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<p>Does anyone else ever feel like they don't get angry often enough or expressively enough when others wrong you?</p>
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<p>While I'm not afraid of conflict, and often confront others on a personal level if I feel there are bad feelings on either side, I have noticed throughout my life that I don't get mad enough when my feelings, desires, etc in a relationship are stomped on. I keep saying "Thank God for Lexapro" for a few reasons. It has definitely helped me get through the trauma, stress, and hurt of the past year, but now I am finding myself reliving the events of last December as each day goes by and trying to get up the courage and energy to express how angry I should have been last year when all these things happened. Every day that STBX was cruel, neglectful, and ugly to me when I was severely disabled and pregnant, I kept excusing his behavior with all sorts of rationalization. He heaped blame on me for his unhappiness, and criticized me endlessly, all the while announcing verbally his lack of sympathy for me when I needed his help for basic needs and he refused to give it. I lost my dignity as strangers wiped my bottom, sponge bathed me, helped me get my underwear on, remarked on how much weight I had lost, and swept my floor so my walker wouldn't get stuck as I tried to roll it across the floor...all things that when I asked him for help, he responded, "NO, I'm NOT going to do that!" or "I'll think about it." Then he'd leave for days at a time, not even coming back to let the dog out.</p>
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<p>And still I didn't get angry outwardly.</p>
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<p>He walked out on me, filed for divorce while I was preg, threatened to declare me unfit and take my baby away. Tried to sell the house out from under me.</p>
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<p>I let him come back, and he emptied my bank account that he had access to. Didn't even tell me. Said I owed him for the lawyers' fees because it was all my fault that he left me before.</p>
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<p>Wouldn't stay in the room when I gave birth, even though he was supposedly my husband.</p>
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<p>Yet I didn't get mad at him.</p>
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<p>I called the police two nights in a row in Oct. It's not that I've continued to allow his abuse. It's just that I've been trying to move on and rebuild my life. Get through each day the best I can, making the best decisions possible. I don't think about him in the present. I don't miss him or have any attachment to him.</p>
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<p>But I am numb in the area of my heart where I should hate him.</p>
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<p>He was supposed to be the one person in life that I could count on. Turns out that strangers I've never met care more about me than he does. So, on the one hand, I'm surrounded by incredibly caring people. I ordered take-out Mexican food from my favorite place last night, and when the owner delivered it, he wouldn't take my money because he asked where my husband was, and I told him he'd left me.</p>
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<p>Anyway, just wondered if anyone else struggles with, for lack of a better term, "getting it up" when it comes to anger, and if this is part of what makes me vulnerable to abuse.</p>
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<p>I also see that since I've become a mom, I've developed the ability to flare up immediately at anyone who tries to separate me from my baby girl or undermine my ability to take care of her. I think that is part of why it's been so easy to kick STBX out of my life and make other sacrifices to keep her safe and sound.</p>
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<p>Yes. Everything that you said utterly resonates and is all too familiar. I've often wondered why I didn't get outrageously, blazingly mad at my abusive ex for all the things he did to me. I've also wondered why I didn't get mad at DS's dad, who wasn't abusive but took advantage of me in many ways. I got mad after the fact, once I finally realized how wrong their actions are. And I got somewhat mad in the moment, but I always forgave and understood way too easy.</p>
<p>When someone is treating you badly, anger is the appropriate emotion to feel. Abusers are really good at using mind tricks to make you feel like you don't have the right to be angry (and in fact, should somehow feel guilty). It's one of the most powerful tactics they have.</p>
<p>My core reaction is to suppress anger and smooth things over. The one place where I feel easy expressing anger is on behalf of my son. I guess that's because it's not anger on my behalf. That's one reason why I try to let DS express his anger -- I don't want him to grow up swallowing it like I did. The weird part is, I've always though of myself as so strong and independent, not a pushover at all. But in close relationships, I realize I don't stand up for my needs enough or truly believe they're valid. I guess that's really the definition of codependency. I'm working on it.</p>
<p>I'm so sorry he did those things to you, and I'm so glad you're out of the relationship and surrounded by supportive people. Don't blame yourself for your reaction. Just work to make sure you're not vulnerable to abuse in the future.</p>
 

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<p>Oh I totally understand what you're talking about.</p>
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<p>In Vietnamese culture, it is not considered appropriate for women to express...well, anything. My own grandmother told me a few times to "just sit down, look pretty, smile and shut up". Egadz. Also, I grew up with a father who had a LOT of anger issues. He used to slam his fists on the kitchen table, YELL a lot and get outraged regularly. I was scared of him. I was scared of showing any anger because it only made him angrier.</p>
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<p>In my adult life, when I was married to XH, I allowed myself to get angry at things, but I realized that XH thought it was some kind of "anger competition". He always tried to "out-anger" me. And he always won. He was bigger, scarier and louder than me. I couldn't out-scream him either. So I learned the Walking on Eggshells Dance. If I kept XH happy, maybe he wouldn't get pissed, drink so much, smoke so much, blame me so much. His son did the same thing...we both did our best not to anger XH. Also, like Jen mentioned, I was made to feel guilty if I got angry. I wasn't allowed to get angry...I mean how dare I, after being so "horrible" to him and "cheating" on him?</p>
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<p>It took me a while to let myself get angry at XH. I still do somedays, but then after a while, I feel like it's a waste of my energy.</p>
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<p>Actually, the thing that allowed me to get really b*tchy was this strange BCP I tried a few months after leaving XH. It made me into a SUPER B*TCH, and suddenly, I was quite able to express my anger about anything. :D It was a crazy ride, and I switched after only 1 cycle, but it sure let me vent out my feelings :)</p>
 

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<p>Same here with me...</p>
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<p>I realize I have issues getting truely angry with people. I get hurt, stressed, etc. but my anger is pretty fleeting and rare. I found both XH and XBF were really good at making me feel guilty over being angry with them.... or making them angry. I wanted to smooth things over like MamaJen. XH had me trained so I couldn't express my emotions in front of him and then would call me a robot. I spent a lot of my marriage by myself so I know how it feels not to have the support of those who are supposed to love you and know how frustrating that is. Your reaction sounds totally normal. </p>
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<p>I'm in the same boat. I can excuse any and all behavior. I'm working on my own self esteem to accept that this is not a good idea.</p>
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<p>I'm sorry I have nothing else to offer.</p>
 
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