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Update: An Angry Person's Pain

Update: An Angry Person's Pain

October 6, 2000

From: Bill
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2000 11:22 PM
Subject: (Bill's Update)


Hi Dr. Irene,          Hi Bill. 

Thought I'd give you an update on my progress (An Angry Person's Pain) from September 12.

Good to hear from you. Sorry it took a while to get back to you. I was computer-less for a few (excruciating) days. Keep scrolling...

 Lately things have been looking up for me. My medication seems to be working well. No pity parties, crying, etc.
 
YIPPEEE!

Feeling better about myself. Reading is continuing (on my fifth book). I don't pour through the books like a hungry animal. Instead I read a chapter quickly for thought then I go back and reread it for content. The next day I revisit the previous day's reading for the purpose of determining what I've learned.

Only real issue that I'm concerned about is the lack of sleep. My eating > habits are good and also I've started to exercise with a mile walk every day. Will be seeing the doctor tomorrow to review options for improving the sleep time.

Things between the wife and I are still up in the air. Last Saturday she stopped over with the grandkids and wanted all of us to do something together so we went to an apple orchard for apples and some fun. Later we went out for supper. A pleasant way to spend a Fall day. Then on Sunday she called and invited me to go to the zoo with her and the grandkids. Another beautiful day. Later I took them out for an early supper. Afterward that night she gave me her unlisted phone number with the understanding that I was not to call her and hash over all the old stuff. No problem I told her.
 
Excellent.

Today I called her at work to ask if she wanted to go with me to our monthly carving class. Her reply was a, "I don't know". And there have been plenty of those. I told her I was confused since she always enjoyed going in the past. I asked if she could explain her feelings. She did. She stated that she felt guilty going because when she moved out it was to end the marriage and that by going she wasn't being true to her feelings for leaving me. My reply was that I could understand her feelings and that my asking her was creating pressure for her. Then I told her she needed her time to work out what she  needed to do and that I would give her the space she needed. However, I did tell her if she needed my help I was here to try and help her.
 
Excellent again!
 

I'm sure she will do what she has to work things out for herself. She is a good person. The only concern that I have is that she doesn't have anyone to talk to (her words not mine).

There has been a mixed bag of comments to my letter that you posted from favorable comments to - shall we say, victims venting against an abuser. 

Yeah, I know. It can be a fine line (victim/abuser), isn't it?

Several of the posts have expressed concern about my motivation for change. Am I doing it for myself or am I just doing it to win her back?
 
You know what Bob? I don't care why you're doing it; I'm glad that you're doing it.  Of course, it's better to do it for you, but you are more likely to do it for you the more your recovery progresses.
 
Truthfully, there are times that I feel I'm doing it to win her back. But most of the time I know I'm doing it for me. How do I know you might ask? Because of how I act towards others, how I feel about myself as a person, my appreciation for the beauty of the day, the creative hugs the grandchildren and I have created for each other, several sharing and caring talks with my oldest son, the gift and card I sent to my younger brother, and the numerous talks my mom and I have had alone (God bless her). Yes, I'm improving. No, I'm not there yet for the journey is long and hard and to run now would leave me to
tired to finish later.

My anger is off to the side and I'm working to push it out of sight.
 
Understand it first. Most of it will be irrational. (It won't all be irrational.) Deal with the rational and dump the irrational. 
 
It has been 16 days since I've allowed myself to be angry. A big help here was the book by Ron Effron-Potter, "Angry All the Time". It provided insight and ideas to deal with my anger. It is kind of funny to watch my wife's reaction to things that used to set me off and how I let them go. She is not sure if it is really me or if I'm playing a game. Time will show it is for real.
 
Yippeee! It's real. It just takes a while to make it habitual. You'll slip up a lot early on. That's OK; you get better at it.
 

And that leads me to the item of trust. If she doesn't divorce me that will be the hardest thing for her -- to have trust in me again. That I feel will be a long time in coming and the only thing I can do is be honest, sincere, and respectful of what I say and do. It will be my actions that will do the talking to her.

 
You bet.
 

Before I end this letter I would like you and the good people that frequent this site to know how much I appreciate the input, support, advice, and guidance you have chosen to give me. Those few and I do mean few, that bashed me, I would say thank you also. For you have served as a reminder to me of one of the effects of verbal abuse. I wish that there was some way that I could reach other verbal abusers out there to help them see the light so that they could begin their journey to recovery.

 
You can. Please get on some of the other boards and POST! Helping others is a great way to reinforce what you've learned. Supporting others who have come as far as you is also part of recovery.

Found this statement in a book that I was reading and find it to be a great way to end this post.


"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning."

Thank you, Bill

 
Thank you! May I print this ?
My very best, Dr. Irene

Hi again Dr. Irene,

Yes, you may post this - in fact I'd be honored.

Funny that your response came tonight because I'm in down mood (lonely) but I know that it will past.  Like the lyrics in the Three Dog Night Song, "One is the loneliest number..."  But there is sunshine out there.

Thanks again and yes I'll visit the other boards.