off a wall, each bit is hard work and mostly unpleasant, but done slowly enough, bit by bit the wall gets cleaner, neater and better and easier & as the progress becomes apparent... the positives become obvious to all.

Take it easy...

makomago, that was so well stated. It is so true. As you said, you really have to feel the grief deeply to move past it. Thank you for your post.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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easier said than done Ive found
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dancook99 View Post
easier said than done Ive found
For sure. It's hard work. not easy. And sometimes scary.
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