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How to Cope With Old Feelings

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  • #391853
    canary
    Participant

    Hello,

    I’m just wondering how one can cope with old feelings of sadness and anger that come from my past with a person that has hurt me. Although I’ve forgiven them completely and understand where they were coming from, I have randomly been hit with the thoughts and feelings from this person.

     

    In the past, I coped with my feelings by journaling. Now it feels like I have nothing to say… it’s simply a feeling.

    I get very angry at this person and so disgusted that I was treated that way and I’m looking for another way to cope with this anger, as well as the sadness that comes afterward.

     

    Thank you.

    #391865
    samy
    Participant

    Hi canary

    You feelings about being hurt will not disappear just because you forgave the perpetrator. Your feelings are telling you to pay attention to something – I am not sure what cope means exactly, but is it to resign to the fact that these feelings will persist and you want to move ahead with life? I do not recommend coping. I recommend sitting with those feelings and looking at what angered and made you sad. One thing that helps me, is to know that the other person caused this anger or sadness and taking responsibility only for my well being as I move forward. But the responsibility of causing this has to go to the person that hurt you.

    Are you still around this person? Have they moved on? Were you compensated emotionally and mentally for being hurt? You hurt is asking for attention, please give it that.

    There is nothing wrong with your anger. Aim for not letting it consume you. And for it to not consume you, you need to pacify it, console it, take its side and acknowledge the hurt. Dedicate some time of the day for this. You will get better as time goes on, at focussing on yourself.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by samy.
    #391873
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    Welcome back. I am assuming that by “them” and “this person” you are referring to your ex-boyfriend whom you shared about in previous threads.

    I’ve forgiven them completely… I get very angry at this person and so disgusted that I was treated that way and I’m looking for another way to cope with this anger” – you are contradicting yourself: on one hand you forgave your ex-boyfriend completely, and on the other hand you are still very angry at him and so disgusted with him.

    You contradicted yourself in a previous thread regarding the same ex-boyfriend, examples: “He is by no means an evil person…  He is a bad person“, and “He would never empathize with me…he did support me… also encouraged me to be my true self and fight back my anxiety”.

    You contradicted yourself regarding your family as well: “I feel my family accepts me completely, but they don’t fully understand me“.

    I think that it is very important that you attend quality psychotherapy. Only after you identify your old feelings and understandings, will you be able to learn “How to cope with old feelings” (the title of your thread).

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
    #391881
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Canary

    My experience of forgiveness is that it isn’t something we do once and then as if by magic all the hurt memory’s and feelings are gone. Forgiveness is a skill and process that requires practice – perhaps better to say Forgiveness is a practice like… meditation. If you ever tried meditation you might have notice that some attempts go better then others and that ok, there will always be more opportunities to practice 🙂

    I found it helpful to note that forgiveness does not mean a person is no longer responsible or accountable for thier actions. It means we can hold them accountable without having to attach to our anger and hurt. We experience hurt and anger vice ‘I am’ hurt…

    Forgiveness is more of practice of “forgetting” as in not dwelling on the memory. When we notice we are dwelling we practice  acknowledging the feelings and letting them go/flow.
    Forgiveness is a practice of forgoing as in letting go the desire to ‘hurt back’ and or the imagining of ‘if only’, a attempt to change the past and force it to comply to your will your control (almost always ego) . The next time you are experiencing these painful memories and emotions ask yourself if a part of you could be doing so with the subconscious hope that by holding on to your pain you are punishing the one you hurt? (I can tell you that does not work but I still fall for that trap)

    It might also be helpful to remind yourself that when you find yourself in the moments when the memory arise that it is the memory that is recreating the emotions, not the specific event that happened in the specific space and time. And memory my friend is a trickster. When a experience moves to memory it is no longer the experience as it was, as we have likely projected a lot of our shadow onto it.

    I agree with Anita that quality therapy could help you identify your ‘old feelings’. These feelings will likely still arise from time to time, but with help, the amount of time hold onto them will lesson until the day you will just notice – hello old friends, I see you,  I do not wish to dwell today. I have memories I am not my memories, I have emotions, I am not my emotions….  Oh look I see what in the present has triggered the memory… I also see that this present is not that experience in the past… I have taken what I have learned from the past and better able to deal with what is happening now…

     

    #391888
    canary
    Participant

    Hi samy,

    I am not around this person and yes they have moved on. I’m not sure what is meant by being compensated emotionally & mentally for the hurt, I believe this means was the person sorry for their actions? If so, then no.

    I think that my feelings are telling me to pay attention to the hurt that I felt when the person felt no remorse for their actions.

    Thank you.

    #391889
    canary
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    Yes, the person I am referring to is my ex-boyfriend. I don’t seem to understand how I am contradicting myself, I am allowed to forgive but also be hurt by someone’s actions right? In order to forgive completely, it doesn’t mean I can’t still feel the pain? I think I have misunderstood the meaning of forgiveness. To me, forgiveness meant that I have no resentment towards the person, meaning, I’m not holding a grudge or looking for “payback”. But I believe that the feeling of sadness/anger can still remain even after forgiving a person.

    I am still looking for a psychotherapist, but once I find one I will address this with them.

    Thank you.

    #391890
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you this really resonated with me.

    I found it helpful to note that forgiveness does not mean a person is no longer responsible or accountable for thier actions. It means we can hold them accountable without having to attach to our anger and hurt. We experience hurt and anger vice ‘I am’ hurt…

    This makes more sense.

    The next time you are experiencing these painful memories and emotions ask yourself if a part of you could be doing so with the subconscious hope that by holding on to your pain you are punishing the one you hurt?

    I believe this is what I am doing! The person that hurt me explicitly stated that they felt no remorse for their actions, so I think I am holding onto that because I am hoping that they can feel guilty for their actions… and that is the reason I feel so much anger/sadness.

    These feelings will likely still arise from time to time, but with help, the amount of time hold onto them will lesson until the day you will just notice…

    Thank you this brought me comfort. I am still looking for a psychotherapist and I will be sure to address this.

    #391897
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    You wrote: “To me, forgiveness meant that I have no resentment towards the person, meaning, I’m not holding a grudge or looking for “payback”. But I believe that the feeling of sadness/anger can still remain even after forgiving a person” –

    – you can look up the definitions of both of the words you used: resentment and grudge, you will see that they both include a strong element of anger. So, on one hand, you say that you feel no anger toward him (no resentment and no grudge), but on the other hand, you say that do feel anger toward him.

    The relationship we are talking about started in August 2019, lasted 7 months, followed by periods of friendly talks and periods of no contact. There was a hook up or hook ups in the summer of 2020, and no talking between the two of you since July 2021.

    You wrote yesterday: “I think that my feelings are telling me to pay attention to the hurt that I felt when the person felt no remorse for their actions…I am allowed to hurt by someone’s actions-I went back to your July 2021 thread looking for what actions he committed against you.

    I found the answer in TeaK’s reply to you on July 23, 2021. After reading her reply, on the same day, you wholeheartedly agreed with what she wrote, stating: “Hi TeaK, You’ve blown me away by putting everything into words perfectly! I can’t explain how much sense this all makes to me when I read it“.

    Let’s look at the post that you agreed with perfectly. In her post she quoted the following from what you shared (not necessarily in the order you shared them): “he was showing me love and empathy during the beginning of my relationship… but as soon as my mental state deteriorates, he’s not able to be there for me… I would get lots of anxiety and need reassurance that he loves me. He would try his best to reassure me and make me feel better… I admit I was very codependent on him because I wouldn’t take care of myself… He told me I was sensitive and emotional but in a bad way. I don’t understand what I was doing that made him feel that way… “.

    This is what TeaK wrote to you: “Your needs are totally legitimate, including the need for empathy and understanding, but the truth is that if we have a childhood wound, where those needs weren’t met when they were supposed to – then no one will be able to give us enough, unless we first heal that wound… you relied only on him to take care of you… That’s all a big burden for a person. He was doing it for a while, but then got tired. It was too much for him to handle, especially when you would go through an episode… it was too much for him, but he never dared to say anything openly. He rather accepted (or appeared to have accepted) your characterization – that he lacks empathy and that he should change. But he said he can’t change, because he allegedly suffers from the antisocial personality disorder. Frankly, this might not even be true, perhaps he’s just told you this as an excuse, because he didn’t want to argue with you anymore… There may be many reasons why you love him and care for him. Maybe one is that you feel that deep down he isn’t selfish and inconsiderate, but just couldn’t give you what you wanted”.

    Your response to the above was: “You’ve blown me away by putting everything into words perfectly! I can’t explain how much sense this all makes to me when I read it“.

    In your very first post on tb, December 22, 2020,  7 months before your wholehearted agreement above, you expressed just what you agreed with seven months later: “The reason for our breakup: – I was suffering from severe depression & anxiety, and it made me difficult to deal with which caused me to think that he did not truly love me – Because of those anxious thoughts I was becoming very difficult to be around which caused him to back away from me and the distance between us made me even more anxious – Although he tried to be there for me, there wasn’t a lot he could do“.

    My closing thoughts: your significant anxiety and mental suffering started years before your ex-boyfriend entered your life. He didn’t cause your anxiety. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t do this to you. You mentioned no abuse on his part. His “crime” was that he wasn’t able to heal you. But then, the counselors you saw in high school didn’t help you, the therapist or therapists you saw didn’t help you, the psychiatrist/s who prescribed you with medications didn’t help you… and the members who replied to you on your various threads didn’t help you. At times, like I detailed above, you wholeheartedly agreed with a member, only to later forget that you did, posting again as if there was no prior communication. It’s like nothing sticks. I am guessing that if you respond to this very post, you will… disagree with your own words, and/ or agree and disagree in the same sentence. Maybe these are symptoms of your anxiety. Maybe it’s gaslighting. I don’t know.

    Your last sentence to me yesterday: “I am still looking for a psychotherapist, but once I find one, I will address this with them. Thank you” – you are welcome. I hope that you do find a quality psychotherapist and that you will be intellectually and emotionally honest with the therapist.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
    #391905
    Peter
    Participant

    Canary

    I believe this is what I am doing! The person that hurt me explicitly stated that they felt no remorse for their actions, so I think I am holding onto that because I am hoping that they can feel guilty for their actions… and that is the reason I feel so much anger/sadness.

    Their is another the Art of Forgiveness: The decision to tell the person you are working on forgiving that they are forgiven as thier is a possibility they will react negatively – saying things like I don’t need your forgiveness, I didn’t do any thing wrong, what are you accusing me off – ‘sticking a finger’ into the wound your working on healing.

    My feelings are that the practice of forgiveness is very personal and about the practitioner. It is a practice that helps the wounded heal. There is of course a practice of asking forgiveness and all that that entails however the two practices are not the same thing.  Then their is the whole learning to Forgive oneself process… Oh how we make our lives difficult

    Be kind to yourself as you work your way through your past. As mentioned I still fall for the trap of hanging on to my hurt and anger, my victimization, thinking that by doing so I am punishing the one that hurt me. If I take a breath I usually notice  and let it go, even have a laugh at myself.

    #391922
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I went back to your July 2021 thread looking for what actions he committed against you.

    There were more things that he did that hurt me that I don’t think I wrote in the thread. Recently the things that have been hurting me were things he said after the breakup when we were still friends. That is what is hurting. He insulted me, my appearance, my personality, and made me feel “crazy”. That is what I am referring to.

    My closing thoughts: your significant anxiety and mental suffering started years before your ex-boyfriend entered your life. He didn’t cause your anxiety. It wasn’t his fault. He didn’t do this to you. You mentioned no abuse on his part. His “crime” was that he wasn’t able to heal you. But then, the counselors you saw in high school didn’t help you, the therapist or therapists you saw didn’t help you, the psychiatrist/s who prescribed you with medications didn’t help you… and the members who replied to you on your various threads didn’t help you. At times, like I detailed above, you wholeheartedly agreed with a member, only to later forget that you did, posting again as if there was no prior communication. It’s like nothing sticks. I am guessing that if you respond to this very post, you will… disagree with your own words, and/ or agree and disagree in the same sentence. Maybe these are symptoms of your anxiety. Maybe it’s gaslighting. I don’t know.

    Yes, I’ve always had anxiety and depression way before I met my ex, but that is really not what I’m referring to. When I wrote the first few threads, I was very confused and angry at him. I was angry at him because he was not giving me what I needed. It took me a while to realize that he couldn’t give me what I needed. And I’m not angry at him for not being able to give me what I needed during our relationship, the anger is from after the breakup. Which he insulted me, disrespected me, and treated me very poorly. He insulted me and the insults still linger in my head. I wonder if he really meant that. I wonder if he actually thought I was ugly, or if he was just projecting onto me. But honestly, I don’t think it matters what he really meant. All I know is that the words he said to me and the way he treated me and led me on several times (after the breakup February-July) was hurtful, and yes I still have anger for him which means I haven’t forgiven him.

    It’s like nothing sticks. I am guessing that if you respond to this very post, you will… disagree with your own words, and/ or agree and disagree in the same sentence. Maybe these are symptoms of your anxiety. Maybe it’s gaslighting. I don’t know.

    I recognize that I’m being very indecisive. I usually write in these threads like a big brain dump, and not everything in my brain makes sense at the moment. That’s why I contradict myself a lot. So, let me rewrite everything from how I know it right now…

     

    I have recognized that I do not forgive my ex. The reason I thought I forgave him was because I thought forgiveness meant that you do not have the conscious urge to hurt them for payback or seek revenge. This was true for me, I consciously did not have the urge to seek revenge from my ex. So this is why I thought I had forgiven him.

    But from Peter’s post:

    I found it helpful to note that forgiveness does not mean a person is no longer responsible or accountable for thier actions. It means we can hold them accountable without having to attach to our anger and hurt. We experience hurt and anger vice ‘I am’ hurt…

    Forgiveness is more of practice of “forgetting” as in not dwelling on the memory. When we notice we are dwelling we practice  acknowledging the feelings and letting them go/flow.

    So I recognized that I am attaching my anger and hurt every time I think about the memory of him hurting me.

    From Peter’s post:

    The next time you are experiencing these painful memories and emotions ask yourself if a part of you could be doing so with the subconscious hope that by holding on to your pain you are punishing the one you hurt?

    When I experience the hurtful feelings, my subconscious is telling me that I want to seek revenge in the way where my ex feels the guilt for hurting me and genuinely apologizes. Because during the times I confronted him, he said he did not feel any remorse for his actions. And he did not care for what he did… this hurt me a lot. I believe this is why I was holding onto the painful memories and emotions because I keep imagining him coming back to me and feeling genuinely guilty for his actions and apologizing to me!! 🙁

    By the way, the memory that I’m dwelling on is the insults that were said to me, the times I was led on, everything that happened after the breakup from February to July. The reason I am dwelling on these memories is because I did not forgive him even after saying I did. These memories are still very painful for me, and for the last few months these memories did not really bother me, so I thought I had forgiven him but the feelings came back and I realize that I actually didn’t forgive him. And like Peter said, forgiveness is like a practice, which I never really thought of it that way. I always thought forgiveness is instant… which now that I think about it, it sounds silly and I’m not sure why I thought that hahah.

    So just to clear things up. Right now, I’m not angry at him for not being able to “fix” me, or give me the proper love during our relationship. I’m really just upset at the insults and disrespect I tolerated after the breakup, that is what my mind keeps going back to!! 🙁

    I hope this made sense and cleared things up a bit. I understand that in almost every post I seemed to contradict myself, and I believe it’s because I wasn’t even sure what was going on in my head and I treated these threads like a brain dump, because there was so much in my brain that I used writing as a way to organize things, but it wasn’t super organized. And also because I misunderstood some meanings and words and phrases, like, “forgiveness”, I thought forgiveness was simply just not wanting to get revenge on someone consciously. But I understand now it’s just like a practice, whenever the hurtful feelings or memories come up, forgiveness takes action, you have to actively validate your emotions and memories and hurt, and let it go after acknowledging it. And you do this every time the feelings or memories arise, though I understand it takes time and strength, and patience. <3 I just don’t think I spent a lot of time with my feelings and figuring out what I’m actually feeling! That’s why I said things differently each time because I usually understand my feelings by writing them out.

    Also, just a little quick question, are you recommending me a psychotherapist that is different from a therapist? I can only find therapists in my area but I have more options online that I can choose from because of the pandemic.

    Thank you.

     

    #391923
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you so much. This really brought me comfort. Knowing that I am in charge of how I want to deal with these painful memories and emotions brings me a lot of peace. I like how you’ve changed how I think about forgiveness now! It seems like a healthier way of thinking about it. 🙂

    #391930
    anita
    Participant

    To canary:

    I usually write in these threads like a big brain dump” – your writing is generally exceptionally organized, from your very first thread and onward (I pointed this to you earlier): it does not appear at all to be a brain dump.

    When you are confronted with contradictions, you make up distinctions on the spot, so to explain away the contradictions. The distinctions did not exist in your mind before being confronted. For example, in your first thread, you described your ex-boyfriend as your soulmate, and a very kind and empathetic man. In your second thread, you described him as fitting the Asocial Personality Disorder diagnosis. When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction (a lie): he is Asocial with other people, BUT he is very kind and empathetic with his loved ones (and you were one of his loved ones).

    In your current, 4th thread, you presented this contradiction: “I’ve forgiven them completely… I get very angry at this person“. The contradiction is in the word “completely” (I understand that the process of forgiveness is complicated). When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction: you do get angry at him, BUT you don’t consciously have the urge to seek revenge against him.

    In my recent post to you I confronted you with another contradiction: you were very anxious before your ex-boyfriend came into your life, and yet you are angry at your ex-boyfriend for having caused your anxiety. Having been confronted, you made up the following distinction: “I’m not angry at him for not being able to give me what I needed during our relationship, the anger is from after the breakup. Which he insulted me, disrespected me, and treated me very poorly” –

    In your 4 threads, you didn’t share a single detail of an insult, or another disrespectful behavior on his part. You came up with this lie today. I don’t believe anything you say, canary.

    You asked me: “are you recommending me a psychotherapist that is different from a therapist?” – in the context of mental health, the words therapist and psychotherapist are synonymous.

    I am recommending for you to try really hard to stop making stuff up so to explain away old stuff. Every time you do that, it’s like you are trying to clear away old garbage by (neatly) adding new garbage on top of it. The result is more garbage, not less! If you want therapy to work for you, you have to be honest, to be… intellectually congruent and consistent about what you do know to be true. You can’t lie to a therapist and expect to be helped.

    The above is my understanding following communicating with you, re-reading and studying your 4 threads over the span of more than a year. I will no longer post on any of your threads, past, current or future. I hope that you continue to communicate with other members, and that in your communication with them, that you will be honest and intellectually congruent and consistent about what you know to be true.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
    #391950
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    You came up with this lie today.

    This is very hurtful to read. Telling me that I am lying. I am just trying to explain to you better what my thoughts are, this is not lying.

    For example, in your first thread, you described your ex-boyfriend as your soulmate, and a very kind and empathetic man. In your second thread, you described him as fitting the Asocial Personality Disorder diagnosis. When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction (a lie): he is Asocial with other people, BUT he is very kind and empathetic with his loved ones (and you were one of his loved ones).

    Maybe, in my first thread, I had a perception that my ex was a very loving empathetic soulmate, seeing him through rose-colored glasses. And maybe, in the second thread, after hearing him tell me about his ASPD diagnosis, I perceived him as a very unempathetic and hateful man, because I was thinking about all the hateful and hurtful things he said to me that I never really considered while making the first thread because I was seeing him through rose-colored glasses. And after being confronted with the contradiction, I was trying to make sense of why he was very antisocial and rude, but also caring and loving at the same time.

    In your current, 4th thread, you presented this contradiction: “I’ve forgiven them completely… I get very angry at this person“. The contradiction is in the word “completely” (I understand that the process of forgiveness is complicated). When I confronted you with this contradiction, you came up with the following distinction: you do get angry at him, BUT you don’t consciously have the urge to seek revenge against him.

    Maybe when I said that I forgive this person completely, I considered complete forgiveness as not feeling any resentment towards the person… which I consider resentment to be a desire for payback or revenge. And I considered the anger as just an emotion, not tied to the feeling of wanting to get payback or revenge.

    In your 4 threads, you didn’t share a single detail of an insult, or another disrespectful behavior on his part. You came up with this lie today. I don’t believe anything you say, canary.

    This is because there were a billion conversations between me and him, there were times when he insulted me and disrespected me, I definitely did say that he did disrespect me in previous threads but I didn’t share a specific incident because there were too many to count. It was just an everyday thing, so I did not share it. I did not share every little thing at the time, because it did not bother me at that time. Now, it does bother me. The insults still linger, and that is why I am sharing!

    You can’t lie to a therapist and expect to be helped

    Sorry, you think I am lying. It’s difficult to type out everything, it’s difficult to explain, it’s difficult to speak English. I am trying my best.

    #391952
    anita
    Participant

    Dear canary:

    I am trying my best” – and I wish you the best, I really do. This is why I posted the last post, hoping that it will motivate you to work on your obvious difficulty with communicating honestly, that is, in a way that is congruent with the truth and consistent. I am hoping that you can work on this in therapy. I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings. I was trying to help you. There is no point in me posting to you any longer because I have no intention arguing with you. And so, like I said, you are welcome to keep posting here or in a new thread and communicate with other members. It can be an opportunity for you to communicate honestly, maybe.

    Goodbye canary, best to you!

    anita

    #391955
    canary
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for everything and trying to listen and understand me.

    Though I think it’s best if you can work on gentle criticism instead of being so quick to label someone as a liar. As that was very hurtful to me. I come on here and have the courage to be vulnerable, which in itself is a struggle, and I am called a liar. It feels very hurtful, I hope you can imagine that.

    I understand that not everyone can understand me or help me, and that not everyone is compatible, that is not the issue! The issue is being labelled as a liar because somethings I’m saying is not making sense, or being told that my explanations are “garbage”.

    I don’t know why but this brought up an old wound. (You don’t have to read or respond I just choose to let this out) I remember having to explain myself to my ex and he would always misunderstand me, no matter how many times I explained to him. He always doubted me and was quick to label me. It really made me feel horrible. And I’m scared of me sharing this I’ll be labelled as a liar or just gaslighting because I’ve never really talked about this in a previous thread. I’m just so hurt. And I’m genuinely unsure if I want to keep posting in here because I feel drained. But thank you for the precious threads where things made sense to me, it definitely helped. <3

     

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