How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?

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Pantomeme

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How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:38:39 PM »
Hi all,

I feel like I'm coming a long way at feeling less anxious about the NPD friend I "broke up" with. My question to you all is,
how do you handle residual waves of anger that you have towards someone who isn't in your life anymore?

I get tired of writing about it in my journal as I feel like it is just giving her more attention out of my day than I want to. But I do still have moments where I just think "UGH! She's awful!" or "How could I have given her so much power?!"

Would love to know some more productive ways that you handle your left-over anger at people who you're in NC with.

Thank you,
Pantomeme

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In loco parentis

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 04:21:12 PM »
Pantomeme, I know EXACTLY what you are going through.  I am working to engage my mind in other things, while seeking new friendships and/or rekindling old ones.  Write something in your journal about the POSITIVE things you are working at and realize you will heal in your own good time.  (The anger that I suppressed for so long has risen--once I trusted myself to experience but not be consumed by it--and has subsequently greatly subsided now, to the point that it largely remains in the realm of pity, annoyance, incredulity, and finally acceptance that her sad behavior, choices and reality are hers to own--not mine.)

Hang in there.

ILP
A well worn path can be such a comfort... and/or such a rut.

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Adrienne25

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 11:57:19 PM »
This is what I did. I set a time and day, at least two days in advance, and I imagined I built a box, made of wood, with the sides very tightly joined, I saw myself caulking the sides, nailing brass nails on the sides and building a top for the box. Then on the appointed hour, I took every darn insult, every joy she took from me, every thought I gave wondering where I went wrong, and put them into the imaginary box, nailed it shut, glued the lid on, put it in a tub of concrete and dropped it in the closest lake. I never let her words hurt me ever again. Frankly, the act of sorting out the hurts and words and putting them in a place that will never haunt me again actually set me free.

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clara

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 12:17:43 PM »
I go back and forth between being angry at myself for being such a fool and angry with them for taking advantage of me.  But I always try to acknowledge my own role in what happened and seek to learn from it.  I've thought too many times of the ways I simply let the PD walk all over me, allowing it, even if at the time I knew I should call them out.  However, I also know that back then I wasn't aware of PDs so I had no  real idea what was going on.  I try to give myself a break but yes, I sometimes ruminate over scenarios in which I wished I'd behaved differently, things like yelling back at a PD who was yelling at me (rather than just taking it).  It changes nothing, however.  The past is past and done and gone, can't re-do it, can't change it.  Most PDs I know aren't exactly living the good life thanks to their PD; many of them have extremely messed up lives, relationships etc.  They don't seem really happy, even when they pretend otherwise.  I'll be honest--I get schadenfreude from that, if not much else.  I don't pretend to be above it.  I want to see them suffer.  I want them to be unhappy.  Most of them cost me in some way, and those costs I'll never get back.   But one thing I noticed is that, as time passes, I feel more sorry for them than angry.  I pity them.  I learned  but they never do.  Then, as Adrienne suggested, I put them in a box and put that box of "them" away, out of my sight, out of my life.  Every day that goes by I leave them farther and farther behind. 

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Pantomeme

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 03:20:44 PM »
Thank you for these great insights. I too go back and forth between being angry and feeling sorry for them.  It's as if they have a "disability" and I know often times their behavior isolates them. I feel like I am still healing from the feelings of being personally attacked.

I like the idea of the "box" although I tend to do better with physical objects than visualizations. Maybe I'll write them out and burn them over a candle (near water of course!)

Also spending time with people who are supportive and good friends has been really healing for me. It helps me remember that the PD's opinions of me are their own, and not actually who I am.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond and sharing your experience.

-PM

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Foreignwoman

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 07:29:40 PM »
Pantomeme, it helped me to look at my own family. When I understood the root of my problems with them, I understood why I fell for 'friends' with a PD. That made it easier to let go.
Take care,

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr

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countrygirl

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 12:34:16 PM »
Hi,

I read Pantomeme's question with great interest, and though that you all had very good replies.

I face the same issue with my PD friend.  She was part of my life for a very long time, so I keep getting flashbacks.   I vary between pushing these away and exploring them.   It depends upon how I'm feeling at the moment.  I think having these "bad" feelings is only natural, given the situation.  And I believe that, as with so many things, time is the great healer.  I guess also that I'm old school about bad memories: I think if you try too hard to suppress them, to stuff them away, they are just going to pop out at some time.  So I try to walk the line between giving them too little space in my life and too much.   

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Invisiblonde

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How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 04:38:47 PM »
I'll be honest--I get schadenfreude from that, if not much else.  I don't pretend to be above it.  I want to see them suffer.  I want them to be unhappy.  Most of them cost me in some way, and those costs I'll never get back.   But one thing I noticed is that, as time passes, I feel more sorry for them than angry.  I pity them.  I learned  but they never do.  Then, as Adrienne suggested, I put them in a box and put that box of "them" away, out of my sight, out of my life.  Every day that goes by I leave them farther and farther behind.

Don't know if you'll ever see this, but thank you for putting into perfect words exactly how I, myself, am feeling these days!

I find that schadenfreude (a thing I'd never heard of until learning about Cluster B and other PDs) is just as vital to my healing as all the high-road stuff, and I don't at all mean to sound flip or dismissive: Sometimes ya just gotta Be Mad  >:(

(I do pay attention so that I don't end up wallowing in self-righteous indignation, but so far that hasn't been an issue.)

Mostly I pity him, and I'm actually glad about that: It tells me that enough of "The Real Me" is left that I can pity a being in such deep and obvious pain.

It also tells me that I have processed enough of my anger to have got past it.

I have started to visualize myself in a hot-air balloon watching them get smaller and smaller as I rise and float gently but surely towards my new life!

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NotFooled

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 03:53:33 PM »
I had 3 PD's in my social circle, they were extremely self centered people and were very cruel to me at a very difficult time in my life.  I've since have gone NC with all of them and their spouses, though once I was guilt tripped and sucked back in.
 For years I was very angry and hurt but since I have learned about PDs things make so much more sense now.  I have been able to let go the hurt and anger and I won't allow any them to suck me back in.  I'm also more aware of the warning signs. I've had others in my life that exhibited similar traits and I feel like I've grown from the experience.  Also my MIL is PD and possibly my BIL.  I feel allot stronger now and won't allow my H and I to be used as doormats by my In-laws or anyone else.  My H and I have set boundaries that we are happy with our family.  But when it comes to friendships we are being selective.

Bust advice I have is learn and grow from the experience.  Don't allow yourself to be used as doormat,  I find reading up on the issue to be fascinating as well as empowering.

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Wilderhearts

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Re: How do you handle anger at PDs no longer in your life?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 06:32:23 PM »
I've thought too many times of the ways I simply let the PD walk all over me, allowing it, even if at the time I knew I should call them out.  However, I also know that back then I wasn't aware of PDs so I had no  real idea what was going on.  I try to give myself a break but yes, I sometimes ruminate over scenarios in which I wished I'd behaved differently, things like yelling back at a PD who was yelling at me (rather than just taking it)...... I want to see them suffer.  I want them to be unhappy.  Most of them cost me in some way, and those costs I'll never get back.   But one thing I noticed is that, as time passes, I feel more sorry for them than angry.  I pity them.  I learned  but they never do.

This captures a lot of my experience as well - being angry at myself for not "winning" more during arguments, and wanting the PDs in my life to experience all the pain they've caused me.  Sometimes all I need to do is recognize that I'm angry, and accept that I need to be angry right now, and then the anger fades away on its own after I've given space to it.  I affirm that I have a right to be angry at someone for causing me harm, for being abusive and manipulative and controlling.  I also know that being angry doesn't mean I'm going to be hurtful like the PD was.  I can just feel the anger without lashing out in anger.

I also remember the small wins.  This PD apologized twice after I assertively addressed some behaviours during "The Big PD Explosion of Abuse" - neither was a great apology, but it also wasn't a non-apology.  It was about as sincere and accountable as I think she'll ever get.

 Other times, I remember that this person is abusive and manipulative because she doesn't love herself.  I saw an instagram post that said  something like "self-love isn't just basking in your own light.  It's recognizing your flaws and mistakes, owning them, and working to change yourself."  This PD can't do any of that - she responds with abuse to any indication her behaviour (even forgetting to turn the oven off or gassing out the house) with manipulation and lies - because she can't tolerate any possibility she isn't perfect.  She isn't loveable if she isn't perfect, in her mind (uOCPD).  She's going to live with that reality for the rest of her life, and that is her own personal hell.  Maybe that's punishment enough.