How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?

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tvda

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How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« on: July 14, 2021, 07:56:22 AM »
How did you manage to let go of "revenge fantasies", as in not actually doing something to exact revenge (which I would not do), but hoping that your exPD gets what they deserve in a karmic sense... That they really mess up their own life as well, and not just mine, and have to deal with the consequences...

I am struggling with this. I know it would be healthier to not think about this, as it's keeping me stuck on her and our story, instead of moving on, letting go and focusing on myself. How did you people manage to progress in this sense?

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xredshoesx

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2021, 08:15:34 AM »
i completely understand.  this comes in different forms-

wanting to see my ex get his due for me was when i had to take care of business on his side of town and still seeing the car i sold him broke down in his mother's driveway for YEARS.  i promise you this is not as stalkerish as it sounds-  it was in plain sight in the driveway when you drove by on a main road. 

for me now it's living well and looking around and seeing all the progress me and my DH have made in our lives and in our marriage. since i put the ex out in 2007 i finished grad school, met my husband in 2009, we got married, bought a house on a shoestring and he finished his BS.  all without constant fighting, DUIS, domestic abuse and general non stop drama.  my ex now - he married someone that someone i worked with knew and i haven't heard much but i heard enough to know i got the better end of the deal...

so for me it was time and seeing my own progress play out in tangible ways. 

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notrightinthehead

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 03:41:17 AM »
In my case I had to get through the anger. And I mean through - there was so much anger and it hit me when I was not expecting it. The feeling was unpleasant and I wanted to push it away, but I had to feel it, experience it, work through, often physically.  I have a small garden, so I did a lot of weeding, digging out bushes...I wished him all sorts of bad things and I found the universe very very unfair.  Eventually the anger was gone and it pops up for a few minutes every 3-4 months and I feel it. For me the revenge fantasies were a sign of the helplessness I felt and an attempt to not experience my anger. When I accepted the anger as a part of me and work through it,  the revenge fantasies disappeared.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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tvda

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 05:38:46 AM »
Thanks, Notrightinthehead, for your reply.

Yeah, the powerlessness definitely doesn't help. I wish I had taken (some of the) power back while still in the relationship, instead of letting her do as she pleased and finally discarding me. There is a lesson to be learned there... I really, really, really hope to get to the point where every waking moment isn't consumed by ruminating and obsessing over this. I'm sure time will help, but for the moment it's a bad place to be in.

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Boat Babe

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2021, 07:57:00 AM »
As social beings, we are wired for fairness. This plays out in our cultural institutions (the justice system etc) and in our personal lives.

We have been treated most unfairly, to say the least, and we feel it inside. We naturally want some form of redress, resolution and revenge. We want the other person to suffer as much as we did. It's perfectly natural so don't beat yourself up over it.

However, you don't want to give any more of your precious headspace to this person and want to be free, entirely. So, decide that your very best revenge is your life, well lived. Then concentrate on that. When you feel a wave of revenge come over you, channel it into something good for yourself. Preferably something physical, to dissipate the cortisol and adrenaline.

And also remember that karma will do its job, eventually.
It gets better. It has to.

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Kat54

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2021, 12:08:37 PM »
I remember feeling that way. Everyday I felt angry and it became depressing to be obsessed. Itís part of the whole process and in time hopefully for your well being it will fade and learn to let it go. Moving on and creating a new life for yourself will help you because holding on will prevent you from making that leap to happiness and knowing you did the right thing.

Iím not sure how much my ex suffered, Iím sure he did equally and he is one to hold onto anger and never forget as he thrives on drama.  I wish him the best and hope he has found happiness even though I know and knew early on he would end up alone and very lonely, angry and resentful one day.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2021, 04:36:53 PM »
This continues to be a process for me, and I've been divorced for more than 5 years. But I'm doing much better than I was originally ("better" meaning not having many negative feelings about my ex-husband). As I've said in other posts in other parts of this forum, I still occasionally desire "revenge," mainly when I have to deal with home maintenance and improvement tasks and projects that are the result of ex-h's neglect of the house. But the thoughts and feelings are fleeting, and when they don't go away on their own, I can sometimes help them leave by reminding myself that I am behaving like a mature adult by dealing with the tasks and projects, whereas ex-h continues to struggle to behave like a mature adult in these areas of life.

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oak_tree

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2021, 10:02:25 PM »
My two cents  :)

When you find yourself thinking about these revenge fantasies, remember how in a lot of cases (from what i understand), PDs are living through their own hell. Make no mistake, I'm not absolving them of responsibility, but my guess is, you can rest assured that even if there's a cool, "happy" exterior, she's tortured, sad, and fighting an internal, eternal battle. Nothing needs to happen to her for your revenge, it's already happened, it's happening now, and deep down, she's aware of it.
Another point: The view is gorgeous from the moral high ground ;)
And living well is the best revenge (despite it not coming up in a lot of opera plots)

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Bunnyme

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2021, 04:25:07 AM »
I completely understand.  He always seems to get away with things...especially his lies.  While I still do get the feeling sometimes, like really hoping the judge catches him in a lie, Im working on it.  What helps me most in these situations and in my general anger about what he has done/continues to do is remembering that this is a mental disorder.  He is so centered on his own self preservation when he lies, he probably doesnt even consider the effect on me or the kids.  Doesnt make it right, but it helps me to think of it in those terms. 
In the end, PDs will likely never have fulfilling relationships and intimacy on a level that the rest of us are ultimately capable of.  That core of inner shame and self-hatred will likely never go away.  Though they may be blissfully ignorant to what they are missing, just knowing that I'm capable of a level of growth in future relationships that he may not be is enough "karma" for me. 

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Bunnyme

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2021, 04:26:30 AM »
Oak tree, I should have read your reply first.  You said it much better than I did

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pushit

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2021, 02:12:25 AM »
tvda - This is a great question, and something us "nons" have all dealt with.  We've been treated so poorly that it's only natural for us to want some kind of "revenge".  A lot of great advice above, too.

Personally, I remember the days of being extremely frustrated when it seemed the whole world was against me (because of her isolation of me and lies told about me), and I wanted my exPDw to suffer a similar sort of fate.  Since our divorce, that feeling of wanting karma to play out has lessened, just due to creating peace in my life.

I can tell you from my own experience that karma does come, and the PDs can certainly fall apart on their own.  My exPDw has had two extended mental health holds in the last three months.  Long story short - she can't manage life as a 50/50 parent.  If I had wanted revenge, I got it.  She burned bridges in multiple directions all by her own doing.  BUT - There is no victory in watching your daughters burst into tears when they see you picking them up from school instead of Mom, having them ask you why Gramma said "they're still running tests" when you know it's not a physical ailment, but a mental health hold.  My exPDw got her karma, but the kids suffered, and we picked up the pieces in my house through a lot of discussions and me being a strong Dad to get the kids back on track.  They continue to suffer, because she still has 50/50 rights due to the faulty court system.

I will echo others' thoughts here and say that the best medicine is to live your own life, forget them, and move on.  I've found the best solution in my life is to move on, live my life, and be the best Dad I can be to my kids while interacting with her as little as possible. 

Those are my thoughts, Dr. Jordan Peterson has a much better take on how to deal with a difficult person:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdSaUVldSjc

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Poison Ivy

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2021, 12:44:43 PM »
These days (five years since the divorce), when I think about my ex, I'm as or more likely to feel sad about his dysfunctional, unhappy existence and the effects on our children as I am to think about revenge. It's clear that I'm doing better than he is. I no longer wish him ill.

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Latchkey

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2021, 03:22:42 PM »
I think for me, the biggest deterrent to this is knowing that the energy of revenge is something that eats at me and feeds the power of the person who has harmed me.

There is also a general fear of being attacked. Many of the PDs in my life present as pretty calm, non-violent people with their social circles, however their actions behind closed doors were anything but "non-violent."

So, in the key critical times of my life, when I have been harmed so badly that I need to leave the situation, the last thing I want is to get hurt further. Revenge fantasies harm only your mind and not the person with the PD.

When dealing with a PD person, you have to always consider the potential for sociopathic/low empathy or possibly times of disassociated revenge for your revenge which could be a lot worse.

I always think, if the PD person I am so angry with or so want to revenge had a chance to kill or hurt me and get away with it, and still keep up their calm and nice appearance to the world, would they do it? 9 times out of 10 the answer is yes and that further makes me consider the path of least danger for myself and especially for my children.
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Jsinjin

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2021, 05:38:52 PM »
I agree with everything above.   It's only natural that you have resentment and anger.  Consider it like the stages of grief.  Appreciate yourself as human and be angry.   But anger is different from revenge.  The odds are not stacked in the favor of a PD having an emotionally well adjusted healthy life whether with or without you.   I've heard that some victims forgive and others begin to pity the ex as they work through post breakup divorce issues.   

The PD was feeding of your health and it's time to let them starve; that will be enough revenge.

It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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tvda

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Re: How did you let go of "revenge fantasies"?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2021, 05:52:11 AM »
Thank you for all the kind and insightful answers everyone.