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I'm horrible with conflict- i avoid at all cost (usually) but I got brave and told my fam about something they did that upset me. You'd think i was the devil himself right now.  I find myself profusely apologising for causing them to be so upset and yet it occurs to me- why am i comforting them when the whole issue for me was that they did something that hurt me!??

i'm still feeling angry and thought a direct approach might be better than in the past when anger has made me self destructive.  i'm so upset and mad right now i don't know what to do!

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In the old days, they use to define your situation this way. The one that was "sick" and was trying to get better was called "the identified patient."  All the rest of the gang, were swell, and as long as you stayed the "identified patient", all was well. But, you had your place, and if you came out and said, "hey guys maybe you are the problem," then you were in deep doo-doo. I tell you I have used this definition for many years, like VE said, a place for everything...and everybody. Don't worry, you are the healthy one here.

Keep the faith

Sylvia

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Thanks Sylvia for your reply. I guess you're right- they'll always be able to use that against me and yet they refuse to take any reponsibility for thei own action. if i get mad then its just my patholgy and they can write it off to that. when in fact i'm really trying to communicate in a more normal adult way and THEY can't handle it. I just can't bear that now i'm being blamed for everyones else's tears and ruined days and accused of it always being about me (which is so NOT the case) i'm the villain (and of course no one understand why their actions were so upsetting to me they just want a promise i'll never bring this up again.

Yikes i feel so nauseaus.

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It has taken me a while to get to the point where I realize that my family is actually pretty unfair a lot of the time... and I really should do something about it. Or at least try.

Even if I am not completely accurate in my point of view, I am still justified in expressing it. No matter what.  It is really hard to know this, though. You have to keep telling yourself this, going over situations and thinking about why it is unfair or upsetting or wrong.  Your family shouldn't be making you feel bad because you tell them that you feel angry or upset with them. To be clear and honest is a really mature thing to do- something that a LOT of people don't do, including my parents. 

I'm sorry that they aren't receptive to what you are trying to do. It may continue to be an uphill battle but ultimately, the thing that has made it better for me is that at least I don't keep holding in the frustration or anger. I know that I have tried to communicate and start a conversation, even if someone else doesn't respond, I have done my best.

It doesn't always make me feel better right away, and it is still frustrating, but it eases the pressure and the build up.  It isn't healthy to keep it all inside and not espress your feelings if people have a negative effect on you. Eventually, it can produce results, but it takes time. 

It ISN'T fair for their behavior to make you self destructive. A direct approach is better. You may not be able to change them, at least not right now. You can change you, what you do and how you react. That takes time and courage.  What you can do is tell them that you don't feel that you should apologize for them making you feel bad.

Trying to initiate a conversation is never a bad idea, but don't blame yourself if it doesn't work. It takes cooperation from all sides, not just one.

~navy~

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When I told my mother (at the age of 29) that I had been sexually abused by the neighborhood babysitter for at least 5 years, beginning at age 4) she refused to discuss it. When I would bring it up (after many years of therapy, I might add) she would tell me that, ..."that was a long time ago, we didn't need to discuss it anymore."

Need I say more.

The guy who wrote, "The Road Less Traveled," M. Scott Peck (who recently died), also wrote a book about Evil. He was a well known published-psychiatrist from a neighborhood town of mine, New Milford, Connecticut. "The Road Less Traveled" is a good book. His follow-up book, regarding Evil (and I am sorry I do not have the title, but you can Google Peck,) really describes your situation (as well as mine.)

It is evil to pretend that everything is "fine", when it is not. I wrote a post about crazy-makers a while back, crazymakers are like that, they make you doubt yourself and your experience. 

Keep the Faith

know that you are the only sane one in the bunch!!

Sylvia

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Mrsloony

The name of the book is "People of the Lie".

I so hate that Dr. Phil adopted Dr. Pek as somewhat of a guru, because, although he is fun to read, he is honest about his own failings, etc. - and uses excellent patient experiences.

Away with Dr. Phil...he is a philistine (whatever that means.)

Read M. Scott Peck

Sylvia

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Thank you all for your responses. I'm so churned up inside and it really helps to have your encouragement.

i hate carrying everyone else's craziness so they don't have to. I just wish i could have an instruction booklet on how to give them back their own craziness. i'm sick of it.

(I believe they also resent me being the identified patient- to them it must seem life is so easy for me. they should try it. whats that song -walk a mile in her shoes- i love that.

i'm feeling exasperated!!

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I've had to do lots of work on disentangling myself from family *issues* and trying to find me somewhere...it went through a very messy phase where I was very clear about setting clear boundaries between myself and my parents, which my dad strongly resisted, but did succumb in the end to the fact that 34 (as I was at the time) year olds grow up and move away from their parents.

Find yourself, don't be afraid of being assertive...you have surrendered and lost your true self for too many years....don't give up...persist.....find your ground....that's my experience.

As a yoga teacher once said to me "you are not responsible for other people's happiness, that's their responsibility, you have responsibilty for your own happiness." Its taken me nearly 10 years to 'come home to' that through therapy....but, I guess what I'm saying is hold on in there...change IS possible.

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Thanks everyone for your support- I can't tell you how much i appreciate it.

i'm still going back and forth between crying and rage- i just hope i can't stay in the adult place and not let my self be kicked down even more by mean things said to me during fight.

Thank god for prn's- every cell in my body is on fire- i'd like to calm down enough so I can breath normally for a few hours.

you know what kills me? that they don't get it and never will. i hate that its up to me alone to accept and let go all the bad things. i resent that!

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It can be really healthy to be angry about these things...as long as its expressed and dealt with safely.

I also have ended up the one in treatment to deal with all my family's mental illness.....the ironic thing is that they don't even know I'm diagnosed...but that's another story.

Hold onto your adult self, let her nourish and nurture and validate the child.

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Don't let anyone convince you that you should not be angry -- you're entitled to your anger at the situations, at the people. You are not responsible for making them feel better about any of this stuff.

You can set boundaries if you need to, as nestling mentioned, and hold onto them. I reached a point some years ago where every interaction with my parents (mostly my mother) caused me to crash into 'kill myself NOW' territory. So I told them that I just couldn't handle the situation and that I didn't want any contact. It was also one of the best things I've ever done for my mental health. And now, years and much therapy later I've been able to restart a healthy relationship with them. Some things we're never going to talk about, but I can handle that now.

On a more direct level, when I'm so angry I don't know what to do with it I kick cat toys. They're handy, hard to break, and it entertains the cats.

Fiona

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Heya mrsloony,

Nice to meet you!

My anger management book tells me that everyone is doing what they think is right for them, at the time.

Which does *not* always match with what is right for *me.*

And I'm supposed to be okay with that, eventually, or at least not let it make me so damn mad.

Working on it.

And, yeah, being the diagnosed person makes it worse.  B/c everyone attributes all your behaviour, and all their reactions, to your diagnosis.  Which is a cop-out.

You'll be okay, keep taking the high road.

That's what the book tells me, and it helps.

--ncc--

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I'm so sick of "tolerating" the anger and rage- its exhausting and scary. Now I'm finding myself ready to cry at the drop of a pin. I was making an appt at a doctor's office on the phone and felt like they were mean- i got off the phone and burst into tears! this is ridiculous!

feel like i can't breath normally- hmm prn's or a glass of wine??

oh and Sylvia- I ordered that book from Barnes and Noble today- thanks again.

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gentle deep breathing sounds in order.

intense emotional reactions can be inconvenient, but they are understandable in the circumstances, lots of your feelings are very close to the surface.

you've tolerated the unjust treatment for years and I'm sensing that that maybe what's intolerable for you..."enough is enough! I've had it up to here! STOP TREATING ME LIKE THIS" is what I imagine you thinking. maybe?

ever tried pillow thumping, or jumping up and down and having a mock tantrum? (In private or in therapy of course ;) )

can be very therapeutic....sounds like that anger needs some healthy expression so unblocking your energy can take place. maybe?

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i just got a gift in the mail from a family member. You would have thought it was a ticking time bomb the way i opened it. I can't help but feel its sent spitefully because of the fight. There was no card so I really don't know the intention-i never thought a gift could make me so afraid and angry!

The deep breathing is a good idea. The problem with more physical things-kicking, throwing, breaking) is that in the past these have only served to escalate the intensity and led to self destructive behaviour. really trying to stay out ofTHAT horrible place!

Still not breathing right and don't want to depend so much on prn's.

Coming on the board and concentrating on typing seems to be one thing helping.( also as long as I'm on line noone can get to me cause the phone can't ring.

you all have no idea how you've helped me over the last few days. thank you.

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you've been given so many 'unwanted gifts' in another sense, no wonder you'd be afraid and angry...and confused....maybe?

definitely stay away from the self destructive thing....having been there too I know that things like that need careful handling.

I've found recently that skipping-jumping with a skipping rope is a neutral cathartic way of coping.

I also find concentrating on typing and posting helps me. when going through a rough patch last Autumn I emailed the Samaritans, and concentrating on replying to their questions helped ground and focus me.

take care. I expect you're sleeping right now. I hope its restful. ;)

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Mrs. L

Let me know how you like the book. You are traveling a difficult road, and it must be time to do the work.  All the replies you received are great..at least you know you are not alone in any of this. I spent a lot of time "stuffing my emotions" as they say, and it got me physically sick, after many years of blaming myself, and hating myself. I used several different types of therapy as I worked on these emotions - and all of them, in their own way, helped immensely to understand the truth of the matter. It does take time, you will revert to old reactions, that's only normal, but if you do the work on yourself, one day you will notice that you are not reacting as you use to. A great day of freedom!!

I know I want to hear about your "trip" - this stuff is fascinating (and also painful and difficult.)  And I believe in reincarnation, so my slogan is "do it now, or do it later." You've been given this journey to learn about yourself and to help others who are experiencing the same emotions.

Now, that is my opinion only - and I hate to sound pollyanna-ish about it, but at some point you will realize how strong you really are, and you will feel good... but meanwhile, its back to work, stumbling and falling.

KEEP THE FAITH

Love,

Syl 

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Not that all the anxiety and rage had subsided, but they're back full blast!!

I feel so unheard and not understood and disrespected!

During the fight that started all this- I specifically asked for something NOT to be done. well now i'm told " i know you said not to do this -but i did it anyway"

( subtext: and you will like it and be grateful if you know what's good for you) UUUGGGGHHHH!!!!

I feel like any empowerment i'd had has been snatched right back from me. Like I can't make my own choices and decisions and have them respected and honored.

I feel like I'm running in circles! I know they say you can only change yourself,

but PLEASE at some point you need some cooperation, don't you???

i feel like all i want is to run and hide. like they are all ganging up on me, and the only way out is to revert to old behaviour that's comfortable for Them! not me!

once again- UUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

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