Article on the psychology behind passove aggressive behavior and bitterness

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treesgrowslowly

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/insight-is-2020/201910/how-understand-and-handle-bitter-people

I was looking for something to read regarding the effects of passive aggression on us if we've experienced PD abuse.

After going NC with uNPD parent, one of the many challenges I faced was dealing with people who did not rise to the level of full blown personality disorder, but whose attempts at relationship with me left me confused so very often.

I like this article because it has a section near the end that describes the fact that people who are bitter can get triggered and will not be able to manage their own emotions after being triggered. For those of us who are tending to ourselves after coming OOTF, this can lead to us feeling responsible for that persons triggered state.

I also like that they describe bitterness as a complex mix of anger and other emotions.

The suggestions given really resonate with what I think a lot of us come to learn as we work on recovery and live OOTF and seek healthy relationships with our non-PD friends and family.

We're all bound to encounter at least one person in our lifetime who is bitter and I think this article describes some info that fits with issues we deal with as we work to get OOTF.

Looking forward to hearing what others think about this article.

Trees

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Penny Lane

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This is interesting. I really like the reminder to not take it personally. Thanks for posting!

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Free2Bme

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Ok, so I'm having a moment here.  I wanted to read this article to gain insight and take inventory to see if I find bitterness within myself.  I don't believe that I have many of the traits mentioned in this article, ie. lack of empathy, passive-aggressive behavior, inability to value the needs of others, negativistic outlook, etc.  However, I am going through a season of profound sadness and trying to get my mind around significant loss  with my 20 year marriage to (I believe) a sociopath and the fall-out to myself and my precious children.  Is this the same as bitterness?  I don't want to be that person.

On another painful note, (I'm having trouble writing this)  my former H would accuse me of being all sorts of things.  If I spoke up for myself, was assertive, insisted on fair treatment, or stood my ground about his history of mistreatment I heard "you are a bitter woman", "you are a feminist and just want to wear the pants", "you are unforgiving, ungodly, terrible example of a mother....", this list goes on.   I never really believed all that he said about me, but it hurt just the same, I chalk most of it up to his projection and desire to control me by hitting me where it hurts the most-  my character.  I am not sure where I am going with this but I thought that finally acknowledging the loss, sadness, and disappointment of what I experienced was supposed to be a healthy part of moving forward.  I have been struggling with acceptance of all of this, it feels like trying to drink from a firehose right now. 

Am I really bitter and deluding myself?  The last thing I want is to be in the fog about myself!   I am not necessarily looking for sympathy/consolation, but words of wisdom would be appreciated.

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treesgrowslowly

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I suspect that this article might resonate with you.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-emotional-intensity/202003/have-you-been-used-emotional-sponge%3famp

When I read in that article the way she describes how unhealthy people will truly attempt to get us to process their FOG, it really resonated with me.

It really does seem that your ex was desperate to have you process his bitterness. He couldn't handle his emotions so he projected them onto you.

The challenge of projection is that people who project their FOG onto us, are most successful with the F or O or G that we ourselves also feel as part of being human. It can feel impossible to distinguish their fog from our grief.

The ability to change is tied to insight. Theres a lot of insight in your post here. Therefore I would suggest you are not going to become a bitter person who lacks empathy.  It sounds like you are grieving the loss of something or many things.

Anger is a stage in the cycle of grief but that is not the same as becoming embittered as a person. Because you have insight you will be able to keep processing your loss and soon your own grief will become clearer to you as not the same as fog even if it looks the same at times. Its not the same.

I posted a new article in this area of the forum today on resentment because this is where I'm working now as my journey OOTF continues.

I resent people who are foggy. I too fear sounding bitter about it.
The fear of sounding bitter is triggering. It makes me question myself with the same questions you pose here about yourself as a empathetic kind person.

 This is how living with a narcissistic person affects us:

They make us question ourselves when we want to know who we are.

I resented people for being foggy when I was a child. The more insight we have about our childhood experiences with fear, the better we get at living OOTF.

Trees

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looloo

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I think bitterness is the result of not addressing grief (over anything in life) in a healthy, honest way.  If we’re able to experience all the pain of grief, which usually comes with feelings of regret, guilt, and maybe shame, then we’re better able to continue living-with the sadness maybe never leaving, but we’re not paralyzed by it.  If a person isn’t able to do this work, or refuses to, then I think the grief morphs into bitterness.
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh