how do you deal with persistent anger?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just cannot get out of my head the contempt, malice, and hatred I have for ex. You would have thought that this had dissipated by now, (we have been divorced 12 years), but it has gotten worse since I have pressed charges against him for the 10K he owes. I hate how he lies to my son and makes my son crazy; I hate how my son, in turn, takes it out on me; I hate how ex has never lifted a finger to help me with difficult child; and I hate how alone I am because I have sacrificed everything to help difficult child, and ex has done nothing. I literally have physically hateful acts constantly running through my mind towards ex - and yes I have been in therapy for 5 years, and I am on medications. Not that I would ever act on any of these thoughts, but I do need mental relief!!!! Any advice?
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    What Nomad says is true! Although I learned it in a different manner, it is the same basic concept. It deals with forgiveness, and how God forgives everyone. God forgives your EX. If you cannot, does that make you better (more knowledgeable) than God? You forgive him, let God handle it. Also, it takes less energy to forgive someone than to hold a grudge.

    Start with praying for him. If you need to, start slow. Let's say that your goal is to eventually pray for him to be healthy. You might start with praying that when he gets hit by the train that you are hoping he gets hit by, he dies quickly instead of suffering.
    (insert laughter)
    Of course this is far fetched, this is something we used to joke about at AA meetings. The point is, it is very hard to pray for good things for someone that you have seething anger towards. Start small. Little by little, pray for better things for them. Eventually, pray for the ability to forgive them. One day, you will. And one day, you will be able to pray for his happiness.

    **Forgiving someone is not the same as saying that what they did is OK. It is saying that you are giving it up to God for Him to judge.**

    Nomad Also hit the nail on the head about living well. It is the best "revenge".

    It really really works. Try it.
  3. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I know exactly how you feel. I have been there. It is easier said than done but you have to let go of the hate. Hatred holds you back from getting on with your life and making it better.

    When my ex and I were divorced I hated him with everything in me. Honestly he is the only person in this world that I could have killed and not cared. I wished nothing but harm on him.

    I finally decided that after about 2 years I was going to concentrate on making our lives better. I concentrated on getting a better job, getting difficult child help, and straightening out the mess that was our life.

    The hatred for him kept me from getting anywhere. I hated him for bankrupting me. I hated him for what he did to me and to difficult child. I hated him for doing drugs. I wished nothing but harm to him.

    I don't wish him well now. :future: But I don't hate him either. I also wouldn't pee on him if he was fire on the side of the road. :angel: I am indifferent. I like watching his screwed up life sometimes now. He had it all when he was with me. Now he has a trashy wife who never showers, doesn't clean house, works at Taco Bell. He lives in a trailer in Oklahoma. I'm glad he isn't in Texas any longer.

    It is a bit easier for me not to hate him because my difficult child already sees what he really is. She is indifferent. She likes for him to bring her presents but could care less if he shows up or not. Doesn't care to call and talk to him when she's happy or excited about something. Instead she calls her grandparents. (his parents)

    I know what it is like to raise a child totally alone. I know what it's like to be flat broke. difficult child and I lived in a one bedroom apartment for 3 years after the divorce. I couldn't afford anything else. I had to sell our home to pay attorney's fees. :hammer:

    Bottom line, don't pursue the back child support. It only makes you bitter. The money you sink into lawyers will never be recovered. Use the money to take a vacation with difficult child or pay off some bills.

    Even if they put him in jail for back cs, will anyone get him out and pay you? Probably not. At least not in my case. Court battles only dig up the previous hate that you had from years ago. It stirs up emotions that are better left alone.

    He will pay but probably not monetarily. He probably already is paying. Look at his life. He'll never have anything the way he lives. Deep down he probably knows what a true piece of pond scum that he is.

    I hope someday that you and your difficult child can find peace with your ex. I know it is tough. Even tougher for a difficult child who is not emotionally mature.


  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I understand those feelings in regards to my Father... I agree with the other's. I still feel lot's of anger at times, whenever I hear how great he is doing, I can't help but feel like WHY?!?!!? He does not deserve a darn thing! He has hurt so many people. Why do some people not ever have to pay for their sins.
    None of it is fair and none of it makes it any easier... detach and I think Steph was right on with the indifference...

    I have become numb to him for the most part I have to. I hope you can get past this and enjoy life and not let him drag you down.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes. You've got to let go of the hatred/anger.

    Ex probably couldn't give a hoot what you think of him or how you feel about him. (or worse some of what he does could be because he Knows how you'll react) Ex is what he is, nothing you do or feel is going to change him. You need to accept and move on.

    You might want to think of it this way.... Because of Ex you became a strong independant woman who could cope at what life thru her way. You've stood on your own two feet. I imagine there will come a day in the future when difficult child will realize what you've done for him over the years. When that day comes, what will the image conjured up for Ex....

    Anger is healthy in small doses. But long term anger can develop into an obsession that will eat away at you until you become bitter. Believe me, my mother has had an obsessive hatred for my father for the past 43 yrs!! She can't/won't let it go even after all of this time. And everyone around her can see how this has affected all of the other areas of her life.

    Karma is a wonderful thing. The day will come when Ex will reap the rewards of the seeds he's sewn. When it happens I imagine he's not going to come out smelling like a rose.

  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks guys, SO much..........I think I will start with every time I am reminded of the insidious damage he has done to our life - I will say some small blessing to him, or wish him well, like Nomad was saying. I do not want this to eat at me, and be allowed to fester. The really frustrating part was that I have already done this once, and I thought I had moved on. Twelve years later, after he has reentered difficult children life again, I find the anger resurrecting it's big ugly head. I had let go all that had happened from our past - but now he creating new issues and those are compounded with the old - and it is just like someone has reopened an old wound that was almost healed, but not quite, and is tearing that already tender flesh to ribbons.

    I have the book The Secret, and I have been thinking a lot about what it says in there. Maybe I just need to take it one step further. Actually praying for him seems unfathomable at this point, so maybe I will start with just wishing him well.

    It's like that Seinfeld issue where George's dad has been told to say serenity now whenever his wife is bugging him - remember that? But instead of calmly saying it to himself under his breath he screeches SERENITY NOW at his wife every time she is bothering him. That cracks me up every time I think of it.........Screeching good will may be the most I can do at this point as well, but at least it is a start.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It's not surprising that all those feelings were brought up again.

    I really like what Lisa said. I hated my ex so much that the sound of his voice made me feel physically ill. He was abusive, manipulative, controlling and he continued to try to control me through our son for years after the divorce...even after he remarried. I was upset when he sold his motorcycle because I figured without that he increased his chances of living.

    However, I would not be who I am today if it weren't for him. Oh, it's not like he intentionally did anything to help shape who I am. If it were up to him, I'd be a doormat. But in moving beyond him and in fighting for my son and myself, I became this very independent, strong woman who doesn't at all resemble the woman who married him.

    And I also realized that hating him was eating ME up, but didn't bother him at all. He's just not worth it. I wasn't giving him any more of my life.
  8. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Okay this is going to be a long story with a short message.

    I was raised in CT, so I consider myself part Yankee. Years ago when I was about 20, this guy started working for the company I worked for and he was also from up north. He would always say anytime you want to really know how to erk someone, ask a Yankee. When driving in the car with him to lunch, if he accidently cut someone off and they honked at him, he'd just wave at them in the mirror and smile. He would say it actually bothers them more if you don't react, then when you do.

    Onto my husband's ex. When going through our 2 years of court battles, she would do anything and I mean anything to get a reaction out of me. One night she called and I answered (this was before installing call waiting caller ID) and she told me that she was going to be removing her old car and old motor home from husband's parents lot. The car was now enveloped with grass/weeds and not running and the motor home/trailer had been attached to DHs sisters house for years now. So if she removed it, my sister in law would have a gaping hole in her house. My response was, "Okay, have fun." She of course proceeded to cuss me out as I was hanging up the phone.

    All of the times I did accidently answer the phone to her, I discovered I made her more mad by acting like I didn't care. If I knew it was her calling, I just ignored the call. If she reached one of my difficult children and sounded inappropriate from my end, I'd take the phone away from them and hang up on her. Of course with yours, you can't do that. But maybe when he's on the phone, just leave the room and let his dear old dad say as he wishes.

    I don't necessarily believe in karma, but I do believe in how it works. If that makes sense. I do believe if you are good to people, they will in turn want to be good to you and you will get good in return. If you are bad to people, you will get bad back.

    I would say with the child support, go ahead and get the ball rolling with the attorney general. It takes forever, so your attorney that you've already paid may get results first. If not, then at least the other ball is rolling. If this attorney requires more $, I'd say let it go with him. Because I definately agree that all the court stuff conjers (sp?) up bad feelings and past feelings. I don't think I could do it all again if she had appealed. I've only cried that hard 3 times in my life. The day I realised it was over between me and my first husband, the day I lost my best friend and the day we left the court room after the judge ended it all by telling biomom she was a bad mom.

    I hope you find peace in this soon. If you need to get out, let me know. I'm always up for an outting as long as my back isn't bothering me.

    So, all that story to say, if you don't react to him on the phone or in person, or in front of difficult child, it will eat him up. He wants to erk you, because you're erking him. Do your best to not let it show, it will eat him up. Him going nuts over it will be better than any hell you can put him through.
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    One thing I've learned through ex taking us to court about once a year is that the 1st time back in court was the worst. Eventually, I'm getting used to how the courts works and its not as upsetting. Therefor, its not dragging up as much of the past this time around as it did the first time. Maybe I'm getting stronger having to deal with ex so much. Maybe I'm just storing it up for later. (I hope not I've got 11 years to go.) Right now I'm just surviving, and each time I seem to do a better job of it. Your court process won't last forever, and even if it does last a lot longer than you want it to (it probably will) you will find the strength to get through this. And, the feelings won't last as your strength increases. I haven't conquered those feelings, but I haven't murdered anyone yet either. And, sometimes I can actually be at peace and happy (even knowing there is hate e-mail waiting for me.) It might just take some time. The other suggestions here are wonderful as well. My wishing him well consists of NOT praying for his death like I have been doing a few times a day everyday for years.