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Author Topic: 6.09 | Has the anger gone too far?  (Read 26463 times)
sandyb
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« on: December 28, 2010, 02:23:44 PM »



I can understand why there is so much anger displayed by members, I am sure that for many, if not all, that the anger stems from the oft huge shortfall in expectations from a partner, family member, or relationship of any type.

I think there is also a huge aspect of the anger we perhaps have with ourselves, at least I have struggled with that, and still do. I don't actually think I was ever able to be angry toward my ex despite the justifications. Perhaps there is something in not being able to display anger that is equally disabling? Either way I believe that holding on to any residual anger and I suppose in essence apportioning blame for any length of time is toxic and self defeating, stems healing, growth and the opportunity to be joyful, happy, and create new.

The focus is all important, I try (with varying degrees of success) to stay in the here and now, the acceptance, and self forgiveness are still a work in progress even after a long time.


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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 08:38:55 PM »

I have experienced the anger and I understand it.

I have never been an angry person.  Always been told I was overly tolerant, overly forgiving, etc.   

I've been though seriously bad/abusive relationships before, but never anything like my experience with uBPDNPDexbf.  Never.  This was in a league of its own.   

It was like a psychological rape.  An unbelievable emotional violation.  Toss in the physical end of it, the financial end of it, and it's then like a whole life rape.  Pretty bad stuff to handle from someone you loved and trusted.   

I really felt that short of murder there was nothing more this person could to do hurt me. 

Anger?  Heavens, only a corpse wouldn't feel it. 

But. 

It has to end.  Anger is a good thing... .it's like pain... .tells us when something's terribly wrong, and that we need to deal with it.

And I do believe the anger we read here is just that, people dealing with their pain, in what is believed to be a relatively anonymous environment where they are relatively safe to vent those feelings, feelings that are not easy to vent IRL. 

The thing is, anger needs to be a finite thing.  It needs to be released, examined and dealt with effectively or it can turn inward and harm us. 

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 08:57:50 PM »

this is going to be a good discussion, thanks for the topic skip.

anger has been a good friend to me for a lot of years now. it is debilitating, and hurtful, and damaging to the extreme, but it is also numbing. better than drugs or alcohol. let it take you completely and you can bury any emotion you dont want to deal with, like guilt. afterwards, there is the numbness where you are free of having to deal with any emotions for a time. just like drugs. and there is an addictive quality to anger also. i suppose it is the adrenaline rush. since i got married, i havent been able to share my feelings safely (not with uBPDwife surely and not with family or friends because i wasnt allowed to have any), or feel that emotional connection with another. i realized early on that there was something seriously wrong with my marriage, but her promises kept me in until the kids started to arrive. she even told me many times back then "i know i'll feel better when we have a baby". she never felt better. i missed opportunity after opportunity to leave and i hate myself for staying, for what i have become, for the things i have done. most of the time, i can look at things objectively and from a viewpoint of my own personal healing. sometimes, though, my old friend is a great and familiar comfort and escape. also, im not quite sure if i am angry with her because i dont love her any more, or if the anger is my way of making sure i stay not loving her. hmm

SK
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 09:16:35 PM »

I think it's healthy and almost necessary for us to express some anger, especially in this environment, where there is an element of safety - the great sounding board of the message board community. I think also most of us have anger born mainly of frustration or the unfairness of the treatment we received

I think it becomes dangerous if we rely on that anger as the thing that drives us, or choose to just be blanket angry at them - in effect paint them black... We then loose a part of us and become like them... Where it's easier to blame it all on them and play the noble victim, grimly carrying on in the face of adversity, when we should be angry but honest with ourselves, not let the anger, or whatever emotion we might feel, drive us, or stop us from accepting our part of responsibility

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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 10:09:30 PM »

The anger for me got out of hand last week when I lost it ... .I swear if anyone had seen me they would have thought I was the crazy one ... .

When the anger has gone too far? For me, it's now ... .I"m not acting like the person I usually am ... .Today, I made an appointment with a therapist to sort this out ... .

I"m not an angry person by nature. I don't like this. So I'm going to change it before it becomes a permenant part of who I am.

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 10:34:25 PM »

Good topic--thanks, Skip.

I think anger is a necessary part of the process of healing, but it's only a part. If we stagnate in it, and that anger becomes our identity, it's not healthy. You're right that we get to choose. I woke up the other day and remembered that old saying, "What you focus on expands." Yikes! I've been focusing on perceived injustices and my angry reaction to them. Do I want more of that, or do I want to move on with my life? Time to turn my attention to what I DO want.

I'm not stuffing my anger. I'm working to acknowledge it, then transform it into a catalyst for understanding my own issues, especially those that let me stay for far too long in a relationship that didn't serve me (and honestly it didn't serve my ex either).

Another thing I remind myself is that resentment blocks flow. Wish I could remember where I first read that--it has stuck with me for about 15 years. I used to have that in big letters on my refrigerator. It's time to print it up again.
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 11:10:00 PM »

Being able to safely vent my anger here and receive strong feedback on it helped me work through it in a way that kept me from acting badly.

Knowing that I was speaking to others who had been through such betrayal and weirdness helped me. I am glad I let out a lot of my anger here. Being able to express it to people who understood allowed me to find ways to move forward instead of being stuck.

Also the anger allowed me to disengage after a while. My concern and compassion were qualities my dpdxes used against me. To be able to shed that for even a little while saved me from a lot more misery.

Anger is healthy and expressing it here can help a lot. It's good that the folks here discourage those of us in that stage from acting on our angry impulses. I think everyone needs to hear that at some point.
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Skip
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010, 06:23:13 AM »

Just a point of perspective - a discussion about unbridled resentment and dysfunctional coping is not "is anger (a natural part of grieving) healthy?" - anymore than a discussion about obesity being about "is food healthy?"

In both cases, the very thing that sustains us can actually be taken to a point that it harms us.  Emotional maturity is about knowing the difference and being mindful of it.

We see both here at bpdfamily and some members have trouble distinguishing the two.   So we're trying to differentiate between an emotionally mature, rehabilitating, and healthy reactions - and the dysfunctional and detrimental ones - to help others and possibly even help ourselves.

The question is "When has the anger gone too far and become detrimental? This is the topic of this workshop - what is the difference between healthy anger or unbridled resentment and dysfunctional coping?  "

What are the signs?

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010, 07:19:02 AM »

First of all ... .thanks for posting this ... .it really made me think.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

The idea that one partner was healthy (loving and giving) and the other partner was dysfunctional is seriously flawed.

Agree 100% ... .if we are all completely honest with ourselves we would see how this is a generally flawed misconception.

Lets face it, the hallmark of a BPD relationship is emotional immaturity by both partners.

However, an emotionally mature and grounded person does not get into such relationships and even if they accidentally fell into one, they would get out, reassess their decision process and values, make changes, and move on - not recycle back time and time again

I agree with this in principle however not so much in "all" cases. It might be a matter of semantics ? not sure but i would tend to agree more with this above statement if we also talked about what i would label as "situational emotional unhealthiness" and not just strictly emotional immaturity. From having read many posts and heard the stories of many posters it seems to me that there is a high number of people that get involved and enter relationships with BPD partners soon after divorcing/separating from long-time marriages and or breakups from longtime committed relationships. When they are vulnerable ... .in a weakened state ... .i don't have any data to back this up other than observations made here.

So maybe we are emotionally immature at that moment or in that current situation ?

Anyhow ... .my situation followed the normal grieving pattern. I hung onto my anger which helped me stay away and disconnected just long enough to finally let go and move on with my life.

This is a great subject for discussion.

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2010, 10:57:49 AM »

good topic Skip

2 short/simple things on the subject that I was told:

Anger is really masked hurt - once you let the hurt out, the anger will subside.

Resentment is equal to me taking poison and expecting you to die - not really helpful.

Anger is a healthy and necessary STAGE - but not a good place to live.  Anger will cause us to act in a way that usually protects us for the short term.  Get to the root and we get to the hurt.

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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2010, 11:14:24 AM »

Signs that it's become unhealthy?

Justifying bad behavior (cheating, spying, stealing, purposely harming) by saying they "deserve it" (imagining revenge is different than going through with it)

Arguing that your bad behavior is somehow different than the same actions would be from them.  Because they're pwBPD. Bad behavior is bed whether or not the person doing it is sane


Continuing anger on into rage or violence

These are some of the thing I see related to this that trigger and upset me. If you're cheating on your spouse... .you don't have much reason to worry about someone else behaving that way to  you... .cheating

Also people stalking or spying on someone long time after the end of a relationship... .if a pwBPD was doing this would we not all sympathize with the non?  That bothers me. Shouldn't we be supporting each other in making healthy choices? Not reinforcing our poor decisions?

I was so furious at my dBPDx. I understand so desparately wanting revenge or just to hurt them back. But it isn't good for you, hurting people. It only LOOKS like it pays ogg for them


It really doesn't.
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2010, 03:12:02 PM »

Many good points... .we are all in different places with our pBD. For me the turning point was I was angry hurt, suspicious, etc. more often then not. This is not the person I usually am or wanted to be. The illness etc. was stealing my joy and I had a choice to change that or not.

I am not saying it was easy but my life is pretty joy filled now. WE have the right to be happy! WE have the right to take care of ourselves! WE have  the right to choose who and what we want in our lives! WE are entitled to our own feelings and opinions!

We can't change the past and dwelling there only hurts us. I am sure I handled situations wrong on many occasions but I also did not know what I was dealing with either. I can beat myself up over this or choose to move forward. One of the best things I changed was removing toxic people from my life and surrounded myself with positive, caring people.

Anger is a necessary step but dwelling there only hurts us! Expressing it here where people can truly understand what we all go through, is helpful.

Forgiving,moving on, having peace is a gift we give ouselves! xoxox
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2010, 04:58:05 PM »

This is a very good post. Thanks Skip. For myself, I can say I have felt my share of resentment and anger. I do feel that it is justified for sure. At the same time I know that I wasn't perfect too. Having read of the experiences of some people here it is very understandable that we would feel anger and resentment.

I have seen other people i know- some in my family - get bogged down by anger and resentment and turn bitter. I don't want to be like that.

Feeling anger and resentment is natural and a way to process your experience but I think it gets toxic when it ruins your day or you walk around feeling pissed off all the time. I don't want to be like that.

For me, what is helping me is to realize I exited my relationship with an act of kindness and I do pray for E- sounds simple but it does help a lot.

We can only control ourselves.
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2010, 11:33:22 AM »

I know this is about us, but I would also submit that in a lot of cases if our BPDexes had been in a safe and healthy position to express anger at the appropriate time and in the appropriate setting about their core wounds and traumas, there's a very good chance that many might have found a path to greater self awareness and healing.  Ergo anger (still a difficult stage for me to fully express as well) is part of the antidote as well as a stimulus for new growth and healing; otherwise, our resentment fuels our own recycling of victimization.  I think a valuable lesson is a corollary to natural law, colloquially expressed:  "The most dangerous animal is a wounded animal."  And I believe that's especially true of BPDs; regrettably it holds true for us and our inertia in holding hurt, anger, resentment.  The other corollary:  "Hurt people hurt people."
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2011, 04:59:06 PM »

hey toomany

this is just my take on the whole anger/resentment thing. anger is how we display our displeasure. normally, in a properly functioning relationship of any kind, the anger would lead to discussion which is the first step on the road to dealing with the problem and moving on. when this cant take place, then resentment sets in. for me, it isnt a matter of anger OR resentment, it is both. i have the anger for each and every new wrong and resentment for all the old, unattended wrongs. and they feed each other. the new anger is made worse because i know that it will not be dealt with and the old resentments reinforce the intensity of the new anger. and each new anger becomes a resentment to add on top of the seemingly mountainous heap i carry around. when you dont deal with anger constructively, it grows and stops being an expression of emotional discontent and becomes instead the baseline for how you deal with life in general. you stop FEELING angry and start BEING angry, and those are two very different things. i think that is when the anger has gone too far. staying with a BPD partner (i am in that group, whether or not i like or want it that way, which i dont) seems kind of like helping a drowning man by adding water to the pool. Before i got married, i did have a temper but i always managed it. i could get royally pissed and still stay rational and make sound decisions. i am not like that anymore. i can and do get to the point where i lose the ability to think. sometimes, it is a conscious decision; i willingly choose rage over reason. i dont feel anger, because i am almost always angry. my baseline emotion floats between anger and depression and despair when i am at home. the only reprieve i get is when i leave the house for work or whatever and, if i can get busy and forget what is going on at home, i find a little of the old me lurking inside.

something else to consider: if you stay with your BPD partner, there are really only two outcomes a) you find a way to deal with the illness or b) you dont. if you dont, you risk severe emotional and even physical damage. if you do, you live knowing that you can expect very little if any emotional support from your partner and your own personal needs will never be met. speaking from personal experience, i dont think that anyone can last indefinitely long without the support and love that we entered the relationship to share back and forth. and what about those little resentments that creep in along the way? even normal, healthy couples have their share of annoyances that show up from time to time that need to be dealt with to prevent their becoming larger and less repairable issues. anyway, beside the point... .

if any of that makes any sense... .

SK
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2011, 05:05:15 PM »

im still with my partner... and of course he can make me angry abt things... if hes feeling like it... he can really push buttons bc he knows where they all are... sure other people have... similar experiences w/pd SOs or not... i think for me... if its something that gets bigger than just our relationship... like a lot of examples skip first brought up... are real general 'THEY ALL dohit_' 'THEYRE all evil'... thats not healthy... to me... it also says... i aint interested in trying to be more than a victim of a crazy person  a person can make me angry... but that aint a reason for me to generalize that to cover... a whole bunch of people for something they cant help...
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 04:41:26 PM »

I have to say the heroes are the people that work with pwBPD patients and truly help them.  I can't imagine how stressful this must be.  The heroes are the people that have been hurt so badly but recover and rebuild.  The heroes are people that work hard to heal from having BPD.  Heroes are people that live with pwBPD and have learned to not take it personally (I can't imagine this yet) and learned how to set boundaries.  And people that have really dug in to learn and educate us. 

This is a tough world sometimes.  FOR SURE.     
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 09:21:35 AM »

Skip,

   I've read all the posts here and I'm still looking for the answer. How do I let go of the anger? I feel like I'm so literal. The only post that gives a partial answer to me was SB saying anger is masked hurt. I get that but god I feel liked I've cried and cried and the hurt is till there. I mean, how do I know the anger is gone? It scares me to think I've got bottled up anger and it's gona come out in some wierd way. I asked my therapist how you get over this literally, is just giving it time gona do it? She said yes and you have to take care of yourself. And I asked what do you mean exactly? She said do little things for you like take a nap if you feel tired, do things you like to do, etc... I think maybe I'm impatient. At this point I feel like just walking away, from in here and therapy and tell myself I'm fine. But hell, I know that's not the right thing to do. My guess is, cry when it comes, keep talking and keep paying attention to everyone around me. Honestly I tell myself I'm being lazy to not want to HAVE to pay attention. Is this the emotional immaturity talkin? Just wanting to be carefree? Is it second nature to the emotionally "healthy" minded people to not to have to think about all this? I wana get to that point. I just hope it doesn't take years.
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2011, 01:47:32 PM »

I sympathize with you Suzn. It took we awhile to get over it. I had to study and come to terms with the sickness. Then I just had to feel it. It hurt. The pain does go away in time though. I think I just turned a corner myself. I think I am ready to start my life again finally.
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2011, 06:49:02 AM »

Excerpt
"Expressing anger actually increases aggression," says Brad Bushman, Ph.D. The Iowa State University psychologist and colleagues asked subjects to pen an essay, then inspired their ire by handing it back with a brutal critique. Next, the essay writers were asked to deliver noise bursts to either the person who'd insulted their paper or an innocent bystander. Subjects could decide how long and loud the annoying sounds would be. Miffed participants who hit a punching bag before administering the sounds were twice as cruel in their choice of noise length and volume as those who just sat quietly before performing the task. Furthermore, "they were aggressive toward both types of people," said Bushman, "and that's scary."

Psychology Today www.business.highbeam.com/136989/article-1G1-55010298/nonviolent-venting

Excerpt
For example, she cited a study among laid-off engineers in San Diego, which showed that the men who were invited to ventilate their anger actually became more hostile toward the company or their supervisors than those who were asked to criticize themselves. In another study, third-grade children who were encouraged to express their anger toward a child who had frustrated them ended up liking that child less than children did who were not permitted to express anger.

NY Times  nytimes.com/1983/03/08/science/venting-anger-may-do-more-harm-than-good.html

Excerpt
In study after study, subjects who vented anger against inanimate objects, who vented directly against the person who induced their anger, who vented hostility by playing football or who vented verbally about an employer - all showed more resentment than those who had not vented. In some experiments, venting led to aggression against innocent bystanders. Even those who firmly believed in the value of venting ended up more hostile and aggressive after thumping pillows or engaging in other expressions of anger.

physorg  physorg.com/news91899145.txt

While modern myths like to say that it is good to let it out, to be able to express yourself, to share your burdens - science is showing otherwise. If our goal is to improve our relationship and to become closer to someone, then we need to focus on what will help that goal.

Excerpt
In contrast to the venting experiments, other studies have shown that anger dissipates faster when people take deep breaths, relax or take a time out. Any action that "makes it impossible to sustain the angry state" can help defuse anger.

physorg  physorg.com/news91899145.txt

Two issues then... .

* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2011, 07:44:42 AM »

Once I began to vent and respond with anger and resentment instead of holding it all in and getting sick inside because I did, it was all downhill from there on. It was like waving the starting flag at the beginning of an auto race. It had been an 'ok' thing for him to verbally insult and degrade me, but once I stood my ground and fought back, it seemed all the flood gates were opened and things got worse.

So what's the choice when it comes to dealing with our anger and hurt with a BPD? We either hold it inside of us and let it pass or we fight back which is a natural response to the stress it causes.

Of course it's different when communicating with a normal person. With a BPD there doesn't seem to be a clear winner. You both lose. They fight to the death for control and can't see how you've been hurt by their words and insults, they just don't get it at all. You may as well argue with a stone. They can't empathize or understand your feelings and don't want to either.

Self respect has to come into play at some point in all of this. It's obvious they don't respect us anymore, so if we want to hold onto any self respect, we'll have to stand up for it and defend ourselves.
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2011, 08:28:25 AM »

While I believe that it depends on the situation and the individual, the references posted suggest otherwise.  Dunno---all I know is what holds true for me.  If I don't get it out in a constructive manner, it's eventually going to come out in a destructive manner.  And probably at the wrong place, the wrong time, or at the wrong person.

Better for me to identify it, deal with it, and get rid of it than bottle it up.  What's the stuff on mindfulness say about anger?  Anyone know or have a reference on it?

By the way, I watched about 60% of a show last night on the Oprah Network called Enraged about families coping with one person's over the top anger.  Interesting, but not really relevant as these were extreme cases.
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2011, 08:55:24 AM »

It's like a double edged sword isn't it...

BP people can rant/rage and take no responsibility for it. We as nons can't equally rant and rage back because *we* know it's wrong, when they can't tell the difference.

We need a safe place to vent our frustrations - It's what you do with your frustration afterward. For BP people they don't know any better, so they outbursts and nothing good comes out of it.

for nons they rant and rage and try to figure out what is wrong or let it pent up and it builds over time to the point where they can't take it anymore.

I know that sounds simple, and I admit it is... .

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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2011, 09:20:40 AM »

so if we want to hold onto any self respect, we'll have to stand up for it and defend ourselves.

I guess the question I would have is "is venting a constructive form of defending oneself or is it a destructive response?"

Flip it around.  When a spouse "vented" on us, did we stop and say "wow, that's good for you to get it out, I see your point now, I think I will change" or did we say "Я имел диарею на вашей рубашке вчера вечером. Вы пахнете прекрасный сегодня."

Their verbal abuse is a misguided attempt by an insecure and manipulative spouse to exercise control and establish dominance in a relationship.

You don't need to take this.  But at the same time, you are not a pit bull fighting another pit bull where survival means the others demise - you are a spouse and harmony is the objective.

When there is a time of calm, speak to your partner in "we" terms and talk about why they do this and how it affects you and how this destroys relationships.  Talk about appropriate ways for each of you to respond - and then do that.  This is where timeouts are very good.

This is a really good article to share:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=138812
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2011, 09:30:29 AM »

I have seen similar studies. Harville hendrix use to promote expressing pent up anger as part of his couples therapy but then they noticed it seemed to decrease safe connection and increase further angery thoughts and fellings,,,instead of being cathartic it had a kindling affect adding more fuel to the fire. Subsequent studies seem to indicate similar results. People still need to be heard and understood and they teach certain kinds of conversations that are healing and not counterproductive... .basically validating conversations and interactions are healing.
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2011, 10:06:47 AM »

Here's my thinking on this subject.  The one thing I've noticed is that while the pwBPD vents constantly about any little thing, we tend to hold it all in.  Neither of them are healthy.  UFN is right about how letting out your frustration can cause you to be more angry.  On the flip side, swallowing your pride slowly destroys a person until their feelings corrode them or they too end up venting.  

I think the key is to find a balance.  Express how you feel, but make sure it is your feelings, not some calculated form of revenge (which is what venting ultimately is).  The one thing I've picked up from reading about mindfulness is a beginner's mind.  Look at what you feel as if it is something new.  You might find out something worthwhile to use that you can use to progress, not repress.
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2011, 10:07:14 AM »

I think venting at your BPD partner is pretty destructive for the relationship and won't achieve much understanding on their part of how upset you are by their actions.  Although I am "brilliant" at holding in my feelings of anger (not good and I'm working on it)... .in my situation when I did occasionally blow my top it just seemed to amplify her guilt at her poor behavior (and increase her defensive anger towards me).

However, I don't believe venting is "unhealthy" in itself... .perhaps it's just a matter of the right time and place... .the occasional vent on this message board in a supportive environment where us nons are just "putting it out there" knowing we will hopefully get good feedback from other members and create a good atmosphere for mindfulness in ourselves can surely only be a good thing?

I think venting at someone with poor or no ability to regulate or "think" about their emotions seems pointless... .it'll just increase the anger... .however I don't want to become a zen robot... .I think a good vent to a trusted friend or here usually provokes good advice and promotes introspection.  
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2011, 11:17:43 AM »

Two issues then... .

* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?

1)  No I don't believe so, I think it depends on the sexes.  I wonder how many test subjects for these studies were men?  At least one study listed specifically described only men in the test group  Another used engineers, a field dominated by males.  Men are natural aggressors so letting us vent will give the impression that its OK to be aggressive towards you.   Women on the other hand aren't naturally aggressive.  Women generally poke and prod before they go off.  I would wager that most men on this board can see the signs when their BPD SO is going to go off on them well before it happens.  Learning how to counter it is a whole other discussion.  Point being, in my case I don't think she is being more aggressive if I let her vent.  She always goes thru the same progressions beforehand.

2) Not venting... .I've seen this pop up a bit the last few days.  Not getting angry, whatever you want to call it.  How about we not get happy?  You know that way we never get sad or dissappointed?  There's nothing wrong with being angry and venting as long as we are not projecting our emotions onto others. Leave and do something physical to get rid of that energy.  I consider that venting, if I just go talk to someone I'm not getting rid of that anxious energy.  You may feel better after talking but that built up adrenaline and energy is still there.
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2011, 11:40:02 AM »

Excerpt
Leave and do something physical to get rid of that energy.  I consider that venting, if I just go talk to someone I'm not getting rid of that anxious energy.  You may feel better after talking but that built up adrenaline and energy is still there.



I agree with this; I think if you are angry, it's a signal your boundaries are being crossed.  Take better care of your boundaries, and you will spend less time feeling angry.  However, when your boundaries are crossed, yes, it's natrual to feel anger (anger is how we KNOW our boundareis are being crossed) and that anger needs to be discharged preferably physcially... .like through sweating or tears.  Strong emotions are a phsycial energy, the chemicals that register that emotion reside in he body and they should be activly discharged so you are not just stewing in a bath of adrenalin and cortisol which in over supply have been shown to be bad for you physcially and can acutully change areas of your brain, ... .that's why many T's promote excercise or some kind of physical movement every day.  Not just for weight control etc, but as a discharge of those chemicals.
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2011, 01:35:30 PM »

I agree with MaybeSo.  Venting to my H, even over issues not related to him, were usually not well received.  He tended to either take it personally or want to fix it for me.  I was really looking for validation which is what I get here. 

Venting here, with my T or other friends is helpful to a point.  The validation helps me see that my reaction is pretty normal under the circumstances.  It feels good to share my story with those of you who really understand what it is like to live with a pwBPD.  What I love about this site (and my T) is the gentle nudge to address the cause of my anger; whether it is a perception that needs to be changed (expecting a duck to bark), a boundary that has been crossed, or a lower tolerance for irritating behavior because I am worn out and depleted.  We have a lot of control over feeling victimized.  Somedays I am up to facing that and other days it just needs to be shared until I am in a better place. 
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2011, 03:04:08 PM »

It depends on whether it is done in a controlled way or with anger and loss of self control.

I feel you need to express yourself as you feel certain things and many pwBPD and non's alike cannot do that.

For whatever reason, whether it was how they were raised or they don't want to make waves... they hold it in until it has to come out and then a little healthy venting becomes a tidal wave of destruction.

but sure if you need to get something off your chest and vent, hey bye all means, (speaking of non's of course, pwBPD can't do it very controlled... .) but do it in a well intentioned manner that shows you aren't trying to criticize or belittle someone but are expressing how something is making 'you' feel.  

so thats my take on venting.   I don't have to vent too much since I can usually speak up the moment something happens if it isn't ok with me and share whats on my mind...  sometimes that isn't a good thing but i would rather have it more that way than holding it in and then having it eat me up and then feel the need to unload...  ya no?     good thread... thanks!
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2011, 03:55:21 PM »

If anger is a construct of an individual mind, telling all minds "not" to do something is really... .concerning.  It's such a blanket term.  One person's anger could be the next person's frustration could be the next person's depression and so on.  Not venting/talking about feelings of frustration, angst, sadness, etc is going to do little to help someone see a different perspective.  If all someone is doing is going in a loop over and over in his or her own mind, the chances of growth seem slim... .or at least terribly slow.  There is something to be said for bouncing problems off of others.  Optimally it would be when you are open to new perspectives, change, recognition of self contribution to the problem, etc etc... .when there is some realization that work needs to be done.  But I don't personally think that has to be a requirement for expression of anger - however it's defined.  Sometimes people just need to be heard... .to get their thoughts together... .to get feedback. 

Now if venting means ranting abusively, physical actions against another person, going on and on about victimhood, etc - I guess I can see how that could create a loop unto itself.  There's an addictive quality to the rush that comes with releases like that. 
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2011, 04:27:57 PM »

I think there is an enormous and critical difference between acknowledging/accepting FEELINGS of anger and behaving badly as a result of those feelings. Accepting that I should FEEL angry when abused has made an enormous difference to my life and r/s. This is not connected in any way to thumping, shouting or raging. Those are behaviours. Anger is a feeling
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2011, 05:49:28 PM »

A lot of times there will be threads that are all about how nasty people's partners are to them. A lot of times there are threads about things people have experienced that are horrifying. Everyone needs to be heard, to share their experiences, and this is a good place to do that.

However, one of the things I've learned at this board is that I am responsible for everything I have experienced in my relationship. I am the one who stayed, I am the one who continues to stay. Taking that responsibility when you're being abused is not easy, but it's part of what we should be doing here, I believe.

The idea that *we* are as responsible as our partners because we stayed with them, is VERY difficult to get when you feel like a victim of abuse. But we are not victims, we are survivors, and part of the way that works is we have to take our power back. We gave it out of love or fear or both, but it's our power. We are responsible for our own lives, as adults, we can leave if we don't like it.

I'm sure most of us find it difficult at times to support each other in staying when we feel many of us should not stay. But we can all support each other in growing and learning new ways to deal with our situations.

This place is for improving your relationship, not complaining about it. If there is venting, something productive should go with it. IMHO. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2011, 07:16:12 PM »

Excerpt
I agree with this; I think if you are angry, it's a signal your boundaries are being crossed.  Take better care of your boundaries, and you will spend less time feeling angry.

bingo... like peacebaby mentioned too... if my boundary gets crossed its bc i didnt do what i needed to to preserve it... and that is on me...

me personally... i dont 'vent' on here... i dont find it helpful... bc its not what my relationship is focused on... probably could if i wanted to... find something to b*tch abt every day... mostly i let it roll off... bc it aint a big deal... if it is... i got a boundary about it probably already... so it dont become a big deal... i also dont say anything here... that R is unaware how i feel abt it... if i post a issue here... i probably already talked w/him abt it... or plan to and just waiting for time.

i guess... stuff like 'hes always emailing me!' 'he cant do anything by himself!' 'hes jealous if i do anything else!' i did choose to be in a relationship w/somebody that is mentally ill... some people didnt know what they were getting into... but me... i had a pretty good idea... i did know he was totally cracked when we got together... and a lot of what that was gonna mean for me and our relationship... so to me... ___g abt stuff that i knew i was getting into... kinda like moving to antartica and complaining abt the snow... like... 'oh... hes panicking abt some new thing... yup... that happens... '
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2011, 07:58:47 PM »

Good point dados,

I too knew my H was mentally off 'bigtime' but still said I do, but never did I anticipate the degree of degrading behavior and how far he would take it...  but there again, it is about 'how far I allowed him to take it' and I just didn't have 'whatever' it is that's needed to make it better for a long long time.

so im sure i vented a lot back then, but not really to other people!  mostly to him!  and its no wonder it went from bad to worse and back again. right... ?

But when I am away from him or have been away from him from the beginning, I focus on positive things and try to get my mind on other things besides HIS craziness!  And its just a healthy pattern I was able to develop and live by and basically stay happy.  Not many people could tell I was going thru some crazy stuff at home cuz when I was around other folks, it was a time to change the mindset and enjoy myself.

but i did my share of venting and basically it is a bunch of HOT air and you feel much better when you just change the thing thats bothering you and get on with life.

Especially if you have chosen to be in the situation and have not been able to change things, and you keep complaining and venting about the same things over and over and over again...  thatis so hard to keep hearing...  so it really is much better to just do what is within our power to change it so we can live with the situation and not feel so stinkin miserable...    Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  Or find a few safe confidants that we trust and that are in a healthy place and can be that sounding board for us and just call them periodically if we feel we have to get it off our chest and we know we can't talk to our SO. 

But limit our venting or complaining so as not to burden others and put all the stress of what we're feeling on them.  I don't think thats fair either.   And give our friends a break... take turns if you have a couple that can support you... So as not to download one friend too much.

if we can let it go, i feel its a much healthier avenue.  life is just too short to vent about things too often if we've done all the steps and still feel the need to vent...   there's something missing and maybe we are mad at ourselves and not what we're complaining about.   

One Proverb says... .  "Out of the abundance of heart, the of mouth speaks."   What are we constantly talking about?  It says alot about whats in our heart...    xoxo 

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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2011, 08:46:40 PM »

if something does really bug me... i try to talk w/R abt it... compromise or w/e... and if he can... he tries... if he cant... least i got to have my say abt it... usually that helps me a lot more than venting to somebody that dont understand why his stuff might get to me...

other part... is most of the time... i dont think our relationship... is anybodys business... if theres a issue... its a R and me issue... and not a me and whoever else will listen issue... there is stuff i talk abt on here... mostly if it might be helpful to somebody... and if i know its something R wouldnt have a problem being shared... helps there hes pretty open abt being 'crazy' and so that aint a huge issue
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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2011, 09:13:28 PM »

I concur... .  I enjoy posting my progress or problems mostly to help me see how things are going and when I can do things differently... *since this is basically all about what we can do to control ourselves right?*... .  and to hopefully help others and be a source of encouragement or someone to learn from... either what may help or what not to do... Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

thanks...   I feel pretty much the same way dados... .bg
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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2011, 09:23:59 PM »

For me, I think Anger is a natural human emotion, it's what you do with it afterwards (and during), that is important. Venting, not at the other person, can be helpful, either in a journal, or an open fourm, but it's what you do after the vent. Did you vent because you wanted to feed the anger, or did you vent to get it out of your system, to help figure out why you have anger?

For me these are important questions.

If you vent and do nothing about it, it's only going to eat at your soul, and if it's eating at you then you can't solve the larger problem. Venting, reviewing and finding a solution to your problem can be uplifting for the soul, for me at least, it allows me to figure out, What Now?

It has taken me a long time to realize that I have a right to my anger, but I don't have a right to use it as a weapon to hurt another person.  

I hope that makes sense.

Everyone has a different way of dealing with stressful events - It's finding that way that words for you, and only you can figure it out.
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2011, 09:45:58 PM »



Two issues then... .

* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?

1. We don't have the power to prevent our partners to vent on us other than trying to sooth them, which works sometimes. Even if we walk out, they will vent in their mind if not out loud, and it will probably be worse. I do believe this venting increases aggression. Over the years my BPDw has increased her aggeression, I believe because the venting is like affirmations about our perceived wrongs.

 2. I believe our venting here can also act as affirmations about our BPD's bad behavior, and reinforce the perception of living in a perpetual hell with a very mentally ill, abusive person. If not resentment, I believe hopelessness is a likely feeling, and that many of the responses feed those feelings.

I personally feel that rather than venting here, if we just dispassionately present the incedents and our specific reactions at the time, and ask for advice as to how best to deal with them, we would benefit more. I am talking now about the 'trying to stay' board. Possibly the anger associated with venting can be therapeutic in the initial stages of leaving, if you are absolutely positive leaving is what you want or need to do. I believe after leaving however, you need to let go of the anger and resentment for the sake of your own mental health and those around you.

After following many of the posts here, I feel that some of the posters sound more like the BPD partner than the BPD person they are posting about. Since transference, is a symptom of BPD, I imaging a number of people posting here feel they are the non-BPD when they themselves are actually the one with BPD. I believe we should all look very carefully at our own behavior since that is the only behavior we can change.
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« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2011, 12:10:08 PM »

I think the key is to find a balance.  Express how you feel, but make sure it is your feelings, not some calculated form of revenge (which is what venting ultimately is).  The one thing I've picked up from reading about mindfulness is a beginner's mind.  Look at what you feel as if it is something new.  You might find out something worthwhile to use that you can use to progress, not repress.

I like Illuminati's point; balance is often a desirable state and I see many benefits in venting but with control. It comes from experience, my f used to loose control and rage, my ex-h would deny experiencing being angry and I consider myself an expert at turning anger at myself. Ultimately I see anger as a way to express ourselves and send a signal; it is healthy enough when the person at the receiving end takes the signal into account, and I do not mean gets scared. Which begs the question: as adults are we all able to receive an angry message?
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« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2011, 01:32:20 PM »

i guess... i look a lot at venting as... trying to find validation over some issue... theres def been times when im just frustrated or annoyed abt something... end up talking to R and he has 0 suggestions... but says 'that sounds really frustrating... id be mad too... ' and thats pretty much... all i really needed to hear... if im wanting to vent abt something abt him... i usually be a little more diplomatic... and work it into a dearman or set format... and it ends up being more discussion than vent... i know how he is... and just 'venting' about him to him... would do a lot more harm than good... but figuring out what the issue that bothers me is... and actually talking it out helps more... just means maybe a little more tactful...

Excerpt
I personally feel that rather than venting here, if we just dispassionately present the incedents and our specific reactions at the time, and ask for advice as to how best to deal with them, we would benefit more.

this makes a lot of sense to me... still get to say... what bothers... but also get some concrete suggestion what to do abt it...
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« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2011, 02:42:52 PM »

Excerpt
* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

I tend to say yes when looking at venting as a solution strategy. Venting often erodes respect, oversteps boundaries and reduces emotional regulation.

Excerpt
* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?

Yes, when venting is done continuously and we all jump in and vent as well like the employees against their management - not  helpful. When angry and one post after the other is venting - not healthy. Venting is no solution.


However is life as simple as those experiments and are there not additional angles to the experiments that are worth understanding? Could we not learn more by looking closer? I'm struggling with some aspects of the experiments. Do they fully capture the use of venting in real life? Isn't venting also a short term coping mechanism? I'm not sure but I could imagine that when someone is close to dysregulation that a short venting burst can help to get back on an emotional excitement level where the normal emotional regulation mechanisms like self validation can work. Venting is also a warning signal for others to treat careful. Venting would not be the only natural short term coping mechanism abused as solution by pwBPD or people who are stuck.

SOO INTERESTING

Im stuck with my anger and resentment, all kept inside. The only times I try to let things out with my H is a few days after a crisis, when things get back to 'normal'. He then says 'you are attacking back' which hurts me because i feel he does not even allow me to vent. After reading these examples of scientific researches, I wonder how to deal with what's inside me.

Expressing your pain and processing it is a necessary part of your healing. Expressing negative emotions is healthy if you feel them - emotions are not under your direct control - and a very good way to deal with them is through self validation. The following quote may be useful in this context as it distinguishes between "talking" and "emotional writing". I would put venting into the "talking" category:

Excerpt
Prof. Richard Wiseman in his book :59 seconds (website: www.59seconds.wordpress.com/ ) wrote:

A group of participants were asked to select a negative experience [... .] One group of participants were then asked to have a long chat with a supportive experimenter (* ) about the event, while a second group were invited to chat about a far more mundane topic - a typical day. [... .] Participants who had spent time talking about their traumatic event thought the chat had been helpful. However, the various questionnaires told a very different story. In reality the chat had no significant impact at all. [... .] they might just as well have been chatting about a typical day.

In several studies, participants who have experienced a traumatic event have been encouraged to spend just a few minutes each day writing in a diary-type account of their deepest thoughts and feelings about it [12]. For example, in one study participants who had just been made redundant were asked to reflect upon their deepest thoughts and feelings about their job loss, including how it had affected both their personal and professional lives. Although these types of exercises were  both speedy and simple, the results revealed a remarkable boost in their psychological and physical well-being, including a reduction in health problems and an increase in self-esteem and happiness. The results left psychologists with something of a mystery. Why would talking about a traumatic experience have almost no effect but writing about it yield such significant benefits?

From a psychological perspective, talking and writing are very different. Talking can often be somewhat unstructured, disorganized, even chaotic. In contrast, writing encourages the creation of a story line and structure that help people make sense of what has happened and work towards a solution... .

[12] for a review of this work, see S. J. Lepore and J.M. Smyth (eds). The Writing Cure: How Expressive Writing Promotes Health and Emotional Well-Being. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

(* ) not a T

In the original experiments given venting was done by: punching bags, verbal venting in a crowd or venting against helpless victims or objects. All situations where feedback was deliberately excluded. Does this reflect the reality of venting on the board?

Venting here on the board has some important twists. My tagline is "writing on bpdfamily is self validation squared". First writing per-se is activating different and higher regions in the brain than either talking or punching and thus promotes the processing of emotions and thus self validation. And second there is feedback from other members who point out what could be behind ones anger - disappointment, jealousy, insecurity etc... That is another layer of validation that comes back and helps.

Venting is always a sign that something is not o.k. and there are dysfunctional venting modes. I can see also some limited useful aspects of it here on the board:

- as a starting point for own emotional processing.

- as a trigger for other members to give feedback in which direction reflection on emotions may get the member unstuck.

- as an alarm sign. If a member typically doesn't vent then venting is an alarm sign that something serious is wrong.


In summary my view of venting on the board is that we all have a shared responsibility to look out for each other. To keep it an occasional coping and not a solution mechanism. And avoid jumping in and amplifying the venting. Since as a solution venting becomes quickly part of the problem.
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  Writing is self validation. Writing on bpdfamily is self validation squared!
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« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2011, 03:33:27 PM »

Hi Ned

Just read your post(below) and recognise your sentiments so much! I sometimes feels as though I'm  never allowed to say what I think or get at all angry. I can't do it when he's mad because it makes things worse and not when he's happy because then he'd get upset that I was being negative and causing trouble. So very frustrating!


SOO INTERESTING

Im stuck with my anger and resentment, all kept inside. The only times I try to let things out with my H is a few days after a crisis, when things get back to 'normal'. He then says 'you are attacking back' which hurts me because i feel he does not even allow me to vent. After reading these examples of scientific researches, I wonder how to deal with what's inside me. 

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« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2011, 06:02:44 PM »

What about allowing our partner to "vent" on us?

How does listening to them vent on us affect;

* us

* our partner

* the health of he relationship

Are there any positives for any of the above?
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« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2011, 06:14:28 PM »

I do not allow my partner to vent/be aggressive on me- We have a pact that the first one that raises his voice loses- a little humor but it works.

I do however feel the need to vent here- in a safe environment- to people who understand what I am experiencing.  I attempt to not just complain but to see my way out of the FOG and hear the sanity of clear thoughts and caring voices.  As it was said before-  think thru my feelings.  Venting here helps keep me grounded and sane.  I do not vent in anger, ok, sometimes i do but mostly just use the venting here as a "sounding board".  That saves me from venting to friends and family who can't understand this life we are currently choosing.

I feel it is important to not "stuff" my feelings anymore and will make my partner listen to my feelings-  That is part of our package.  I suffered from cancer 12 years ago and believe the "Feeling Stuffing" had something to do with that and will not hold things inside anymore but I will tell him about them calmly. 
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« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2011, 07:01:05 PM »

When it comes to venting and my relationship, I'd say there's healthy venting, which we do, and unhealthy venting, which we do less often but still cannot completely avoid.

Healthy venting, for us, is when one of us is pissed about something that has nothing to do with our relationship, and we vent about it a bit, and the other comisserates. Like a bad train ride home, or an irritating co-worker, stuff like that.

We try hard not to vent at each other in an unhealthy way, but sometimes we still do. Letting the pressures of life and resentments towards each other allow us to vent at each other in an angry, blaming way. That doesn't help anything. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #47 on: February 12, 2011, 08:00:06 PM »

My personal take is that the concept of "venting" is just that: a concept.

It sounds silly to have to say it, but anger isn't, of course, a gas, like steam, that gets stored and increases in pressure until "vented". It's really a temporary emotional state.

Visualizing anger as a gas that has to be "vented" is just a concept. And as the original post references, it's a concept that is being shown scientifically to be not very accurate or helpful.
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« Reply #48 on: February 12, 2011, 11:37:17 PM »

My personal take is that the concept of "venting" is just that: a concept.

It sounds silly to have to say it, but anger isn't, of course, a gas, like steam, that gets stored and increases in pressure until "vented". It's really a temporary emotional state.

Visualizing anger as a gas that has to be "vented" is just a concept. And as the original post references, it's a concept that is being shown scientifically to be not very accurate or helpful.

OK, it's a temporary emotional state.  What causes it to dissapate then?  Time? Breathing?  Talking it out?  Venting?  All of the above?  Truth be told it's going to be different for everyone.  If it just goes away and we don't have to do anything about it why are our BPDs always getting angry over mostly nothing?  Why do they continue to have irrational fears for situations that happened in the past? 
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« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2011, 09:01:02 AM »

I'm going to ramble a bit... .

I've tended to focus on the negatives... .vent, ruminate, lose sleep over things, etc.  Very recently I decided to actively find and feed the positives vs. zeroing in on the negatives.

To the question of how to do this? It's a very deliberate action, takes a lot of practice and focused attention. In the beginning I used exercise, journaling, talking to someone, anything to help me get rid of the physical manifestations of the negatives so I could move through it. Today I mostly use yoga and meditation.  Eventually, it starts to become... .an ingrained behavior, just like all other behaviors. The more I practice, the better I get at it, and one day it's just... .part of how I behave. The other day a negative part of a conversation popped into my head. I asked myself: is it worth even thinking about this? The answer was no. And somehow... .I was able to just dismiss it and move on. It's as though my brain has created layers of filters. Sometimes... .things get caught in the first filter, the intellectual filter. That's when I can discard easily. Sometimes... .they get through that filter and into the emotional body. That's when it becomes more difficult, but not impossible. I am a work in progress.

* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?


I'm going to continue my ramble as these are interesting and multi-layered questions... .

For me, venting = sharing with a 3rd party (not the person/situation I am angry with). Thus not sure if question number one actually means allowing them to rage at us? In which case I'd say yes, it would feed their aggression. (Plus big boundary violation which would require communication vs. venting.)

Why do I vent?  Because I am looking for validation of my feelings.  As I learn to validate my own feelings... .and identify which boundaries are being violated or if I need to enforce boundaries... .I'm finding the need to vent is becoming less and less.  I'm discovering that if I don't know what I'm feeling... .then I'll vent either on the forum or with a trusted friend.  But... .I'm actually trying to vent less and less and identify my feelings and then take care of them on my own. The more I work on becoming aware of my feelings as they come up and of my boundaries or lack thereof, the easier this becomes.

I did start to feel as though by continuous venting (on forums) I was getting stuck on the negatives. Sort of like a stuck record (for those who remember records!) they would get stuck in a groove and repeat the same thing over and over and over again. With a slight push, the song got back on track and moved forward... .but it took a deliberate act. Otherwise... .same bit ad infinitum.

I know from experience that the venting experience for my uBPDexgf was a magnification of what I've just written. Validating her feelings vs. fixing the problem was key. She eventually learned to ask for help in fixing the problem. As did I. That brought us closer together.

[If I find i'm in the stuck place... .I simply give the problem up (to a higher power be it God/dess, an online forum, a journal, etc.) rather than trying to solve it myself. That invariably will bring the solution into plain view.]

cheers.

xoxo
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« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2011, 02:18:53 PM »

Interesting to read all the posts on this thread.  Hadn't yet seen it.  I think everyone gets angry, and it is not negative, in and of itself.  As SFN (I think) said, it is a feeling.  I think it should not be just considered negative, it has a purpose too.   Expressing anger by the process of venting, can feel needed, at times, by many.  I find that my frustrations dealing w/my BPDh, can find me feeling a need to "let it out" in some fashion.  I don't really consider what I do on here venting, more like I need a reality check, or to compare notes, that kind of thing. 

I do believe it can cause us ill health, physically, as well as emotionally, spiritually, to stuff the anger, not have a release of any kind, which is when it becomes negative.  A book I found value in, called "Healing Rage" by Ruth King, M.A., gives a lot of good feedback.  One of the things she says is, it can help with that bottled up feeling, if you find a safe place to vent, to let it out.   She is not referring to venting to someone else, but rather, to finding a safe place to vent to no-one.  Many do that while driving a car (dangerous potential there), she says if you can walk somewhere no-one can hear you, or a room w/a door, or no-one home, that ocassionally, if you can find a way to harmlessly way to really let it out, that can help give that release.

One of the best books I have seen, about really knowing and understand the landscape of feelings, is called (I think), "The Language of Emotions", by Karla McLaren.  Helps us to give them proper perspective, not think of them as just "good" or "bad" feelings.
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« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2011, 04:35:13 PM »

Excerpt
I grew up not being ALLOWED to express any anger, ever.  And right now I'm getting a bit cheese-grated over some of the comments that are saying it's better to live that way.  Well, it ain't---for me, at least.  That's pretty doggone invalidating, in my opinion. 

We live in delicate balance.  Everything has a good side & bad side.  Everything can be used positively or negatively.  The same thing with emotions, one of which is anger.  Certainly it can be displayed & used inappropriately.  But the notion that I should dismiss it or "just get over it" and never express it is in my mind ridiculous. 

I just wanted to say that I couldn't have said it better myself... .I think that it is just as damaging to suggest that anger ought to be held in as it is to suggest that it's okay to expres any and all anger all the time in any which way.  Both are extremes and aren't healthy.
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« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2011, 11:37:38 AM »

Excerpt
A good relevant question is ":)oes it work for you", applied to whatever.

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) thats pretty much how i do...

wonder if you could just replace 'vent' w/ 'rant'... ranting abt behaviors that drive you nuts... probably not so helpful... ranting also doesnt have the same kind of 'gotta let it out or blow' flavor 'vent' does... its also possible to be angry abt something w/out ranting about it... and to validate somebody being angry... w/out letting them rant at you...
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« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2011, 01:16:23 PM »

I agree with dados, what I was thinking is, some here seem to be referring to venting meaning ranting - and we know how much we love to be ranted at.

I think many are thinking just the need to have a safe place to talk about BPD behaviours, bad ones esp., is the same as venting, but it isn't.  Complaining maybe?  Which we need to do in our situation at times.  Maybe esp. those of us w/untreated BPD partners, as they are not in therapy, I see we may need to bounce things off each other more, esp. when the going is rough.
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« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2011, 03:28:23 AM »

There seems to be some conflicting views here.

* some feel it is healthy to share (vent) their frustrations here or to friends for pure validation purposes

* some feel it is healthy to share (vent) their frustrations only if they are seeking solutions

* some view it as an unfair additional burden to be expected to let things go and not express their frustrations

* some agree that there are healthier alternatives, such as radical acceptance (an internal locus of control-vs- an external locus of control)

I wonder how much feeling helpless has to do with the need to "vent"?

When you feel like you don't have a choice... .when you feel like a victim... .When you can't see an out... when you struggle for a solution... .when you feel trapped - does venting (expressing your frustrations) reinforce/perpetuate that feeling of being a helpless victim or does it empower you to find solutions?

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« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2011, 05:44:00 AM »

UFN, in fairness to the rest of the board, the way the original post was written could be easily misinterpreted.  I had to re-read the first post myself to make sure I was missing something.  What I picked up from what others are saying is that they saw the large, well-contrasted examples of how venting is BAD, mmkay, then missed the few sentences where you mentioned healthier alternatives.  As a result, a lot of people just saw the venting is BAD part and read it as you were encouraging repression. 

Of course, there are healthier alternatives to venting.  Repression and screaming matches aren't the only options.  Taking time outs are extremely important.  However, what you do with those time outs are important as well.  If you spend them stewing over how you were done wrong, that's not a good thing.  If you find some way to figure out, either alone, with friends, with research on the net, how to deal with the situation, that's a good way to deal with that energy.  Also, if you spend time just getting it all out physically with exercise or hobbies, that's great.  And lastly, it's important to have a life outside of your partner with other people, not only to have a life outside of them but to see how much of what you're going through is life and how much of it has to do with your partners issues. 

Hey, this board is composed of humans... .unfortunately.
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« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2011, 05:09:09 PM »

I agree with dados, what I was thinking is, some here seem to be referring to venting meaning ranting - and we know how much we love to be ranted at.

I think many are thinking just the need to have a safe place to talk about BPD behaviours, bad ones esp., is the same as venting, but it isn't.  Complaining maybe?  Which we need to do in our situation at times.  Maybe esp. those of us w/untreated BPD partners, as they are not in therapy, I see we may need to bounce things off each other more, esp. when the going is rough.

i dont even like to read ranting... and some stuff can take that turn... so i stay out of it... bc it aint useful for me to play 'my SO is crazier than yours'...

from my end... focusing on what somebody else is doing 'to me' esp. somebody mentally ill that aint always aware/intentionally acting like a d*ckhead... or is acting on crazy kinds of motives... is really convenient to take my focus off myself... and makes it a lot easier to ignore my side... bc 'they' are so bad... was a situation i went thru with with my brother... that i put a lot of time and energy into all the crazy stuff he was doing... and how bad it was affecting me... until i kinda pulled the plug... and it stopped affecting me and i had a lot of time to sit w/my own stuff... not too comfortable at first... but important for me to do...
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« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2011, 11:32:57 PM »

I am very clear, that I do not, at all, consider myself to be a victim.  I know perfectly well that I have chosen to stay, at least for now w/my BPD partner.  I have left other distructive relationships in the past b/c both people in the r/s were not working on it.  I know well that I cannot make the r/s work by myself.  I have no problem making sure that I do not perceive things as if I am a victim, ever. My BPDh has shown me that he wants to be w/me, that he wants me to try to work things out w/him, and that he is willing to do his part in attempting to make it work between us, otherwise, I would not be here.

Do I feel trapped though?   The answer is, yes, sometimes.  To be honest, I am more confused than ever what each individual is referring to when they use the term "venting" here.  What the heck is this whole site for, if not for us to discuss the aspects of our BPD partners?  To voice the things we wonder about, are concerned about, and sure, sometimes the things we kind of put up with.  I think that it was runnermom who voiced this when she said, "we are all kind of at different levels of learning here" - to that affect.  I mean, isn't this all about bouncing stuff off each other here?  And of course, we all chose which threads we respond to, and when, and how.  I for one appreciate hearing from other level heads when life gets that merry-go-round feeling again.  It can be painful to experience some of the heavier traumas folks here go through, but I value the opportunity to be able to participate in helping others along their way, just as I am helped when I lose my way.

I
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« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2011, 04:06:07 AM »

There's two things that most members here don't know about me... .

~ I'm an ex smoker - I smoked for 16 years but quit 13 years ago.

~ I'm overweight, meaning I'm a hefty girl - I have unhealthy eating habits, much of it after I quit smoking 

There was nothing like dragging in that lung full of smoke to soothe my nerves and relax me. It was the first thing I reached for in the morning, even before getting out of bed. It was a huge part of my life. I smoked while making dinner, after dinner, while cleaning up dinner, in the car, on the phone, you get the picture... .

If I was put in situations where I couldn't smoke for long time periods (like more than 2 hours) I would become anxious and fidgety, and my mind would start to focus on how much longer till I could go smoke, rather than the task at hand. I felt good when I smoked and made sure that I always had my supply available.

The thing that I enjoyed so much though, was slowly destroying me. I got severe pnemonia a couple of times a year. I had a chronic cough, and my teeth actually turned yellow 

Quitting smoking has changed my life. The extra weight is mild compared to what I was doing to my body by poisoning myself from the inside.

Yet for years it was considered "OK" to be a smoker. Manufacturers assured the public that smoking wasn't dangerous to your health. It was science that proved this wrong though, and it took years to change the engrained culture of acceptance surrounding smoking. 


A few years ago a scientist suggested that releasing your anger was a healthy thing, instead of bottling it up inside. That you should punch a pillow, scream when no one is around, or find someone you can verbally unload your frustrations onto - as long as you weren't hurting anyone else it was thought to be a good thing to "vent".

Study after study since then has shown that being exposed to violence actually increases it. That punching Bobo dolls or screaming at your steering wheel leads to more outward expressions of aggression. That when groups meet to discuss their frustrations, that it actually increases the negative mood and decreases the empathy they feel towards "others". That when you are invited and validated for venting, that you are more hostile regarding the source of your frustration. Resentment also goes up when people are given the OK to "vent" their frustrations.

Very few people would suggest that smoking isn't bad for your health today, except for active smokers or cigg manufacturers... .just like us, they too are in various states of understanding and acceptance.

There are tons of internet groups that allow their members to "vent", and as was mentioned previously, they are considered pretty unhealthy places to be.

So, as we learn more and more about the negative effects that being allowed to express your anger creates, doesn't it behoove us to examine what role "venting" plays in our lives?

Isn't one of our primary tasks here to examine how we can become healthier and stronger?
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« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2011, 03:55:36 PM »

So, is this site unhealthy since there are so many people that say they need to share?

And I still see where the information provided equates "venting" with "violence". 

Should we move that nobody can say anything negative anymore because it makes us all more toxic towards our own partners when we read someone else's painful, empassioned posts?

I'm not a victim.  I'm not on here everyday talking about how horrible my life is or how horrible my partner is, while ignoring the perspectives/advice of others.  I don't walk around and wallow in self-pity, pointing to how everything is so unfair.  I choose my path.  And sometimes I do NOT like what's dealt to me, but I deal with it.  Part of dealing with it is being able to SAY that I don't like it.  There are some pretty rotten people out there in the world.  I'm not their victim because I don't stand around and take it and then "vent" about it afterwards.

Getting poison out of my system by talking about it does NOT mean for me that I hit things, scream at my steering wheel, or find an object to hit in place of the person.  I do NOT feel helpless, but sometimes a problem comes up & I can't, in the moment, see past it or see a way out.  I know myself enough to know that I will ruminate if I don't talk about it.  And guess what---I can NOT talk to my friends or family about some of the very specific, embarassing, and weird problems people like us deal with.  It's just too much to share. 
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« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2011, 05:05:04 PM »

I hear a lot that journaling our experiences is healthy.  It helps us to get our thoughts down and to work through them.

Occasionally our journal entry might read "I hate BPD"  hate hate hate.

And then we think, ok, what's the solution?

Accept.

Think about running away.

Learn tools.

Get stronger.

Go into the ring.

Win.

Lose

Win

Win

Lose

Win

Win

Win

Lose

Think about running away.

Learn more tools

etc.
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« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2011, 05:56:39 PM »

And guess what---I can NOT talk to my friends or family about some of the very specific, embarassing, and weird problems people like us deal with.

Maybe it's time to start talking about it.  It's weird, it's embarassing... .and it's life with a mentally ill person.  It's also not always about mental illness, either... .sometimes what we think is weird is surprisingly common in other relationships.  I've been amazed about what people in "normal" marriages open up about, once I open up to them. Your life is only a humiliating freakshow if you see it that way.  

Yes, you will run into judgmental people who "would never put up with this".  But I've found that they, too, will open to you as you open to them.  They may not want to hear you vent, and they may never love your spouse, but they may still be people you can count on.  Communication techniques learned here can be used to open doors with all sorts of people, not just disordered mates.

In my experience, getting things out into the light can only help in the long run.  It will connect you to others - even people you think don't care about you - and it may build sympathy for the struggles your SO faces.  Even though my marriage ended, it was worth it, because those connections with others lasted.

Keeping mental illness in the closet does no good.  Looking back on my abusive marriage, the reason I kept it all hidden and only vented here and in my head was because of my own control issues and shame.  When I started opening up, it actually made me stronger and less angry, though it was very humbling and hard to do.  Opening up to my family and his about the abuse actually made me willing to try and improve things.  And when it was heading for disaster, opening up to friends and a therapist as well as both sets of family made it easier to start a new life.  

Venting seems like a vice or indulgence to me (although I do it too sometimes  ), because it's not about constructive action.  We roll around in the anger in our heads, or we take it to people who "get us" and who (hopefully   won't challenge us to think differently or take practical (vs fantasized) actions.  Venting made me feel good here, made me feel like I belonged somewhere, but it kept me stuck, angry, and alienated in the "real world".  bpdfamily.com is a wonderful place that gives us tools to grow and heal, but we don't live here - we live "out there" and we must use those tools to make "out there" a more hospitable place, not just in our romantic relationships, but in all our relationships.   Just my thoughts xoxo
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« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2011, 10:45:00 PM »

I am so confused here.  I am really not sure I am hearing what UFN is trying to say.  I agree, it is not cool to take our anger out on others, and I can't say that I believe in "indulging" in what I consider to be ranting, raging, or even what I consider to be venting.   I walk, sometimes I talk to myself and work out some pretty heated arguments (me, myself and I work them out).  I am not closed, I am open about my BPDh w/quite a few people - as many as I can be considering I can't talk to him openly about it.  But for the life of me, I feel like you are saying... .well, what exactly are you saying?  Are you saying that talking about it, talking about our issues w/our BPD partners, is the same thing as venting?  Or ranting?  Or if we are angry about it, that that is the venting?  Do you know what venting is?  Do I?

I am not someone who, typically vents much to my friends.  And the times I have done, I am very aware that it is triggered by something deeper, which I spend a lot of time looking at, to work out what is lying deeper.  I find it embarassing, and hate to be stuck w/someone who agressively vents - though I guess I would truly use the word ranting more appropriately.  Or holding someone "captive", and at our mercy while we just rage away is negative, harmful, hurtful.  I believe in nurturing and working on creating a positive attitude about life, and about our choice to live it w/a BPD.  But I also believe sometimes we need to talk things over w/a friend, or find a site like this w/like people, and have a place to talk about the difficult stuff.
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« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2011, 08:51:53 AM »



Excerpt
Maybe it's time to start talking about it.  It's weird, it's embarassing... .and it's life with a mentally ill person.  It's also not always about mental illness, either... .sometimes what we think is weird is surprisingly common in other relationships.  

I have begun talking about life with my H with friends and never had before.  It has been good to not feel I have to keep a secret but I will say this:  There are MANY components of life with someone with BPD that sound similar to problems in "normal" marriages but the extremity, frequency etc... .of these problems does make BPD something very different to live with than just living with typical marital issues. 

Even my closest friend who is as good a listener and asks me challenging questions about how I can improve my own feelings, doesn't GET what life is like the way people do on here. 

I think that for me and a lot of us coming here and "talking" is a way to connect with others who "understand" (kind of like why al anon and aa exist).  I can talk to my friends tons but there's a different level of support/validation that I am not crazy for struggling to live with certain behaviors/hope that comes from this site that is not something I get from friends with no knowledge/experience with BPD.

So, talking to friends is very important since isolation makes things a lot worse (speaking from personal experience at least) but I also think that connecting with others here in whatever form that takes for each of us is equally important.

Excerpt
Venting seems like a vice or indulgence to me (although I do it too sometimes  ), because it's not about constructive action.  We roll around in the anger in our heads, or we take it to people who "get us" and who (hopefully   won't challenge us to think differently or take practical (vs fantasized) actions.  

I actually think that venting for me is helpful to a certain degree-- if I get obsessed with talking about my H's behavior instead of my own, that's a problem.  But when you are hurting, it's okay to talk about it.  And my experience on here is that when I vent, there are lots of people who I love for it, who challenge the heck out of me.  And recently I am pretty sure that I have even asked for people to give it to me straight and challenge me bc I know I need it. 

It kind of seems to me that there is a lot of fear about being angry and judging what is healthy and what isn't and I for one know that growing up in a home where it was beat into my head that anger was bad and expressing hurt was bad, the last thing I want to tell myself or my children is that venting of any sort is a problem.  I think that getting it out and then moving on and looking at what I can do differently is very much in line with what my al anon sponsor suggests doing with issues around my H's alcoholism and my behavior with him and I find that the same perspective works for me with respect to dealing with BPD behaviors and my reactions (that need to change).

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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2011, 09:43:37 AM »

^^Amen, sistah.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2011, 09:59:17 AM »

Excerpt
^^Amen, sistah.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

Smiling (click to insert in post) Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Glad you liked my 2 cents!

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« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2011, 11:39:50 AM »

Okay, my final comment.  I think I was getting too hung up on the word "venting" to be able to hear what was at the core of UFN's point.  I had a dream early morning, and woke up w/this in my head.

Just because you wanted a cigarette didn't mean it was good for you, or you had to have it.  And once you stopped smoking, you began to feel better and better.

<When we invest our energy into complaining about our BPD partners, we can generate more negativity, and it can compound a negative attitude instead of a positive one.  It also invites negative responses, thus more negativity.  We may begin to feel that that is what we need, when maybe what we need is a healthier attitude.>

And a couple more cents... .I think we must be careful about treating people as if they are negative, or complaining, when all they need is to discuss a problem which is in itself a negative one.  This leaves the person w/what may be a perfectly legitimate problem feeling completely unheard.  And even judged. The attitude of the 'listener/commenter' can also generate negativity when that is not the point.  Not feeling heard is more negative, I would say, than the mere expression of a problematic situation you need feedback about.
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« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2011, 07:26:14 AM »

It's incredibly painful to not feel heard, either here or in our relationships, and it sounds like many are feeling that pain    As someone pointed out, we are all at different stages here.  As you may notice, those who are not keen on venting are people who have been working on themselves and their relationships for a very long time now, and who have seen the benefits in terms of increased happiness.  Things can get better, and we can learn from each other, even if it's hard to listen to someone tell you that a coping tool you've used for years may not be the best one.  

These days, I rarely vent, but this is what it looks like: I find a sympathetic coworker and describe how my boss just treated me.  Then I listen to how he treated her earlier in the week. It seems to be a social activity more than anything else these days, because I use mindfulness, which works very quickly when I am hurt or angry.  I also use acceptance - I have come to terms with the fact that my boss has some serious pressures driving him and they manifest themselves in somewhat bullying behavior towards underlings.  And "underling" is the key - venting seems to be something I do when I feel powerless.  It's a way to engage other powerless people in a feeling of solidarity that eventually goes away when I have to face the reality that no, I can't just walk out or tell him to shove it.   I accept that this is my job, this is my boss, and that I don't really want to leave.  I also get to go home after 8 hours - my work is not my life.

Our relationships are our lives, however. We don't get to escape after 8 hours.  Our spouses are not our bosses, although we often let them be.  We are not powerless, although we often talk as though we are.    Our choices are not just explode vs. implode.  No one is suggesting that you not talk about your pain.  That would be a horrible way to live. Talking to other people is crucial.  But if the conversations are going to be any good, we need to get a grip - most people have a limit to the negativity they want to hear.  There's plenty of pain to go around and people with mentally ill loved ones don't have a monopoly on that market.   We actually can work on soothing ourselves without negativity or outrage over a mentally ill person's actions.  Stop the bleeding, then see how much more productive the conversation can be.

If you want to get the pain, the anger, and the frustration out, there is another, more positive tool - Mindfulness.   When my boss has just been rude to me, I stop.  I breathe.  I pay attention mostly to what I physically feel under my fingertips - the smoothness of the desk, the fabric of my jeans.  I listen to those little office noises.  I note the tightness in my chest.  I pay attention to everything without interpreting anything.  It seems to stop time, yet it only takes a minute or two.  It slows down the freight train of emotions, and I'm soon calm and able to remind myself that my boss has problems, and that his outburst was not personal, and that I still want to be here.  Then I go find that coworker, after the anger is out, and we both laughingly share our outrageous stories about how we've been treated    This doesn't last long - we are soon laughing about children or lunch. Then we get on with our day.  xoxo
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« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2011, 11:32:37 AM »

That is a very refreshing way of putting it Mousse.

I too am at a point in the rs where venting isn't something I want to be too tied up with.   I know it is very important to share how i am feeling and if I am frustrated with something... .but a time and place for everything is key...

mindfulness is something i'm also trying to work on... and that takes us back into ourselves... .being in the moment, observing the facts of whats happening and not the emotional aspect.

Then we can disconnect from the emotions that seems to be driving the dysregulated behavior and focus on the heart of the matter...   Which is how you have described... .we have choices... .we have chosen to be here and make this a workable rs with BPD and all its surprises.

So that behooves us to do all that we can to understand how to keep our emotions regulated and together.  Not always easy and yes some say, "Im just sick of always being the one to validate! and never be heard!  "  and granted, for very good reason... none of us pictured a marriage or rs like this.

I think many times we just simply 'forget' that they are as mentally ill as they are or have such a different way of viewing the world or even us when a trigger hits or a dysregulated moment for them occurs... We enjoy the good moments and immediately want to connect it to a normal happy union that just isn't there like a normal rs.  So when a bad time hits out of nowhere, since we aren't keeping ourselves in the now...  with the facts as they truthfully are, we get hit hard again and it affects us waaaay too deeply... .  But if we remember what we are truthfully dealing with... .we wont be so disappointed in the situation when they have a rough day or moment or whatever...

It behoves all us 'nons' to remember that it isn't about US, their acting out or raging or trying to control or invalidating or fault finding, isn't to hurt us, its something they are contending with deeper than anything we could probably really understand... .but we have to stay fortified as as not to allow them to use us as a means of feeling any of their pain but stay strong and show them a healthy outlet and encourage them to find ways to work out their own issues, if and when the time arises...   (great ideas in many of the books listed here... .) asking questions...  "what do you think will help?"   "how will that help the future goal you want to obtain?"  I love that one when they are being mean for whatever reason and you can address it at a certain point and they have blamed you for stuff you have nothing to do with...  and while reasoning with them after they have apologised and helping them find more sound ways of dealing with the pain they have... you can point them to more healthier ways of dealing that will bring them more happy desirable results...  I've been trying to do this and it has been relatively successful... .

But it is what it is, we have the power to change only 'ourselves.' and noone else.

but when we take this information inward it will change everything else around us.  and then venting will be in the form of understanding and letting go quickly of any pain or perceived wrong and moving forward enjoying the moment...  enjoying each breath we are blessed with.

Thank you again...    a time and place and in our own mindfulness we will have the proper insight to know when to express ourselves and really have a  chance at even being heard...  Its a fine art, a science really when it comes to a complex disorder such as this... .   and no two are alike... funny huh?

I am revisiting the book, "When hope is not enough" {excellent read!}  :for the tools again to stay mindful and to understand the emotions behind the actions and stay focused on myself and how to keep the momentum flowing in the right direction and so far its working i'm happy to say!

take care all... .love 1bg xoxo
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« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2011, 07:23:49 AM »

You know what I think?   I think we all have different definitions of venting.  I read Mousse's example of talking to a co-worker about the boss' treatment and hearing that they'd experienced something similar etc... .and thought to myself "that's what I call "venting" when I do this with my girlfriends... . 

So, maybe venting as defined by the dictionary or recent studies is not the healthiest option, but I bet that lots of us have healthy ways of talking to others that we call "venting" but which may not necessarily be true "venting"...

Not sure if that makes any sense to anyone but my own mind!

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« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2011, 01:12:59 PM »

I consider it any release of any emotion, whether happy or sad.

There's lots of posts of people saying very wonderful things that are all happy & gush forth with positive stuff and examples of lessons learned.  I consider that a vent as well---that the person posting is just so happy they can't keep it all inside!

So for me, the word itself doesn't have any negative connotations.
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« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2011, 05:12:54 PM »

I am the wife of someone with a BPD ex.  I experience this as very stressful.  As far as BPD folk go, his BPDex is not the worst.  Yes, she has threatened to kill us, but she also tells us she loves us.  She has mostly backed off obsessive communication with both me and DH, and things are not too bad.  DH and BPDex share 50/50 custody of two kids, SD6 and SD10.  So the biggest issues are drama about every 3 months (a big flip out, at school, a social event, etc), constant negative talk to the kids about DH and I, and then total denial of any of these things and projection onto us (e.g., telling the kids we are always mean to hear and she is always nice to us). 

During the week that we have the kids, we do not really talk about the difficult parts of dealing with this, as the kids are there and we try to limit conflict around them.  During the week we do not have the kids, we try different ways of expressing our feelings.  Here is my experience between the two weeks and expression/non expression of anger.

I find that when I rant and rave (i.e., vent) about BPDex's actions or my mate's response to them,  to my mate, or when I "vent" about my mate's response and my anger about it, this is hurtful to my mate and my anger does ramp up.  At the same time, when I totally stuff my anger during the week the kids are here,  I am really unhappy.  I find that if I express my anger, usually on monday night when the kids have gone to mom's, it does not reduce my anger in the moment,.  However, I find that if my mate and I take the time to talk about stuff, with both of us being heard, then LATER we are happier and really can completely let go of our frustration.  So if we talk monday after the kids go back to mom, we have anger sometimes and expressing it does not lessen the anger.  But the rest of the week, we are happy.  When we do not have time to talk about it, it seems like both of us are more stressed and irritable if the week before was a hard one with BPDex.

I think there is also a distinction between ramping up anger by "venting," or indulging in BEING irate and angry with my mate, versus expressing anger (i.e., saying "I feel angry".  There is a big difference here, between blaming and just stating the facts.

We use a process our therapist calls "clearing" in which one person says,

"When you [state neutral facts, like "yell at me"], I feel [insert feeling word--NOT blaming word---like angry, powerless, sad, hurt, afraid]. "

"My story about that is [insert interpretation, like "my story is that you yell at me because you do not love me,"] ."

The second person then responds by saying,

"What is true about that [and then states what he or she feels is true about the STORY part of what the first person said].  What is NOT true about that is... .[state what is not true].  What is also true about that is... ."

This is very useful as it does allow expression of feelings without just blaming and telling your story.  It also helps people like me who just want to "vent" at length, something that can be very hard for my mate.  I feel heard, he feels heard, and there is a limit to it.

For me, I do feel that taking action is the best way to deal with anger in a way that totally eliminates it and feels happy to me.  However, being in a step-parent role with a BPD person as mom, I feel very powerless.  I feel powerless about BPDex's anger at us, her mistreatment, her lies, and her way of manipulating the kids.  I feel like it is important for me to accept my powerlessness, but also to notice ways I am powerful and exercise them (like that modeling boundaries with love to the kids hugely impacts who they are).  I find the hardest place to be clear about my boundaries is with my husband, who I love and get along well with.  He has a hard time setting boundaries with others, and then I am faced with many of the impacts. 

When I cannot or do not take action, those are the times anger comes up for me.  Expressing anger may not relieve that feeling, but anger is a powerful state in which we are willing to express ideas that usually we have inhibitions against expressing.  Anger can also lead to us saying "no" in ways we are not willing to when happy or calm.  Ideally, I will learn to set better boundaries without anger, but until then, anger will come up and it can be an important part of boundary setting.  To the degree that I can express the anger and own it, and not blame or escalate, it does not create collateral damage that I then need to justify. 

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« Reply #72 on: March 08, 2011, 06:50:59 AM »

I like to rant because ranting/venting releases built up frustrations. Sometimes I have to write it down for it to make sense, and if it wasn't coming to this board and read other people doing the same, I could have easily fallen down that slippery road and avoid the issue, pretend that it's normal for my H to do the things that he does, and sometimes I cannot talk to my family members. (It's not part of denial, it's because they will want to *solve* the problem for me and it sweeps through the family like a mushroom cloud getting back to me much worse than it was - Try the telephone game.)

Personally I think radical acceptance of everything that my H does means that I would have to ignore the problem and put the heart of the problem and take responsibility of his actions because he can't/won't - I don't think that radical acceptance is a totally helpful or way to heal the pain, for me, because I would have to accept bad behavior  no matter what and just hope my behavior modification will somehow reach my H. I think radical acceptance is another way of not dealing with the elephant in the room, and for me, could be a dangerous path.

I am working on a way for me, so I can navigate through the events in my life.

I think each situation is a unique experience and if something works for you *general you* then it works.  I don't think there is one size fits all.

I think for me ranting/venting is healthy because I use it as a tool and for me it doesn't make me the victim. What it does for me is it clarifies the issues, helps me separate the normal/mentally ill behaviors, focus on what my future needs are, helps me to understand the situation, and helps me to develop a plan. 

Ignoring the anger within, IMHO, can be just as bad as ignoring the problem.

I believe that it's healthy to accept my H's mental health, but that doesn't give him carte blanche to steam roll over me.

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« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2011, 01:01:21 PM »

I decided to revisit this post and write due to currently examining my anger.

I was incredibly angry at being treated with such blatant disregard and disrespect-it hurt me to my core. Since then I have had to look at my core wounds and realize that this is what needed healing in order to stop looking to my abuser for emotional validation.

Although he tried to make amends in his own way, a vague apology and request to continue to stay in touch- I knew that once his mask was revealed, I was better off to look at my wounds rather than repair a broken relationship. Each contact with him only aggravated the wound further-for one, once the vague apology did not work-the trauma bond could not continue. I didn't realize then, as I do now, that somehow I was finally able to realize the dynamics at play. I allowed myself to feel that hurt and anger that I had stuffed in this relationship. He has always been verbally and mentally abusive, but at first it was subtle. Then it progressed.

But what caused the rage-the absolute outrage inside me?

One was his sense of entitlement-his ability to hurt and wound without realization that it would create such damage to me-or at least his inability to care. How does one overcome such a void between actions and responsibility for those actions-or accountability.

This hurt tremendously as I trusted someone that betrayed that trust, who worked to earn the trust initially-to the point where we discussed this for awhile before I accepted the relationship.

I realize now that my core wound was due to being abused by my dad-

My father groomed me to sexually abuse me-gradually and in stages when I was a small child.

My exNPDbf did the same-gradually, carefully and I believe with calculation.

And this leads back to this:

forgiving ourselves for allowing ourselves to be abused.

You see, in my mind-I thought allowing yourself to be abused means you KNEW you were being abused. I didn't, at least not initially-but I began to realize this and withdrew gradually to assess the relationship. The behaviors were confusing and disturbing to me...

However, it was my hope, my real hope that I was wrong...

And that leads to the next reason for my anger... .

Throughout my childhood I hoped so much to stop my fathers abuse-I couldn't until I was powerful enough physically to stop the abuse. My sad realization is this-at only ONE point did I ever tell someone about the sexual abuse and not only did they not protect me, they told me the best I could do is try to stay away from him... .

so in my mind-I was trapped. I was told that the unknowns-foster care, the court system would not support me or help me... it was better to remain where I was then seek help.

And this pattern of not protecting myself but remaining within abusive relationships continued throughout my life. I was guided as always by fear.

And the rage and the anger I feel was directed toward me... at the very core, in this gaping wound of my heart.

I was filled with self hate because I did not know how to protect myself because I did not realize how afraid I am of the unknown.

The abusers in my life were wrong, they deserve my anger. Do I forgive them? Yes, in order to heal, I have. Do I forget-nope, lesson learned, I will never forget.

But the anger and hurt inside was more aimed in my direction. I no longer need my abusers validation of my emotional experience or the events as they played out... I know what happened to me.

And now I can begin the process of forgiving myself for not loving, valuing and protecting me. I understand why I didn't and I forgive myself for that.

C

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« Reply #74 on: August 26, 2011, 05:45:57 PM »

C12P21, thank you for your post. It was really powerful and gave me food for thought.
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« Reply #75 on: September 06, 2011, 02:14:41 AM »

My emotions have been banging around. have I been angry? Yes.

I've been looking at my past relationships and all but two have had the same ring to them.

C12P21 there are so many things in your post that ring true of what I feel about myself and my ex's.

My ex gay hubby was a complete donkeys butt to me right after I had our first child. It didn't get any better. When he came out I had left because I was done with it. We had been talking about working things out and had gone to therapy. Then on my birthday he announced he was gay. After the hurt and anger left me we talked and he said he felt I was suppose to make him straight. I couldn't do that. Sad thing is he has been disrespectful to me for years.

My oldest boy has the worst problems with him and that's where I have the biggest issues with him now.

My ex gay hubby is in a relationship that he is not happy with. They both cheat outside of the relationship and neither is happy but they stick together.

-+

Then came exBPDbf. Same tune but at a faster rate. He was "exciting" though. Made my head spin in the bedroom. I felt loved when he was on good behavior. Something that had been missing in my previous relationship. Then the exciting became the perverse and I wasn't enough for him.

My  mother is mentally ill, she always has been. She severely abused me as a child. I don't know whats wrong with her but I do know she hasn't gotten better. Instead she has gotten more child like and selfish. Though now she can't beat me anymore. She still says things to me that hurt. I try to ignore it but the broken promises, the hurtful words, the snarky advice cut to me to the core. My sister and I use to joke that she cares more for her dogs than she ever did us.

My father was an alcoholic and drug addicted. He had issues with fidelity male or female. He was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar maniac depressive bordering on schizophrenia. He was also a child molester. He didn't molest me but my step sister. We endured emotional and physical abuse from him. He passed away years ago.

My step dad is a pretty decent guy. I can talk to him. I feel comfortable around him. He doesn't insult me and today for the first time I told him about the abuse. He didn't know about it. He was working and had no clue it was going on. when he asked me why I never told him, he answered his own question. Because I would have been called a liar or suffered consequences. This man taught me so much though. He spent time with me and treated me well for the most part. He didn't know what was going and listened to my mother when she said I was a bad kid. I still don't know how she explained away the bruises and broken bones.

I had therapy a few years ago because I didn't want to be a bad mother. I was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I did therapy and meds for years. I did okay with them, felt better about myself and was moving along pretty good. Then I couldn't afford either anymore.

For the most part I am angry at myself for going back again and again and again. I saw it, brushed it off and went back for more. It was like I had to punish myself for failing again. I am not so much angry as hurt at the exBPDbf. I am angry at myself for becoming someone I didn't know with him. Someone I am embarrassed I became. I am better than that.
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« Reply #76 on: March 05, 2012, 05:59:33 AM »

Healthy or unhealthy?   I would say we're in a unique situation where we essentially cannot vent to the people who would be our release valve.   Speaking only for myself I can say that my SO is not typically a great listener for my own personal fears and frustrations because they always bring up something in their life that is worse, complain about me complaining, think that Im talking about them when I'm not, and of course, reject any attempt to deal with what is bothering you about them.   

Is it unhealthy?  Maybe it's because the people who do it typically build up steam over time before releasing it.   Not that you should blow up at the drop of a hat, but my health and well-being was much better when I was surrounded by people where you could blow up and move on.     
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« Reply #77 on: March 05, 2012, 08:16:38 AM »

Dunno. 

Venting seems to be situationally useful for BPDw and I.

BPDw has very high emotional volume and difficulty regulating her emotions.

If I don't vent - she usually won't recognize what I'm saying.  And, she feels abandoned because I'm 'not sharing' with her.

OTOH, if I do vent, she will often rage... .

So, if BPDw's upset is >6/10, don't vent.

If BPDw's upset is <6/10, venting is usually ok. It occasionally triggers rages, but so does not venting.

However, use in moderation and as a communication tool rather than for relaxation - BPDw is usually too wrapped up in her own issues to take care of another living human being.  For mental health, develop a different outlet.

And, accept that BPD will rage.  Not avoidable.  Just a side-effect of a stupid choice (living with a BPD).

--Argyle

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« Reply #78 on: March 05, 2012, 09:33:46 AM »

I think that venting, like everything, has it's place, in moderation.

I am personally not one to speak up and ask for something that I need, and never have been.

On bpdfamily.com, I have learned how to put my pain into words, and how to use words to benefit my situation.

Venting, for me (the one time I actually did it) showed me that I am allowed to have feelings.

This, as some of you know, opened up a whole new universe of possibilities.

Ranting for the sake of ranting, though, especially if you are doing it on a regular basis, is not good for your health, either mental or physical. It tends to lead us into circular thinking, and stress then begets stress.
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« Reply #79 on: March 05, 2012, 09:56:19 AM »

What is venting? In my mind, it is a release of pent up frustration, or anger. It is the culmination of a vast array of misunderstandings, and the emotions that come from those misunderstandings, with no conceivable resolution in sight.

Venting is something I used to use as a cry of attention. I would blow up because I felt trapped, confused, misunderstood, and I had reached the point to where I couldn't hold it in anymore. Looking back, it was because of my own insufficiencies in being kind to myself, and facing my own problems, that I vented.

I wasn't getting what I wanted, and thought I deserved. My attempts to try to manipulate different situations weren't working out to my advantage. My expectations weren't being met. My desires weren't being realized. My own hopes and dreams were falling apart. So I cried out in frustration. That cry was my vent.

The need to vent, for me, was a pressure release, but one that could be avoided, had I been more truthful to myself, understanding of myself, and understanding of the truths that were in my life, not the truths that I wanted them to be. I found that I rarely understood the whole picture, rather than what the picture looked like to me. Things didn't work out, or match up to what I wanted, and the overwhelming frustration was getting to me.


At the time, I viewed releasing frustration as healthy, because I rationalize it being the reason that I didn't go all psychotic and kill someone.  Smiling (click to insert in post) But now, it has become a warning sign that I don't truthfully understand something, or my expectations of something are out of whack. The first clue to me is anger. Why am I angry? Is there a good reason for me being angry? If so, what can I do to release my anger? Can I forgive the reason behind it, or understand why my peace was violated?

I lived my life for way too long being angry. I first ran from it, and it multiplied and caught up to me. Then I personified it, and acted out against others. Then, it consumed me, and that wasn't a pretty sight. So now, I pay attention to it, and try to figure out what really caused it, and how to release it. I haven't felt the need to vent in a long time now. It's kind of nice. It sure is a lot easier for my friends and loved ones to be around too.
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« Reply #80 on: March 05, 2012, 10:03:39 AM »

I lived my life for way too long being angry. I first ran from it, and it multiplied and caught up to me. Then I personified it, and acted out against others. Then, it consumed me, and that wasn't a pretty sight. So now, I pay attention to it, and try to figure out what really caused it, and how to release it. I haven't felt the need to vent in a long time now. It's kind of nice. It sure is a lot easier for my friends and loved ones to be around too.

So, we could say that if you feel better and are able to let go of the anger after the vent and nobody was hurt by it, then it could be healthy, but if those 3 conditions are not all true, then it wasn't?
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« Reply #81 on: March 05, 2012, 10:10:25 AM »

The release of the "steam" isn't fixing the problem. Without fixing the problem, the steam will continue to build, once the rant stops. It is the underlying anger that manifests out of the misunderstandings, that is the problem. Without understanding, forgiveness, and thus, the anger release, there will be another vent.
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« Reply #82 on: March 05, 2012, 11:32:38 AM »

My experience is that by "venting," I am actually generating more anger.  In other words, something happens that is hard for me, I feel angry, and then two days later, when I could just let it go, I tell the story and make myself feel that anger all over again. 

I think I vent for a couple of reasons.  First, I am addicted to telling my story. Second, I think when I stuff my feelings, I do have a need to trot them out, review them, decide things. I think it feels healthy and good in my body to do this once, if I have not had a chance due to the need to not express my feelings to the BPD person.  The bottom line with the BPD person in my life is that it does not matter to her how I feel (she is not very available to have compassion for others in general, and I am her ex's wife, which is obviously a button-pusher), so partly I vent to have the feeling that my feelings matter. 

I also vent because my husband's BPD ex makes stuff up, and people tend to assume conflict is two-sided and due to typical divorce stuff, whereas this is not the case.  So I want to make sure people know what is happening.  And, during our legal action, there were 20 people who had written letters for us who wanted to be kept up to speed.  I think a final reason to vent is to get feedback, and in particular, to get validation for what I am doing as dealing with a BPD person is SO terribly invalidating (each conversation I have had with her, even ones she feels like were "good" conversations, where we express loving things to each other, has included her saying she wishes I would die, that my family hates me (mom, dad, brother), that the kids hate me, that DH is going to leave me soon, that I am a horrible person and control freak, etc.).  As a step-mom, parenting is already somewhat invalidating, as kids with an angry mom are bound to take some of that out on step-mom.  So I am looking for reality checks--and I get them.  I hear so often how I am a really great parent, how I am not taking over for mom, how the kids love me, how kind I am to the kids' mom, etc.  I need to hear that. 

Over time, I have found that the addictive part of venting makes me feel yucky inside.  Instead of just letting the BPD person create this ugly stuff, I am creating it also.  I see so clearly that her MO is to generate bad, evil, yucky ideas and stories to get that yucky feeling she has outside of her.  But it is all made up.  There are few real issues at this point.  I do not really think she feels jealous about me anymore.  I think she feels bad that she is not accomplishing what she wants in her life (she has poor executive function), so she is creating stories that make that everyone else's fault.  But there is no underlying problem.  She is free to do what she wants. 

When I am venting, it IS for a reason, as having someone yell at me or having the kids repeat things mom says as gospel (e.g., "Mommy says you are a bad attorney.  Mommy says you are trying to steal us from her. Mommy says we do not have to listen to what you say" is an actual occurrence that affects me; I am trying to get the feeling of blame off of me.  But this is not the easiest way out. 

The easiest way is if I can validate myself, or be validated by those who know what is happening in our lives without me having to explain.  What works best is to feel good.  To be happy.  To limit my involvement in the drama, so it is easier to see that it is all made up, that it really means nothing.  BPDex does not really hate me, or love me; she is not focused on others except as objects that might make her feel better.  But we cannot make her feel better--her feel-betterer is broken.  While we are all our own islands unto ourselves from some pop-psych perspective, the reality is that most of us can be helped to feel better by people.  So we expect that being kind, etc., will HELP. 

But I cannot make her feel better.  I can help me to feel better, and it is important to realize that venting is a state that is relative to other states.  If I am terribly distraught because I have just been physically accosted in a way that is traumatizing and scary, venting is a state that is calmer, less scary, etc. than the feelings I was having 5 minutes before.  If I am happy and having a nice day and I decide to vent a detailed answer to someone's query of "How are things going with BPDex?", then venting is a much less fun and happy state, so why go there? 

Venting is generating intense feeling about something that is already done.  If it is just expressing pent up feeling, maybe it can be relaxing.  But if our inner feelings are nice already, why create difficult emotion? 

Finally, often when we vent we are pointing blame at someone else, to get the feeling of being blamed off of us.  That is a problem for me, because I want to make a world where no one is to blame, where each person is okay as is, and we have the ability to try to influence each other, but not to be the ultimate judge of another's goodness.  My BPDex wife in law (dh's wife) lives in a world where people seem bad, evil even, or good.  Things are very scary.  You can fail horribly and be full of shame.  When I take on her bad ideas, seeing myself as possibly bad, or being scared of some terrible thing she might do, I am generating support for her way of perceiving things, when really I want to be generating support for the idea that each person is okay as is, including me.  So if I can "vent" in a way that brings forth compassion in me, that is helpful; if I get more angry and blaming, that feels bad to my body.  I feel like the real underlying reaction I have is grief, for how she is and what has happened to her, for how my life is different since knowing her, for how the kids' experience is framed by her drama and blame, for the fear and scariness that is generated by the pain she is in.  When I feel this fully, I can really let it go and also can forgive her, and even me for being imperfect and letting her catch me being human. 

Venting has impacts, on our bodies and on others.  It is a way of perpetuating pain, which results both in diluting the pain and also spreading the pain.  More people get the pain, but it is more spread out.  If I can let that pain end in me--not stuffing it, but allowing it to just not be mine, or feeling what is mine and let it go on its way, that creates the least suffering.  But if I cannot do that, venting can help me to release suffering. 
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« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2012, 11:56:55 AM »

Excellent stuff, ennie  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

My experience is that by "venting," I am actually generating more anger.  In other words, something happens that is hard for me, I feel angry, and then two days later, when I could just let it go, I tell the story and make myself feel that anger all over again. 

I think I vent for a couple of reasons.  First, I am addicted to telling my story.

I think this is big. "Venting" tends to be repetitive, addictive. We are going down the same path again, trying to generate the same emotions as last time we went there.

Telling our story over and over feels like we are accomplishing something, feels like we are somehow establishing the truth, via repetition.


I think a final reason to vent is to get feedback, and in particular, to get validation for what I am doing

Another big one. As you point out, there could sometimes be a useful way or reason to do this. Too often, though, I think it fans relationship conflict. Having all the gals agree that he's a jerk, or all the guys agree that she's a whatever, doesn't usually move us towards any kind of positive change, IMHO.


The easiest way is if I can validate myself, or be validated by those who know what is happening in our lives without me having to explain.  What works best is to feel good.  To be happy.  To limit my involvement in the drama, so it is easier to see that it is all made up, that it really means nothing. 

Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) 


I can help me to feel better, and it is important to realize that venting is a state that is relative to other states.  If I am terribly distraught because I have just been physically accosted in a way that is traumatizing and scary, venting is a state that is calmer, less scary, etc. than the feelings I was having 5 minutes before.  If I am happy and having a nice day and I decide to vent a detailed answer to someone's query of "How are things going with BPDex?", then venting is a much less fun and happy state, so why go there? 

Great point. As with troubled children, say ... .well, yelling is better than hitting. But yelling still ain't so good.



Venting is generating intense feeling about something that is already done.  If it is just expressing pent up feeling, maybe it can be relaxing.  But if our inner feelings are nice already, why create difficult emotion? 

Finally, often when we vent we are pointing blame at someone else, to get the feeling of being blamed off of us.  That is a problem for me, because I want to make a world where no one is to blame, where each person is okay as is, and we have the ability to try to influence each other, but not to be the ultimate judge of another's goodness.  My BPDex wife in law (dh's wife) lives in a world where people seem bad, evil even, or good.  Things are very scary.  You can fail horribly and be full of shame.  When I take on her bad ideas, seeing myself as possibly bad, or being scared of some terrible thing she might do, I am generating support for her way of perceiving things, when really I want to be generating support for the idea that each person is okay as is, including me.  So if I can "vent" in a way that brings forth compassion in me, that is helpful; if I get more angry and blaming, that feels bad to my body.  I feel like the real underlying reaction I have is grief, for how she is and what has happened to her, for how my life is different since knowing her, for how the kids' experience is framed by her drama and blame, for the fear and scariness that is generated by the pain she is in.  When I feel this fully, I can really let it go and also can forgive her, and even me for being imperfect and letting her catch me being human. 

Venting has impacts, on our bodies and on others.  It is a way of perpetuating pain, which results both in diluting the pain and also spreading the pain. 

No comment, just wanted to quote more brilliant stuff Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #84 on: March 05, 2012, 04:52:25 PM »

For me personally, venting became destructive. I was stuck in a cycle of blame, anger and accusation and while I thought it was well directed ~ it was only pushing me further into the ground ~ pour in some cement, belt it with a compactor and I became a victim of a circumstance that I myself chose to be in ~ yet refused to acknowledge. And so the cycle continued – I became accustomed to blowing off steam, and then dependant on it, so it became my standard behavioural response.

I became more in tune with my body – my venting ‘rages’ increased my blood pressure off the Richter scale, I was exhausted and angry ~ unhappy ~ and I made a choice! To express my hurt, emotions and thoughts constructively and be conscious rather than unconscious to how I was treating myself. I got productive and stopped! I found healthier ways to release and the FOG began to lift.

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« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2012, 05:13:03 PM »

I think venting is saying something because our emotional pressure builds up beyond our design specification. I am just glad that this kind of place is available to vent in but as for responding to my pwBPD (or should it be the abbrev for BPD exwife whatever that is )  by venting well it just never lead to a resolution and made matters worse. I cannot vent to friends or family as I feel maybe what Job felt. His friends don't understand that this was not deserved. I didn't think it was not deserved at the time because it just never made much sense, but after being told like 5 thing to change every day and that I'm not "living up to my calling" wellllll I'm venting again. Now that she is my ex venting just happens

and when it happens in front of people who have no clue then I get nothing and don't think it is healthy

but I can't stuff it.
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« Reply #86 on: March 05, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »

  I look at venting very differently now. I use to think it was healthy. It definately got me attention immediately. I mean hey, if YOU got me this angry YOU had better pay attention. Now I know I'm the one responsible for letting myself get that angry.

  Now I am willing to try to stop well ahead of allowing myself to lose control. As Clearmind says it did nothing but raise my blood pressure, it does nothing to resolve a problem. It's physically unhealthy for sure. It stopped all meaningful communication when I vented on someone. I certainly can't think straight and things were usually said that could have been handled so much better had I just stopped to notice the signs of letting myself get out of control.

  I feel alot of getting that angry and venting had to do with my perspective of a situation. I really have no way of knowing what is expected of me without allowing someone to communicate and then me asking questions if I don't understand, and without a predetermined idea that I being mistreated/used. So I try hard to listen without expectation. I'm not always 100% successful but it takes practice. Learning about my perspective and controlling my emotions has been challenging at times but definately an accomplishment when I succeed.  Smiling (click to insert in post) 

       
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« Reply #87 on: March 05, 2012, 08:01:31 PM »

I think my definition of "venting" differs to others here... .

"Venting" as in reliving (either verbally or mentally) the experiences that made you frustrated or angry in an attempt to "work them out" or let others know why you feel the way you feel is, on the whole, a negative experience.

However, "venting" as a process of using activities to let off steam, acknowledging the fact that you feel frustrated, but not ruminating on the reasons as to why you're frustrated, more just getting out there, having a run and feeling better because of it is, on the whole, a positive experience for me.

Reliving bad experiences (for whatever purpose) has never had a positive effect for me - I used to replay angry thoughts over and over in my head after an argument and all it did was amplify them and make me feel worse. Why did I do it? Because I was confused, and I was trying to convince myself in my head that I was "right" and that I wasn't a bad person. So I'd replay entire arguments or situations with the intent of proving to myself that I wasn't horrible. Of course, reliving angry scenarios in your head isn't going to make you any less angry - that's as nonsensical as eating more food expecting it to make you more hungry. Anger + anger doesn't equal calm, it equals double anger!

But this still came as a revelation to me from my T - she taught me to combat negative thoughts with positive ones in the same way you combat flames with water (not more flames) and, whilst it was challenging and took a lot of my attention at first, it worked a treat. When my mind would take me to a negative place, I would turn that situation (mentally) into a positive one. As absurd as it sounds, it absolutely worked.

So, in short, you can't defuse anger with anger just like you don't fight fire with fire. But I am still a proponent of recognising when you're frustrated and taking steps towards channelling that frustration in healthy channels (like vigorous exercise).

I think this quote says it best: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” (same goes for anger, bitterness, frustration).
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« Reply #88 on: March 05, 2012, 11:11:20 PM »

If the venting doesn't lead to a solution, a lesson learned, or an idea for next time -isn't it time to wonder "what's the point?"


Life has it's painful moments.

It's how we choose to deal with those moments that makes a difference.
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« Reply #89 on: March 05, 2012, 11:45:06 PM »

Dunno.  I see venting as a bit like pooping... .not something to spend time on... .but sometimes required. Some people deal with their emotions that way.  Others process things better by talking out loud. I know I've worked with engineers who problem-solved by talking at a nearby blob.  (Not that I'm stupid... .just that I could have been dead... .and the conversation would have gone the same way.)

That said... .repetitive venting without a certain amount of reflection is probably a bad idea.

--Argyle
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« Reply #90 on: March 06, 2012, 12:33:15 PM »

Dunno.  I see venting as a bit like pooping... .not something to spend time on... .but sometimes required.

--Argyle

I like it.  Though this really depends on how much spicy food you eat.  I myself have a little basket full of interesting literature to read during particularly spicy sessions. 

But as for venting, I process things verbally, so it is sort of impossible for me to cut out this behavior entirely... .it is more a matter of how much, and with what content.  I do find that the less of my mind I focus on the destructive stuff BPD ex brings into my life, the better. 
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« Reply #91 on: March 06, 2012, 01:22:17 PM »

Venting by giving voice to my anger has never been healthy. When I feel angry, it's because there's a problem that I want resolved, but if I'm angry, I can't approach that problem with clear judgement.

With the uBPD spouse, I often have to just give up on the problem altogether because even if it gets addressed, the spouse makes my life miserable until things go back to the way they were. To deal with that without anger, I just tell myself that I'm going through this terrible experience for a reason, and I might never even find out that reason, but I have to accept that.
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« Reply #92 on: March 06, 2012, 02:00:30 PM »

* Does allowing our partners to vent on us increase their aggression?

* Does venting here increase our resentment and the helpless feeling of being stuck?

I would be interested in knowing about an aggression study that included a longer time frame between the actual feelings/expression of anger, any intermediary buffers, and the actual response/reaction (or venting on the target).

It seems like this forum is a healthy place for expression of the feelings or confusion we are having and if given the right kind of feedback can help to deescalate the anger.  I believe that once the overwhelming anger subsides and we can see reason again... .that is the situation in reality, helps to reveal what emotions the anger was masking.  Sometimes we need a nudge, or a place, to dig deep for it.

But, yes anger can be promoted in the wrong context.  Anger isn't a responsive healing emotion... .it seems like a fight or flight reaction to what many of us here felt like a very dangerous environment.  The immediate anger can be a catalyst to move and save yourself, where a person takes it, with whom they share it, and how they handle it can be both good and bad.

I think you have to be careful with anger.

-GM
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« Reply #93 on: March 06, 2012, 02:50:57 PM »

Dunno.  All emotions exist for a reason.  Love, anger, hate... .I think caution is important - but I believe it is important to respect the full range of emotional expression and the ways humans typically handle their emotions.

People feel anger.  And they complain sometimes.  I'd argue that that is fine, normal, and healthy. Honestly, I could probably use more anger in my life.

That said, being unhealthy is possible.  And here, personality disorders come in handy. Repetitive and reinforcing dysfunctional coping behaviors are a problem - basically anything with a positive feedback loop.

So, venting?

Type 1: Expressing anger towards a S/O.

Pluses: Reminds people you're human. Can help communicate the existence of a problem.*

Minuses: Hurts people, feels good==self-reinforcing. Leads to conflict, abusive behavior.

My opinion: good in extreme moderation, handled carefully, essentially cayenne pepper. Excluding it from your diet completely - probably a mistake.

Type 2: Expressing anger towards a S/O to people other than the S/O.

Pluses: Can help with emotional processing, helps a lot to verbalize stuff/write it down, outside perspectives help.

Minuses: Modestly increases anger each time.  Quite problematic if combined with lack of personal responsibility or if constantly repeated. Also problematic if used to defuse righteous anger below the level of action.

My opinion: useful, perhaps vital if performed in moderation.  The additional perspective from the first time through is really handy for me. However, quickly becomes a net minus if performed more than once on a given issue.  Basically - salt.  Excluding it from your diet completely - fatal. Cutting down - possibly healthy if you use a lot.

Type 3: I'll just call this distracting - working off stress with another activity.

Pluses: Not harmful, no feedback loop

Minuses: Problematic if carried to extremes.  A moderate case would be BPDw - whose distraction activities can occupy most of the day, every day, for weeks... . An extreme case would be an old friend who looks like an anorexic now because she exercises too much.

--Argyle

*As opposed to people being surprised that you're angry.

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« Reply #94 on: March 09, 2012, 08:50:19 AM »

I'm not big on the rage. In fact, I tend not to allow myself the privilege of feeling any anger at all.

This has gotten me into some pretty sticky situations. I don't like to rage (never even did the temper thing as a small child), but allowing my anger to be felt and giving voice to it, so that it is known  -actually allowing my feelings to exist in the open world- has led me to a more mentally healthy, albeit a more confusing and sad, place.

Yes, I let out steam that built up while my head was buried in the sand, but I haven't allowed it to build up again since. Maybe venting isn't healthy for a lot of people, ie- people who are trying to move away from anger... .but for those of us who may need to move toward anger to be healthier, it may really help.

I hope this post was coherent.
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« Reply #95 on: March 09, 2012, 07:52:35 PM »

I disagree.  While venting may initially increase agitation, it later calms one down.  I vent into a computer diary.  I have a phantom counselor that I write to.  Later I read the old messages and wonder why I felt that way.  If I vented directly onto my spouse it would have ended the r/s long ago.
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« Reply #96 on: March 09, 2012, 09:57:14 PM »

I think anger itself can be a powerful and important emotion.  PArticularly for someone not comfortable setting boundaries, it can allow that person to make boundaries.  It can also level the playing field in a disempowered situation.  Particularly if anger can be expressed without blame, it can be very powerful and important.  My DH has a tendency to allow himself to be walked all over; he was by his ex, anyway, and carried those habits into our relationship.  Anger allowed him to leave her. In our relationship, sometimes I am just fed up with the circumstances, and I am complaining to him.  I usually takes him getting angry to really set a boundary; sometimes he yells, but always says true things:  "It hurts my feelings when you say those things!  I just need a break!  I do not want to hear about how my life is to much for you!  I love you!"  Sometimes I need to hear that in order to be there for my mate.  It might be nice if he could say this when he is calm, but he has habits of disempowering himself, of feeling like his boundaries are not important, only mine are.  So it takes anger to break through his accommodating habits.  Without this, I would not know how much I am hurting him... .he would probably just get tired of my frustration one day without me knowing. 

I think when we are in disempowered situations, anger can make us give voice to our piece.  This can be so with an unfair boss, with a bureaucracy, and so forth.  It may feel nicer just to smile and nod, but it does not necessarily allow us to be our whole selves.  I think self expression can happen without anger, but often our inhibitions make us comply when someone else has the power.  Without anger, the boss may never hear how hard she is on her workers.  She may NEED to know this.  I think there is huge value in learning how to express anger in a non-destructive way, in a way that is respectful of the others' point of view without giving up any of your own ground.  Conflict can be a great way for people to get better at making the needs of all be met, particularly if conflict can be peaceful.  I remember how liberating it was for me to tell my mom, "When you say I am ruining your life, I feel really hurt and angry at you."  I remember clearly that I did not blame, but was able to express intense anger in a totally peaceful way.  This was hugely helpful for  me in being able to love my mom more, because the stale resentment I had was blocking love. 

Anger is also an emotion that has negative physical impacts on our bodies.  But so does stress, which results from stuffing anger. 

We are talking about venting, and about how it might perpetuate anger and aggression.  To the degree that anger can be what it takes to empower us to take care of ourselves when we are in "one down" situations, venting is a tool for keeping anger strong even when the ill is not happening.  For any of those who have studied abuse and the "cycle of violence" concepts, a real problem for people in abusive relationships is that they get stuck in a cycle where they are either dealing with crisis, and thus do not leave the abuse, or in a peaceful cycle, and not wanting to leave. I think this is true about any time we are being oppressed--when someone has power over us and it is working for us (we are getting what we want), we do not want to rock the boat.  When it is not working, we are too afraid to rock the boat.  It is okay with me for people to have power over me much of the time, but sometimes it is not. 

With the BPD person in my life, she wields giant power, because she is willing to be crazy and violent.  PArticularly when she does this in front of the kids, I have little power to do or say anything.  I am also structurally disempowered as a step-mom, so I have no rights to make her stop (unless she is doing stuff that is prohibited by criminal law).  Most of the time, I am kind and walk away.  But when things get to intense, sometimes I have been able to get her to stop.  With her, my anger is totally managed--i do not yell or be mean.  But it helps me to be willing to set clear boundaries that are not negotiable. 

Here is the problem.  With a BPD person, the truth is that because that person is mentally ill and cannot change easily, my power (using whatever tools I have) is limited.  The reality is that what I want from her is not possible.  The only way I can REALLY level the playing field is to be happy, and to create social boundaries around her to limit her power (boundaries that might include court orders, and also having her friends and the kids teachers know who she is and what is going on, so her stories do not get traction).  But trying to make her care about my feelings, or not hurt her kids emotionally--she cannot do that, and I cannot make her.  It is like yelling at a flat tire to get it to be not flat. 

Anger can be helpful where someone has the capacity to change.  I am not saying it is the best method, but for some people in some situations, it takes anger to be willing to risk. 

What I have found is that for DH and I, anger has lead us to create boundaries at times, and is good in that way.  But the same stuff happens all the time, so if we are always angry, we have to deal with the physiological effects of these feelings on ourselves and our happiness.  Complaining does sometimes propel us into action, but there is too much that is upsetting to really act on it regularly.  It is true that I think my DH learned to vent once he left his wife, and sustaining that anger, rather than living in fear, made him make choices that are better for the kids and him.  He is not a raging or difficult person when angry; he does not get stuck there.  But he just REALLY avoids conflict unless he is angry. 

For me, I set boundaries without anger.  With the kids, some of their more enmeshed lying and intense behavior results in anger in me... .and while I do not always feel great about how I express it, I always do it with love and limited blame, and I think it helps SD11 see when she is being hurtful.  When she is mimicking her mom's worst, I am not sure it is bad for her to have someone respond with appropriate anger.  "I do not like being treated that way.  I feel angry at you right now."  I think me just avoiding dealing with her when she acts that way is easier for me, but is alienating.  Closeness involves knowing when you hurt someone. 

In sum, venting is does perpetuate anger.  When we are powerless, sometimes we need anger to motivate us and lessen inhibition around rocking the boat to get what we need.  Because there is danger when the anger arises, we use venting to keep our feelings strong into peace time, when action may be more useful.  But with a BPD person, if we responded appropriately with anger to each outrageous event, we would be angry all the time. If my DH did once what BPD mom does all the time, I would probably have left him a long time ago.  But with BPD mom, there is not a lot I can do.  Feeling angry does not feel good to my body, so I have to try to inhibit my natural response to her.  Again, my anger is pretty mellow.  I have never been violent with anyone in my anger, and I usually am not even very blaming. 

So venting makes my life unhappy.  It is not that I want not to be angry with her because it does not help; it is because I feel bad when I feel that way a lot.  Anger IS useful, natural, important, but not  necessarily the most effective tool if we can manage and deal with our feelings.  But when someone is not able to change or be influenced by our feelings, that lack of inhibition anger creates does not help.  So to keep up with the anger feels bad to us, with no change to them.  So we have to override the circuit somehow to feel good. 

As a contrast, let me relay an example from my young life.  I was an employee of a grumpy, controlling person.  I took care of her disabled child.  She was gruff and rude every morning.  After a year of working for her, one day she was really mean.  I finally got angry, and told her that I felt angry, and that it really hurt my feelings when she was mean.  She was shocked.  She had no idea that I felt that way, and she told me that a lot of people in her life feel that way.  She told me her husband feels that way, her non-disabled son, and lots of co-workers.  But no-one bothered to tell her how it made them feel.  She cried, I cried, we became great friends.  This is a person who has habits of being rude and controlling, but who is not mentally ill and DOES have the capacity to change her behavior in response to new information .  My anger gave me the push I needed to share my feelings with her, and we were both the better for it.  I am sure I vented many times over the course of being her employee. 

I think the idea that venting (as the term implies) "let's off steam" so we do not blow up CAN be true, when the situation is so extreme that venting is a lesser state of intensity, and when the consequences of speaking our anger to the person it involves are too great.  But in general, venting perpetuates anger. There are times this is useful, and times when it is not.  But whether or not it is useful, it can be destructive to our well being over time; also, our anger tends to make it harder to get allies. 
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« Reply #97 on: March 09, 2012, 10:20:51 PM »

I know this subject is about venting. What causes us to vent? Anger. What is anger?

Anger, to me, which I lived almost my entire adult life in, is a strong emotion. Many papers have been written on the varying degrees and instances of anger. Anger is brought on by many things. What i had the most problem with, during my life, was an anger that I, myself, put myself through, all the while, blaming others for it.

Let me try to explain.

Anger, to me now, is an emotion that is trying to get my attention, to tell me to move, or to change. When I say move, I don't mean it in a literal sense, I mean it in an emotional one. I used to get angry at my job, my relationship, and my life. People would take advantage of me, and I would get angry for the motives of the person that took advantage of me. I would either cast them out of my life, or stay away from them. This didn't solve the problem, because it continued to happen with different people. That continued to anger me. Then I would get frustrated in my anger, because it kept happening, and would build up to a point where I had to have a release.

What my anger was trying to get me to do was to get to the bottom of the dynamic. It was trying to teach me something. I have found that things that used to anger me, now don't if I understand them. I understand now that people were taking advantage of me, because I allowed them, and I now know the reasons that I allowed it to happen. I have since repaired those reasons. Now it doesn't happen, and I don't get angry.

This has happened to me on so many different levels over the years. Mindfulness, compassion and understanding are the antidote to anger. None of which I practiced in my earlier adult life. I just reacted, with no understanding of my own emotions, or the circumstances that brought others to their own meeting point with me.
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« Reply #98 on: March 12, 2012, 05:05:10 PM »

Have to read the thread but to respond to the title. 

I think it is healthy to vent as long as it does not serve as a substitute for action or working on yourself to make things better for you, and your children if you have them.

Venting can help release frustration and anger thereby helping you focus on the dayd to day work of living with a pwBPD.
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« Reply #99 on: August 27, 2012, 05:01:39 AM »

Excerpt from the movie Pathfinder :

- A : There are two wolves fighting in each man's heart. One is Love, the other is Hate.

- B : Which one wins?

- A : The one you feed the most.

-------------------------------------

I think that venting is good but at the condition that we don't vent just for the sake of it or because anger/sadness has turned into bitterness and hate.

To vent is to be mainly descriptive. I've been venting here and it made me feel good. Others vent too and when I read their stories, I came to understand that some of my wife's behaviours and ways were caused by her illness. It placated me and reinforced my love for her, despite the temporary anger. Reading other's stories is like being in front of a mirror in which we see ourselves and that may help us to realize that feeling angry/guilty/sad is a normal reaction and that we can overcome those negative feelings and turn them into positive ones.
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« Reply #100 on: October 08, 2012, 07:23:44 PM »

I am the queen of resentment.

The weird thing is, I feel like the anger stage was healthy when/as I process my feelings toward my mother and grandmother.  It came, I experienced it, and now I don't have it as much, I feel much more in control in our relationship, and positive about things going forward.

But toward my abusive uncle and my bf's ex, I am full of resentment, as well as toward my first relationship. 

And I realize as I write this, maybe it has to do with control.  I've taken action about my mother and grandmother and family situation, and that makes me feel safe.  But I have nothing to do with uncle, or bf's ex, who are much more... .outwardly destructive, and it drives me nuts that I can't do anything about it.  Maybe resentment and rumination is my obsessive and anxious brain's way of trying to make me feel in control? 

Heck, dude from my first relationship is no longer with us, and I STILL sit around going coulda woulda shoulda.

This is probs all codependency stuff that I've been over a thousand times and forgotten... .
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« Reply #101 on: November 08, 2012, 12:49:11 PM »

Having only recently put all the pieces together and finally been forced to open my eyes and start to create safe boundaries for myself and the other members of my family, yes, I'm angry. I'm angry with myself for not seeing what was going on, for enabling this person to dictate my family life, I'm angry for my other children and I'm angry because I almost lost my husband over this because he figured this out a few years ago and I didn't want to hear him.

But I've also been here before. When my son was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy I had to go through all the stages of grief to find acceptance of who he was and love the person he was, rather than the diagnosis. So, seeing as this is the same kid, it feels to me like it will be the same process. Eventually, I'll work my way to acceptance. But the anger has its place to galvanize me into making decisions and standing my ground. The secret is not to let it spill out onto my son.
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« Reply #102 on: December 02, 2012, 12:34:26 PM »

"So, is this helping us or hurting us?  Does this sound more like healthy anger or unbridled resentment and dysfunctional coping?  How do we know when has the anger gone so far as to become detrimental to our healing?"

In the first phase of my leaving my SO with BPD, I had to hang onto the anger so I could move away from the relationship that was basically killing me. Denial played a big role in justifying my husband's behaviors throughout our marriage and the anger sort of jolted me out of that place so I could see reality. In that case, it served me well. I chose to hang onto the anger because when I didn't, all the hurtful feelings snowballed and became overwhelming. When this happened I would feel so much the victim and honestly cried and experienced deep-deep sorrow for days upon days. Those days have been (and sometimes continue to be) the most painful days of my life.

It hasn't been easy staying in anger because the pain and hurt was so strong it overrode the anger. I actually had to force myself into anger because at the time, I felt it helped me. When I could get to the anger, I felt relief! Oh yeah, I'm here again and I can stop crying and hurting for awhile so this is progress! I have a friend who is a healer and she suggested I should begin to focus on letting go of the anger and re-start my life in a new direction. Although I knew I must do that sometime, I was appalled at the suggestion then because anger had served me well in letting go of the denial and breaking away from the unhealthy relationship with my husband. I wasn't ready.

Since finding this website, I actually have started to feel a slight shift in my thinking and reactions. One of the ambassadors mentioned it would be helpful to read and read about BPD and someday, understanding the disorder would click. I have followed her advice and although it is far from clicking, I am starting to feel SOME relief from my extreme emotions and with that I'm able to slowly start letting go of the anger (my armor). This FEELS like progress to me and I find myself being more mindful with my responses/reactions. Is this emotional maturity I wonder?

So I'm feeling quite wonderful about my ability to be a little more mindful because usually, I'm immediately reactive with my responses. However, just yesterday I shamed myself by EXPLODING angry emotions about my BPD husband onto texts to my kids (adults), brother (traitor), and BPD husband. To date, I have been pretty good about not getting our adult children involved in our "war" but yesterday my husband's smearing campaign against me to my father (who recently had a stroke) put me over the edge with emotions that I had trouble coping with. At first, I felt a little detached when I learned about the call to my dad but the unbridled resentment and anger welled up in me like a tidal wave and the texting began. After the dysfunctional response my way of coping, I felt drained, the regrets set in and I am not proud of myself.

How did this dysfunctional, angry response serve me and our kids, not well I think. I feel ashamed at losing control of my emotions and engaging at all with my husband. I got back into the dysfunctional cycle and took everyone with me. I have given thought to why I did this (outside of being emotionally immature), what purpose did it serve? Did I feel self-righteous, justified because I am the victim, he the perpetrator and everyone should know? Did it feel comfortable and familiar to re-engage? What, why, what?

Ok so I realize for one that I need to continue to take a moment before responding in an angry rage, develop an alternate way of coping when I feel overwhelmed with emotions (perhaps write the text but don't send). I also need to take more responsibility for my role in our dysfunctional relationship because it was not ALL his fault as much as I've proclaimed it to be. My reaction yesterday was proof of my role in the dysfunctional cycle. Even though I think I'm a genuinely kind, loving person, I have engaged in a really unhealthy relationship. I have "said" to others that I contributed but really, did I mean it? How can I REALLY become accountable for my role in this 32 year relationship? I think it starts with letting go of the anger and resentment and I think I'm ready.

Anger has served me well in getting out, now emotional growth needs to occur so I can move on and that, to me, means letting go of the unhealthy anger and resentment. I have felt justified in blaming everything on him because his actions seemed cruel and calculated and mine weren't but at this point, does it matter? I want to continue to learn and accept BPD as an illness because it will only serve me in letting go of the resentment, anger, and pain. I also want to continue to learn and accept who I was, who I am, and acknowledge my role. I am in need of emotional growth so I can have an emotionally healthy life. Because I am co-dependent, it has helped in the past to focus on improving myself for my kids but really, the biggest and most challenging lesson for me is to focus on doing this for MYSELF.
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« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2012, 06:41:59 AM »

For me, the anger serves a purpose.  As I have been exploring the emotional incest I went through, I was very angry... .and even though my uBPDm wasn't there, I cursed her out.  It was an outlet and an expression of my determination to never let that happen again.  However, I kept going.  I could feel some of the hurt leaving and the emotion changed.  I was then angry from a different place... .more of a punitive place than a protective place.  That is when I went too far.

I was discussing an old psychology experiment with a professor (he has many advanced degrees and understands behaviors unlike anyone else I have met) and the experiment was about monkeys.  The monkeys would be exposed to negative circumstances.  In one set, the monkeys could do something to stop the circumstances and in the other set the monkeys couldn't.  The monkeys that could do something about the behaviors became angry and acted whereas the monkeys that couldn't do anything didn't get angry.

The point I took from that conversation is that anger is good if it drives us to stop a bad action.  I draw the line when the anger moves from fueling protective actions to a fueling vindictive/punishing actions.
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« Reply #104 on: December 26, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »

After going through the Family Connections program, I realized that anger is always the secondary emotion.  The analogy was if you kid was out at 3AM with your car, and you were worried sick about her, the primary emotion is fear.  When she walks in the door, you yell "Where have you been!", and that response, anger, is the secondary emotion.

6 months ago, I found out that my exBPD had done something devastating to me.  She posed on Twitter as a porn star, got one as a roommate to take over the lease (which ended in shambles in 3 days), and worst of all, friended a girl I had briefly dated for a month that had gotten into porn after me.  It hurt me to the core.  After struggling with my own destructive hypersexuality, to see the pwBPD publish pornographic images of herself sickened me.  I responded with anger.  And after not being able to cope with this event, the anger persisted and became an effective coping tactic. 

But the primary emotion was hurt.  She dumped me on Christmas Eve for another man she met a week ago.  She spent Christmas with the new guy and posted pictures to lash out.  She's once again engaged in similar, overtly pornographic behavior with a new set of friends that she has found online.  After the breakup, I am no longer angry.  But the pain is there.

The biggest problem is, as a man, it seems as if expressing anger is a far more acceptable emotion than expressing vulnerability.  I struggle with that a lot - so people think I'm constantly angry.  But the reality is that the superficial emotion is masking the true feelings of pain.
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« Reply #105 on: April 26, 2013, 12:24:57 AM »

I am sorry, but I have to disagree with some of what has been posted. I entered my marriage to my uBPDh as a young naive person. He did not have a history of abusive behavior to other wives. I was the first of several. When I found out about his dishonest and abusive behavior and he refused to change, I filed for divorce. What I became angry about and stayed angry about is how he continued to tell lies about me to people we both knew - people we went to school with, worked with, attended church with. This continued for over 20 years. I am sure it would still be happening if he had not died. To say that an emotionally healthy person would leave and move on is to assume that the abuse ends. It does not even if you live thousands of miles from the pwBPD and never see them again. I once went six months without a phone just so he could not contact me. As soon as I put in a new line, he called. I can only think he must have been trying the whole six months. Decades later, DECADES, he was still trying to contact me. When I told him to stop, he did something unspeakable to hurt his then wife and children because he needed to act out the rejection from me. Of course, anger has to end, but I cannot imagine it ending while the damage was continuing. Perhaps I should have had him jailed for harassement. I do not know, but I resent someone trying to tell me this was my problem. It was not.
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« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2013, 06:12:26 AM »

This is one of the issues that has been bothering me.  I am not an angry or resentful person - never have been.  I've never been angry at my stbBPDexw when we were married - dissappointed yes - but never angry.  But now for the first time in my life I actually have hated someone - HER!. Here I'm out 6 months now and on most days I do better but then she will do something or say something that just causes my anger and resentment to rise again. I'm to the point of I can't stand being around her at our daughters events, I can't stand to look at her, I can't stand to talk to her.  I wonder if kids are involved if it is harder to let go of some of this anger/resentment - because not only did they damage our hopes, dreams, and lives, but also those of our children.
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« Reply #107 on: November 26, 2013, 05:42:40 PM »

Sometimes I'm angry but anger is not a dominant feeling towards my BPD wife. My wife sometimes say "Do you hate me for what I've done? But I don't hate her, and I'm not angry. I'm just sad the way things have turned out. The more I learn about BPD the more I realize how little I can do and how little I could have done to change things, so that makes me less frustrated. Perhaps the sadness and resignation goes too far at times, but that's another story.

In my work I meet to many mentally ill people who have obsessed SOs who seem to suffer more than the mentally ill people themselves. You learn something from that.
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« Reply #108 on: January 15, 2014, 10:16:49 AM »

Wow! that is powerful stuff. I have to be honest and say that I came in this relationship with anger and/or the inability to communicate my frustration without getting angry or coming off angry.

I do agree that my cognitive and emotional abilities are not on the same level. However, I make conscious steps to introspect and change to a more emotionally mature individual. This is a process and it does not  help that that I m not on supportive training grounds but in the actual battle field. Meaning I am not with someone who is insightful and calm and gives me the opportunity to look at myself instead I am with someone who is even more ill-equipped in this particular area than I am. So I don't just look at him, I see me too.

One thing that really gets under my skin is the fact he will discuss me/us with nearly everyone he comes in contact with that day we have a disagreement ( I refer to them as such because he refers to all disagreements as arguments) The thing is he has his own business and knows quite a few people. One friend last week described how he lashed out at him because he would not take sides.  He knows both of us and he doesn't see the things my fiancee tell him. He invites these people in our home and I feel so ashamed and awkward to be around them because I don't know what and if he has told them. He told people at our church, people he brings me around. It's so overwhelming sometimes. I wonder what they think about us because one minute he is painting this gruesome horror story but then he is back in the home and I am his world. ?  The question I ask myself Am I ill for staying in a relationship with some one does this or am I being empathetic to him? (He is also the father of my son to be 2 year old)

I try to to look beyond and realize that this is part of his illness but it doesn't help that my personality is being very private and would rather handling things in a constructive healthy way whether picking one or two married couple or our pastor who we can go to for help. However once we agree on this he doesn't abide by it. In a nut shell there are many triggers in this relationship that sets me off.

However, I know I fall short at times in communicating in a neutral way, which a big problem with us. My mother was a yeller and sometimes without noticing I go into yelling mode and he has to tell me, which is when I become conscious of it and tone down. But its like second nature to me. I know I am getting more emotionally mature. I  feel more and more detached from him even though I still care for him deeply. I have never went after him, he has  come back. Sometimes I wish he would just leave which would make it easier for me. A part of me is taking responsibility for the communication department however I don't want to take on the "codependent responsibility". It gets so murky. Here comes that FOG again. Help... .
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« Reply #109 on: January 31, 2014, 05:19:20 PM »

I am so angry and resentful. I've held on to so many text messages and emails because he made me feel like I was one who was crazy when he said one thing and did another. When I re-read the stuff is hurts but it reminds me that he was the liar and I wasn't the problem. Last night I thought about deleting everything, but I having a hard time doing that. We are embarking on the next phase, co=parenting and living separate lives and I do not want to be his friend, if he says anything all that comes to mind is the latest batch of lies he told and my discovery of the truth for the umpteenth time.
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« Reply #110 on: January 31, 2014, 05:46:02 PM »

I cannot imagine it ending while the damage was continuing.



and the damage can continue for quite a while. we, some of us, live with children alienated, friends poisoned, financial security damaged, reputations slandered. it would take a severe deficit of self-regard not to be angry.

but I resent someone trying to tell me this was my problem. It was not.

the sentiment that "we were equally responsible, if we were honest with ourselves" is demeaning to those who have had their lives wrecked by the BPD partners.

(ps - this topic has been read almost 19,000 times. must be an issue for lots of people!)
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« Reply #111 on: February 14, 2014, 08:43:50 AM »

good article... .

for me, the realization that i wanted to be superior to my exBP in a common field of work was a good wake up call to highlight i was perhaps not behaving in the most mature manner.

I realized that after the b/u, she went with full force to win over my contacts, work, credibility, etc... and at first, wihtout realizing, i kind of was doing the same! digging in i found that i wanted to feel superior to her and show her that i am better (!) I started to feel resentment for her and her potential success, and thinking, oh, she wont be able to sustain this and that, as i know her, etc.etc... i was there again, trying to put her down myself. I realize that tHis behavior is not conducive to my healing.

I needed to take a step back to a neutral approach, where i wish her well, and i understand clearly that we are all trying to survive (or feed our egos!) and everyone has the right & the freedom to do so.

As the time pases, i come to realize is ok not wanting to feel superior to her... . actually if i focus on my goals and my life, and to heal from this, this is already a great advancement for me... .

i see the point of this article, is clear for me. thx
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« Reply #112 on: October 08, 2014, 02:12:48 PM »

Anger served a purpose for me to a point.

Anger energised me... .I was able to cut her off, ignore her recycle attempts and stay away from her by riding on the back of what I believe was healthy anger at the time. I was beaten up and the anger helped me to stand up and say NO MORE. I left her and never went back.

I have managed to string together 106 days NC and that has allowed me space and time to heal in many ways.

That said, the resentments have started to get in the way now. the rapidly cycling thoughts of my ex and how she debased and humiliated me, are holding me back. I spend way too much time in my head, replaying events, re-feeling traumatic moments etc...

For the first time in my life I feel hatred towards someone. I also have had moments where I wish terrible things on her. These are frightening emotions for me as I am a temperate and gentle person by nature.

As long as I carry this bitterness, resentment and hatred I will not be fully detached and therefore not be free. Most of all I want to be free.

Lately, the anger has subsided somewhat and I'm slowly starting to feel a sense of peace and closure...

I've had enough of these feelings, I'm willing to let them go right now  Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #113 on: October 09, 2014, 03:55:25 AM »

Yes, I also have experienced tremendous anger. Coupled with the frustration.

This because of the non stop failure to resolve the issues.

But I'm now learning from this website how to do things, respond in a better manner and more positive way.

Takes time, I suppose. We'll see. The proof is in the eating.
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« Reply #114 on: February 20, 2015, 03:51:45 PM »

Good topic it's definitely a reality for all of us here. If I didn't stumble on this forum I think I would have lost my mind and my anger would have been more external and I would have reacted to my ex. So I want to say thank you to BPD family forum. As for resentment becoming non productive because of being consumed in the problem is debilitating.  Just 3 weeks ago I was at a crucial place where I thought my anger and resentment was my every thought and it was making me have homicidal dreams. Well I don't know how but I'm at 2 months b/u and the past 8 days I'm finding myself in a healthier type of anger more towards myself and also towards my ex in the sense of she treated me so bad gas lighting , circular arguing, raging, lies, and no respect,this is more for me to keep myself out of the bargaining process.

Praying for my ex and for her smearing friends has helped my resentment. It gives me a way to forgive. Myself and her. I need that to internally heal because if I just vent an stay in the negative I will demonized my ex which actually gives her lots of power.
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