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Author Topic: 6.09 | Has the anger gone too far?  (Read 27630 times)
Annaleigh
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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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Mousse
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Channeling Lorelai...


« 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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damask
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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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runner mom
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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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LW1968
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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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runner mom
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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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damask
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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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Mousse
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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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runner mom
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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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