Passive aggressive / aggressive aggressive

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Ok, therapist told me that husband and I should watch Anger Mangement again - together. Like that would ever happen.

    He said that husband is passave aggressive and I was aggressive aggressive.

    I looked up passave aggressive and yep - husband exactly.
    I tried to look up aggressive aggressive, but only find aggressive.

    I'm confused.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think by "aggressive aggressive" the therapist just meant plain old aggressive. He probably said it that way to contrast it with "passive aggressive".

    Plain old aggressive, without the passive component, is a lot more direct.

    Hope this helps,
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Aggressive - Aggressive

    It means your quills are ALWAYS up and ready to fire.

    Highly aggitated state and not able to mellow. In a nutshell (no pun intended) You're angry all the time and have no coping skills to allow yourself to fughaddaboudit....because you don't know how to draw boundaries around yourself or say no, have swallowed WAY more than you can chew and now only know how to communicate by being pi@@ed off.

    It's fixable - I'm living proof.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yep.....there are only 2 kinds of anger; passive, or non passive. I would imagine your therapist is eluding that you are the latter.
    I am not sure the movie anger mgmt would really get to the root of things, but maybe. It has been awhile since I watched that movie.
    Perhaps a book on anger mgmt? There are lots of good books and workbooks out there.
  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I'm passive aggressive to perfection. But, the problem is that it builds and builds to a boiling point that eventually comes out in an aggresive point. I don't know if that makes sense. You rarely argue, yet keep everything inside. But, when that point comes you bring up everything in the last 10 years and can't let it go. I know it's a fault.

    So I see a passive aggressive person as trying to **** it in, but it doesn't always work. And when it doesn't work, everyone around you are freaked out because you aren't what you usually are...calm and collected.

  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest


  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Abbey - I do that to a point. I talk to them because if I don't talk to them, they don't talk to me. Our house would be silent for days. Except when husband and difficult child talk. I am not included or talked to. I don't wait for them to ask how my day was, I tell them. I tell them things that happened during the day because I cannot handle the silent treatment forever. And sometimes I NEED to know some things and they will not willingly tell me anything. BUT, once there is a full blown fight going on I bring everything up. Heck, you are already fighting. If I were to bring anything up that bothers me it would be a fight. Once you are fighting I let it all out.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Therapy and determination to be a better person, not a door mat. A better Mother - not my son's best friend and the sweet person I had always been, but due to loosing or not being able to draw boundaries on my (I will or won't accept that behavior from you) I became sullen, moody, withdrawn, irritated, then mean, easily aggitated. Eventually I lashed out, had a mouth & 1/2 and felt the only way I could communicate with people was to yell and scream.

    I had no mellow in my life. I made a conscious effort to improve ME. I got therapy, I stuck with it. I worked the program no matter HOW painful the exercises were to me. I got worse before I got better, because digging up the past and dealing with it later is NOT easy. But out of that I learned how to deal with things NOW and NOT let them fester until I explode (hence aggressive aggressive).

    Once I learned about WHY I allowed these things to happen and began to change those behaviors? I felt better. Once I felt a little better and not so depressed I started to do things for me that WERE better for me and people began to notice that became a nice cycle of being ....nice again.

    You would think that we all get instructions or an innate ability to deal with problems. You get slighted at work - you forgive it. You get slighted at home the same day? You pick your battles and ignore it. Your kid comes home from school and had a worse day - is acting out - you're already pooped from dealing with work and an comment you perceived as ugly from your spouse? YOU withdraw. Eventually instead of dealing with the days "poop" you find withdrawing is easier. Or so you think. Then withdrawing becomes a habit and stuff just keeps stacking up and stacking up and stacking up until you EXPLODE.......and SCREAM.....and basically make a total idiot out of yourself.....over something trivial and NOW your family is looking at you like you have lost your mind.

    And you have. But you didn't necessarily loose it over -the trash not being taken out THAT particular time - it's just build up, build up, build up and BANG, BOOM, Baddabing, Baddaboom......WHAM!!!!!!

    Therapy teaches you how to recognize your triggers, and work with your family to put them in touch with things that YOU don't appreciate or like or do like. It's like playing Monopoly for years without rules. Then in comes the new player (therapist) and says "Okay now we're going to have new rules that suit this family and everyone is going to play along and if they do not - here are the consequences and HERE is how you (Mom) are going to handle this."

    Therapy is great for clearing the air..with a neutral party person and for just finding a comfortable place to learn how to fight fair. You and your hubby will eventually create your own RULES about what will and won't be tolerated when you do disagree. You'll get tips from the therapist on how to be UNITED against the cunning and manipulative difficult child. Once your kid sees that it's two FOR one and not Mom against Dad and Dad against Mom and OH while they're arguing - I'll just have my way and play 2 more hours of video games and then get guilt presents because they yelled?

    Yeah - life is a LOT better.

    It was so much better for me that 2 years after I had left my X? I had been in for 4 years, I met DF. I sat down with him when he hinted at a serious relationship and we actually had RULE night - what we would and wouldn't accept in OUR life/love/relationship. The rules were clear from the beginning. We didn't make it up as we went along. We have a peaceful and mellow life most days, and with normal stress from everywhere else? Who needs it with your best friend? Talk about sleeping with the enemy.....eesch.

    So yeah - keep the therapy up - go as often as you need to begin with. Make DATE night out of it - don't cook that night.

    Hope this helps - I'm here if you have any other ?? that you think I could help with. I can honestly tell you after this that old addage about "If Momma ain't happy - no body is happy?" is SOOOOOo true. When I was miserable and aggressive? NO ONE in my house really was happy. And the first question my therapist asked me when I started seeing him was
    Star, what do you like to do for fun? - I had no answer - because I used to like to do lots of things.
    The last question he asked me when I stopped seeing him was "Star what do you like to do for fun?" I had a ton of stuff to tell him. I didn't want to kill my .....who was it...oh my x....he was not a thought in my head. I was at peace with myself, I was becoming a great Mom to my son, not his best friend and while life wasn't perfect? It was getting better.

    I wish that so much for you - I really do.

    Doesn't mean you'll loose your "edge" and be a weak door mat - just means you'll be able to stop stuff before it happens, move on and not have so much worrying to do about trivial stuff. Belive me - when warrior Mom mode is needed? It's still there - lol.

  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    What are you an idiot? What do you mean, How could I be going to Mexico right now? My Dad lives there! He has lived there for 10+ years! It is his home! His wife is from there! I am going to his house, we are not running around all over town with our wallets hanging out like a bunch of fricken American idiots. Are you really that stupid? I have been traveling to Mexico my whole life. How can you even talk about this with my kids in this room! Seriously are you this stupid???

    OK the new me since going to Therapy=
    Well I am sure we will be safe, my StepMom is from Mexico and my Dad has lived there for 10+ years. There is always a risk from traveling to a foreign country.

    I said the nice non-aggressive thing and even though the person who did not know me and was a relative of my husband's deserved a kick in the butt. I figured it was really not worth my time.

    So therapy works, even though I myself have thought therapy is stupid, why am I going to this. Somewhere it is sinking in and it is teaching me not to lose control.
    It is beneath me to even discuss some of this stuff or let it rile me at times.

    I think with time you will find that it is easier to stay calm in situations that would have sent you over the edge before.
    You will feel like you are in control of you emotions, which really is nice! :)
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok, and the bad part is...?

    What I wouldn't give to silent for days!!!!

    I've been told I'm brutally honest and I also get a lot of "ok Beth, tell us how you REALLY feel"!

    Life's too short to keep it all in. I try and pick my battles, but quite frankly, if you pull too many punches, you're really playing games. As I've come to learn from my difficult child's - they don't understand the "mind games" of polite society - I'd rather shoot from the hip than have to explain so many things in teeny tiny detail.

    My current motto in life: "screw 'em if they can't take a joke!" I'm sure it will change, but until I get a decent nights sleep, why bother?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is: "aggressive aggressive" is sometimes a good thing. Nobody can claim they don't know where they stand with you. It saves time!

  11. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Answers to those who have replied.

    We have been doing this "fair fighting" thing with therapist. And, I see NO way this will ever work. We don't even TALK, how are we suppose to set a time to Fight? And discuss rules? Like I said, nobody talks. It is either silent or screaming. There is NO in between.

    Why I don't like it? Because it is like living alone, but not alone.

    I am SO MUCH more lonely now than if I were alone. I miss having someone. I miss talking to my kids. I am so lonely. I leave. When I am not working I get in the car and drive, for hours. It hurts less physically being alone than it does being in the house with my family - yet being alone.

    When we would go back home for a visit (2.5 hours). husband would not say a single word the entire trip.
    Nobody asks me anything. I take care of things and they just assume it is all taken care of.
    I talk to them. I cannot live in the same place with others and not see them. I don't know if I am invisible or if they actually hate me so much they don't care how much it hurts me. But I cannot live that way.

    difficult child - yesterday. Just like his father. Too bad he had to grow up to be like that. On the way to therapist appointment. He got very angry with me because I mentioned Homework. (He hasn't done ANY for a week now. Not even in class work). difficult child thinks as long as he is passing the class there is no reason to do homework. I disagreed. That led to him screaming at me. In return, I screamed back. Then he yells at me and tells me how mean I am because I yelled. It is just a vicous circle. He did the silent treatment. About a 40 minute ride. I cried all the way. Started arguing again once we got in the waiting room. therapist came out and told us to just "breathe". I asked difficult child to STOP texting. It is rude when you are trying to talk to someone. He threw his phone at me. therapist did not talk to me at all.

    difficult child was silent the entire way home. I cried the entire way home. difficult child did manage to tell me last night that if I hate my life so much why don't I just move out. EXCUSE ME - I PAY for that house. ME move out??? Sorry.

    difficult child said he WILL NOT TRY. Not going to do homework. Not going to stop lying. He is not willing to try to make things better because nothing will help.
    I told difficult child that I would not have called therapist, or have us all going to counseling if I wasn't TRYING to work things out. Atleast I am TRYING.

    Then I went on a husband bashing tangent. Probably shouldn't of. But - husband doesn't say a single word to me. Yet he calls his work buddy and talks tohim all the way to marriage counseling. husband doesn't say a single word to me or even notice I live in the same house. Asked difficult child if he sees friends parents kiss, or hug or even look at each other. Maybe talk. he says yes.
    I pointed out that husband is NOT normal. I just went off.

    I have no hope. Nobody is willing to try and that was said. easy child hates everyone. Told me so. difficult child , well I can't even begin to explain him. husband - just ignores I am alive. AND they are currently ALL living in my house. That is just wonderful.

    I got home, asked husband why he hasn't logged on to check school. Gave him the emails and printout of difficult child's NO work. Went to bed. I don't know if he did anything.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't even know how you keep going home. I would feel defeated also. I can tell you to have hope and I want you to.
    I want you to save your family.
    I want you to feel good about yourself.
    I can offer a big hug.
    and a hug and a shoulder.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What did you do when difficult child threw his phone at you? It would have been so gone if he had thrown it at me.

    I am a screamer. I yell. Everyone knows where I stand on something. I guess I am aggressive. My therapist has worked with me to try and fight fair. It works to a degree if I am stable. I still yell but I yell less hurtful

    I dont know how I would deal with your husband but your son is a whole different ball of wax. He would so not be allowed to treat me the way he treats you if I had to strip him of everything he holds near and dear to him. If husband wont help you, he can get out of the way. You dont have to have his dad's help to raise him.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    In therapy -my biggest misconception was that (okay don't laugh too hard) after a visit or TWO, things would be better/be stable/level out and that EVERYONE would try, try try because we ALL wanted to be HAPPY right?

    (Gimme an H A P P Y) YEAH - cuts flips across the lawn and cheer kick - woooooo hoooooo!!!!!!!!! Shakes pompons. kicks again -and then finally? Kicks myself in the arse because OH REALLY ? am I THE ONLY ONE that wants things to improve?

    Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyuppppppppppppppppp. and Noooooooooooope.

    I'm going to guess that you are roughly - what.....late 30ish and maybe husband is like - 40 ish? - How many years did it take either of you to arrive at the place you are today in your life, relationship and self awareness? (insert how old you are)

    Now - fixing/changing/remodeling your house - EASY SHMEEZY -doing the same for your relationships? NNnnnnnot so much easy.

    IT TAKES TIME - and at this point - it's going to take a LIFETIME for your son, it could take that long for you.....and for husband. keep going to therapy and working on things DESPITE the OVERWHELMING sense that THIS just is NOT working.

    Don't quit. Even if they do? Even if they don't ever talk to you again. Even if you feel you will surely fade away from lonelyness? I am encouraging you to seek out the very BEST in KJS.

    You ALL can go to therapy -
    You ALL can participate or not -
    You ALL have an opportunity to change yourselves - if you're open to changing yourself despite the others not participating.

    What I got out of therapy hon - I can't fix ANYONE but me. And I can only fix me if I continue to work through my issues first and apply the changes and exercises I am learning DESPITE a housefull of non-subscribers.

    What therapy gave me was - a sense of being, a sense of self - the courage to stand up for myself and draw boundaries, the courage and the ability to shut out the negativity around me and how to move forward in my life ON MY OWN.

    You want to know about lonely? I know lonely - and now I actually prefer to be alone - but really strive to make good decisions in my life to allow things around me and to do things for myself that don't allow me to BE lonely. I'm not eating all of Dude's problems any more. I've moved on.

    I've learned the fine art of mmmmm and hmmmmm and ohhhhhh and walking away.

    I've learned how to detach from a spouse that was more there if he wasnt' there. And to seek out things that make ME happy.

    i have bad days, I have down days, I have things I worry about - but I learned tools to STOP the all-consuming gloom from creeping down the elastic in my pants and jerking a life-size wedgie out of my fruit of the looms. - Most days. And because of that? I'm better.

    I appreciate things more than I ever did. I care more than I ever did. And if they can't? So sad - you had the same opportunities to improve your life that I did - and chose NOT to help yourself - (you.......go be miserable somewhere else)

    Hope this helps you stay with the program.....