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Resentments and anger

Old 04-19-2015, 07:19 AM
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Resentments and anger

This topic came up on another site I frequent and I wanted to open up a discussion about how you constructively have dealt with anger and resentments. Personally, I know it was a process for me and that I had to look at my part. I had to release the other person from expectations and I had to truly identify what exactly I was feeling, work through it with a sponsor, and accept the fact that 'h*ll yeah, I was angry!' But, that it also was OK to be angry. Facing the resentments was harder and I still struggle with hidden resentments especially when I see my child in the middle of things and my STBXAH dragging him into the middle. And, then they don't become hidden anymore and I find anger starting to rise, LOL.

I'm hoping that this discussion helps others see that anger and resentments don't have to weigh us down and that we can work through them and find freedom in the future (if we haven't already).
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:13 AM
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I'm a work in progress. I still have anger toward my XAH, but I have done a lot of work on myself in the past year. Al Anon got me started, and I joined SR soon after. The support has been key.

I have learned a lot about my enabling and codependent behaviors. I have learned that my anger is justified, can therefore be validated and let go. I have learned how to live my life, not his life. I have found peace in drastically limiting contact, although we have a child together.

I have always been age appropriately honest with my son about his father, about addiction in general. He is open with his feelings and obviously takes his cues from me. His stepfather and grandfathers are strong, positive male influences in his life. None of us disparage his father.

It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it. Our lives have been altered by this experience, but perhaps we're better people for it. May we all find peace.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:18 AM
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For me I found that at the core of my resentments and anger was more more resentment and anger at myself for allowing, rationalizing, and accepting the poor behavior and bullsh!t from someone else.

In each situation (previous to about 2 years ago) I could have and should have put a stop to it looooooog before I did.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:20 AM
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When I find myself angry, I first and foremost try to get it out. Taking a broomstick and beating the nearest pillow is very effective. Anger is destructive for my system and I need to release it even though I look silly doing it.
I learned that trick from a therapist many years ago.

After that I sit down and find out what I am angry at myself for. Because anger is ALWAYS about me. I am angry at ME, not the other person - they just are who they are and can't help it.
I did this and that's what my anger is about. I let someone overstep my boundaries. I didn't set them. I made myself invisible. I did something I knew was stupid. I expected something from someone that I knew they couldn't give me, thus putting myself in a position for disappointment.
Then I think about how I deserve better. Then I walk myself through was has happened and find the time and place where I should have set my boundaries or done something else - loooong before I get angry - while I am still calm, but feel that first tiny sting - that's where I should have taken better care of me. I replay the situation in my head with the new reaction and then say it out loud like I am telling someone about the situation where I took really good care of me.
This "trains" me for similar situations and I do get better and better at taking care of me <3
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:19 PM
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resentments are funny things....like weeds, you THINK you got em all and then one day more pop up. never quite sure what purpose they serve.....I mean seriously, what exactly DOES the dandelion DO that is so noteworthy???

I think we stlll must use the A's -

Awareness
Acknowledgement
Acceptance
Action
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:08 PM
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I haven't been angry at my STBXAH in ages. It's like I'm on my honeymoon. Only this time there's no drunken husband to worry about.

It took a lot of work to get here. I had to make a conscious choice to not be angry with him all the time. Anger and resentment feel like rot to me. I'm not the kind of person who can channel it into productivity. I just rot from the inside, so I needed to let it go.

First, I held onto the fact that I had married him for good reason. He had, and still has, qualities that I admire. My marriage was a tragedy, but it wasn't a sham, and I didn't want to have to go thru the rest of my life trying to avoid looking back at the past 23 years.

I opened my eyes to my own culpabilities. Our problems weren't 100% him, 0% me. It was 98% him, 2% me. Fully owning my itty bitty little 2% went a long way toward forgiving his 98%.

I let my daughter handle her issues with him as best she can. My role is to be her advocate in regards to him. Less and less as she gets older. The point, as I see it, is to guide her towards a positive adult relationship with a less than perfect father. It's an attitude adjustment that works for me. When he does something stupid I try not to take it personally. I just observe and advise.

I tell myself he's sick. Constantly. I don't ever expect anything from him, that way when he comes through I'm pleasantly surprised.

But like I said, for me not being angry was a conscious choice.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
For me I found that at the core of my resentments and anger was more more resentment and anger at myself for allowing, rationalizing, and accepting the poor behavior and bullsh!t from someone else.

In each situation (previous to about 2 years ago) I could have and should have put a stop to it looooooog before I did.
Yeah, this is totally me. I didn't realize that my other emotions such as sadness, guilt, self condemnation, etc were actually anger being masked. And, when I realized I was actually angry at myself, I had to figure out why. That was where the answers were: looking at myself, exploring what boundaries are and why mine were drawn in sand and not concrete, etc. Huge part of my recovery was accepting myself from the past and working today to not be so flexible with those boundaries in the future!
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:33 AM
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Once I was free from the relationship - the anger and resentment lifted.

The anger and resentment were aimed at him and at myself both. I felt trapped but it was a trap I could leave with permission - that I had to give myself.

I didn't actually allow myself to feel much anger when I was married, or even now really. It is a very hard emotion for me to identify and deal with. Neither one of us did. It led to lots of dysfunction separate from the alcoholism. We didn't actually fight or argue - ever. I can count on one hand the number of arguments we had and even those were not outrageous at all.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
For me I found that at the core of my resentments and anger was more more resentment and anger at myself for allowing, rationalizing, and accepting the poor behavior and bullsh!t from someone else.

In each situation (previous to about 2 years ago) I could have and should have put a stop to it looooooog before I did.
I know this is very true for me as well!

I've been struggling with resentment a lot, especially in the last couple of months.

I keep waiting for some validation from AH for all of my anger, and a really great heart felt apology, and I feel like then I can get over it. But I know that's not going to happen, and I've known that for a while.

I've been wondering if I will ever be able to get over the resentments and the anger if I do not leave the relationship. Will I be able to truly move forward in my recovery if I stay with him and he is not working on recovery? Sure hasn't been the case so far... I am making some progress, but definitely not as quickly as I would like.

I've wondered if what Thumper said below, would be true for me as well....

"Once I was free from the relationship - the anger and resentment lifted."

I don't know...

Thanks for this thread Liz
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:46 AM
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I can't tolerate resentments. For me it works to immediately ask myself: "what's MY part in this?" It's extremely rare that I'm a victim. For example, I picked the alcoholic, I chose to stay and after we parted, tossed out passive-aggressive bon mots. So when I ask myself what I did to contribute to the situation, I invariably come up with an answer. And my resentment melts.
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:00 PM
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I went through them and eventually learned they were hurting one person, me. So with counseling, and SR, I was able to let them go. It is a freedom I have not felt in a long time!
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I went through them and eventually learned they were hurting one person, me. So with counseling, and SR, I was able to let them go. It is a freedom I have not felt in a long time!
Yes, me too.

Funny, but today I was able to help my STBXAH with something by taking him to get his car at the shop. I offered, he didn't ask. I was happy to help and we actually had a nice conversation despite the animosity that has been between us for the past few months since I left. I felt no resentments, no anger, not even uncomfortable. My recovery has given me the strength to be me and I don't have to walk around on eggshells anymore and I can be free from the past. It actually was a good day and I was glad to be of service.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:38 PM
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AnvilHead.....I find your attitude toward dandelions to be rather snobby and intolerant.

For thousands of years, dandelions have been around and serving us in nutritional and medicinal capacities. In addition....they make esthetic and entertainment contributions.

One persons weed can well be another person's flower.....

To me, they are also a symbol of tenacity and humility....

dandylion
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