A Letter to Myself

Dearest S.,

You are angry. So angry. For so long you have used your anger to shield you from emotions that make you feel weak but it hasn’t served you as well as you’d like to think. In many ways it has hindered your growth.

You think that if you are angry nothing will hurt you and that makes you strong. You think if you rage inside instead of cry outside that is makes the pain, sadness or perceived slight disappear but it is just not true. Your anger has divorced you from your emotions and true self and has left emotional wounds to fester. You can’t picture your life without anger, so in turn, you can’t picture your life the way that you want as you don’t really want to be angry.

Your choice is not anger and strength versus other emotions and weakness. Emotions aren’t black and white like that, they come in many different hues and intensities. You have been living in the shadow of your anger, bitterness and resentment and you have to learn to embrace the light with the dark. They are two sides of the same coin.

Even when things are going well you find something to be angry about. You mistrust other emotions, especially happiness. You have never experienced contentment so the fleeting nature of your happiness makes you apprehensive for the inevitable fall from the high and the anger that you usually cloak yourself in. Your fear of losing what makes you happy makes you discount the importance of the fleeting glimpse and revert back to being angry, apprehensive and guilty.

What are you so angry about? Why do you use your anger like a shield?

You have watched your parents live as predominantly angry people for years. You have seen how their anger taints their relationship and leaves bitterness in place of affection. Although you your parents love each other deeply they have allowed their misunderstandings, bitterness and disillusionment break down their relationship with each other and themselves. You know that they also love you unconditionally, nurtured you and gave a great moral compass, but they also gave you the not so positive trait of using anger to deal with stress. “If it is not one thing, it is another” or “When it rains it pours.” How often have you heard these and similar complaints issued from your mother’s mouth? She has been unable to offer you support, hope or advice throughout this ordeal because she has resigned herself to being angry and is caught in the ‘woe is me’ mentality. She always has the worst problems and pain and constantly anticipates the, what she considers, inevitability of more hardships. Hers is an anger based in resentment.

The anger you learned from your father is a harder kind. It is based in the years of hard work he has endured without respite. His anger has hopelessness and bitterness at its heart. For as long as you can remember your father has over-worked himself to provide for the family. It is from him that you learned selflessness and work ethic, but both are fused with hopelessness. “No matter how hard I work I never get ahead.” While your parents have struggled forever and you learned to be angry at the unfairness you have witnessed and experienced, it doesn’t have to be your path. You can recognize your anger and work towards experiencing the other emotions that you sorely miss.

There is so much you are angry about and you have to allow yourself to experience all that anger before you can begin to learn new ways of tackling stress and problems. There will always be bumps in the path you need to learn how to deal with them and all the emotions that come with them, not just anger.

What else are you angry about?

You are angry that school was so hard for you. You had to work a lot and scrounge to get by, even more so than you scrounge now. But what made you so angry was that you had to fight to get by and so many others seemed to coast through so easily. But you don’t really know how ‘easy’ it was for others. Everyone walks their own path with their own burdens to bear.

You are angry that you have ‘wasted’ two years of your life to this back injury. You are angry that you have worked so hard in physio with no results. That you had major surgery and then worked really hard in physio again only to remain in severe and chronic pain. You are frustrated that so much time has passed and you have nothing to show for it. You are angry that you have had to deal with the last two years and no one has given you a break. You have to fight with workman’s compensation regularly just to get what you rightly deserve and there is the constant stress of fluctuating paychecks and threats of being cut off. You are angry that your spine is not healing and there is still a shadow of uncertainty in your future. There is lots to be angry about, but how much have you learned about yourself? How much are you still learning and willing to learn about yourself?

How much have you learned about your relationship with ‘the boy’? You are angry with him, so angry. You feel like he is taking you for granted and using your generosity against you. And maybe he is. You give too much. In so many ways you give too much. He takes too much as well, but you have to offer it first in order for him to take it. He will keep taking as long as you give, so set some boundaries. With all you give your resentment has made you hold back a large, and perhaps the best, part of you; your vulnerable, passionate and upbeat side is obscured in your anger. (I know you can’t find that part right now, but it is there.) You know you need to start keeping more for yourself and that makes you feel guilty. In turn you give more. You are angry at what he is not doing and you don’t express it in part because you feel guilty that you are not doing more.

What more can you do? Really, why are you so hard on yourself? Why do you still have unrealistic expectations that only fuel your anger further? You have the right to be angry, things have been hard for you, especially lately, but it doesn’t have to be your only emotion. You don’t have to exude anger all. the. time. Feel it and then let it go. Don’t let your anger fester. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for doing what is best for you, he is not looking out for what is best for you so you have to.

You are not where you thought you would, or should, be by now. It makes you so angry that you have fought for so long and still, you haven’t accomplished as much as you’d like. But you have never been able to define what you want or where you want to be. No wonder you are disappointed with where you are when you are so unhappy here but cannot say where you would be happy. You are directionless.

Maybe you are made with who you are. The circumstances make everything harder and although your perception that you haven’t been treated fairly adds to the intensity of your negative self-image, it is not just your circumstances. You are mad at who you are right n ow. You are disappointed in yourself for being depressed and not helping your self. You feel weak because you could have it a lot worse than it is now, but you can’t maintain a positive attitude. You are angry that you can schedule your whole day and then so easily you just don’t do anything. You feel so stuck.

Isn’t it time to let all this anger go? You need to find a way to forgive yourself and those around you. You need to find a way to love yourself and care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, the way you care for others. While your anger hasn’t been as outwardly destructive as anger can be, it has been incredibly destructive to your sense and view of yourself.

It is time to care for you. To make decisions and plans revolving around you. There is part of you that feels like you can’t be happy or complete by yourself. But that is backwards. You have to be happy and complete within yourself before you can bring those qualities into your relationship. Love from your partner will never replace self-love and no matter how much love you are given, it will never be enough if you don’t love yourself.

S., you deserve to love yourself. You deserve to feel loved and desired by your partner. You deserve to feel free to express yourself and all of your emotions. There is nothing wrong with you that makes you unlovable. There is nothing you have done to deserve the rejection and stress that has characterized your relationship. Being injured is not your fault, not healing quickly is not your fault. Let all your anger go. You have shielded yourself for years behind your anger but now it is time to move on, reveal your true self and learn to love her.

You are a strong woman, S. You can take care of yourself and you can fulfill your own dreams. Never forget the strength that is at your core, you own this trait, it is not a result of your anger. Let go of the things that are not working.

With love,

S.

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12 thoughts on “A Letter to Myself

  1. Caroline says:

    What an incredibly heartfelt letter. I hope you have found some release in writing it. My thoughts are with you. There is a route out and you are now catching sight of it.

    You will grasp it – I know you will. And your future will be as bright and as fantastic as you want it to be.

    Lots of hugs

    • S. says:

      As always, Ms Caroline, you have made me feel incredibly cared for. I can’t thank you enough for stopping by and leaving your pearls of wisdom. I love hearing from you!
      Tons of love,
      xoxo
      -S.

  2. Planetnicola says:

    I see where you’re coming from about your parents. My dad was the bread winner. He started work when he was 15 and stayed with the same company for fifty years (moving from factories twice in that time)We didn’t have much when we were growing up, but we did OK. My dad is 74 now, and although he’s my dad and I love him, he has been one hell of an angry man. He can even fall out with himself! I was on a swing once when I was little and I fell off. He came running over to me (thinking he was going to kiss it better) and he thrashed me across my leg. Both him and my mum hit me for years – it’s actually physical abuse, but back in the 80’s it was called good old fashioned discipline 😦 I’ve never seen them hug.. or kiss one another. I’ve seen plenty of fights and threats to leave though.
    My mum is very much like yours – she can be a real downer.
    I create fights sometimes in my relationships just to feel normal. And it doesn’t take much to make me angry. I hate stupidity. I hate cruelty and unnecessary harm to animals. I get angry at noisy people.. and litter.. and filth. I don’t like people who leave their Christmas lights up all year. I hate other people who can be jolly in the morning when I’m happy to stay in bed til two (especially these days) I don’t like wedding photos of fat women who are marrried to hot looking guys. I don’t like people who talk openly on the mobile phones while in public or on public transport. I don’t like hearing other peoples mp3 players. I don’t like plastic flowers put into pots outside. I don’t like dogs barking and irresponsible pet owners who can’t keep them quiet. And I get angry in crowds or where there’s lots of smelly people.
    And I don’t still know who Kim Kardashian is or why I should have to pay my TV licence just to see her every time I switch it on.
    In fact, just walking to my local shops can throw me into a mild rage.

    I don’t think your on your own where being angry is concerned. I think there should be more anti- passive groups started. Sometimes I have to prod my bf to make sure that he’s still alive. Sometimes I wish he’d be more like my dad :S

    • S. says:

      Hiya,

      So sorry, it has been too long and I also owe you a response to your thoughtful and honest email. I have started it, it is in my drafts folder so I will get my butt in gear and finish it up.
      Your comment made me feel like I wasn’t so alone, thank you. I know that a lot of people live with anger that eats at them, and I don’t want to be a bitter old lady who watched her life go by in front of her face, but because she was always looking for the coming rain, she never learned to enjoy the sun and consequently feels as though the world owes her and believes that ‘if only this happened’ her life would have been fine. I am starting to realize that my life is what I make it. And I mean that beyond the silly motivational speaker kind of ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken” bull shit we are told when growing up.
      I am realizing that I haven’t been making choices for a long time, and in my lack of choice making I have allowed my life to go somewhere I never wanted it to go. Does that sounds stupid?

      You know, I am amazed at how much we have in common. Seriously, you are one cool chic. Just about every anger inducer you listed made me nod in agreement. (I have a hard time remembering that when I am reading what someone else wrote they can’t actually see my body language! 😛 )

      Like you, I love my parents dearly, but I am starting to see them as people. They have made choices and had to live with the consequences of those choices. I guess I sometimes forget that my parents have thoughts and dreams too. It makes me sad to think of the number of things my father has given up to give me and my sis the best he could provide. For years I tried to get my mom to go and see a psychologist. I am almost positive she has a social phobia, has been depressed for years and goes through manic phases as well.

      I always said I wouldn’t be like my mom, however I guess my nurturing is more deeply ingrained than I thought. In my worst times it is like I am a mini me of my mom. I have the same defeated outlook on life and well… it needs to change.

      Thanks for the comments. You will be getting an email from me soon and sincerely hope we continue our correspondence..
      Hugs.
      xo – S.

  3. […] A Letter to Myself (secretworldofs.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] A Letter to Myself (secretworldofs.wordpress.com) […]

  5. backonmyown says:

    Hi sweet S. I read this post a long time ago but saved it so I could read it again, and again. I don’t think I realized how much anger I still carry for D and for the OW until I read this. Unresolved anger will eat us alive. In fact, I am going for tests in a couple of weeks because it appears that I have an ulcer. I’m thinking it’s time to go back to yoga class. 🙂

    Thanks for your insight and for expressing it so eloquently.

    • S. says:

      Hello Darling,
      I think you made my day. Although I am very sorry to hear that you are holding on to anger and may have an ulcer as a result! 😦 Will you let me know you are okay when you get the results?

      What made my day is simply that my words may have made a difference for someone. It is always good for me to get it out, but it makes it a bit more special when I discover that my words made someone think about something differently or more deeply. I am sincerely flattered.

      YOGA! AH! That is something I have been wanting to get back to pretty much since I hurt my back. Unfortunately, if you can’t move your lower back, yoga poses are hard to pull off! 😛 Although I do have a neighbor who is a yoga instructor that has offered numerous times to help me come up with a routine that doesn’t put stress on my back. Why haven’t I taken her up on it? Well… That is the dastardly lack of motivation again….

      If I find a way to let go of my anger, I will be sure to share. I expect the same from you. Haha, that sentence sounds so severe (or maybe it is just the expect… I don’t usually like to hold expectations over others, maybe that is one of the issues with my interpersonal relationships… Hmm..) … But I suppose you have read enough of my comments to know that I don’t mean it severely, more sarcastically! 😛
      Tons of love,
      xoxoo – S.

  6. […] A Letter to Myself (secretworldofs.wordpress.com) […]

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