Friday, November 3, 2017

Letting Go Of Anger


My life is pretty much an open book. I guess many years of therapy to recover from burnout and childhood does that to a person! You just get used to talking about everything that nothing really phases you! I used to be more private, but what the heck, I'm comfortable with who I am now. :)

I've been open about the anger I'm am still sadly holding on to for the person who left his dogs with us and abandoned them. I think what bothers me along with his behaviour/attitude is the uncertainty of what will happen to the dogs. Are they ours temporarily, or is it permanent? After taking care of them for a year, will they be pulled away from me after I've bonded with them? I love those dogs and will do anything to help them, but how is all of this fair to us? We've been left on the back burner. 

I will also admit that it took me DECADES to forgive my parents for their treatment. What I failed to stubbornly understand is that forgiveness isn't about letting anyone off the hook - it's really about not allowing those people to hurt you anymore, releasing the anger and moving on. I was brought up to believe that forgiveness was mandatory no matter what a person did to you, if you didn't forgive them, you were going to hell and they were allowed to basically get away with murder so to speak.

True forgiveness really isn't easy to do, at least for me. I've forgiven the family now, but they are no longer any part of my life and it's been like that for over ten years now. I've never been emotionally healthier so there is no regret, I finally put myself first and stopped listening to the guilt trips and lies. Life can't always be about pleasing others. We only have one life here on earth and we must live for our own happiness right?

But this guy...what he did to his dogs...it's irking me still. I'm not so much angry as resentful and full of pity for the two sweetest dogs you could ever meet. I'm really working on forgiving him, for ME, not for him. Sometimes it takes me a little while to release anger and negative feelings, but I have to keep reminding myself that I should never allow someone else's actions to affect my mood, my emotions and my lifestyle. I don't think it's a quick fix though. Time will be my best friend with this venture!

15 comments:

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Hmmmmmm. This is a thought provoking post. I rarely forgive and never forget. I hold grudges like there is no tomorrow. I have tried working on forgiveness, I can't. But. What you wrote - "it's really about not allowing those people to hurt you anymore" - that really makes me think. And I get it, I totally do. I need to work on me clearly. But after almost *ahem* 5 decades on this planet, its going to take awhile. And I can't promise myself that I will learn how to do this. But its worth a shot.

I think what he has to think about is those lovely dogs. They will bond with you and the other pups, forming THEIR own pack. How can he rip them away like that? I think that's the key you need to focus on if/when he comes for them. Tell him that its not fair to the dogs to tear them away from their pack family. Work that angle. It might just take.

Rain said...

Hi Dianna :) I used to hold on to anger way too much. Problem is, it started to affect me not just emotionally but physically as well in the form of anxiety. I always thought that the word "forgive" needs to have a different label. Most of us think that forgiving a person is allowing them to get away with hurting us. You can forgive someone, you don't have to tell them, you just say in your heart that they don't have control over you anymore, and then make efforts to stop yourself from thinking about those bad memories. It's not easy. My parents did a lot of damage. I was only in my early 40's when I was able to finally think of them with pity instead of anger. Genuinely I have to say. I never said to them "I forgive you for what you have done", they didn't deserve that. Nor did they deserve me in their lives anymore. But I DIDN'T deserve to be haunted by those memories and the side effects they caused me daily. I know that's one of the reasons why I refused to be in a relationship until I was 45. My view of relationships and family was so jaded that I was way too afraid of the drama and the pain it would cause. I couldn't see any happiness. When I was finally able to just leave the entire family in my past, then I was able to start enjoying life. That's why I say that I believe my life started in my early 40's! It's never about THEM, it's always just about YOU. Screw them...lol...whoever hurt me doesn't deserve me or my love, but I will forgive them so I don't have to think about them anymore.

With this guy though, there are innocent animals involved so it's taking me longer to release that anger. I like your idea. But having zero knowledge of his REAL and HONEST plans, I have no idea if I'll even have to cross that bridge. I hate that uncertainty.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I've never understood why the word forgiveness is used. I've always done better with acceptance. I accept the past/circumstances/experiences, etc, I accept that a toxic person is who they are, I accept that there are things I cannot change and I accept that some things are out of my control. And when I do that, I am able to release that burden/toxicity, move forward and heal. I don't stay angry. I do not hold grudges. I don't seek revenge. And I completely let go of the past or a toxic individual or some negative experience. This is extremely important to me because negative emotions make me ill. And most important of all, when I accept and release, whoever/whatever caused me pain/distress/anger no longer has any power over me.

I'm glad that you have moved forward from your past and are living a joyful life. You deserve that. You owe it to yourself. Life is too short for toxic people. And I do hope everything works out with the dogs. I can see you are already becoming very attached to them. I do believe that since he abandoned them, 'that guy' has no claim to them anymore. If he did it without a second thought this time, there's no guarantee that he won't do it again. These sweet animals deserve better.

Rain said...

Hi Martha :) I agree with you. The word acceptance is a better concept because the whole I guess religious concept of forgiveness is what people most focus on, that a person can walk all over you and if you say I forgive you, they are off the hook and likely will do it again without consequence. For me, there HAS to be a consequence. A peaceful one for me, in the form of me accepting that these people won't change, have no regret and can no longer be trusted and that it's better for me to just leave them in the past...and a firm consequence to them that they no longer have the joy of me being there to be their punching bag anymore. I'm pretty tolerant and I've given people the benefit of the doubt often, but a gal can only take so much lol!

I don't hold grudges, but I find it's long for me to work through the emotions. Every morning, I say a few mantras and one of them is "my heart, my soul, my mind are free, no negativity will harm me, I can't change others but I can change me"...I made it rhyme to make it easier to remember. But I do know that nobody will change unless they want to, and no matter how much I want them too, I can't change them. Sometimes it's a hard pill to swallow though when the harm they cause really affects your daily life.

It's interesting how it progressed from "our friend" to "that guy" in my writing over the last few months. I personally have had it with giving people too many chances. A few days before we received the email saying he was likely not coming back, I had a gut feeling that he was going to disappear, I really did. Then when I saw the email in my inbox, I instantly knew he was dumping his dogs on us. Two weeks now could be a year or more. I need to do a lot more work on this issue to let go of the anger...I really don't want to feel angry anymore!

Pam Jackson said...

Rain~ you have every reason to be upset or angry over what the own of the dogs did. First, he used you and second it was like he was throwing them away.. So unfair to them, the ones who show love without asking anything in return. I personally think it was meant to be, you were meant to give them the love they are now getting from you. You meant to be that loving and caring force in their life. As far as giving them back if he returns.....I always heard possession is 9/10 of the law. They belong to you now! Nothing says you have to give them back. They have made a home with you and with your furry friends, they are yours. As for your childhood....it must have been bad, for that I am really sorry. Sounds like to me you have grown, you have become a good person, a loving and caring person....you have survived! My childhood was not one I write home about but I am a lucky one cause mine was not of abuse or neglect....mine was more a matter of not being good enough, not being as good as my brother, and not being the baby of the family. Always having pointed out how I did not compare to my brothers and more of not being accepted for being ME. Took me many years to accept who I was, to like me. It took being dumped by the guy I thought was my prince to show me that I needed to look at my life. I took 5 yrs to study me, to learn to like me. I took each portion of my life and studied it. I realized just because I was different did not make me wrong....or right! It made me, me. I realized that I could not change the people in my life no more than they could change me. I accepted them for them and decided to live for me. I am happy with who I am, I am happy with what I have done in life, I am ME. So funny that you posted this after mom and I had words last night over the fact that she tries to get her little digs in every time she can. I finally decided to not turn the other cheek and say something. I normally let her have her say and I let it roll off my back, but I had enough last night. Keep in mind, this is not just childhood, this was life after marriage also. Krama will bite folks in the ass, I don't need to be there to see it...it will happen and I am happy knowing that. Hang in there Rain....hang thight. Sounds like you have a good life you have made for yourself. A good man...and a good home...live it for you!

Rain said...

Thanks so much Pam :) You know even worse is that he's been pawning off his dogs for the last nearly 4 years on various people while he "finds himself". I'm all for finding yourself, we all do that and in some cases, like yours and mind, it takes us years...but for goodness sake, take your responsibilities seriously or find them new permanent homes...it started in 2014 when he wanted to go back to Morocco and he asked us to babysit his dogs for a few weeks. At that point, my little pug Spencer had just died and I couldn't do it. Later on, we found out that he stayed there a whole year. It never dawned on me until just today that he was planning the same thing. Maybe I'm being too hard on him, but it's too much of a coincidence. He ended up getting his parents to pay to have them flown and he basically left them at his parents house while he traveled around and then eventually flew back to Montreal to finish his degree - WITHOUT the dogs. He went back to Morocco to get them in April of 2017 and within a month was asking us to take care of Pavlov. He'd found someone to take care of Stella. All this because he needed to find an apartment. We didn't think twice.

I would have been even more suspicious if it weren't for the fact that his father died this time around so that was his reason to leave the country. I often wonder if he's just plain selfish and irresponsible or if he actually planned all of this. Anyway, it's speculation and I need to forget about it because it makes my stomach hurt to think about it all...

Thanks for letting me vent again! :)

Thanks for mentioning my childhood, yes it was bad and I was gone at age 17. Disowning the lot of them was the best thing I ever did for myself, honestly. It took me far too long, but I am happy now so that's all that matters! I know how you feel though...when things are ingrained into your way of thinking for so long, you basically just believe they are true and it takes a lot of work to turn it all around. I think you're a wonderful person and everything you've done was so worth the happiness you have today! I'm sorry about the row with your mom. You're right, people can't change just because we want them to. Some people (like my family) are more interested in pride and being stubborn than losing family members who just can't take it anymore. Sad, that's why my anger for them turned to pity because they just don't share in the joy of my life now. I believe in Karma big time. I should adopt your philosophy of being happy knowing Karma will bite them in the butt and I don't need to be there to see it. I kind of live that way, but often wonder how on earth people get away with what they do. I'm definitely living life for ME now! I'm so happy you are too! :)

baili said...

I am glad that finally you forgave your parents though parents are our roots from which we expect only goodness towards us but it is totally their bad luck that they earned such sin by mistreating their own blood.

Either i saw my parents changing when they were changing their worldly status and turned their back to me .I have no words to explain my "pain" Rain for their changing attitude because i loved them more than me specially my mother who was so wise and loving .Sometimes i think may be she was pressurized by someone but i was her baby to whom she used love most for years and did not let me grow mentally just because of her over love, care and much closeness.

When my parents died with a year i felt like i was left alone .i knew that they pulled themselves away from me but still i felt burden on my soul .Since the day they died i could not spent one single day when i don't recite and pray for their peace in other world .

By forgiving we set ourselves free from cage of anger and despair

Sandi said...

I think the dogs are fortunate to be with you instead.

Michael said...

I can tell you that Alexandra had to offer forgiveness to her mom and older half brother and when, after decades, she truly not only did it but offered it to them, it literally transformed them, releasing for her mom as sense of guilt and shame she had carried secretly her who life.

While her upbringing was religious too, and the model of forgiveness is so central, I think for her mom at least she never believed she would be forgiven and the same with the others out there, forgiven here on earth or not, they will/would suffer eternal consequence. You can't sew such abuse and seriously not expect any ramifications if indeed there is an eternal life, unless too forgiven I suppose but that too takes actually coming clean and admitting their own "sins."

I like what my father says that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Whether they want it or not or even perhaps feel there are no consequences for such abuses, it doesn't change that our own unforigiveness will hurt us more than any one else...like we are allowing them to continue to abuse. So, you are right--it is for you. It is not saying there won't be consequences for them if they don;t make it right but at least your yourself are freed.

Michael said...

As for the dog situation. SO wrong that you are now in this situation and of course you love those dogs. That unknowing must be so hard.

Sometimes one does have to cut off toxic relationships for the sake of one's own sanity. True!

Rain said...

Hi Baili :) Sorry for the late reply, the comment notifications aren't working well on this blog!! :) Thank you for your comment. :) When a person you rely on for love, care and survival turns on you without any cause but their own issues of anger, it's terribly confusing and the damage it does is unreal. I always brushed it off but it really affected me as an adult until I had the courage to deal with it. Even after I confronted them, they still continued the emotional abuse. I told them I forgave them and wanted to move on and they ridiculed me. Some people are just horrible by nature and I happened to be the child of two of those! But yes, I forgave them, they don't hurt me anymore. I do still have sad memories but they are quickly being replaced by loving, sweet memories with Alex. :)

That is sad about your parents pulling away from you. It's so difficult when people do things and you have no control over it, you have to learn to live with it. When emotions are involved it's that much harder. You're right, not to forgive keeps us in that anger and despair cage. :)

Rain said...

Thank you Sandi :) I think you're right. It's a confusing situation. We've been friends with this guy for 7 years, (I've know him 4 years); he was such a good guy, always out with the dogs at the park, they went with him everywhere...now suddenly they are unimportant...we thought maybe he snapped his cap at some point, but he seems to be fine where he is right now. As long as the dogs are safe and happy, that is what I'm focusing on. :)

Rain said...

Hi Michael :) Thanks for your candid comment. Your Alex did the right thing and I can attest, that is NOT easy. What a great turn of fortune that it transformed them, that also doesn't happen often because people have way too much false pride, at least my family does. But I forgave them so I feel better, I gave them so many chances, and they blew it. Their loss! :)

I believe in Karma, what goes around comes around. It sounds like your Alex's mom did suffer for years because she knew what she did was wrong, so for me that would be living in a sort of hell on it's own. I try to believe that people who harm others will suffer at some point because, sadly they need to in order to realize they were wrong. I think that sociopaths are the ones who have no way to feel right from wrong, but not every one is a sociopath lol thank goodness!!! Yes, unforgiveness is a type of self-poisoning that we take while the other person is doing just fine, at least we think so right? Your dad was very smart with that idea! It wasn't overnight, it took me years to release all that pain and feel like forgiveness was a real thing for me, and that freedom truly is wonderful. Makes me wish I'd done it sooner, but we have to go at our own pace! :)

Michael said...

Well, you did it in the end and you are living a life of your own choosing now. Good for you! :)

Rain said...

Thank you Michael. It's such a relief to be free of that pain and feel happiness and joy each day! :)