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iKiwi
01-21-2012, 07:59 AM
This is a long rant. I just realised that I am very angry with something about my separation.

Most people in my life were actually extremely invalidating. There was a lot of pity and sympathy for me which was offered as genuinely felt support. Most people could see that marriage was very damaging to me and they wanted to help me.

A lot of people told me that I should just be moving on, to put it behind me. Which was a little invalidating.

But that's not what really makes me angry.

What I am fucking furious about is the assumption that because I was only twenty six when I left him, that somehow the marriage didn't count as a real marriage in the first place. That it was kind of okay for me to get divorced. That it wasn't a massive identity issue. A little bit as if I was too young to understand what real marriage means.

That is enormously invalidating.

Divorce is divorce, at twenty six, thirty six or forty six. Marriage is marriage. The breakup of that is the same whatever your age.

Your life gets split in half.

You stare at documents and don't know what this name in front of you represents. You don't know who you've become. You don't know who you will be in the future.

You have to completely start again.

New bedding. New pots and pans. New ways of living, of existing. The terror of having every comfort and habit ripped up from beneath you. Your whole way of being, your entire life. The weird living situations you end up in. The dangerous situations you put yourself in. The incomprehensible mire of legal issues.

And the loss of your whole support system, your every comfort.

Twenty six, fifty six, it doesn't matter. It isn't "less bad" because I was younger. Okay so I didn't have kids. And having children must make divorce a thousand times worse. But that doesn't mean that divorce without kids is not bad. Of course its bad.

I've spent a year saying I feel about a hundred years old.

Yes, it's been a year since I left.

And I've had a year being told, over and over and over and over, that it's normal. To have a quarter-life crisis or late-twenties chaos, etc. That I would be going through this anyway regardless of the divorce.

As if the divorce itself is basically irrelevant. Because I'm twenty seven now, and that's still "young." Young enough to meet someone else, for none of this to matter some day. That's the impression I keep getting from people -- yeah, it was a tough relationship but it shouldn't matter. I can move on, grow, love again, I'm still young.

It's not as if this is happening to me in my fifties, right? People seem to think that I've still got my whole life ahead of me (I do), and that means that the pain and identity shattering isn't there, because I wasn't in the relationship long enough.

Actually, I was in that relationship for eight years. I lived with him all of that time. I was living with that man for a third of my life.

Of course separation is going to fucking fragment me. And him, too. That's just straight away, without all the gruesome details of my particular marriage.

No, I'm not over it yet. I don't know when I will be. I'm a few hundred thousand times better, thanks, but I'm hardly one hundred percent.

How could anyone just fucking well expect me to smile and move on!? (I know that hasn't happened really. I've been allowed to whinge as much as I like). I'm grateful for all the support I've received but that perception that I should just get over it has really pissed me off. It invalidates all the positive steps I HAVE taken and invalidates all the hurt I've been in.

I'd say sorry for not "being over it yet," but I'm not.

I AM really grateful for all the kindness I've been shown, but that one bit has really hurt.

\end of long rant.

axi
01-22-2012, 12:58 AM
Do you think that people mean that in an invalidating way or are they simply trying to comfort you by giving you the positive that you still have a large chunk of your life to remarry?

A lot of people think that younger means you bounce back more quickly and we tend to almost revere youth and believe that it opens up so many more options.

sflathinker
01-22-2012, 07:28 AM
They aren't invalidating you, they are just trying to be the cup half full people. We need people like that in our lives. They may sound insensitive but there is truth in what they say. I remember what my dad said to me when my ex and I broke up...."I found love at fifty six, your only thirty seven, you're very young" and I remember thinking...yea, but I'm not twenty six. So I hear you and think...wow, you are SO YOUNG. Life is perspective. And another person's perspective is based on experience. When they were twenty six and broken hearted and someone gave them advice, they were thinking "screw you, thanks alot for making me feel little"

There is alot to look forward to no matter what age you break up, no matter how long the relationship lasted, whether there was a legal document tying you together or not. My ex's ex wife was nineteen when she married him and close to thirty when they divorced and she is happily married to someone else now. The beauty of starting over is that you get to start over. Everyone is going to tell you someone to try to help you to feel better and you are going to defend yourself...why....so you can still feel bad? Feel what you feel, but work to feel positive.

dermaline
01-22-2012, 09:33 AM
Hi Midnight,

I do think that people are likely to be saying it to comfort you. Not intending invalidation. But I totally see why you feel invalidated. You are in pain and dont want others to explain your pain away.

I know for me I tend to feel invalidated in many situations because of my vulnerabilities. Not saying that is the case for you of course. Just putting down my experience. I project my fears into their intention.

Living with someone that long and breaking up is a huge thing. Divorce is a huge thing.

You are young enough to get a life back and meet someone else and be happy - and even have children if you wish - but that doesnt take away from how painful it is now.

It is worthwhile looking at the root of anger when we feel it. They say that fear is often the root of anger. And feeling one needs to defend oneself. It may be helpful looking at what you fear and why you feel you need to defend yourself when people say these these things to you.

iKiwi
01-23-2012, 04:02 AM
post deleted.

iKiwi
01-23-2012, 04:11 AM
post deleted.

iKiwi
01-23-2012, 08:53 AM
Sorry fishes.

There are things about my breakup that I CANNOT, will not say. I cannot say them publicly in a place like this, I cannot say them to my T, and I cannot say them to my friends or family. I am not sure I can say them to myself.

But when I say I feel about a hundred years old, I mean it.

When I say I feel out of step with my generation I really, really mean it.

There are angers here that I can't even say.

dermaline
01-23-2012, 09:18 AM
I think you have every right to feel a hundred years old. That struggles make us old beyond our years. Some of that can be tiredness and some of that wisdom and some just from experiencing a lot. .

Noone here is saying that you dont feel old beyond your years and I think many would sympathise with that. I am sorry you are feeling that way.

There is a difference between chronological age and how we feel.

When people are commenting on your age they are of course meaning your chronolical age and are in no way intending to invaldate how you feel or how much you have gone through. Or how much of your life and identity has been taken up by this marriage.

I hope you talk about the things you have not yet discussed with your t soon.

Sometimes I find words cant express how I feel and I wonder if that is part of how you are feeling. ?? Maybe you feel that noone can possibly understand what it is you are feeling? I think people can't experience what we experience but they can care and empathise and an wish us well want to understand.

mollyo
01-23-2012, 09:20 AM
:hugon MT :hugoff

I'm glad you came back to say something.
I want to understand and support you and help you look at things, vent if you need to, and find some relief. That's why I'm responding like this:

my guess (which is probably wrong given my track record :ohboy) is that you feel we don't understand or are not validating how very very strong your feelings, angers, frustrations, etc are, and that you are right to feel them. But I would guess that we do, or speaking for myself, that I do. So we're to help you deal with them, let them out, and maybe give some outside perspective. but yes, your feelings sound very strong, and you are right to have them.
so, just wondering, but how do you feel about the idea of them getting less strong?

There are things about my breakup that I CANNOT, will not say. I cannot say them publicly in a place like this, I cannot say them to my T, and I cannot say them to my friends or family. I am not sure I can say them to myself.
I understand not feeling able to say them on the internet, even anonymously, maybe due to paranoia about being read, or police issues, or who knows what. I would still question that though. And I would definitely question why you can't say them to your T, and if you "can't" say them to yourself, it sounds like this is more of a "won't cause it's really hard"?

:arrow Maybe you can tell us about why it's so hard. and why being hard means you shouldn't still try. :arrow and maybe what about the stuff you're keeping in is so strong and different and how you feel about it.
If you want to talk about it - and clearly you need to vent about stuff- this might be important. It sounds like you might actually really want to let it out.

But when I say I feel about a hundred years old, I mean it.
I fully believe you mean it. I have heard a few other people say it who meant it too.

Thing is, you've never actually been a hundred, have you? so how would you know how it feels to use as a comparison? When you say you feel a hundred years old...what feelings and thoughts are you really trying to describe by saying that as a shortcut? Are you weary? Feel like you've been through more experiences compared to other people? And that makes you feel...what?

When i was a teen i would sometimes say and believe i felt like i was in my thirties. i'm in my thirties now, and nope that's not at all how it feels.
Also knew a guy who believed he actually was thousands of years old, and said that i was too, and cosmically, well, whatever. but don't think that's what you are saying here.

When I say I feel out of step with my generation I really, really mean it.
Why would you think that we don't think you mean this?
Does this bother you? which parts of your generation do you feel out of step with?

There are angers here that I can't even say.
are those the ones that you need validated? are those hurting you?
don;t angers get better when you let them out, share them, look at them differently?

iKiwi
01-23-2012, 10:42 AM
I'm starting to feel like I hate writing here. Because I'm trying to take my feelings and make them words. But those words are just words, they are old words that we all use. So people read words and see the old words and not my words. Then they just reply to the old words because the old words are so familiar. There is a validation trap -- we have learnt in our recovery to stand around and tell each other that the other one is heard. We try and validate each other because that is healthy and fair. But just because we are all telling one another that we hear one another doesn't necessarily mean that we do.

You're right about the comparisons though and no, I don't know what it's like to feel a hundred. But I don't know what it's like to 'feel' twenty seven either and that's why I find it unfair that people assume that I should.

By the way, this post was about support in real time. People who assume I should just snap out of it because my marriage wasn't "real," it didn't "count," because "I'm better off alone." No doubt that's true, but I can't just switch off eight years of silence. They have to come out.