I’m Tearing Me Apart

I used to spend a lot of time with someone who was explosively passive aggressive and it damaged me a lot.

Every now and then, something will happen that triggers those emotions, and I don’t know how to combat those feelings. I’ll spend the whole day hurt, afraid, annoyed and angry (which 90% of the time, is just the aftershock of feeling like you’ve been treated unfairly), and nothing I do can shake it.

This week, that’s what I’ve been deaing with.

I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve learned to combat most of my issues by identifying the Ten Forms of Twisted Thinking. It’s changed my life and has given me the confidence to attack any issue or problem that I feel like I’m struggling with. I mean, I’ve quit smoking. I’ve dealt with my dad’s amputations. I quit cheese for a month. I don’t worry about the things I can’t change. Unless I have raging PMS or am very sleepy, I can approach any problem calmly and rationally.

I’ve come to this realization that the majority of the time that someone is hurting you or even annoying you, they don’t realize that what they’re doing bothers you. A simple “Hey, that hurt my feelings,” or “Would you mind not doing that?” can immediately nip a problem in the bud before it festers into resentment. You are in charge of your own happiness, not them. Remember that.

The people who are REALLY worth cutting off are the people who don’t care when you express your feelings. The people who will continue their behavior with the knowledge that it hurts you. That’s one reason I ended my 22-year best-friendship with Rachael. I’ve been much happier ever since.

But then there are people who will simply explode when you express your hurt. People who have mastered the art of deflecting those feelings back onto you. Passive aggressive people work so hard to avoid vocalizing their displeasure because they automatically connect that behavior with confrontation. So when you express your hurt, they see it as picking a fight. They get defensive. They explode. They deflect, and if that doesn’t do the trick, they project.

I felt very trapped in that situation, like I was walking on eggshells 24/7. I truly felt like a battered housewife, where I would put extra effort into winning that person’s approval and it would backfire all of the time. I was never perfect with this person, but I could never identify the things that bothered them about me, because they would never tell me. It made me question everything I did. I grew very depressed. And fat. Even fatter than I am now.

I realize that now I’m free of that situation. That outside of that time frame, this person is awesome and I love them. And that, when these emotions are triggered, it’s no longer someone else’s fault. This is something I need to combat and learn how to fix. And today, right now, I can’t. It really bothers me.

Running helps. But I didn’t have time to run today. I should probably ask my shrink for advice, but that would take a week. Bleh.

I’m having a super fat week and I can’t figure out why. Maybe that is the trigger.

Part of me hopes that I’m simply cranky because I’m tired, but the other part of me hopes not because I’ll be up til at least 2am tonight watching my favorite movie.


Filed under Botheration

4 responses to “I’m Tearing Me Apart

  1. Chris

    Powerful stuff. You’re very smart.

  2. Erin

    I’m having a fat week, too. I spent at least 15 minutes today thinking about my FUPA.

  3. Courtney

    I love the way you put it here, that no one really makes you mad but yourself. I used to observe it a lot when I worked at the grocey store and I’d say to myself: Do not ever waste energy being mad about this. Or: don’t act so helpless about that, you could just ask and if you don’t then it’s your fault. It’s totally a shifting perspective, though, and hard to hang on to sometimes, especially when you just want to feel sorry for yourself. It’s also so amazingly affected by hormones. True story.

  4. secretlystephie

    Oh agreed; hormones do this every time. Honestly, when I feel myself getting mad, I ask two questions: Am I tired? and Is this PMS? It’s usually one of the two.
    I once had a roommate yell at me – a week after the fact – because a weekend guest left his suitcase in front of the pantry. (You could still open the pantry and reach inside, or at least I could – that’s why I didn’t think to move it.) I was like, Why didn’t you move it? Why didn’t you ask him to move it? Why didn’t you ask me to ask him to move it? Why did you spend all weekend angry? Why the hell are you still angry a week later?
    I am usually horrified when I offend someone or hurt them, but I lose all patience when people bottle things up and yell at me when it’s too late for me to fix/stop whatever I did.

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