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Old 07-01-2014, 11:25 AM
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Resentments

Hi everyone, I've been working my Al Anon program harder these days mainly because I now had an RAH in the house and things are always precariously on edge around here.

I've been thinking a lot about resentments and how I'm actually resentful at the things he's resentful at me at that make absolutely no sense, if that makes any sense, LOL. For instance, AH claims that he's angry at me for using some of his airline rewards points. These were points that he gave to me when I was booking a trip, he gave me the password to the account and told me that he preferred that I use the points since he has so many instead of spending the cash. Umm, so now he's resentful at me because I took the points and actually used them. ARRGGHHH!!

So, then I find myself on the resentment bandwagon myself. I need help getting off of it and not getting sucked in to the crazies, etc. What are your processes and thought patterns as you work through resentments and let them go? Do you journal them, work with your sponsor, prayer, etc? I'm really looking to free myself from this stuff because I know it contributes to my own sickness, thanks!
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:44 AM
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Thank you for sharing Lizatola!

I have a lot of my own resentments towards ABF that I have yet to work through. Sometimes I will write a letter and then destroy it. It helps me put it on paper without talking to him. I pray a lot too. I'm still looking to move on from it too, but its hard living with said person. I think its a day to day thing.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:02 PM
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Personally, my way of dealing with those feelings that most people label "resentment" is to refuse to drag past baggage around with me. We store events in our brain in "folders"--so, I just don't drag those old folders out and open them (in my mind).

It is a lot of just letting go of the past. The past is over and history will never change itself. Living in the present makes letting go of the past much more possible. Yes, I have memories of things that happened (I don't have long-term memory loss, yet)--but the same sting that a grudge or resentment would carry is not there, any longer like it might have happened as an event was occuring.

Several other factors go along with this--that makes leaving baggage behind possible.
One is dealing with feeling as they happen and resolving them in the present.
For example, if someone does me wrong---I must feel the hurt and anger and call it what it is. Sometimes it can be healed--so that there is no need to have the feeling any longer. If it can't--the relationship must be changed....either by detachment or sometimes it means moving away from the relationship--disengaging or ending it, altogether.
It does involving a conscious decision to not let the past taint my present or my future.
For sure, I have had to end lots of relationships that were toxic enough to continue to hurt or anger me.
For major traumas that caused grieving---one must grieve and allow the event to take it's place in the past --- where it belongs...just a yellowed page in the book of history.

Another big thing is not to give too much importance to "the small stuff". I think that a lot of the stuff that disrupts our inner sense of peace is simply not worth the energy and importance we give it. So often--it is not what happens so much as the importance that we have assigned to it. I often have to ask myself the question: "How important is this in the scheme of things".

These things are much harder to deal with when it comes to genetic family--for me, at least.
Much easier with other voluntary relationships.

Liz--I am sharing my general approach to this subject because you asked the questions.
This reflects my own life experience with this particular subject. I don't think that I ever use the word "forgiveness", very much. I have a different set of words for that.

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:02 PM
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Liz, I'm sorry here. I can't agree with you trying to figure out a way to get over these things.

I had just posted about how I got resentful. I looked at my resentments and I had realized that they were actually "my boundaries" being stepped on.

He told you to use the airline reward points, so you did, now he is resentful about it. He set you up for a lose-lose situation !!!!!!

Is he trying to tell you now that he didn't say it? Gaslighting !!!!!!!

Well, this would just make me as angry and resentful as a hornet that is stuck in someone's bonnet.

(((((((hugs)))))))
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:06 PM
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Hey Liz, as time goes on, your posts seem to be about your struggle with how to learn to accept things that are maddening, crazy, abusive and weird. Maybe he's just a high conflict person, and your challenge is to learn to say "Whatever, dude," and move along with your plans, whatever they are.

IMO, you should let yourself off the hook. Not every negative feeling is a resentment that has to be managed with step work, prayer, and forgiveness. It's perfectly normal to have negative reactions to negative, contradictory, and confusing behavior.

For me, I knew that when he said something that confused me and/or didn't make sense, my XAH was using or on his way. It was a primary feature of his addiction, and it was behavior DESIGNED to make me so preoccupied I left him alone in his illness. Once I saw the machination of this behavior, I could name it, observe it and set it aside.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:09 PM
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Florence I 2nd your post. It was a lot better then mine.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:22 PM
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Florence's post, above, resonates a lot with me. I think that I attempted to say some of the same things in my post--in different words...

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
IMO, you should let yourself off the hook. Not every negative feeling is a resentment that has to be managed with step work, prayer, and forgiveness. It's perfectly normal to have negative reactions to negative, contradictory, and confusing behavior.
Totally agree with Florence here - your example isn't even what I would call a resentment - how can he resent you for agreeing with his idea/method of payment? It just doesn't even fit the definition of what a resentment IS from what you've shared about the incident.

It sounds like he is manipulating the past to give him something to pick at now. Same lyrics, different melody.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:27 PM
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For me resentments were me trying (very unsuccessfully) to let things go. I buried them and resentment brewed. Part of my problem is that me letting go of resentments looked very much like me marginalizing everything about me (and like mentioned above - was very wrapped up in my crumbling boundaries). Letting it go was to say it wasn't important - which made me not matter. Some things really aren't important but I was doing that with *everything* no matter how big or small and so I could no longer distinguish what was important. I was like that so long it bled over into all of my relationships - with my children, other family, at work. I just didn't matter - you could have done nearly anything to me and I'd have 'let it go' and if I couldn't I'd beat myself up for being petty or just hate myself.

My boundaries, my personal self-respect, my inability to matter to myself. All of that was buried under oceans resentments. I had physical symptoms of it all. Once I started paying attention to the other stuff (boundaries, self worth, standards, needs, etc. etc.) the resentments evaporated so it wasn't that I fundamentally had a problem with resentment - I was just focusing on the symptom and trying to eliminate it instead of looking at the root of the matter.

ETA: For me that meant leaving. Not accepting it anymore. I was resentful because I was accepting the unacceptable - which was my problem not his. I have no idea how anyone detaches or manages to avoid resentments inside of a relationship. Not that it can't be done though.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:51 PM
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I agree with Florence too. I don't think that is a resentment and I think it's actually healthy to be pissed that he's being a tool about the points.

Also, whatever his genuine, legitimate resentments are he doesn't need to be sharing those with you or vice versa. Those are personal. I have resentments against my husband and I have no doubts that he resents me for things too but sharing them with each other is like we might as well just ask the other one if we want to fight. We're not healthy enough to discuss our resentments and at this point, I'd imagine that your husband isn't healthy enough to do that either.

From the outside looking in, I don't think this is resentment stuff but just your husband instigating a fight with you.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:21 PM
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ETA: For me that meant leaving. Not accepting it anymore. I was resentful because I was accepting the unacceptable - which was my problem not his. I have no idea how anyone detaches or manages to avoid resentments inside of a relationship. Not that it can't be done though.
Me too. I don't know how folks are able to accept the chaos and find serenity. For me it just wasn't possible. I can maintain my zen with insanity in small doses (as with vacationing with my mother and kids for a week last week), but not 24/7/365. For me it was too toxic and I just could not thrive.

If my XAH had success in recovery and was moving towards more measurable incremental changes in his life (like following his professionally-designed treatment plan with any commitment), I might have been able to continue moving forward together in the hopes we could recover our relationship, but I could no longer handle disappointment after disappointment and fight after fight.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:57 PM
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You keep living with what is really a rather untenable situation, and are trying not to "resent" being mistreated on a regular basis.

I think everyone one else is right.
You being pissed about this is actually pretty healthy.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:13 PM
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When I feel resentful I ask myself: "what's MY part in this?" I'm very often part of the problem, if only because I picked this person, I stayed with him. It lessens the resentment and keeps the focus where it belongs, on me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:47 PM
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I agree with Florence too.

Also Liz wondering if your RAH is working a program. I found that in the beginning my RAH was turning everything in his program around. So if he heard other folks talking about their non A spouses harboring resentments he would be talking about his resentments. Another example is if he heard talk about making amends to non A spouses he would be wondering about when I was going to be making my amends.

Not sure if this makes sense but really what purpose does it serve for your RAH to tell you he resents you using his points. You saved the $ so what difference does it make?

Oops not really in spirit of your original post. So to answer that I am learning to say something once and then let it go no matter how much it bothers me and what response I get or don't get. It's hard but it has helped ease some buildup of resentments.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Hey Liz, as time goes on, your posts seem to be about your struggle with how to learn to accept things that are maddening, crazy, abusive and weird. Maybe he's just a high conflict person, and your challenge is to learn to say "Whatever, dude," and move along with your plans, whatever they are.

IMO, you should let yourself off the hook. Not every negative feeling is a resentment that has to be managed with step work, prayer, and forgiveness. It's perfectly normal to have negative reactions to negative, contradictory, and confusing behavior.

For me, I knew that when he said something that confused me and/or didn't make sense, my XAH was using or on his way. It was a primary feature of his addiction, and it was behavior DESIGNED to make me so preoccupied I left him alone in his illness. Once I saw the machination of this behavior, I could name it, observe it and set it aside.
Thank you, Florence, this was a great post. I was getting angry at myself for the fact that his reality differs from what actually transpired. It's like he doesn't even remember any of it and just picked something out of the air to be resentful about (and yes he labeled it a resentment).

Sorry that I hadn't responded earlier everyone, my grandfather died earlier today and I've been on the phone with family all day and completely forgot that I had started this thread!

Most of the time I do say 'whatever dude', but I found the anger creeping in and I was frustrated by it, because I know that it's complete silliness to be angry about someone else's distorted reality.

Yet, I also have to say that I have plenty of other resentments that I need to handle. But, this particular one was triggering me to start working on it. My own list of resentments is probably a few pages long, LOL.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:37 PM
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"Resentments"



Kill that cancer

that is running through your heart

it is not Gods will

let it be rinsed

let them depart.



Takes some years to realize

as time makes us a little older

carrying resentments like cancer

Stronger even bolder.



If we keep them within

cancer of the heart

they will wear us thin

no chance of a new start.



What's it really matter

things that happened

so many years ago

just blessed to be here

I have let them all go.



Bob B 06-24-05
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:26 PM
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That's lovely, Mountainmanbob. Very helpful to me today.

Liz, my deepest condolences on the death of your grandfather.

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Old 07-02-2014, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
So, then I find myself on the resentment bandwagon myself. I need help getting off of it and not getting sucked in to the crazies, etc. What are your processes and thought patterns as you work through resentments and let them go? Do you journal them, work with your sponsor, prayer, etc? I'm really looking to free myself from this stuff because I know it contributes to my own sickness, thanks!
My first sponsor told me that unrealistic expectations are little more than premeditated resentments. When you have a resentment, what is the underlying expectation that isn't being met? Is it realistic?
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:25 AM
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Liz, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Take care today.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Liz, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Take care today.

Thank you. I am planning on calling my grandmother today and I know I'm going to be crying at that point. Luckily, I have my therapist today and a meeting. I could use a hug and I'm tired of RAH asking me, "How are handling everything with your grandfather's death?" He doesn't seem to understand that my, "I'm OK" answer should be an acceptable answer.

Then, my son told me yesterday that RAH came into his room the other night while he was sleeping and asked him if I had told him(son) about my lab work I had done at the doctor's. I had come home early Monday AM, and when asked by him if everything was alright, I said, "Yes, it was just a physical and a follow up to my labs, everything was great." My son said that his father then followed that up by saying, "You know, cancer runs in her family so I'm just wondering if she's alright." UGH and double UGH! This is what you say to your 15 year old when he's trying to fall asleep. Luckily, my son said, "Dad, she told us that everything was fine. Guess you weren't listening." I had to clarify with my son that, no, cancer does not run in our family. The only person who had cancer was my sister, she had childhood leukemia and survived it. No one in my immediate families on either side has ever been diagnosed with cancer other than a few skin cancer lesions that my grandfather had since he worked construction before sunscreen became popular. If anything, my son should be concerned about his father's side of the family. Every single person on RAH's side of the family has high blood pressure, is overweight, and both his uncle and mother died of sudden cardiac arrest and his father had 2 heart attacks by the time he was 63.

OK, yeah, I'm venting. I feel like crud today and I'm so very tired. It's when I'm out of sync that stuff like that really gets to me, LOL.
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