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Old 06-10-2024, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
38,839 posts, read 22,671,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisherman99 View Post
Anger is a normal human emotion...many carry anger about things from the past. Best to let it out and not hold it in. The key is to deal with it constructively. Different ways to do this from physical activity, meditation, therapy if necessary as well to stay healthy.
Nothing wrong with admitting you are angry, even letting out a few brief loud words or vocalizations. But then slowly breathe it out, relax and regain your composure. Being angry or even furious with someone or something does not mean you lose control and lash out around you. Because that is not anger, that is an emotional tantrum.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:16 PM
bu2
 
24,380 posts, read 15,226,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Wow, that's not at all what I'm getting. What I take from this is that she wants to say to herself (and possibly to the offenders) that their actions are NOT okay with her. She no longer wants to just silently accept it, and pretend it's not upsetting, in order to get along. That's not nearly the same as asking for an apology or getting justice. It's a realization that she doesn't have to deny her own feelings because of other people. How she handles those feelings makes a difference, but it's crazy to tell her she shouldn't accept that she has them.
You can't let them control you. You need to win by not letting what they did to you get to you.

This isn't denying her feelings. Its taking charge of them. She desperately wants them to come to her and say what they did was wrong. But they won't and that upsets her.

With bullies and people trying to get you angry, there is nothing better at making them angry and getting them to quit than to not react. That's not exactly her situation. These things are in the past. But she is letting their actions continue to have power over her.

It may be easier said than done on your own, but that's what therapists/counselors are for.
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Old 06-10-2024, 09:21 PM
 
23,005 posts, read 19,643,433 times
Reputation: 18861
i was told this, and it has been very helpful.
actual anger is a quick flare, and then fizzles, like lighting a match flares brightly for just a moment, then it dwindles and goes out.


anything that lasts longer than that brief flare (like lighting a match) is not healthy.
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Old 06-11-2024, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
20,534 posts, read 14,983,068 times
Reputation: 39887
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
You can't let them control you. You need to win by not letting what they did to you get to you.

This isn't denying her feelings. Its taking charge of them. She desperately wants them to come to her and say what they did was wrong. But they won't and that upsets her.

With bullies and people trying to get you angry, there is nothing better at making them angry and getting them to quit than to not react. That's not exactly her situation. These things are in the past. But she is letting their actions continue to have power over her.

It may be easier said than done on your own, but that's what therapists/counselors are for.
OK so, additional layer to this.

When I was with my ex, I worked hard to de-escalate him, I excused his behavior to others as just...how he is, but he's got a good heart, and all sorts of stuff. I put up with a lot. I knew I had to leave at a certain point and I did get out and that's great and everything. But I was a peacemaker, always forcing things to be OK even when they so were not.

The only "justice" or consequences for my ex's behavior, has been that I left him...and, too, he struggles to interact with others so he can't hold jobs and his life generally just kinda sucks. But he spins me leaving as me just breaking up the family so I could run around having a good time, and every time he loses a job it's because everyone else is some kind of snowflake or something...blah, blah.

Here's the problem. My kids grew up watching this crap. And damned if my youngest didn't have a loud and somewhat out of control conflict in public with a girl earlier this year and unlike his dad, whose wife took control of the situation, calmed him, took him to a private space, de-escalated, etc... Unlike all the times where is dad got away with acting crazy... Yeah, the police got called by a witness and he was arrested.

All that "going along to get along" and "not reacting" and "being the better person" and stuff that was oh so "healthy" of me or whatever... Like I wanted to be a good role model, but apparently boys don't see a mom that way, they instead saw their dad acting nasty and got the lesson that a good woman puts up with it? Just forgives and moves on? Isn't even mad?

At a certain point it feels like I am almost excusing or condoning the things he did, even if I'm not, just by acting like I am so fine and no harm was done. And it does not exactly validate how my sons feel about the harm done to them, either, if I'm constantly acting like it wasn't even a big deal.

And it's not that I "desperately" want anyone to come to me and apologize. If they did, I wouldn't believe them and I'd wonder what it was that they wanted from me. I stated that stuff to make it clear that there was no process of taking this to the source of the issue and "resolving it" constructively with them. That isn't a thing that can happen and I know it. I am trying to work out, rather, because I cannot simply purge my mind of the memories or all associated possible feelings related to them...I don't have a "delete" button... how best to carry it.

And I don't really think that it's eating me up, either. Like I said, I don't struggle with blowups or tantrums that misplace that anger. I don't feel like it stresses me all the time. I can think of it with no physical reaction (which is a change, it was not that way some years ago)... But maybe if some kind of BS'ing myself was useful or necessary in those initial years to manage feelings that were more raw at the time, the need has passed and it is time for a more honest assessment.

I can tell you, I got a few new-to-me ideas out of a lot of the discourse in 2020. One of those was the concept of "sitting with" your discomfort. Being genuine enough to feel what you feel, without making it other people's problem necessarily. I really think that there are things that happen in the world that a decent human being should NOT be comfortable about. Not if they are being honest. Now when you're in the middle of a survival situation, you might not have the bandwidth to process things. And even when you finally get safe, it can take time to work your way through stuff.

Just thought of an example. It is almost reflexive for me to say that "I'm not even mad about the things my ex did to me, I'm really mad about the effects he had on our kids." And that would be the "good woman" thing to say. Self effacing, and very "you don't bother me, I can take it...it's the KIDS..." But you know what? Just because I was strong enough to take his crap does not mean it was fine for him to dish it out. I have a right to matter. He had me pretty well twisted around to think that I didn't. And frankly, a big middle finger to him, for that. And as for my kids, I don't want to see them treating any woman like she doesn't have a right to consider her own needs and safety. No one should ever have to be "strong enough" to be with them like that. And that's hard, because I really love my kids...and in truth they are nowhere near as bad as their father in many ways. But still... I don't think that a performative effort to act the way that you describe has in fact been a good thing. I think that it's been dishonest, and harmful in ways that I did not anticipate.
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Old 06-11-2024, 12:37 PM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,963 posts, read 4,101,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.columbo View Post
Its called 'Righteous Anger' --- and its perfectly acceptable in the Right Situations ~

THE PROBLEM is 'People who have no control of their emotions' and fly off the handle for minor occurrences --- that's not good ~
It’s self-righteous to feel entitled to ‘fly off the handle’ relative to (what you perceive as) ‘the right situation’ as well. In other words, it’s how you express (or what you do about) your anger that matters; it’s not an issue of judgement whereby one is given a free pass regarding said ‘right situation’. Either way, it’s still ineffective communication and an unhealthy way to express/resolve anger.
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Old 06-11-2024, 01:07 PM
 
19,992 posts, read 12,517,790 times
Reputation: 27034
If you haven't talked to your kids about this, it's never too late. It sounds like they are discovering they can't necessarily get away with certain behaviors without consequence. I hope your son takes responsibility for his actions that got him arrested and understands why it was wrong.
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Old 06-11-2024, 02:55 PM
 
426 posts, read 556,583 times
Reputation: 1562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
OK so, additional layer to this.

When I was with my ex, I worked hard to de-escalate him, I excused his behavior to others as just...how he is, but he's got a good heart, and all sorts of stuff. I put up with a lot. I knew I had to leave at a certain point and I did get out and that's great and everything. But I was a peacemaker, always forcing things to be OK even when they so were not.

The only "justice" or consequences for my ex's behavior, has been that I left him...and, too, he struggles to interact with others so he can't hold jobs and his life generally just kinda sucks. But he spins me leaving as me just breaking up the family so I could run around having a good time, and every time he loses a job it's because everyone else is some kind of snowflake or something...blah, blah.

Here's the problem. My kids grew up watching this crap. And damned if my youngest didn't have a loud and somewhat out of control conflict in public with a girl earlier this year and unlike his dad, whose wife took control of the situation, calmed him, took him to a private space, de-escalated, etc... Unlike all the times where is dad got away with acting crazy... Yeah, the police got called by a witness and he was arrested.

All that "going along to get along" and "not reacting" and "being the better person" and stuff that was oh so "healthy" of me or whatever... Like I wanted to be a good role model, but apparently boys don't see a mom that way, they instead saw their dad acting nasty and got the lesson that a good woman puts up with it? Just forgives and moves on? Isn't even mad?

At a certain point it feels like I am almost excusing or condoning the things he did, even if I'm not, just by acting like I am so fine and no harm was done. And it does not exactly validate how my sons feel about the harm done to them, either, if I'm constantly acting like it wasn't even a big deal.

And it's not that I "desperately" want anyone to come to me and apologize. If they did, I wouldn't believe them and I'd wonder what it was that they wanted from me. I stated that stuff to make it clear that there was no process of taking this to the source of the issue and "resolving it" constructively with them. That isn't a thing that can happen and I know it. I am trying to work out, rather, because I cannot simply purge my mind of the memories or all associated possible feelings related to them...I don't have a "delete" button... how best to carry it.

And I don't really think that it's eating me up, either. Like I said, I don't struggle with blowups or tantrums that misplace that anger. I don't feel like it stresses me all the time. I can think of it with no physical reaction (which is a change, it was not that way some years ago)... But maybe if some kind of BS'ing myself was useful or necessary in those initial years to manage feelings that were more raw at the time, the need has passed and it is time for a more honest assessment.

I can tell you, I got a few new-to-me ideas out of a lot of the discourse in 2020. One of those was the concept of "sitting with" your discomfort. Being genuine enough to feel what you feel, without making it other people's problem necessarily. I really think that there are things that happen in the world that a decent human being should NOT be comfortable about. Not if they are being honest. Now when you're in the middle of a survival situation, you might not have the bandwidth to process things. And even when you finally get safe, it can take time to work your way through stuff.

Just thought of an example. It is almost reflexive for me to say that "I'm not even mad about the things my ex did to me, I'm really mad about the effects he had on our kids." And that would be the "good woman" thing to say. Self effacing, and very "you don't bother me, I can take it...it's the KIDS..." But you know what? Just because I was strong enough to take his crap does not mean it was fine for him to dish it out. I have a right to matter. He had me pretty well twisted around to think that I didn't. And frankly, a big middle finger to him, for that. And as for my kids, I don't want to see them treating any woman like she doesn't have a right to consider her own needs and safety. No one should ever have to be "strong enough" to be with them like that. And that's hard, because I really love my kids...and in truth they are nowhere near as bad as their father in many ways. But still... I don't think that a performative effort to act the way that you describe has in fact been a good thing. I think that it's been dishonest, and harmful in ways that I did not anticipate.
My ex's Mom was mentally ill. I am not saying that you're ex's behavior is right or justified. It's not. This situation is screwed up and I completely understand your anger and resentment here about this situation. You are totally justified in feeling angry about this situation.

Tactically though, how successful have you been in the past when you actually expressed anger at your ex? Can you honestly think of a time where getting angry with him made this situation better?

If you go blow up at your ex is that going to make him more willing or less willing to work with you productively in dealing with your son?

I will say the times, I got angry at my ex's Mom, that never went well for me. It was just putting fires out with gasoline. It just created a complete sh*tstorm.

As to your son getting arrested, even if you got angry at your ex, how confident are you that ( you in standing up to your ex by getting angry at him) would stop your son from getting arrested? Mental illness often creates impulse control issues. Young men who aren't mentally ill also regularly hit their girlfriends. Are you blaming your ex here so you can also blame yourself for your kid hitting his girlfriend?

Sometimes life is just messy and no one is to blame. Maybe the problem is just mental illness is a really screwed up situation. Does blame really need to be assigned and apportioned here?

I see nothing wrong with putting distance between you and your ex and would encourage you to do that to the extent it is feasible to do so.

But in the limited times you need to actually deal with him, I question whether it's constructive to actually direct your anger at him.


As to your ex spinning stories about you, trust your kids more. They both have extensive histories with both of you. Yes they listen to what you both say, but they also judge both of you on your past interactions with them. They will see through both their Dad's and their Mom's bs.

Last edited by Damnitjanet; 06-11-2024 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 06-11-2024, 03:16 PM
 
1,441 posts, read 663,011 times
Reputation: 3492
I envy your ability not to feel, even if it isn't healthy.

I'm the exact opposite. I feel everything, intensely, and it can be very uncomfortable.

Stuffing feelings is not good for your mental, emotional, psychological or physical health and all illness (my belief from studying) is that all physical ailments stem from stuffing or enduring negative emotions.

In my old age and solitude, my anger has gotten more overt and I don't like that. What helps me is journaling and self-care (massage and healthy diet, etc.).

I don't know if you've looked into the enneagram, but Nines sometimes have problems with anger and the expression of it (tend to stuff it).

It would be great if you could find another therapist to assist you in exploring how to more authentically deal with your feelings/emotions.

Emotions literally means "energy in motion," so acknowledging them, but keeping them moving seems to be healthiest.
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Old 06-11-2024, 03:45 PM
bu2
 
24,380 posts, read 15,226,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamajane View Post
If you haven't talked to your kids about this, it's never too late. It sounds like they are discovering they can't necessarily get away with certain behaviors without consequence. I hope your son takes responsibility for his actions that got him arrested and understands why it was wrong.
Seems like a perfect opportunity to do that. He has a reason to listen.

Now some people have the attitude that people are always trying to screw them and its always someone else's fault, so he may not listen. It sounds like your ex thinks that way. That is a really self-defeating attitude. They need to understand that even more than knowing they can't fly off the handle. If you take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming others, then there is room for improvement.
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Old 06-11-2024, 07:12 PM
 
7,701 posts, read 4,266,855 times
Reputation: 7082
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
It’s self-righteous to feel entitled to ‘fly off the handle’ relative to (what you perceive as) ‘the right situation’ as well. In other words, it’s how you express (or what you do about) your anger that matters; it’s not an issue of judgement whereby one is given a free pass regarding said ‘right situation’. Either way, it’s still ineffective communication and an unhealthy way to express/resolve anger.
I agree.

I remember being told that I make a mountain out of a mole hill (might be true). But I came back and said then don't make a mole hill where there wasn't one.
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