Self-Help Activity2:Safe anger expressions-physical,verbal, direct, intellectual

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C.

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2.   There are many ways that you can safely express your anger on your own without hurting yourself or anyone else.  One of the best ways is to engage in active sports where you can bash a ball: tennis, racquetball, baseball.  Virtually any kind of physical activity such as aerobics or dancing will reduce your feelings of anger.  You can write about the anger in your journal, exercise, go for a walk, scrub the floors whatever will dissipate the anger in a safe manner.  Other more direct expressions of anger are hitting pillows, screaming in your house or car (though not when driving) and learning martial arts or self-defense skills.  Other more intellectual avenues include getting involved in public speaking and political marches and activities.

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VeryFoggy

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This is an interesting question, but to me it is only the tip of the iceberg.  Because even if I DO effectively dissipate the anger through safe ways of expressing it such as writing, walking, swimming, and yelling in the car?  I am still left with the same problem that I originally started out with. I have been mistreated, and I know I must DO something.  But what? What am I supposed to do? After the anger is gone, I still have the same problem I started out with.  I have been mistreated.

I am spending about $50 a week on books trying to find an answer.  I have books on how to deal with dealing with controlling people, anger, boundaries, emotional healing, CPTSD, Narcissism, Dealing with Narcissism, MANY books.  No answers. My library of no answers is getting frightening large.

How do I learn when to stop trying with these PD people? How do I learn when I am giving too much and getting too little?  How do I learn how to effectively deal with this if I must live with a Narcissist, which I do? How do I ask for and get respect if it is not being given?  How do I learn when to stop asking for respect and walk away? For good.

One thing that came to me this morning, and this came to me through reading my many books with no real direct solutions, is that in my family, the way I was raised was that there were NO boundaries.  None.  Everything, anything was his for the taking and we were to be merged completely into WE. All of us. He owned us. So basically I was trained to believe that I had no right to a separate self.  That I was to merge myself with his self on demand.

And I also figured out that the reason I have few problems today getting along with Non PD's, is because they have good boundaries.  And their boundaries protected both of us.  I did not have to have any because they did. That was enough to protect both of us. I was not a boundary violator, and so it rarely came up. But when I run into people who have no boundaries?  Then I have problems.  Because I didn't have any either. Now we have a problem. They think they have the right to everything that is me, and I have no idea of where they end and I begin.  No boundaries.  I know I'm supposed to stop them, but I have no clue of how to do so. And anger is not the solution to the problem.

It is the warning that a solution is needed, but it is not the answer.

And most of the books I read are so mild mannered, and seem so far removed from the type of injustice I am talking about, it's just hard to relate, to these boundary books.  And I understand why they are written that way - they will appeal to more people. But I need some emergency triage, first aid, and then a rehab program after I stop bleeding.

I have a title picked out for my book if I ever learn enough to write it.  Boundaries For Victims.

Because I have come to believe that this is a serious problem for people raised with no boundaries.  They don't have any idea that they are supposed to have them.  They don't know that it is okay to have them.  They don't know that most that people have them.  And they have NO experience in setting them.  They are just completely lost. Just like me. They are perpetual victims of the PD's in the world, because they know NOTHING about boundaries, or how to set them, or why to set them, or when to set them, and that they have the right to set them. They get run over because they get involved with someone who feels they have the right to more than you do.

I am dimly, dimly seeing how to set them, and seeing a positive experience as the outcome. But it is so HARD to do something you know nothing about, have never been trained in, and didn't even know existed until a few months ago.  If you don't believe you have the right to something it is VERY hard to enforce it.

So maybe I got off topic, but this is where I am at.  Anger is good.  It tells you to do something for yourself.  Don't use the anger to hurt someone or to hurt yourself.  Dissipate the anger, but then get up and do  something!  Learn new ways to change what you are doing. To learn how to see the boundary violations that are hurting you, and do something (that part is a mystery) and do something EFFECTIVE for yourself.  And boundaries seem to be the key for me.  It's like learning to speak a foreign language. Difficult, but not impossible.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 04:41:43 AM by VeryFoggy »

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bee

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My favorite way to get out anger is with a pick axe. Seriously, it is awesome. Downside is you have to need a hole dug for an excuse to use it. Random holes are not appreciated by those who do the mowing, and may result in weird looks from the neighbors.

Just remembered another favorite, demolition. As in house remodeling. Cathartic.

I've started writing out my anger to my M, that is helping, and way less traumatic than I thought it would be. Thank you for the encouragement Very Foggy.

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bee

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Very Foggy, I'm right there with you. My M was the one who violated everyone's boundaries.

Because I have come to believe that this is a serious problem for people raised with no boundaries.  They don't have any idea that they are supposed to have them.  They don't know that it is okay to have them.  They don't know that most that people have them.  And they have NO experience in setting them.  They are just completely lost. Just like me. They are perpetual victims of the PD's in the world, because they know NOTHING about boundaries, or how to set them, or why to set them, or when to set them, and that they have the right to set them. They get run over because they get involved with someone who feels they have the right to more than you do.

I agree, first step is realizing that others have boundaries, and everyone is allowed to have them.

The rest I'm figuring out as I go. I try to determine where my boundaries are, one at a time. This takes a lot of self awareness I think. Little kids know this instinctively, but that was demolished by my M. You could guess at first, err on the side of caution. It takes a lot of self awareness to notice when others make me uncomfortable. When that happens I know a boundary has been crossed. Then I have to figure out a socially acceptable way of saying, hey there's a line in the sand there, don't cross it. And then I have to figure out what I will do if it is crossed. All the while I have to remind myself that I am allowed to do this, because I feel like I am not. It is a s*** ton of work.

I think it is further complicated by a society that is largely messed up on boundaries. Think of a little kid who is faced with a barely known relative who wants to hug/kiss the kid. Kid responds by screaming or shrinking away. Good boundary respect would be to teach the relative to ask first and the kid to say yes or no thank you, depending on what they feel.  Instead most kids are forced to endure such actions. In other words they are forced to ignore their boundaries.

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Annegirl

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I am in the process of learning this and still haven't learnt it. I feel like i never will and hope there is hope i will one day master this.

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Kizzie

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So true, it is about boundaries but OMG that's hard to do with PD FOO! 

One of the reasons we went NC/LC with the PD FOO is that they do not respect boundaries. Whenever we would set one they might respect it for a day or two but inevitably would crash through it or sneak around it, pushing, always pushing.  I find it maddening to constantly have to reset/enforce boundaries, it's easier just to disengage and go LC/NC. I just don't want to feel angry and like I have to be guarded all the time.

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VeryFoggy

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Oh Kizzie I so agree with you about the PD FOO! With them it seemed like a sport, on how to violate each boundary that was set.  But I don't even have them with regular Non's either, and I think it is important to have them. Also, I think I need to have them just in case I run into a PD again someday. Which I am pretty sure I will.

I had boss once who would just annihilate me.  If I had been able to speak up, I would felt a lot better about myself. Instead of ending up in the ladies room  in tears every day.

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marycontrary

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veryfoggy, you bring up such a GOOD topic! This is what I have found...the MORE I adhere to my boundaries, the less need I have to have an outlet for my lit fuse. I have no problem walking out on PD behavior now. I have no problem with asserting. Because I have practiced detachment to outcome, I don't have issues with abandonment if the dickhead terminates the relationship anymore.

One of my big boundaries is not dealing with people who have poor empathy skills. These numbskulls cannot BS me anymore. I just walk out and cut dysfunctional behavior off ASAP. If the person cares, they will try to clear up misunderstanding, but if not the person runs with shame like a little baby. I don't care. Pay to play. Gotta show me you are not dysfunctional before you get my time of day.

I am absolutely a different person. I don't even recognize my old self. 

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C.

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Boundaries.  Maybe that's why I'm not mad so much any more.  I have been working on boundaries for about 5+ years.

A favorite toddler word is "no."  I think it's quite telling that my FOO had decided that the word no was "bad" because children need lots of freedom of expression and for adults to respond to them.  But "no" is the first opportunity that both the child and the parent have to set boundaries for one another without getting offended or "hurt" which seems to be my FOO M.O.  With boundaries I need to be prepared to accept another person's "no" as well as say it myself.

I have a favorite metaphors for boundaries.  Maybe you've heard this before but I'll go ahead and summarize:  We each have a home w/a fence that represents our boundaries.  When we let people know what those are then the healthy people will respect the fence. 

I think the point with anger is that it cues us in to the fact that we may need to create or set a boundary. 

And Annegirl I hear you, this stuff is big.  It's especially hard when we have children depending on us to then focus on our own needs. 

In my experience it's been important for me not to get overwhelmed with the big goal like figuring out, setting and sticking to my boundaries, but taking a first step.  For example a boundary I introduced to my parents when I wanted more contact w/them was that I learned to lock my bedroom door.  My mom knocks, then walks in.  It's an announcement, not permission.  Weird.  The locked door works. 

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anosognosia

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C, my F used to just barge in, without knocking. Even when I was a 14 year old girl with all the privacy that I was trying to figure out for myself. I put up a sign "please knock" and it got ripped off. It set him into a rage fit which terrified me.

And as for the poster above who said:
Quote
This is an interesting question, but to me it is only the tip of the iceberg.  Because even if I DO effectively dissipate the anger through safe ways of expressing it such as writing, walking, swimming, and yelling in the car?  I am still left with the same problem that I originally started out with. I have been mistreated, and I know I must DO something.  But what? What am I supposed to do? After the anger is gone, I still have the same problem I started out with.  I have been mistreated.

I totally feel this way too. It's so hard to accept the injustice as is, accepting that there will not be an appropriate retribution, and that feeling that "they owe/d me".  It just makes me so sad and I start to cry. 

I'm currently a little exhausted post-anger and post-grief over this process. (The book from Judith Herman "Trauma and Recovery" really helped me move to the next level.)

I also think the best form of moving on is to leave that "you wronged me, so you owe me" dichotomy and live a life independent of any entanglement towards them. Because in some ways when you remain with anger and sadness you are still paying them emotional energy which they don't really deserve to get from you.

All of this is easier said than done, by fourhundredthousand fold, but I want to get there somehow....

**and as for how I direct my anger, I usually cry. I also run a lot more than I normally can. 

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Annegirl

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Yes anos, this book so helped me too.!!! Its brilliant, so insightful.

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VeryFoggy

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Ano - It was me that you quoted.  And I want to be clear that when I say "I have been mistreated"  I mean 5 minutes ago, or yesterday in a single incident.  I am not trying to make up for 57 years of abuse.

But I know half the problem that I have recently figured out is that I have been living a nest of vipers for years.  My father is a Narcissist, my sister who was my best friend for the last 30 years is a Narcissist, my son who is 30 years old is a Narcissist, my grandson who is 11 years old is exhibiting Narcissistic tendencies. My roommate, who also happens to be one of my sisters' best friends is also a Narcissist, and so is my youngest brother.  The only people in my FOO who are not Narcissists are me, my other brother and my mother.  The rest are vampires.  However, I only figured this out a year ago.  Actually I only figured out for sure my sister and youngest brother are about a month ago. As well as the roommate.

So life's been a little chaotic. And I having all of these Narcs in my life?  Well I have felt sort of abused. Understatement of the year. I am the scapegoat. With CPTSD.  Charming.

For now my solution is cut them all off.  I can't take it anymore.  Except for my son who does not  trigger me for some reason, he lives with me, and I am working with him (he doesn't know it) and it seems to be helping.  And the same with my grandson, and with him I am seeing tremendous progress.

But in the end there's only one of me, as my mother is helpless and hopeless, as is my other brother whose solution is to stay too drunk to care.   So, there's only me left to stand up to the lot of them. It's tough.

But I feel it is critical for my future and for my survival that I get deep understanding of boundaries and soon. It's not a feeling of being owed?  It is the feeling that I am equally valuable, and I will not stand for being mistreated, and if you insist and persist in doing it? Then some action will be taken.  For now it is No Contact. But I think I need to get cracking on boundaries ASAP!

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VeryFoggy

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MaryContrary - You're my hero!  So how did you learn to set boundaries?  How did you learn to BELIEVE you had the right to equal treatment and had the same equal right as others?  Tell us all your secrets?  I like your empathy "test."  Very much.  I could have saved myself a lot of grief if I had known about the lack of empathy a long time ago.

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anosognosia

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Ugh VF I'm so sorry to hear that. Sounds like your current environment is heavily peppered with narcissists. Suffocating!

I agree with bowing out for a while, I haven't had contact with my most severe narent in 1.5 years. Best quality of life since I've been born.


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Kizzie

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LC and NC are the only boundaries my PD FOO understand.  I just got tired of building up one part of the fence while they were pushing down another part - like the zombies on Walking Dead.  They just keep coming and coming! I'm with you VF, cut them off at the pass ( or run for the hills  ;D)