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Letting go of anger and hate

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First let me say that I know hate is a very strong word and I dont so much hate the person, I hate what she did and the effect it has had on the whole family.

I'm holding on to so much anger and I know it's not good for me but I cant see a way past it. I fell out with a close family member that I was always very close to about 3 years ago. It wasnt because of what she did, it was because of something one of her immeadiate family memebers did to me and it was the way she dealt with it which really upset me.  I wont go into what happened but it was dreadful and it was made a lot worse by the way she was so blaise' about it to the point that it felt like she was condoning the behaviour of the other person and belittling what had happened despite her knowing what this person was capeable of and having been on the recieving end of that behaviour herself.

I have been there for her through thick and thin in some very tough times for her and all her life she has leant on me for support yet when I needed her to support me she tried to laugh off the other persons behaviour as 'Oh you know how she is' and suchlike. 
Over a period of months despite knowing how very upset I still was she kept making remarks about 'When are you going to let it go' or 'Stop worrying about it' but what happened actaully made me ill.

It takes a lot for me to fall out with someone, Im a 'dont rock the boat' sort of person but as the weeks went on I was getting more and more angry both her and the  person who caused the trouble.
I finally snapped and said exactly what I thought which is not like me and at that point we stopped speaking. It has caused a rift within the family, no one is taking sides and I'm glad about that but it means family get togethers dont happen now as its made it awkward to invite us both and too be honest I dont ever again want to be in the same room as the person who caused the trouble.
But at the same time I do miss things being the way they used to be, we were at each others house daily and fully involved in each others life. Now its as if she is someone I dont know, there is no contact at all.

I still feel as angry about what happened as I did at the time but now I'm also angry that things are spoiled but at the same time I am not going to forgive and forget,I cant just put it behind me.

People say that anger only hurts the angry person and I know thats true. I dont sleep well now, I go over and over it. I think of family weddings etc  in the future and I know I will not attend because I never want to see the person who caused the issue again.

But how do I get rid of the feelings of anger and the negativity that goes with it. Ive even removed all the family photos I had on walls etc as I cant look at them now. Its making me ill but I just cant let it go. I want to and my husband tells me to put it to the back of my mind but its nearly 3 years now and proving impossible.

Any ideas please, anyone been in a similar situation?
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  • tourist4ever
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    Long story short my childhood friend stole about £5k from my grandfather. We could never prove it to the police so he walked away. We haven't spoken since, this was about ten years ago when we were about 20ish and funnily enough he lives next door. We always did everything for his family and it has taken me many years to get over it, I don't know how he sleeps at night or what he was thinking though. The only consolidation is that I belive in karma so I'm sure he will get what he deserve eventually. I guess my point is things like these happen, ever since this experience I take caution on who to trust and it has made me more critical of situations, I guess you have to look at it in a good way.

    I think there is no point in being angry, this will only upset you especially if this happened three years ago. Everyone is different in personalities and sometimes the closest to us make decisions or take action which for some reason to yourself doesn't make sense. Move on with your life and make the best of things, if in fact they were in the wrong what is it to stop attending gatherings, it's not like you necessarily need to talk to one another. For my neighbour he avoids us on purpose, walks on the other side of street or turns away when seeing us, it just tells he is possibly embarrassed but to this date has never tried to make amends.
  • squirrelchops2
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    My question is 'what do you need to be able to move on'? 

    An apology, an acknowledgement of your feelings, an explanation? Sometimes it helps to think of what you need as a starting point.

    I still, at times get angry over things that have happened within my family. What I need is for their to be an acknowledgement of what happened - however - I know I am not going to get this so I have found other ways of managing the situation. I believe that people who do such wrongdoing are the ones who have to live with themselves, they are the ones who have to look at themselves in the mirror and know what they have done - I wouldn't want to live with that on my conscience.
    Been around since 2008 but somehow my profile was deleted!!!
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,170 Forumite
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    I think you should still feel as angry about what happened, and angry that things are spoiled. I also don't think that you should forgive them or forget what happened, but also that you should not let this issue affect your life too much. 

    You ask a very good question - 
    how do I get rid of the feelings of anger and the negativity that goes with it? My advice above is not to get rid of the feelings. But I would say you need to put them in their place. They are not and should not be your entire life - you should be able to be angry about one thing and happy about another. 

    I have a technique I use when I am struggling to get to sleep - usually this is because I have so many thoughts running through my head - I think about each thing I am thinking about for one second as I count down from 10 to 1. If I can't deal with the issue with that one thought, I come back to it as count down again from 10 to 1. If I find that there is too much to think about, I write down my thoughts (I keep a notepad by my bed) - this parks them so they are not fogotten, but I don't have to think about them, so I can go to sleep. This works for me and I wonder if a similar technique might work for you - if you give yourself five minutes in the day where you will allow yourself to think about the matter (set an alarm on your phone for a time that you are usually free), and if you are rigerous about telling yourself off if yo think about this at other times, I think you might find that by compartmentalising the issue, you will be able to get on with your life - because you have reserved some time to be angry. You might also write down each point about why you are angry so you can be sure that you will never forget. Eventually you will have got it out of your system, and you won't need five minutes, just a second to remind yourself that you are still angry about it will be enough and you won't need a reminder in your phone, you will just have this thought as you take a shower or wait for the kettle to boil. 

    Although it will be hard to go to family events where this person is present, you are missing out on being part of the family, and I would suggest that you don't punish yourself in this way. Go to such events, but focus on the good reasons you have for being there, and not on the negative aspect of the person being there.  

    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • swingaloo2
    swingaloo2 Posts: 395 Forumite
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    Some lovely words and advice there, thank you. Toa nswer a few of the points made.

    I dont know what I need to let it go. Ive asked myself  many times what would I do if either the person who caused thie issue or the person who should have supported me  turned up at my door with an apology and each time I come to the same conclusion that I would send them away. I cannot forgive not will I ever understand. To a degree I can understand the actions of the person who caused thie issue as they had done other things and so it was not completely out of character but the other person not at all.

    I think part of the reason I cant just put it to one side is because of the impact going forward and how often something crops up making it difficult to give it  a time slot each day then park it. For instance at birthdays there was always a family meal at which us 7 siblings would meet together. Now they dont hppen as its made things awkward and even tthough I suggest I sit at one end of the table and we dont clash its impossible as one of the siblings is very mouthy when they have had a drink and I know she would start to try to make us speak etc. I also know another sibling is annoyed at me, not for falling out with the other but for not being willing to 'get over it'. But they dont know what really happened and unless I was to explain to them all they would never undertand why i feel like I do. 
     
    Obviously not through lockdown, but before, we always met on the first Saturday of the month for a meal but that gone now. 
    Then Christmas, we were always together at Christmas but not now and I miss that. Even though Im so angry about what happened I still miss them. There has been a baby born, a great niece, and I will have no part in her life going forward. There is to be a wedding and again I wont be invited. We used to rent a cottage in summer for a 'girls weekend', that doesnt happen now and tthat makes things uncomfortable as 2 of the others wont go without me so no weekend now and I feel guilty about that. 
    I also feel guilty for spoiling htings for other members of the family, we were all brought up to stay close and arguements were quickly stopped when we were young. Now I know some of them just want me to forget what happened but I feel that if they knew the truth of what happened they would understand I have a right to feel as I do. Ive always been a 'Put up and shut up' peson but I refuse to be about this.

    I feel very much like an outsider now and that angers me as well as I wasnt the cause of the trouble, I was on the revieving end yet its my life that has been impacted and also that of my immeadiate family. My kids and some of thier cousins no longer speak because of it.

    I just feel myself getting more and more bitter and I dont want that.



  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,813 Forumite
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    Some lovely words and advice there, thank you. Toa nswer a few of the points made.

    I dont know what I need to let it go. Ive asked myself  many times what would I do if either the person who caused thie issue or the person who should have supported me  turned up at my door with an apology and each time I come to the same conclusion that I would send them away. I cannot forgive not will I ever understand. To a degree I can understand the actions of the person who caused thie issue as they had done other things and so it was not completely out of character but the other person not at all.

    I think part of the reason I cant just put it to one side is because of the impact going forward and how often something crops up making it difficult to give it  a time slot each day then park it. For instance at birthdays there was always a family meal at which us 7 siblings would meet together. Now they dont hppen as its made things awkward and even tthough I suggest I sit at one end of the table and we dont clash its impossible as one of the siblings is very mouthy when they have had a drink and I know she would start to try to make us speak etc. I also know another sibling is annoyed at me, not for falling out with the other but for not being willing to 'get over it'. But they dont know what really happened and unless I was to explain to them all they would never undertand why i feel like I do. 
     
    Obviously not through lockdown, but before, we always met on the first Saturday of the month for a meal but that gone now. 
    Then Christmas, we were always together at Christmas but not now and I miss that. Even though Im so angry about what happened I still miss them. There has been a baby born, a great niece, and I will have no part in her life going forward. There is to be a wedding and again I wont be invited. We used to rent a cottage in summer for a 'girls weekend', that doesnt happen now and tthat makes things uncomfortable as 2 of the others wont go without me so no weekend now and I feel guilty about that. 
    I also feel guilty for spoiling htings for other members of the family, we were all brought up to stay close and arguements were quickly stopped when we were young. Now I know some of them just want me to forget what happened but I feel that if they knew the truth of what happened they would understand I have a right to feel as I do. Ive always been a 'Put up and shut up' peson but I refuse to be about this.

    I feel very much like an outsider now and that angers me as well as I wasnt the cause of the trouble, I was on the revieving end yet its my life that has been impacted and also that of my immeadiate family. My kids and some of thier cousins no longer speak because of it.

    I just feel myself getting more and more bitter and I dont want that.



    I think the bit in bold says it all.
    You do not want a relationship with either party.
    You are grieving for something that is lost and can never be regained by your own admission.

  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    I also know another sibling is annoyed at me, not for falling out with the other but for not being willing to 'get over it'. But they dont know what really happened and unless I was to explain to them all they would never undertand why i feel like I do. 
     
    Now I know some of them just want me to forget what happened but I feel that if they knew the truth of what happened they would understand I have a right to feel as I do. 

    I feel very much like an outsider now and that angers me as well as I wasnt the cause of the trouble
    But maybe you are the cause of it continuing.
    Your poor siblings are working on the knowledge they have about what happened which is why they can't understand why you haven't got over it.
    If knowing the full story would change their attitude, why haven't you told them the facts?
    It could be worth writing everything down, as clearly and objectively as possible, what happened and how it made you feel. Keep the letter for a few days, re-read and see if it needs any changes.  Then either send it to all your siblings or show it to the most empathetic one or burn it and let your feelings go up with the smoke. 

  • seven-day-weekend
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    The only way to get rid of the hate and anger is to forgive. This doesn't mean they have done nothing wrong (otherwise there would be nothing to forgive), but it does mean, for example, accepting an apology if one is offered. But even if the person isn't sorry, you could still try to socialise in the same room at family gatherings. There is only you suffering and only by being proactive are you going to be able to alleviate this. Wishing you well for the future.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,384 Forumite
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    I'm holding on to so much anger and I know it's not good for me but I cant see a way past it. I fell out with a close family member that I was always very close to about 3 years ago. It wasnt because of what she did, it was because of something one of her immeadiate family memebers did to me and it was the way she dealt with it which really upset me.  I wont go into what happened but it was dreadful and it was made a lot worse by the way she was so blaise' about it to the point that it felt like she was condoning the behaviour of the other person and belittling what had happened despite her knowing what this person was capeable of and having been on the recieving end of that behaviour herself.


    This is the bit that stands out for me - that she had also experienced this happening to her.  And it seems that she found a way to deal with it - different from the way you wanted to deal with it.  But perhaps if she supported/acknowledged your hurt from this other person it would have personal repercussions on her - reopen the wounds or otherwise undo her own defensive response.  If she acknowledged the significance of what happened to you would she have to acknowledge to herself the significance of what happened to her?  I wonder if being open to yourself that she too was injured but found a way of coping that needs very different support might help you find a way through this.
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  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,449 Forumite
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    I think the biggest problem for you is so many other people are impacted by the rift and they are family.  A similar falling out happened with myself and a friend, she let me down, we'd been friends for a long time and she couldn't even see what she had done, I was at the time in a really tough place and she belittled me and my feelings.  I bear her no ill, I still think fondly of the times we had together as friends but after something so massive I don't think you can ever go back, I could never trust her like you should be able to trust a best friend but as I say it was easier for me, we were friends, no other friends were mutual.  

    I think a good way to look at it, friends, family, partners is that relationships have a finite point, some are forever many are not, it helps to be accepting of that and be able to move on.  

    You'll never be the way you were with her but for family and friends sake maybe you need to both accept the situation and move on.  Be the bigger person.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • swingaloo2
    swingaloo2 Posts: 395 Forumite
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    edited 25 July 2021 at 3:29PM
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    Many thanks again for the replies.

    But maybe you are the cause of it continuing.
    Your poor siblings are working on the knowledge they have about what happened which is why they can't understand why you haven't got over it.

    The reason I have not told them the full story is because I didnt want anyone else to fall out with her. I did tell one sibling and she was disgusted so much so that she now does not speak to the person either and I feel bad about thier relationship being affected. 
    I did try to explain to another sibling butwhen I said I wanted to talk about it she said 'Stop right there, xxxx has tried to tell me what happened and Im not listening to her either, I wont be in a position where I need to take sides between family members' 



    This is the bit that stands out for me - that she had also experienced this happening to her.  And it seems that she found a way to deal with it - different from the way you wanted to deal with it.  But perhaps if she supported/acknowledged your hurt from this other person it would have personal repercussions on her - reopen the wounds or otherwise undo her own defensive response.  If she acknowledged the significance of what happened to you would she have to acknowledge to herself the significance of what happened to her?  I wonder if being open to yourself that she too was injured but found a way of coping that needs very different support might help you find a way through this.

    She has always been and still is bullied by the person. Its actually one of her children. Her way of coping is to either pretend its not happening or give in to everything till the abuse stops.  Its been going on for some years now and thats what gets to me, I have been a safe haven for her when she has been distraught so many times. She has had so much abuse but now the person is in a relationship so no longer living at home. 
    Ive mopped so many tears and bathed so many bruises but when the abuse was given to me  insted of any understanding I got 'xxxx wouldnt have really meant it, you know what they are like' and on one occasion I was asked 'Are you sure you did nothing to provoke xxxx'. 
    The only reason I was there in the first place was because my sibling had asked me to go round and try to speak to the person as they had just put a window through in anger and pushed my sibling through it.  I got there and all hell was letting loose and my sibling ran out of the house in fear. I held the person back as they were going to give chase and I was terrified of what they would do to my sibling. I got a tirade of abusive language and a black eye for trying to hold on to the person. Yet Im the bad guy now because I wont just say 'Oh its ok, forget it'.

    I think the bit in bold says it all.
    You do not want a relationship with either party.
    You are grieving for something that is lost and can never be regained by your own admission.

    I think this is very true. I feel Ive lost so much. As I said we were incredibly close all our lives, holidays together, saw each other daily etc. I know people say I should go to family do's but it would be so uncomfortable. I know a couple of siblings think I should just get over it, one no longer speaks to me because they are of the opinion that whilst the person 'Can be a b++++, we know what they are like and its not worth a family rift'.

    I feel as if Im being treated by some as if Im the cause of the trouble when I was the one who got the abuse, the person was 16 at the time yet its deemed acceptable not only for it to have happened to me but also that I have no right to be annoyed or upset by it.
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